Updated: 21 Jan 2020
Lisnekarke (c.1260). Hall on a cliff or rock. From Welsh Llys carreg. Liscak 1260; Lisecair c. 1277; Lysenker 1295; Lyscart 1417.
The Boot Inn actually existed in Elizabethan times. It was reputed that it got it's name after a boot containing gold which had been rescued from a robber by the landlord and returned to the rightful owner. Originally The Boot was a small white washed cottage, which stood on the rough road leading to Wallasey Village. This was knocked down and a two-storey building was erected in its place. The increase of traffic caused congestion so the local authority suggested road widening and so a new "Boot Inn" was built to the rear and in 1925 the old one was demolished. After renovation work the Boot Inn was renamed as 'The Turnberry' in 2004 but in 2008 was renamed back to its former name and rightly so. Where I live now many pubs were bought out by those who wanted a 'plazzie' pub for 'cocktails' and wineries. All collapsed and were returned to their former names. Nobody wants plastic pubs!! Toffee nosed wineries indeed! Humph!
The Wallasey General Post Office opened in 1913 and was built on the site of the 'Trafford House' which was formally a Liscard Hall Farm. 'Dean's Terrace', Liscard Village, was built in 1782 and was three-storeys high. Only the end of the terrace still exists; that being 'The Royal Oak'. The Concert Hall, Manor Road, was built in 1875 and was used for ballroom dancing. It was here in 1883 that Wallasey High School For Girls was born being founded by Canon Weatherhead and the Rector of St. Hilary's Church. Today the Concert Hall is the '27 Social Club'. Y.M.C.A, Manor Road, was once a house called 'Homecroft' which was built in 1848 and was owned by the Pooley Family. On 21st August, 1899 it opened as the Y.M.C.A.
The Old Liscard Palace Picture House was once a popular cinema situated on Seaview Road. It was opened on the 25th November 1911 and was originally called 'Liscard Electric Palace'. It could hold 700 picture-goers in the auditorium and balcony. On the outside of the Palace were two shops on either side of the entrance. In 1920 the cinema was enlarged by extending the building and making the screen farther back. Further alterations were carried out in 1935 when curtains were draped and lit so that they slowly changed colours while the patrons waited for the performance to commence. The front of the building, which was once decorated in plaster was rebuilt in rustic brick to give a more modern effect. As with a majority of cinemas in Wallasey the Palace suffered from falling attendances and so closed in 1959. The building later became a supermarket - 'Lennon's' but now the 'Shoemarket' occupies the building.
Liscard, the centre of the town, was also the
main shopping centre up to about 1880. Ladies in carriages and pairs came
daily from the surrounding large houses and as many as thirty or forty
could be seen at one time shopping. Then, with the building of new roads,
the development of the Ferry service and the advent of the New Brighton
Railway in 1888, the village for quite a time lost its importance as a
trading centre. Its area extended from the vicinity of the Queens Arms to
the corner of Seaview Road. Near this corner was, for many years, the New
Brighton Football Ground, bounded in Seaview Road by a high brick wall
which stretched from The Wellington Hotel to about Seaview Avenue, and was
adorned at one point with a drinking fountain in the shape of a large
shell. Love Lane, which runs from the side of the Victoria Central
Hospital in Liscard Road behind the Mill Lane Hospital across Oxton Road
down to Rostherne Avenue, now shorn of its rural beauties, was at one time
a charming walk. It originally led to Poulton Road opposite Elm Cottage,
but because of the railway line from Seacombe to Bidston it stops short at
Rostherne Avenue. This lane was referred to in previous days as Cuffy Lane
because it bordered a ﬁeld called ‘Cuff Hey.’
Mill Lane on the opposite side of Liscard Road derived its name from an old mill near Eric Road. Monk Road and Newell Road were named in honour of Mr Thomas Monk and his son-in-law and partner, the constructors of the Great Float Docks and the Seacombe Ferry approaches. Longview Avenue and Newlands Drive have both taken the names of houses, and Urmson Road, formerly Townﬁeld Lane, was named after a very old Liscard family. The name Rake Lane is very interesting. The word ‘rake’ means ‘lane’ and so the street is virtually called ‘Lane Lane.’ More usually it is found as ‘The Rake’, or ‘Badgers Rake’, ‘Green Rake’, etc.
Liscard Village had changed over the years. Opposite the old Fire Station was Umson's (or Umston's) House which had been built in sandstone in 1729 being a good example of the second seventeenth century period of building. It was at, one time, known as Liscard Hall (before the hall in Central Park was built). Mr. J Urmson lived there who was a yeoman farmer and had land near Townfield Lane. This Lane was later called Urmson Road after him. The building was ivy-covered and had railings in front. It had a slated roof, was three stories high and two doors opened onto the pavement. Next door was a slated barn type building with high doors. These buildings were demolished in 1928. The tall three storey stone cottages (Townfield Buildings) that stood at the bottom of Umson Road were built as homes for the quarrymen. The White Delph Quarry between Withens Lane and Rake Lane was owned by Mrs Maddock, the Lady of the Manor. The old 'Monkey House' pagoda-type public shelter with wooden seats that had stood in the middle of the cross roads since 1904 was demolished in 1926 with gentlemen's toilets remaining underneath. Taken from History of the Wallasey Fire Bde by Noel Smith.
On 21 October 1909, the Liverpool Daily Post carried a report of a W.S.P.U. (Women's Social and Political Union) meeting at Liscard which ended in disarray:
Lumps of clay and small stones were thrown, and the ladies beat a hasty retreat, without a word having been said respecting the claims of the fair sex to the franchise the meeting was a farce but the 'audience' regarded the fun as immense.
In her capacity as organizer, Ada Flatman complained to the press:
It had been arranged that I should speak at Pear Tree Grove, Liscard last night; the pavements were chalked to that effect and the police notified. On our arrival, we found a great crowd of adults, men and women, anxious to attend our meeting: also 100 or more small children aged from 2 to 14, armed with missiles with which to greet us. The police officer told me he had been pelted, and I want to know where the law of the land is that allows women to be badgered in this manner by children? In your report, you suggest that we were met by our own methods. We are fighting a great political battle, and the stone-throwing has been forced upon us�either that or surrender. These children have no grievance against us. What are their schools and churches teaching them, is the question to be asked, and why have not the police take action in this matter? Women with a grievance are at once arrested and have to serve four months imprisonment for throwing a stone, but Liscard children may stone women and no notice is taken of it. In no other place but Liscard have I found this sad state of affairs that the children are so out of control.
Liscard Castle. Well, ok, it wasn't really a castle. Locals gave it that name but it's proper name was Marine Villa. It belonged to a John Marden (Seabank Road was originally Marsden's Lane). John Marsden manufactured brooms, hence it became Broom Castle, then Liscard Castle. Later on, standing remote, back off the road, grounds overgrown and trees masking a goodly portion of the house from view. It was painted grey, and as is the same with all "olde" properties, became "haunted" and was demolished in 1902.
But there could have been a kernel of truth in this haunting rumour. The story goes that a young sea captain placed his new, beautiful, wife here to live. He was about to sail. She was later informed that her new husband was missing at sea, presumed drowned. Terribly in love, the shock unhinged her mind and she then drowned herself in a neighbouring pit in Hoseside Road, hoping to rejoin her husband. It was said that, after the tragedy, she continued to walk the home. A workman, hearing persistent knocking, fled in terror. He had been in the cellars, dealing (or should that be sealing?) up some "weird old passages"!
The length of these passages varied according to local legend. Some would have them leading directly to Mother Redcaps, other to the Yellow Noses, others to Red Noses and others to Leasowe Castle and to St Hilary's in Wallasey Village. One tale even told of a tunnel to Chester Castle!! One hell of a long tunnel if so!!
Whether fact or fiction, these tunnels were certainly there, shrouded, quite deliberately, by smugglers and the like who did not want their activities "unearthed". So, who dug these tunnels? Were they artificial or natural or both? Still there to this day, I am really surprised that no self respecting adventurers of this, the 21st century had bothered to even try and find some truth down there. Did Wallasey really have an underworld where sailors hid from Press Gangs and smugglers enjoyed the fruits of foreign labours with impunity. Records show customs men were regularly duped with false leads whilst cargo and contraband found its way across the Moss by donkey. Could tunnels have emerged into cellars near to the Moss (eg: Poulton) to allow for quick and secret access to the little known pathway? Until somebody looks, we will never know!
In the 1750's the Corporation
of Liverpool decided to move the Powder Magazines, used to store explosive and
shot from ships in port, from their site in Clarence Street and find a more
isolated site for them on the Cheshire side of the River Mersey. Accordingly, a
suitable plot was purchased on the south bank of the Mersey at Wallasey and the
new magazine constructed. They were renovated and enlarged in 1838-39, and were
still in use until 1851, when it was decided that in future explosives would be
stored in hulks further up the river at the Bight of Sloyne. The move was
probably prompted by safety concerns, the land around the Magazines having
become much more built up. In 1858 a battery was built on the site, and the
imposing gateway with its crenulated towers, survives to this day as does the
perimeter wall which now encircles several houses. Facing the south wall of the
battery, on the other side of the road (Magazine Brow) are several cottages,
perhaps dating from the 17th Century. These were probably first inhabited by
fishermen, but it is thought that they were later occupied by offices from the
battery. The Magazines were often referred to as Liscard Magazines and the fort
as Liscard Battery, but the name Liscard later became attached to an area about
a mile away where Wallasey's main shopping area is situated. A quaint circular
dwelling may be seen about fifty yards from the fort's gateway, this being known
as the Round House. Now forming part of a private residence, this was once
occupied by the battery's watchman. Further along Magazine Brow are situated two
public houses, the Pilot Boat and The Magazines, the latter having been built in
1759 and once used by sailors who were having their outward bound ships reloaded
with munitions at the Liscard Magazines.
Rising from the river near Liscard in Wallasey stands Magazine Village - a
community which, before gunpowder had bestowed upon it an air of
respectability, was known and denounced as 'Hell's Brow'.
The following were taken on 6th June 2012
New Brighton, Liverpool & Wirral's Playground -