A History of Allerton and Mossley Hill

Last updated 14th March 2016
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This site presents a history of Allerton and Mossley Hill, two suburban areas of south Liverpool (the area I am concerned with is defined precisely below). At the time when recorded history began, this was a farming and hunting region with nothing in the way of significant population centres. However, the area was populated at least as far back as Neolithic times, as witnessed by the standing stones that still survive, and the ground is underpinned by rock that has its origins in the desert landscapes of the Triassic Period.
Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings were in the area, but for the 700 years following the Norman Conquest the land was in the hands of a small number of nobles and monastic institutions. Wealthy citizens, many associated with shipping in one form or another, then started to buy up the land and build their mansions. The area was seen as desirable because of its attractive countryside and, especially as the Industrial Revolution progressed, the purity of its air.
The arrival of the wealthy merchant classes gathered pace in the second half of the 19th century. Although many of their houses were demolished in the 20th century, a considerable number remain, though with alternative usage. These men were often philanthropists, who provided financial support for the building of fine churches in the area and many projects throughout Liverpool.
As incomes contracted and costs rose in the early 20th century, much of the land was sold to Liverpool Corporation for public parkland. This remains one of the most attractive aspects of the area today. Suburbanisation began around 1900, but was especially active in the 1920s and 1930s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s. There was limited scope for further development after that because the extensive green spaces were protected from development. The area retains many attractions for the present inhabitants and visitors.
Site Contents
1   Geology and the First Inhabitants
2   Prehistoric Remains
3   Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings
4   Landscape
5   Early Maps
6   The Manor of Allerton
7   Distinguished Early Residents
8   Other Early Residents and Houses
9   The Victorian Age
10   Lost Mansions
11   Ecclesiastical Buildings
12   Public Parks and Green Spaces
13   Road, Rail and Trams
14   The Beatles
The Area Covered
For my own convenience and interests as much as anything else, I admit now (to avoid any subsequent border disputes!) that I have taken a slightly generous interpretation of the area implied by my title. Broadly speaking this is the ancient township of Allerton plus those parts of the Liverpool 18 Postcode Area not included in it. I've regularised the rather convoluted boundaries of the latter, so the area is a little larger in fact. Mossley Hill is a parish within the ancient township of Wavertree. Proceeding clockwise from Wavertree, the other neighbouring townships, several of which are slightly encroached upon here, are Childwall, Gateacre (originally Little Woolton), Woolton (originally Much Woolton), Speke, Garston (including Aigburth) and Toxteth.
The north-western tip is the junction of Smithdown Road and Ullet Road. Proceeding clockwise the boundary follows Smithdown Road, Allerton Road, Queens Drive and Woolton Road as far as the Black Wood. It then takes a straight line to the dog-leg in Vale Road, which it follows, continuing along Hillfoot Road, the national railway line to West Allerton Station, Booker Avenue and Holmefield Road as far as South Sudley Road. It then takes a direct line to North Sudley Road, which it follows, continuing along Elmswood Road and Aigburth Vale as far as Queens Drive, from where it goes straight to the starting point.
The northern end of the boundary between Mossley Hill and Allerton I have taken as the junction of Woolton Road and Green Lane. It follows Green Lane, Allerton Road, Rose Lane, Pitville Avenue and Pitville Close, from where it takes a straight line to the junction of Brodie Avenue and Cooper Avenue, following the latter to Holmefield Road.
This site is the work of Laurence Scales and is part of allertonOak.
The site is entirely non-commercial and is intended for educational purposes.
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