This map has popped up twice for me recently, as someone asked me for a scanned copy, an a second person posted this image on one of the many great Liverpool history pages on Facebook. It’s a moment of Liverpool’s very early days captured on parchment.
My favourite thing about this map is its ‘obviousness’ and clarity. To a landscape archaeologist, this map of Liverpool is such an easy model to read. For a start, the Pool itself – “Ye Se Lake.” – is there, centre stage. We know straight away where the small town gets its name. Read more
Plan of Liverpool Castle by E.W. Cox, from Wikipedia
Last weekend I visited Liverpool Castle. The castle itself was pulled down in 1715 and St George’s Church built in its place. However in 1895 E.W. Cox prepared a reconstruction for the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and in the first decade of the 20th Century the first Viscount Leverhulme built a reconstruction of the ruins of the castle in the village of Rivington near Chorley. Today it stands in Lever Park, a large area of woodland on the east bank of Rivington Reservoir.
The replica castle stands on high ground overlooking the reservoir, and though of course it can never quite match the shape of the landscape in medieval Liverpool, the lake acts as a stand-in for the Pool (compare this plan on Wikipedia with the satellite view on Google Maps). The position of the Mersey itself would have been in a west to east direction, on the north side of the two most complete towers at Rivington.
The castle was incomplete by the time of Lord Leverhulme’s death in 1925 and work stopped, though the majority of the intended layout was in place. Today the castle has its fair share of graffiti, and evidence of fires and drinking are all around. However, it’s a great place to go to get a feel for one of Liverpool’s lost gems.
I’m not sure whether this castle is a full-scale replica or not, so anyone who could shed a bit of light on it would be most helpful! If you’ve been there yourself, what did you think of the place?
The Castle is the subject of my first ever Flickr upload! All Creative Commons, so do with them what you like, as long as you credit me (if you use them please link to this blog or Historic Liverpool).