Old Photos of Liverpool, Maps and Old Liverpool Books

 Liverpool City Group
  past and present

 



Welcome to our extensive gallery of old images of Liverpool. Mostly, they have been collected from our extensive library of old Liverpool books, all of which have been out of circulation for more than a 100 years.

In order to make these very rare Liverpool books availability for you today, we have meticulously and faithfully reproduced them in epub eBook format so you can see and purchase them for your own collection in our shop

Results that match your search: 1199


Pages: [<<] ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... [>>]

Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-glen-c1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Glen, Dingle, L.8 - 1900

 

  REF: 4284


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-glen-dingle-1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Glen, Dingle, L.8 - 1900

  Anyone for a spot of alfresco bathing?

  REF: 4283


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-wishing-steps
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore The Wishing Steps, Dingle, L.8 - 1850

 

  REF: 4281


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-point-2
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Point, Dingle, L.8 - 1850

 

  REF: 4280


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-point-dingle-1890
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Point, Dingle, L.8 - 1850

 

  REF: 4279


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-cottage-1845
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Dingle Cottage Dingle Bank, Dingle, L.8 - 1845

  James Cropper was a wealthy shipowner whose firm, Cropper, Benson & Co., formed in 1799, carried cargo, mail and passengers between Liverpool and America. In 1823 he bought the Dingle Bank estate and built three large houses for members of his family and Dingle Bank Cottages on the shore for his estate workers.

  REF: 4278


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-west-dingle-1845
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: West Dingle Dingle Bank, Dingle, L.8 - 1845

  Dingle Bank remained secluded and intact until 1919 when it was bought by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board who demolished everything to make way for the Dingle oil jetties and storage tanks.

  REF: 4277


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1-1956
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway , Dingle, L.8 - 1956

 

  REF: 4276


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-2-1956
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway , Dingle, L.8 - 1956

 

  REF: 4275


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1956
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway , Dingle, L.8 - 1956

  inside a carriage.

  REF: 4274


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-dingle
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway Herculaneum Dock, Dingle, L.8 - 1950

  at the transfer from the Dingle Terminus tunnel to the overhead track.

  REF: 4273


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-posters-2
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway Dock Road, Dingle, L.8 - 1950

 

  REF: 4272


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-and-dock-road
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway Dock Road, Dingle, L.8 - 1900

 

  REF: 4271


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1945
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway , Dingle, L.8 - 1945

 

  REF: 4270


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1908
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway Pier Head, Centre-Town, L.1 - 1908

 

  REF: 4269


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1907
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway Pier Head, Centre-Town, L.1 - 1907

 

  REF: 4268


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-2-1907
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Overhead Railway James Street, Centre-Town, L.1 - 1907

  From a painting by James Hamilton Hay.

  REF: 4267


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-overhead-railway-1890
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Overhead Railway Station Pier Head, Centre-Town, L.1 - 1890

  with some sailors

  REF: 4266


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-herculaneum-dingle
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Herculaneum Dock, Dingle, L.8 - 2006

  Showing the exit tunnel of the Overhead Railway from Dingle Station.

  REF: 4265


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-herculaneum-dock-1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Herculaneum Dock, Dingle, L.8 - 1900

 

  REF: 4264


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-herculaneum-pottery
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Herculaneum Pottery Manufactory The South Shore, Dingle, L.8 - 1795

  An example of Liverpool Pottery.

  REF: 4263


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-history-herculaneum-china-and-earthenware-manufactory-1825
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Herculaneum China and Earthenware Manufactory , Dingle, L.8 - 1825

  On the site of the old Herculaneum Dock which is now modern riverside housing.

  REF: 4262


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-shore-and-pottery-1825
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Herculaneum Pottery The South Shore, Dingle, L.8 - 1825

  The company had good trade with America and produced many pieces bearing American designs and emblems. They also produced pieces with well-known English scenery. With trade going from strength to strength, the manufactory was considerably enlarged in 1800 and again in 1806. During this period china was produced, and its manufacture continued to the close of the works in 1841.

  REF: 4261


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-bank-looking-towards-garston-1893
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Bank, Dingle, L.8 - 1893

  Looking across Otterspool towards Garston

  REF: 4260


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-dingle-bank-1893
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The South Shore Dingle Bank, Dingle, L.8 - 1893

  Unspoilt views to the Wirral

  REF: 4259


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-ancient-chapel-of-worship-tribute-park-road
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Ancient Chapel of Worship Tribute Park Road, Dingle, L.8 - 2006

 

  REF: 4258


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l8-ancient-chapel-of-worship-park-road
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Ancient Chapel of Worship Park Road, Dingle, L.8 - 2006

 

  REF: 4257


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l1-bold-street-1910
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Bold Street, Centre-Town, L.1 - 1910

  Donated by Paul Evans

  REF: 4256


Liverpool, history, herdman-1858-mason-street-edgehill-showing-williamson-tunnels-entrance-1858
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

SIX

The terrace extending from Grinfield-street to Miss Mason’s house is threaded with passages, vaults, and excavations. At the northern corner there is a tunnel eight feet high, and as many wide, which runs up from what was once an orchard and garden, to a house in Mason-street. The tunnel is, I should think, 60 yards long. As the ground rises up the hill, there are several flights of stone steps with level resting-places. About two-thirds up, where the first flight is encountered, may be seen a portion of a large vault which runs a short way southwardly. A small portion of the top of the arch, between it and the steps, is left open, but for what reason I never could make out.

The further end of this vault opens into another great vault, which I shall presently describe. The passage is very dry, but the air has a cold "gravey" taint, very unpleasant to inhale. At the second landing there is a sort of recess, into which rubbish from the garden above is shot down through a spout or funnel. At the top of the passage is a doorway opening upon the back of a house in Mason-street. This passage or tunnel was evidently intended for a mode of communication between the house and the orchard. In the garden or orchard, and near the tunnel mouth, were four lofty recesses, like alcoves, three of which were four feet deep. In one of those recesses, which was carried much further back than the others, the stones were lying as they fell, and there was a channel on one side of the flooring which seemed to have been intended for a drain.

Through a large folding gate access is obtained from Smithdown-lane into a wide passage or vault, in shape like a seaman’s speaking trumpet. It is broad enough to accommodate two carts at least, and has been used when the stone has been carted away from the delph at its eastern end. This vault is constructed of brick. It gradually deepens at the eastern end, and is about 15 feet wide, and 20 high. At the opening it is not more than 15 high. The top outside is covered by soil, and forms part of the garden previously mentioned.

At the left hand side of the tunnel end will be found a vault, running northward for about fifty or sixty feet. The end of this vault is the limit of Mr. Williamson’s property. The tunnel already described as running up to Mason-street crosses the top of this vault. This vault is about thirty-six feet wide and perhaps thirty feet high, but the floor has been considerably raised since Mr. Williamson’s time by debris and rubbish of all sorts thrown into it. In the right hand corner of the vault, about ten feet from the ground, there is the mouth of a tunnel which runs up first towards Mason-street, it then turns and winds in a variety of ways in passages continuing under the houses in Mason-street, and opening upon many of the vaults.

To the left of the entrance vault, there is a large square area from which immense masses of red sandstone have been quarried. It is forty feet from side to side. There is a vault in the southern wall opposite the wall just described. It runs towards Grinfield-street, and is composed of two large arches side by side, surmounted by two smaller ones. In the eastern face of the quarry there is an immense arch perhaps sixty feet high; and about thirty feet from its entrance there is an immense and massive stone pier from which spring two arches on each side, one above the other, but not from the same level. The pier is hollowed on the inside by three arches. On the left hand wall inside the arch there are two large arches, from which vaults run northwardly, and on the right hand side of the wall there are also two vaults which extend to a great distance in a southwardly direction, towards Grinfield-street.

From these vaults, other vaults branch off in all sorts of directions. The houses in Mason-street all rest upon these arches; and as you passed along the street, the depth of some of them at one time was visible through the grids. The construction of these arches is of the most solid description, and seems stable as the earth itself. There are some openings of vaults commenced at the end near Grinfield-Street, but discontinued. These arches seem to have given way and presented a curiously ruined aspect.

In the lower range of vaults there was a run of water and what Williamson called "a quagmire." In several places there are deep wells, whence the houses in Mason-Street seem to be supplied with water. Sections of arches commenced, but left unfinished, were visible at one time in various places. The lowest range of arches opening from the Grinfield-street end run to the northward.

From the roof of many of these vaults were stalactites, but of no great length. The terraced gardens are ranged on arches all solidly built. The houses in Mason-street are strange constructions. In one house I saw there was no window in one good-sized room, light being obtained through a funnel carried up to the roof of the house through an upper floor and room. This strange arrangement arose from Mr. Williamson having no plan of the house he was building for the men to work by, consequently it was found the windows had been forgotten. He never had, I believe, any drawings or plans of either his houses or excavations. The men were told to work on till he ordered them to stop.

In another house I went through there was an immense room which appeared as if two stories had been made into one. The bedroom-I believe there was only one in the house-was gained by an open staircase, run up by the side of the west wall of the large room. After passing the room door you mounted another flight of stairs which terminated in a long lobby, which ran over the top of the adjoining house, to two attics. The gardens of this house were approached by going down several stone steps (all was solid with Mr. Williamson) past the kitchen, which was also arched, and thence down another flight of stone steps until you came to a lofty vaulted passage of great breadth.

You then entered a dry, wide arch. From this another arch opened in a northwardly direction. At the end of the principal vault was a long, narrow, vaulted passage, which was lighted by a long iron grating which proved to be a walk in a garden belonging to two houses at a distance. This passage then shot off at right angles, and at length a garden was gained on a terrace, the parapet wall of which overlooked the large opening or quarry previously described; and a fearful depth it appeared.

Some of the backs of the Mason-street houses project, some recede, some have no windows visible, others have windows of such length and breadth as must have thrown any feeble-minded tax-gatherer when he had to receive window duty into fits. These houses really appear as if built by chance, or by a blind man who has felt his way and been satisfied with the security of his dwelling rather than its appearance. The interiors of these houses, however, were very commodious, when I saw them years ago. They were strangely arranged, with very large rooms and very small ones, and long passages oddly running about.

I recollect once going over a house in High-street which Williamson erected. The coal vault I went into would have held at least two hundred tons of coals. In all these vaults and places the rats swarmed in droves, and of a most remarkable size. I once saw one perfectly white. Wherever Williamson possessed property there did his "vaulting ambition" exhibit itself.

Such is a brief account of Williamson and his works. A book might be filled with his sayings and doings. Amid all his roughness he was a kind and considerate man, and did a great deal of good in his own strange way. His effects were sold by Trotter and Hodgkins on the 7th June, 1841, and one of the lots, No. 142, consisted of a view of Williamson’s vaults and a small landscape. I wonder what has become of the former. Lot 171 was a "cavern scene" which showed the bent of the man’s taste.

  REF: 4254


Liverpool, history, herdman-1858-mason-street-edgehill-showing-williamson-tunnels-entrance-1858
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

FIVE

Mr. Williamson’s property at Edge-hill, was principally held under the Waste Lands Commission. His leases expired in 1858. It commenced adjoining Miss Mason’s house, near Paddington, and extended to Grinfield-street. It was bounded on the west by Smithdown-lane, along which ran a massive stone wall of singular appearance, more like that of a fortress than a mere enclosure.

Within this area were some of the most extraordinary works, involving as great an outlay of money as may be found anywhere upon the face of the earth, considering the space of ground they occupy. In their newly-wrought state, about the years 1835 and ’36, or thereabouts, they created intense wonder in the minds of the very few who were permitted to examine them. During the last few years, I believe they have been gradually filled up and very much altered, but they are still there to be laid open some day.

Few of us know much of them, though so few years have elapsed since they were projected and carried out, since the sounds of the blast, the pick, and the shovel were last heard in their vicinity. Now what will be said of these minings, subterranean galleries, vaults and arches, should they suddenly be discovered a century hence, when their originator as well as their origin shall have faded away into nothing like the vanishing point of the painter? Here we behold an astonishing instance of the application of vast labour without use, immense expense incurred without hope of return, and, if we except the asserted reason of the late projector that these works were carried on for the sole purpose of employing men in times of great need and depression, we have here stupendous works without perceptible motive, reason, or form.

Like the catacombs at Paris, Williamson’s vaults might have been made receptacles for the dried bones of legions of our forefathers. Again, they might have been converted into fitting places for the hiding of stolen goods, or where the illicit distiller might carry on his trade with impunity.

I hardly know in what tense to speak of those excavations, not being aware in what state they are at present. A strange place it is, or was. Vaulted passages cut out of the solid rock; arches thrown up by craftmen’s hands, beautiful in proportion and elegant in form, but supporting nothing. Tunnels formed here-deep pits there. Yawning gulfs, where the fetid, stagnant waters threw up their baneful odours. Here the work is finished off, as if the mason had laboured with consummate skill to complete his work, so that all the world might see and admire, although no human eyes, save those of the master’s, would ever be set upon it.

Here lies the ponderous stone as it fell after the upheaving blast had dislodged it from its bed; and there, vaulted over, is a gulf that makes the brain dizzy, and strikes us with terror as we look down into it. Now we see an arch, fit to bridge a mountain torrent; and in another step or two we meet another, only fit to span a simple brook. Tiers of passages are met with, as dangerous to enter as they are strange to look at.

It must ever be a matter of regret that after Mr. Williamson’s death, some one able to make an accurate survey of the property did not go through and describe it, because it has been greatly changed since then by the accumulations of rubbish that have been brought to every part of it. All the most elaborate portions of the excavations have been entirely closed up.

In one section of the ground (that near Grinfield-street), where there was of late years a joiner’s shop, the ground was completely undermined in galleries and passages, one over the other, constituting a subterranean labyrinth of the most intricate design. Near here also was a deep gulf, in the wall sides of which were two houses completely excavated out of the solid rock, each having four rooms of tolerable dimensions.

  REF: 4253


Liverpool, history, herdman-1858-mason-street-edgehill-showing-williamson-tunnels-entrance-1858
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

FOUR

I knew a lady who once had an encounter with Williamson wherein she came off victorious, and carried successfully her point. The affair is curious. This lady, about 1838 or ’39, wanted a house, and was recommended to go up to Edge-hill and endeavour to meet with Mr. Williamson and try to get on the right side of him, which was considered a difficult thing to do. She was told that he had always some large houses to let, and if she pleased him he would be a good landlord.

Mrs. C---, accompanied by a lady, went up to Edge-hill and looked about as they were told to do for a handsome-looking man in a shabby suit of clothes. They were told that they were sure to find Mr. W. where men were working, as he always had some in his employ in one way or another in the neighbourhood. On arriving at Mason-street, sure enough, they espied the object of their search watching the operations of some bricklayers busily engaged in erecting the very house in Bolton-street just spoken of. Mrs. C---, who was a sharp, shrewd person, good looking and pleasant in her manners, sauntered up to Williamson and inquired of him if he knew of any houses to be let at Edge-hill. "Houses!" replied Williamson in his roughest and rudest style: "What should I know of houses, a poor working man like me!" "Well," said the lady, "I thought you might have known of some to let, and you need not be so saucy and ill-tempered." Williamson roughly rejoined, and the lady replied, and thus they got to a complete wordy contest attracting the attention of the bystanders, who were highly amused to find that Williamson had met his match. The lady’s sarcasms and gibes seemed to make Williamson doubly crusty.

He at length asked the other lady-who, by the way, was becoming nervous and half-frightened at what was going on-"what this woman," pointing to Mrs. C---, "would give for a house if she could meet with one to her mind." Mrs. C--- told him £30 per annum. Williamson burst out with an insulting laugh, and called all the men down from the house they were erecting, and when they had clustered round him he told them that "this woman wanted a house with ten rooms in it for £30 a year! Did they ever know of such an unreasonable request?" Of course the men agreed with their employer, and they were all dismissed after being regaled with a mug of porter each. Mrs. C--- narrowly watched Williamson and saw through him at once, and was not surprised on being invited to step into a house close by and see how she liked it.

She found fault with some portions of the house and approved others. Williamson at length, after a short silence, inquired whether she really did want a house and would live in Mason-street. Mrs. C--- replied that she did really require one and liked the street very much. Williamson then asked her if she was in a hurry. On being told she was not, he bade her return that day fortnight at the same hour and he would try then to show her a house he thought would suit her exactly. With this the ladies departed, Williamson saying:-"There now, you be off; you come when I tell you; you’ll find me a regular old screw; and if you don’t pay your rent the day it is due I shall law you for it, so be off." Mrs. C--- then said, "My husband is a cockney, and I will bring him with me, and we will see if we can’t turn the screw the right way."

The ladies had no sooner arrived at the end of Mason-street, when on turning to take a last look of their singular friend they saw the men from the house in Bolton-street all following Williamson into the house they had just left, and as it eventually proved he had set them there and then to work to make the alterations she had suggested and desired.

On the termination of the fortnight the ladies called on their remarkable friend, and found him in waiting at the house with two great jugs of sherry and some biscuits on a table. He then took them over the house, and to their surprise found everything in it altered: two rooms had been opened into one, one room made into two, two had been made into three, and so on, and he asked Mrs. C--- if she was satisfied and if the house would suit her? He appeared to have completely gutted the house and reconstructed it. Putting it down at an unusually low rent for what had been done, the bargain was struck between the parties, and the landlord and his tenant were ever after good friends. He told the lady he liked her for sticking up to him "so manfully" and "giving him as good as he sent."

Mr. Williamson took great delight in this lady’s children and made great pets of them. On her family increasing the lady and her husband frequently asked Williamson to build her an extra room for a nursery, reminding him that as he was always building something, he might as well build them an extra room as anything else. He, however, declined until one day the lady sent him a manifesto from the "Queen Of Edge-hill," as he had been accustomed to call her, commanding him to build the room she wanted. Williamson, thereupon, wrote her a reply in the same strain, promising to attend to her commands.

A few mornings after his reply had been received the lady was busy in her bedroom dressing her baby, when she suddenly heard a loud knocking in the house adjoining, and down fell the wall, and amid the falling of bricks and the rising of dust Mr. Williamson himself appeared, accompanied by two joiners, who fitted a door into the opening, while two bricklayers quickly plastered up the walls. Through the door next stepped the landlord. "There, madam, what do you think of this room for a nursery," he exclaimed, "it is big enough if you had twenty children." Mr. Williamson had actually appropriated the drawing-room in his own house to her use. She thanked him, but said he might have given her some warning of what he was going to do, instead of covering her and the baby with dust, but Williamson laughed heartily at his joke, while the lady was glad to get a noble room added to her house without extra rent.

This lady told me that one night just previous to this event they had heard a most extraordinary rumbling noise in Mr. Williamson’s house which continued for a long time and it appeared to proceed from one of the lower rooms. On inquiring next day of Mr. Williamson what was the cause of the disturbance he took the lady into a large dining-room, where she found about fifty newly-painted blue barrows with red wheels all ranged along the room in rows. These had been constructed for the use of his labourers and were there stored away until wanted.

  REF: 4252


Liverpool, history, herdman-1858-mason-street-edgehill-showing-williamson-tunnels-entrance-1858
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

THREE

There was a house of his once standing at the corner of Bolton-street, which he built entirely for a whim. It was a great square house, with enormously wide and long windows. It was of three stories, two upper tiers and a basement. There was no kitchen to it, no conveniences of any kind sufficient to render it habitable. From the cellar there was a tunnel which ran under Mason-street to the vaults opposite. He built it intending it for his friend, Mr. C. H---, the artist, who had one day complained of the bad light he had to paint in, and Mr. Williamson told him he would remedy that evil if he would wait a bit.

Presently he commenced the house in Bolton-street, and when it was completed the artist was sent for, and told that it had been built for him as a studio. Mr. H--- stood aghast on seeing the immense windows, and could not make Mr. Williamson understand that an artist’s light was not wanted in quantity but quality. Williamson swore lustily at H---’s obstinacy, and could not be made to understand what was really required. A reverend gentleman, still living and highly respected, who happened to be passing along the street, was called in to give his opinion on the subject by Mr. W. He, however, joined issue with Mr. H---, but neither could make Mr. W. understand the matter. The rooms were very lofty and spacious, and if I recollect rightly each floor consisted of only one room. I believe it was never occupied.

In High-street, Edge-hill, Mr. Williamson also built some houses which were skirted by Back Mason-street. The houses at the corner of High-street and Back Mason-street were built up from a quarry. They are as deep in cellarage as they are high, while the rooms in them are innumerable. Williamson used to call himself "King of Edge-hill," and had great influence over the work people residing in the neighbourhood.

  REF: 4251


Liverpool, history, herdman-1858-mason-street-edgehill-showing-williamson-tunnels-entrance-1858
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

TWO

A lady of my acquaintance once caught Williamson intently reading a book. She inquired its purport. He evaded the question, but being pressed, told her it was the Bible, and expressed a wish that he had read much more of it, and studied it, and that he always found something new in it every time he opened it. This lady said that the touching way, the graceful expression of Mr. Williamson’s manner, when he said this, took her completely by surprise, having been only accustomed to his roughness and ruggedness. He added, "The Bible tells me what a rascal I am."

Mr. Stephenson, the great engineer, inspected the excavations, and it was with pride Mr. Williamson repeated Mr. Stephenson’s expressions of high estimation of his works. Mr. Stephenson said they were the most astonishing works he had ever seen in their way.

When the tunnel to Lime-street from Edge-hill was in progress, one day, the excavators were astonished to find the earth giving way under them, and to see men actually under the tunnel they were then forming. On encountering Mr. Williamson, he told them "he could show them how to tunnel if they wanted to learn a lesson in that branch of art." It seemed a strange anomaly, and quite unaccountable that Mr. Williamson should be so chary in allowing any strangers to visit his excavations. He seemed to keep them for his own gratification, and it was with the greatest difficulty permission could be obtained to go through them. He would say to the numberless persons who applied, "they were not show-shops, nor he a showman." When he did grant permission he always gave the obliged parties fully and unmistakably to understand that he was conferring upon them a great favour.

His temper was suspicious. I recollect being told of a person calling on him, to pay a long over-due rent account for another person, when, as Williamson was handing over the receipt, and about to take up the money, he suddenly fixed his keen eye upon his visitor, and asked him what trick he was going to play him, as it seemed strange that he should pay money for another man. "Take your money away, sir," said he, "and come again to-morrow; there is something underhand in your proceedings, and I’ll not be done." For some of his tenants he used to execute cheerfully the most costly alterations, while for others he would not expend a shilling, and would let his premises go to rack, rather than put in a nail for them.

  REF: 4250


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-the-williamson-tunnels-2
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Williamson Tunnels , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1800s

  As described in "Recollections of Old Liverpool" in the year 1863

ONE

While we are wandering in this neighbourhood there must not be forgotten a word or two about Mr. Joseph Williamson (who died about 1841) and his excavations at Edge-hill. As I believe there is no authentic record of him, or of them, so far as I can recollect, a brief description of him and his strange works may not be uninteresting to the old, who have heard both spoken of, and to the present generation who know nothing of their extent and his singularity.

It certainly does appear remarkable, but it is a fact, that many people possess a natural taste for prosecuting underground works. There is so much of mystery, awe, and romance in anything subterranean, that we feel a singular pleasure in instituting and making discoveries in it, and it is not less strange than true that those who once begin making excavations seem loth to leave off. Mr. Williamson appears to have been a true Troglodite, one who preferred the Cimmerian darkness of his vaulted world, to the broad cheerful light of day.

He spent the principal part of his time in his vaults and excavations, and literally lived in a cellar, for his sitting room was little else, being a long vault with a window at one end, and his bedroom was a cave hollowed out at the back of it. In his cellar it was that he dispensed his hospitalities, in no sparing manner, having usually casks of port and sherry on tap, and also a cask of London porter. Glasses were out of use with him. In mugs and jugs were the generous fluids drawn and drank. When Williamson made a man welcome that welcome was sincere. Before I say anything about the excavations, a few "Recollections" of Joseph himself are worthy to be recorded.

He was born on the 10th of March, 1769, at Warrington, and commenced his career in Liverpool, with Mr. Tate the tobacco merchant, in Wolstenholme-square. Williamson used to tell his own tale by stating that "I came to Liverpool a poor lad to make my fortune. My mother was a decent woman, but my father was the greatest rip that ever walked on two feet. The poor woman took care that all my clothes were in good order, and she would not let me come to Liverpool unless I lodged with my employer. I got on in the world little by little, until I became a man of substance, and I married Betty Tate, my master’s daughter.

When the wedding day arrived I told her I would meet her at the (St. Thomas’) church, which I did, and after it was all over I mounted the horse which was waiting for me, and told Betty to go home and that I would come to her after the Hunt. I was a member of the then famous ‘Liverpool Hunt,’ and when I got to the Meet somebody said, ‘Why, Williamson, how smart you are!’-‘Smart,’ said I, ‘aye!-a man should look smart on his wedding day!’ ‘Wedding day,’ exclaimed some of the fellows, ‘Who have you married?’ ‘I haven’t married anybody,’ I said, ‘but the parson has married me to old Tate’s daughter!’ ‘Why, where’s your wife?’ ‘She’s at home, to be sure, where all good wives ought to be-getting ready her husband’s dinner.’ I’ll tell you what, Betty and I lived but a cat and dog life of it, but I was sorry to part with the old girl when she did go."

On the day of Mrs. Williamson’s funeral, the men employed on the works were seen lounging about doing nothing. Williamson noticed this, and inquired the reason? They told him that it was out of respect for their mistress. "Oh! stuff," said Williamson, "you work for the living, not for the dead. If you chaps don’t turn to directly, I shall stop a day’s wages on Saturday."

Mr. Williamson’s appearance was remarkable. His hat was what might have been truly called "a shocking bad one." He generally wore an old and very much patched brown coat, corduroy breeches, and thick, slovenly shoes; but his underclothing was always of the finest description, and faultless in cleanliness and colour. His manners were ordinarily rough and uncouth, speaking gruffly, bawling loudly, and even rudely when he did not take to any one.

Yet, strange to say, at a private dinner or evening party, Mr. Williamson exhibited a gentleness of manner, when he chose, which made him a welcome guest. His fine, well-shaped, muscular figure fully six feet high, his handsome head and face made him, when well-dressed, present a really distinguished appearance. He seemed to be possessed of two opposite natures-the rough and the smooth. It was said that once, on a Royal Duke visiting Liverpool, he received a salute from Williamson, and was so struck with its gracefulness that he inquired who he was, and remarked that "it was the most courtly bow he had seen out of St. James’s." Williamson was very fond of children. The voice of a little one could at any time soothe him when irritable. He used to say of them, "Ah, there’s no deceit in children. If I had had some, I should not have been the arch-rogue I am.".

The industrious poor of Edge-hill found in Williamson a ready friend in time of need, and when work was slack many a man has come to the pay-place on Saturday, who had done nothing all the week but dig a hole and fill it up again. Once, on being remonstrated with by a man he had thus employed, on the uselessness of the work, Williamson said, "You do as you are told-you honestly earn the money by the sweat of your brow, and the mistress can go to market on Saturday night-I don’t want you to think." He often regaled his work-people with a barrel of ale or porter, saying they "worked all the better for their throats being wetted."

His vast excavations when they were in their prime, so to speak, must have been proof of the great numbers of men he employed. He always said that he never made a penny by the sale of the stone. He gave sufficient, I believe, to build St. Jude’s Church. He used vast quantities on his own strange structures.

  REF: 4249


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-the-university-1800s
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The University of Liverpool , , L.7 - 1800s

 

  REF: 4248


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-st-catharines-church-chatham-street-1843
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: St Catharine's Church Chatham Street, Kensington, L.7 - 1843

  As described in "Smith's Strangers Guide to Liverpool" in the year 1843

ST. CATHARINES CHURCH forms the centre part of the east side of Abercromby-square. It was erected by subscription in 1831, by John Foster, Esq., at an expense of £10,000, and will accommodate 1,000 persons. The front has a portico of six Ionic columns, supporting an entablature with dentilled cornice, and a suitable pediment. The only light admitted into the interior, with the exception of that from the altar window, is by the cupola in the roof; this arrangement being necessary from the situation of the building. The galleries rest on square piers, which support Corinthian columns extending to the roof, and the ceiling is richly panelled.

  REF: 4247


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-gymnasium-myrtle-street-1865
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Gymnasium Myrtle Street, Fairfield, L.7 - 1865

 

  REF: 4246


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-myrtle-street-orphan-asylum-1864
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Orphan Asylum Myrtle Street, Fairfield, L.7 - 1864

 

  REF: 4245


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-exhibition-1-edge-lane-1913
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Liverpool Exhibition Edge Lane, Edge Hill, L.7 - 1913

 

  REF: 4244


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-exhibition-4-edge-lane-1913
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Liverpool Exhibition Edge Lane, Edge Hill, L.7 - 1913

 

  REF: 4243


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-exhibition-3-edge-lane-1913
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Liverpool Exhibition Edge Lane, Edge Hill, L.7 - 1913

  As described by the Exhibition Study Group

The Exhibition was held at Edge Lane and ran from May until October. The aim of the organisers was to illustrate the enormous amount of development that had taken place in Industry in recent years. The Palace of Industries, with 60,000 sq. ft. of floor space was occupied by Bristol, Foreign and Colonial Exhibits, whilst in the Palaces of Machinery, Electricty, Applied Arts and Crafts, skilled craftsmen and articifers, engaged in their various projects. There was a very realistic reproduction of the world famous buildings of Chester with the shops full of goods and manufacturers of the period.

Some of the finest bands in the country played in the large covered Halls and out of doors in the Court of Music when weather permitted. Some of the features of the amusement section included Bostocks Zoo, the Mountain Scenic Railway, Shooting Ranges, a Nature Village and River Caves. The admission charge to the exhibition was half a guinea for a season ticket and one shilling for daily admission.

  REF: 4242


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-edge-hill-training-college-c1910
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Edge Hill Training College , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1910

 

  REF: 4241


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-edge-hill-station
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Edge Hill Railway Station , Edge Hill, L.7 - 2006

 

  REF: 4240


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-edge-hill-station-2
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Edge Hill Railway Station , Edge Hill, L.7 - 1830

  As described in "A History of Liverpool" in the year 1907

In 1830 the first railway in the world was opened, and it was quite in accord with the new importance of these centres, and with the energy which both of them had displayed in removing the natural obstacles to the growth of their trade, that the two towns which this railway linked were Liverpool and Manchester. No elaboration is necessary to show how immense an influence was exercised by the development thus commenced upon the growth of the trade of Liverpool. While England scoffed, Liverpool took up the dream of Stephenson with enthusiasm ; and the last step was thus taken in the conquest of the natural obstacles which had so long prevented the port from tapping the trade of the greater part of England.

  REF: 4239


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l7-abercrombie-square-1831
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Abercromby Square, Edge Hill, L.7 - 1831

  As described in "A History of Liverpool" in the year 1907

The principal streets, before 1786, were not more than six yards wide, and the paving was exceedingly rough, ' the remark of all strangers.' In the earlier part of the period the houses which faced upon the old streets were of infinite variety of size and form, for rich and poor lived together, and the wealthiest merchants did not disdain to live above their cellar warehouses, the yawning openings to which formed a serious danger to foot passengers. Houses of this type may still be seen in Duke Street and Hanover Street, but in the eighteenth century merchants dwelt also in Water Street, Oldhall Street, and Lord Street.

Towards the end of the century, however, they began to desert the old houses, and to betake themselves to residences further afield. Rodney Street was well built up by the end of the eighteenth century, Mr. John Gladstone being established in his fine house before 1798 ; St. Anne Street contained many good houses ; and in 1801 the Mosslake fields began to be laid out, with Bedford Street, Chatham Street, Abercromby and Falkner Squares. The country mansions of merchant princes were to be found dotting the country side, scattered over Everton Hill, frequent in the southern part of Toxteth Park, and even as far afield as Childwall and Allerton.

  REF: 4238


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l6-the-royal-hippodrome-west-derby-road-1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Royal Hippodrome West Derby Road, Kensington, L.6 - 1900

 

  REF: 4237


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l6-seamans-orphanage-newsham-park-1874
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Seaman's Orphanage Newsham Park, Kensington, L.6 - 1874

 

  REF: 4236


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l6-the-lake-newsham-park-c1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Lake Newsham Park, Kensington, L.6 - 1900

 

  REF: 4235


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l6-newsham-park-the-shelter-c1900
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: The Shelter Newsham Park, Kensington, L.6 - 1900

 

  REF: 4234


Liverpool, history, liverpool-history-l6-low-hill-1843
Location: Liverpool

Category: history

Address: Low Hill, Kensington, L.6 - 1843

 

  REF: 4233



Pages: [<<] ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... [>>]


Search More Images


Get to know the real authentic 'Old Liverpool' now by starting your own collection of 'Old Liverpool Books'

What's New
     

Liverpool City Group - past and present
Liverpool City Group Home
  Customer Services
 
 
Liverpool City Group Home

Liverpool City Group - Past and Present