This blog is dedicated to uncover some of the history of the area in South Liverpool known as the Cast Iron Shore.

Known to locals as The Cazzy, this area runs from the Dingle to Otterspool and over the last 200 years has undergone huge change. From the 19th century as a beauty spot depicted in poetry, industrialisation, rescued for recreation in the 1980s, a period of neglect and its most recent incarnation as a place once again to breath fresh air and view the magnificent Mersey.

My love affair with the area began as a child visiting the site now known as Priory Woods. Like every child that played amongst the ruins carved with crosses, I’d ask my parents what used to be there and they assumed like most that it was the ruins of monastery but no one seemed to know anything more. So began my fascination with the place.

Through very sporadic postings I hope to convey the story of this relatively small strip of land by the river that has been, amongst other things, the scene of a 19th century duel, a Rock and Roll movie location and a line in a Beatles song.

If you have any recollections or photographs of the area, I would love to hear from you.



misty from back to southwood road looking across


Priory Woods from Southwood Road

81 comments on “About

  1. Richard says:

    I researched the area for my cousin who lives in Bristol. I have forwarded all info to her. items I can remember. The area is at the bottom of St Michaels Road. other side Southwood Road.
    There was a group of Mansions. One being the Priory. Inhabited by a Sir…… from Scotland. Mother and sisters buried in Smithdown Rd, he moved to London Buried in Twickenham Family called Cohen moved in. Capt Melly lived in other Mansion father of George Melly. Melly Rd now by station. There is an old wives tale that a relative of Queen mum lived in area.
    Behind the mansions towards Otterspool there was a golf course. Fulwood golf course This land was taken over in war
    Census and O/S map 113.07 1908, cemetery records Liverpool used as reference
    Best of Luck

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hello Richard
      Thank you for reading and your information. I have been looking into the golf course and I have been trying to find more information but not having much luck. I will have to investigate the Scottish Sir and the Queen Mother’s relative further! I must try and post more. There are some amazing photos on the comments of the blog I link at the beginning of the blog “That’s how the light gets in”

      • Richard says:

        Found the O/S Map. The Houses were Mansions with houses for employees. The piece of land between st mic and sthwd roads was St Michaels Mount.
        Other side of Sth Wood Rd = THE FRIARS.Then THE GRANGE, finally THE PRIORY. The Priory backed onto the R. Mersey (possibly now Riverside Rd.) Cohens on 1911 census Priory. The Beach was a large house on Melly Rd.
        Possibly the depression caused the houses to vacated and left to fall into ruin. Also servants became less after WW1. Reason for my search was uncle was supposed to live in area1926ish. Will dig thro E-mails to see if Sir name arises.

  2. Richard says:

    Sir James Malcolm left Priory after 1871 went to London Census 1861 & 1871

  3. Glen Huntley says:

    Hi Richard, thanks for the information and I look forward to your future input.
    I overlaid old maps with Google Earth to find the location of the houses. They are halfway down the page here:

    I think the reasons you gave for the houses being vacated are very true also the area at the turn of the century went from being an affluent area in the countryside to being built up with thousands of terraced houses for the working class (we lived in one of them). Areas like this and Toxteth saw the rich building grand houses close to their place of work but as the workers populated the same areas, the rich moved ever further out of the city. I think having a railway built right next to your house didn’t help. Like HS2 today, it shows that it didn’t matter if you had money or not, no house was going to get in the way of the building of the railway.

  4. Geraldine says:

    How do I post Photos please? I have three,

    Ah ha! The elusive “Glen Huntly”
    This is my grandma’s (family name ‘Sale’) wedding in 1916, the Owens’s and Sale’s have been Toxteth people for generations. The photo was taken at the rear door of the Glen Toxteth. It was taken a short time after the wedding (I think she said in August) the photographer could not set up on the wedding day (quite usual, if you take into account the number of studio pics of the era Foulds & Hibbert, come to mind).
    They lived (and my aunt is there still age 86) in Thirlstane Street, and Dalmeny Street, and the Sale’s were auctioneers/pawn-brokers) Grandad was a boiler maker/engineer of Welsh stock. The very handsome guy between the couple is Sid Owens father of Alun Owens the 1960s Liverpool Sound Playwright, script writer of Hard Day’s Night.
    Thirty years later my dad became caretaker of the Glen Toxteth and it became our home! I was actually born there (sort of near the wines and spirits aisle – so they told me!). So, I can take you on a guided tour if you like?…. sadly it’s a virtual tour. Dad had little to thank T & S Cohen and the Conservative Councillor (Cllr Nixon) who made us homeless in 1960. The Tory was particularly nasty to my mother refusing to consider her for a council home – “Have some more children!” he told her.

    I would really like to have a photo of the Glen, I have tried searching for a similar property but can’t find one even a bit similar. To give you some idea the Frontage was similar to the rear entrance of Sudley House, however it WAS NOT a grand house! it is so hard to find examples of 18C stone built architecture; I’ll describe The Glen; set back from the road with double gates and drive, yellow stone, lowish/two-storey but wide with caretaker lodge to the left hand side. Inside, Wide hall, sweeping staircase Mr Rose’s office to right, ballroom to rear with two French windows leading onto a bowling green, overgrown open ground to the rear of that; lots of upstairs rooms – some empty. We had lounge, living room, kitchen, (very damp!), two large upstairs bedrooms bathroom, our own front door and internal door into the big entrance hall. Interestingly, The Mayfair Cinema Manager next door to the Glen used to have deliveries of reel-film sent to the Glen for safekeeping. So there really was a time when Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton and Jimmy Steward resided in our kitchen – well, if only until the afternoon matinée.
    Geraldine Owens

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Geraldine
      I originally gave you an incorrect email
      It should of been thecastironshore@gmail.com
      Sorry, put it down to trying to type on a phone. Your information is great, I have quite a bit of information of the site so I can add your memories and photos once I get them to it and post it soon.

  5. Joan Hampaul says:

    Hi Glen,
    What a wonderful and fascinating journey into the Past, your blog is not only inspirational but also incredibly educational. I have a passion for researching my ancestors, and finding your blog was gold. More often than not, my research can lead to too many loose or dead ends.

    Finding your site with a real solid connection to our past is amazing. My great great Grandfather William Banton Clarkson (a Brewer) and his family lived first in the Priory in the early 1880’s and then the Friars from at least 1891 until his death in 1915. You have given me a glimpse into our past that only in my imagination could I conceive. I live in Alberta Canada and it is difficult to get a clear picture of our history from abroad. The maps, the photos and the history, are all outstanding.

    I will continue to follow this post and hopefully the next time I am in England I will make the trip to Liverpool and walk in the path of my distant relatives.

    Now if I could only find information on the Brewery that made him so prosperous.

    Thank you
    Joan from Calgary

    Resources 1881 to 1911 England Census & the London Gazatte (29094 Mar. 1915)

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Joan
      Thanks for your comments, getting feedback like that makes writing the posts worthwhile. I will see what I can find out for you. If you can get a copy I recommend the book ” Cains, the story of Liverpool in a pint” by Christopher Routledge as it tells the story of Robert Cain, the brewing magnate in the same period, late 19th century. Your ancestor may be in it. I will get a copy myself from the library and see. I hope you make it to Liverpool as although there is little left of the house, the area is a gem and well worth visiting. If you haven’t been before I would be happy to guide you on the best places to see. As soon as I find anything I’ll pass it on.
      Thanks again.

    • Billy Coleman says:

      Joan, please try to contact me on William Banton Clarkson. He is my Great Great Great Grandfather also. I have furniture out of the Friars home along with his wife’s family portraits. I would love to share information with you. My mother is from San Antonio where the some of the Clarkson’s moved too. My Grandfather was names Clarkson Groos and his mother’s maiden name was Alice Clarkson. I have one of the original pictures of the home also.

  6. Di Carroll says:

    Hi Glen
    Just to let you know that I find your blog fascinating and appreciate all the hard work that must go into it.
    Best wishes

  7. Janet Martin says:

    I played on the Cast Iron shore as a girl. We went down Fulwood Road and over a disused golf course to get there. It was destroyed when Otterspool Promenade was built – very sad.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Thank for commenting Janet. I’ll have to find out more about Fulwood Golf Course!
      I wish I could find some photos of the Cast Iron Shore in the 40s and 50s, I’m sure that some people must have family photos taken there. I have one that I posted with The Cast Iron Hamlet poem, so I’m sure that somewhere out there are loads. At least we have the consolation that the area, and the river, is a better environment than it was when I grew up in the 1970’s!

  8. Brenda Watson says:

    I was born in Aigburth Vale, my Mother used to take my brother and I to the Cast Iron Shore big sand stone opening, and big stones to jump down on to the beach not very big and dip our toes in the river, Mother had a brother who worked for one of the big houses this would be around 1947.

  9. Gerry Kaeo says:

    I remember going to the Cazzie as a child with my friend Gillian and her mother. You had to walk under big iron arches and go down a series of steps. Auntie Ev would sit with her back against the big stone walls/cliffs catching the sun with the other adults while we collected sandstone rocks. we used to bring home the rocks to the neigbours as they were used to scrub the big front door steps. Those days, 40s and 50s , you could watch big boats go up and down the river. I always found the Cazzie a special place. There was a movie “These Dangerous Years’ with Frankie Vaughan, I believe he was a Liverpool Lad. Some scenes were shot on the Cazzie and they show the caves that were there in the early 60s still.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Gerry
      Thanks for sharing your memories. I have always been fascinated by the obsession for scrubbing steps, my Mum used to do it all the time so I loved the idea of bringing the stones home from the beach. I posted about the release of the film on DVD in the blog but I keep forgetting to get it myself. Half of my interest in the area was the fact that everyone referred to it as a shore but by the time I played there the shore had disappeared completely. I love south Liverpool and its wealth of green spaces and old buildings but the idea of a beach as well has always captured my imagination.

  10. laurakristayates says:

    Hello! I’d like to use an image of Court Dwellings in Liverpool you have on your site for use in a free to download community made history app – I wondered whether the image needs to be credited in a specific way? Thanks for your advice Laura

  11. Peter Madariaga says:

    I lived in Ampthill Road from 1941 until 1967,our whole life during that period revolved around the Gollies [The golf links] and the Cassie [The cast iron shore] my pals at the time and still pals Tony McGuinnss and Tony Hughes just to mention a couple had all our escapades in this natural adventure location that was and still would be even with all the alterations carried out over the past 60 years or so,be the envy of children who did not live in the locality.Just touching on a few incidents,finding sacks of buried cigars,collecting hundreds of boxes of matches from a ship loosing its cargo in the Mersey,finding guns and taking them to the Police Station in Lark Lane,and washing ourselves in the” marsh” after a great time on the “Cassie” so that our mum’s would not give us a clip for being covered in mud.I have a photograph taken on the Gollies 1945 aged 4 with Patricia McCoubry my golf partner’s eldest sister.What great memories .

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hello Peter, thanks for adding your memories to the site, brilliant – I’m intrigued, I wonder where the guns came from? It’s the type of thing to set your imagination racing. if you’d like to share the photo I’m sure a lot of people including myself would be interested to see it. Thanks.

    • Peter just been reading your blog about the Cassy. I was just wondering about Patricia McCoubry. I worked with a girl in Ford Motor Co. In1965 .Her married name was Pont. She emigrated to Oz. Do you think this could be rpthe sane Pat McCoubry. Would love to know. About the cast iron shore. I was at Dingle Vale school. When they ade the film These Dangerous Years. Hope to hear from you. Carol Nevinson. nee Wignall.

      • Peter Madariaga says:

        Hi Carol,yes Pat Pont nee McCoubry lives in Australia,but has visited Liverpool many times ,as recent as last year when her mum Theresa died at the age of 98.I attended TTI at Dingle 1952 /1957 so we had close ties with Dingle Vale.We also tried to be extras as kids in the film These Dangerous years but failed.Pat will be 76 on August 12 one week after my 76,we were pals all during our childhood.I was in Australia during 1968 when Pat had her first daughter,Pat has two daughters and a son,and a number of grandchildren.Just as an aside I was at TTI with a lad named Wignall any relationship.All the best Peter Madariaga.

    • Brian Gresty says:

      Hi , Pete . I`ve only just been put on to this site; hence the delay in commenting on what you wrote 12 months back . Climbing the cliffs , red with mud on wet days , and trying to get all the way along towards The Dingle along the cliff – top are great memories . D`you remember when the fence on the cliff top actually overhung the edge , and you had to hold onto it to get past , and the time we were hiding in your Dad`s allotment from that gang that had chased us along the shore ?
      The “Gollies” as we called them still had the remains of bunkers on them , and I suppose the marsh was a water hazard .

      • Peter Soens says:

        Hi,Brian,I have just come across your comments,amongst Many others it Brought Back Memories of My Childhood When I Heard the Words Cazzy,Gonks,and Gollies.I lived I Belgrave Rd,Aighburth,and the Cazzy ran along the bottom of my Rd.and the Gonks Was were we used to take Our Sleds during the Snow Season.in those early years.the Gonks was slowly being filled in with landfill.Could be a huge housing estate Now.The Old Waste Ground,(The Wastey)in Dalmeny St,was the site of an old Water Tank which was bombed during the war.It was also the site where we would all congregate on NOV 5 ,to see which was the Biggest Bonfire,and let off our Fireworks.it was finally turned into a Carpark to accommodate the Mayfair Cinemagoers.I believe the Cinema is now a supermarket.And The Belgrave hotel was shut Down in 2012 after a Murder was committed.Memories,How Times have changed.?Enjoy Your Day.

  12. Mark Brett says:

    Hi there, just come across your site and was interested to see the old maps of the Dingle, Aigburth and the Cazzy. I’m 58 and was born in Larkfield road and as a child played in the ‘grounds’ of the TA barracks, the land at the bottom of Larkfield (over the railway bridge with its concrete tank traps) down to the ‘Gonks’ and the Cazzy. The TA barracks were great for us kids, old gun positions and concrete bunkers to play in. There was a defile in the very sandy ground across which was a metal bailly bridge, built as a training excercise possibly? On the slope of this defile (which, if memory serves, ran towards the large army buildings at the St Micheals side) a small spring bubbled out of the ground and I spent many happy hours digging channels, pools and dams in the sand – one of the maps shows the line of a brook running to the river nearby, any connection perhaps? My bedroom faced those army buildings and I remember seeing them burning one night, flames roaring out of the roof! I also recall the wonderful ‘Plant Exhibition’ held here on a number of occasions. Dozens of shiny new diggers, bulldozers, and huge cranes filling the whole area. It was wonderful for us kids as we were allowed to climb on many of the machines and sit in the driving seats! I left Liverpool nearly 40 years ago but still have connections there and know that some of the gardens in Larkfield get very wet in winter and reputedly never did before the houses were built on the TA grounds. The deeds for my Mums house in Larkfield Rd had a set of developers/builders drawings of the area and the proposed Larkfield road developement is shown dotted in on land marked “the Lark Field”. Another play area in my teens was the what we called the Gonks and the parts of the Cazzy towards the Dingle. Then the council were backfilling it with the city’s rubbish and also a large area devoted to scrap cars – dangerous and smelly but when you are 13 what fun!

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for commenting. You have very similar memories to me. I always remember the gun emplacements half filled with water, great for playing war in though! I seem to remember a bridge also. Have you read my post about Dickenson’s Dingle? It shows the route of the old stream in detail and backs up your theory as it once ran through through the land at the back of the barracks. Although a lot smaller now, the green space at the back still brings back memories if happy times spent there.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      I forgot to mention, the field still has water collecting on it although it is raised. This is of particular interest to our spaniel who runs straight to it every time we visit.

  13. Mark Brett says:

    Yes Glen, the stuff on Dickenson’s Dingle is fascinating and must have taken you some time to produce! Of course all things change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. When I left the ‘Pool to find work, it was on its knees (1977), now when I visit (once or twice per year) I see much to applaud (but still much to – after all “Liverpool scuffs new shoes”) but for me the greatest achievement is the River Mersey itself. When I was a kid the river was a foul, chemically poisonous open sewer! But now – wow, angling boats moored mid river, treated water and hardly any of the famous ‘fatballs’ rolling in and out with the tide and that oil/sewage smell – gone! A real and wonderful change for the better perhaps not appreciated by those who didn’t know it back then.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      I couldn’t agree more, I remember the tide going out and the mud was a foul green slime streaked with petrol and worse. When we used to play by the rugby ground my clothes would smell of gas. Even though it was cleaner in Gerry Marsden’s time, I read a great quote by him about playing on the Cast Iron shore, he said something like “when you came out of the water you had more chance of catching fire than catching the sun!”
      You can now walk much further than you used to as it was fenced off. Yes, some things have definitely changed for the better. A great walk any time of the year.

  14. Susan McCabe says:

    I went down as a child although told not to by my parents was told there was sinking sands down there and a horse went down there dont know how true that was.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Susan, we were also told not to go too! I’m sure there could have been sinking sands, I know the mud gets dangerous – I remember a few years someone was being chased by the police not far away and he jumped over the railings to get away, only to be stuck in the mud! He had to get rescued (them arrested).

  15. Martin Baker says:

    I am keen to find any information about Shore Cottage which was at the southern end of Fulwood Park, also the adjacent brick fields.

    My family lived in Shore Cottage (AKA Baker’s Cottage) from at least 1891 to 1911 (probably to 1915).


    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hello Martyn, have you seen the picture on my post about King John’s lower lodge?
      The cottage was mistaken for the lodge. Have you tried the census documents? I could look for you if you haven’t as I have a subscription at the moment. I’ll have a look to see if I can find anything else. I know it is mentioned in Robert Griffith’s Toxteth book so if you don’t already have it I can send you a scan of the page. Fascinating to think your family lived there!

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Martyn

      Here is a link to the document I got the illustration of Baker’s Shore Cottage from:

      Click to access 88-8-Hall.pdf

      It was written in 1936 and is from a yearly publication from The Historic Society Of Lancashire and Cheshire. This states that the cottage was demolished in September 1926. The fisherman’s cottage a little further south east was demolished in 1928.

      I can send you a pdf of the relevant pages from Robert Griffiths’ book (written in 1907) if you email at thecastironshore@gmail.com. A photo of the cottage appears as evidence of coast erosion, it shows a woman sitting on the shore (a relative maybe?).

      Is that George Baker and Elizabeth (Ellen) in Hackthorpe Street, Everton, in the census of 1871? I see he was a brick maker before he moved to Shore Cottage.

      Here is a good map that shows the 1885-1900 area side-by-side to the Google aerial view. I have zoomed into where I think the cottage was (correct me if I’m wrong) and you can see the area today. The river in front of it was reclaimed so today the shore is much further away:


      I would be interested myself to find out more about the cottage, it must have been of some age age to have been (mistakenly) a candidate for King John’s lower lodge.

      If I can find anything else I’ll let you know.

      • Martin Baker says:

        Many thanks Glen.
        The above info and links are really useful, and interesting to know that Shore Cottage survived until September 1926. I assume my great great Grandfather rented this. He died in 1915 as a widower after his second wife Elizabeth had died in 1911. And by 1911 his children had all ‘flown the nest’ and lived elsewhere. So I imagine someone else was the tenant of Shore Cottage up to 1926.
        No, the Hackthorpe Street address in 1871 is not correct. In 1871 they were at 51 Eden Street, Toxteth. I have in my notes :
        Census 1871 :
        Geo Baker Head Male 30 1841 Lancashire West Derby
        Caroline Baker Wife Female 34 1837 Lancashire Liverpool
        Geo Baker Son Male 5 1866 Lancashire West Derby
        John Baker Son Male 1 1870 Lancashire Unreadable
        Address : 51 Eden Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool
        1874 when William J Baker (my great Grandfather) was baptised they were in Beresford Road :
        Baptism: 7 Jun 1874 St John the Baptist, Toxteth, Lancashire
        William James Baker, Child of George Baker & Caroline
        Abode : Brickfield Cottage Beresford Road
        Occupation: Labourer
        Baptised by: J. Hassall M. A. Vicar
        Register: Baptisms 1871 – 1878, Page 77, Entry 611
        Source: LDS Film 1546115
        Beresford Road is still there and is full of attractive Victorian terraced houses. The southern end of Beresford Road where it joins Grafton Street is more open, and has views of the Mersey, and is in Dingle. I imagine this is where Brickfield Cottage may have been. The location is about 2km north west of where Baker’s Cottage in Otterspool was located.
        Census 1881 at 24 Liffey Street, Toxteth Park and George was now a widower since his wife’s death two years earlier :
        George BAKER Head W Male 40 Lpool, Lancashire Labourer
        George R. BAKER Son Male 15 Lpool, Lancashire Shop Boy Mess
        John N. BAKER Son Male 11 Lpool, Lancashire Scholar
        William J. BAKER Son Male 6 Lpool, Lancashire Scholar
        Address : 24 Liffey St, Toxteth Park, Lancashire
        Then from 1891 to 1911 Census they were in Shore Cottage :
        1891 and 1901 and 1911 Shore Cottage, Fulwood Park, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. From 1911 Census Shore Cottage was described as having 6 rooms excluding scullery, WC, landings etc.
        Census 1891 :
        BAKER, George Head Married M 48 1843 Farm Labourer Toxteth Park, Lancashire
        BAKER, Elizabeth Wife Married F 56 1835 Liverpool, Lancashire
        BAKER, William Son Single M 11 1880 Scholar Liverpool, Lancashire
        FORD, John Stepson Single M 19 1872 Ship Wright Apprentice Liverpool, Lancashire
        FORD, Margaret Stepdaughter Single F 17 1874 Servant Domestic Liverpool, Lancashire
        FORD, James Stepson Single M 14 1877 Scholar Liverpool, Lancashire
        BROWN, Henry Lodger Single M 36 1855 Farm Labourer Liverpool, Lancashire
        Registration District: Toxteth Park
        Address: Cottage On Shore, Fulwood Park, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, Lancashire
        1895 at son William’s wedding he is listed as a Brickmaker.
        Census 1901 :
        BAKER, George Head Married M 60 1841 Brick Maker Liverpool
        BAKER, Elizabeth Wife Married F 65 1836 Liverpool
        FORD, Margaret Step Daughter Single F 24 1877 Liverpool
        FORD, James Step Son Single M 20 1881 Vanman Liverpool
        BAKER, William Son Married M 26 1875 Brickmaker Liverpool
        BAKER, Minnie Daughter-In-Law Married F 30 1871 Lilley Bottom New (near ?) Luton Bedfordshire
        BAKER, Margaret Grand Daughter F 4 1897 Liverpool
        BAKER, William Grand Son M 3 1898 Liverpool (this is my Grandfather)
        Ecclesiastical Parish : St Andrew
        Address : Shore Cottage, Fulwood Park, Toxteth Park, Lancashire
        Census 1911 still at Shore Cottage, Toxteth and just lost his wife a few months before. Now living with Davies family as his lodgers. I wonder if they link somewhere ? Benjamin Davies was described as ‘Friend’ :
        District Toxteth Park Sub district Toxteth Park East
        Enumeration District 16 Parish Toxteth Park
        Deaths March Q 1915
        Baker George
        Ages 73
        W.Derby 8b 877
        From http://www.toxtethparkcemetery.co.uk/dbase/toxsearch.php
        He shared a grave with wife Caroline Baker buried in 1879 and son John Norry Baker buried in 1923.
        Brilliant if you can find out any more. gxmartinbaker@hotmail.com

      • Glen Huntley says:

        Hi Martyn, thanks for the information, I’ll have a look over the weekend. I have a subscription to old newspapers so I’ll see if anything shows up.
        I find it incredible that by the time the were living in Shore Cottage the area had already changed beyond recognition as the thousands of terraced houses and shops nearby had already been built. The cottage would have been one of the few remaing old buildings left in Toxteth Park. I’m sure they must have had lots of attention from the new inhabitants who would have been fscsinated by a quaint cottage on the shore of the mersey.

        The railway acted, and still does, as a boundary between the built up urban area and the far less developed river side.

        I think the Mersey Iron works was close to Beresford Road, also it was right next to Harrington Dock. I’ll check the location. I’ll check what I have on old maps. That area has changed so much over the years, from rural to industrial and finally residential.

      • Martin Baker says:

        Liverpool Archives did a bit of digging. They say that Shore Cottage is about 300 years old, though I am not sure of their source.


      • Martin Baker says:

        Hi Glen,

        Regarding you map overlay of modern map vs old map I absolutely agree. Shore Cottage would have been in the bottom corner of the garden of the last house in Fulwood Park, on the west side of Fulwood Park, and just a short way north of Riverside Drive. I have had a wonder round there some years ago, but was not so well informed about the location. I will get back up there one day and hopefully tap on the door of that house. Looking at Birds Eye view on Bing Maps it looks like there might be a garden shed where the old cottage stood. I will do a screen grab and send it to you.

        The footpath from Shore Cottage to the brickfield where I assume my Ancestors worked roughly follows the line of Westbury Close.


  16. Peter Madariaga says:

    Just a few more memories from the 1940 to 1960. The Cassy was certainly a beach,I can recall in the late 1940’s going down Fulwood Park to the very bottom with my mum and playing in the sand,walking through an old arch.Then later on in the 1950’s catching crabs,re-routing the many small streams that ran onto the beach,climbing the cliffs and climbing along the fence from the bottom of Fulwood Park to the Pyramids [All the massive tank obstacles had been dumped in what is now the Corporation Dump] as we climbed along holding on to the railing the Mersey would be crashing up against the breakwater that we scrabbled along,those railings are still there as you turn right at the bottom of Jerico,gives you some Idea how much land was reclaimed. As i was informed the Gollies ceased being a golf course during the mid 1930’s.What a great play area we all had .the Gollies ,the Cassy,the pyramids,what we called the second Gollies crossing back over the railway lines.Any body recall the massive sand stone lions bottom of the Second Gollies?The second Gollies was our sledging place as that was the only place with a decent hill.And last but not least Sefton Park.What an amazing area to be brought up in,and all by accident as my family came from Park Lane but were bombed out in the May blitz of 1940,and consequently were relocated to Aigburth.

  17. Peter Soens says:

    My old stomping ground in Liverpool in the 40s and 50’s.Fun times.

  18. ellem63 says:

    Priory Woods looks like a magical place – no wonder you fell in love with it! I found your blog via David’s blog (David Steers) and I look forward to following yours too, as well as catching up with previous posts.

  19. David Thomas says:

    I used to live in Bryanston Rd close to the Belgrave Pub and went to school at St Micheal’s Primary School, then to Dingle Vale back in the 1950s early 60s and the Cazzy and Priory Woods was my old stomping grounds we used to dare each other to walk across the oil pipe, and have hours of fun on the rope swings put up by the older lads. My friend in those days was a Malcolm Jevons and one day playing (or getting up to no good) in the T.A. grounds we found a rifle and calmly carried it home to the shock of my parents, only to be returned to the T.A. and receiving a big thank you and getting our names in some special army book. Great days gone but never forgotten.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi David, very close to us then, we (the Kenny’s) lived in 25 from the late 30s up until 86, my name lived at 14.
      My childhood mirrors yours, we did the same with the pipe and also remember a big swing that you got on by standing on the wall that’s still there. We had a relaxed view towards trespassing, if a wall was climbable it was ok to enter, not that we ever got into trouble, we just liked to explore. I bet the TA were relieved to have it back with no harm done! Thanks for commenting.

      • David Thomas says:

        Hi Glen,
        You lived close to me we lived at Number 13 on the corner of Alwyn St, then a few years later we moved to 113 Errol St I have nothing but happy memories of living and playing around the area and I have really enjoyed reading all the comments on your page.



      • Al Owens says:

        I’m wondering if that pipe linked the pumps at the railway siding to the Dingle Oil Jetty.
        The tracks had gantries built over the rails where the tank wagons were parked.
        There had to be a connection between the railway and the Oil Jetty.

  20. Janet Wright says:

    Hi, my mother in law keeps telling me about being taken by her mother to play on the Cazzy from their home in Dingle (Isaac St). It must have good memories for her since she is forgetting many, many things due to age. She was born in 1930 so her memories would have been mid 1930s until end of war. Does anyone have any pictures of the Cazzy I can share with her? She speaks about having to climb up something high to get home – what was this? A hill or a steep bank – I have never been to this area and it seems difficult to visualise. Help welcomed!
    Many thanks

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Janet. I’ll dig some photos out and send them to you, my mum was born in 1928 and is the same which is such a shame as her memory used to be amazing. Thanks.

    • Martin Baker says:

      Hello Janet. My grandfather’s first house as an infant was on the Cast Iron Shore at the end of Fulwood Park, more or less on what is now Riverside Drive, Otterspool. Their house was called Baker’s Cottage or Shore Cottage, and was linked to a nearby brickmaking yard. My grandfather’s father and grandfather were all Brickfield Labourers / Brickmakers. I have a phot of their house but not sure how to send it via this web site.

  21. Edward Shaw says:

    I was born at 38 penny lane in 1966 and as a little boy I used to sit and talk to the owner of the dairy which was on the top of briadale rd and penny lane hill who’s name was mr Couthwhaite who was born in the 1880s and his father ran the diary then too ‘ he told me his dad charged people going over the bridge a penny to cross over

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Edward, thanks for commenting and sharing your memory.
      In James Penny’s time though I doubt there was a bridge, I think that came with the railways. I may be wrong though.
      The only toll road in the area in the 18th century was at Aigburth Vale where Toxteth Park joined Aigburth. This was run by the Tarelton family.
      I’ve written a post about it.

  22. AL OWENS says:

    Wonderful, nostalgic memories. Thanks, everyone.
    I lived in Fulwood Road in the late 40’s and 50’s. Played on the gonks (or the gollies) and the cazzie all the time.
    I remember the beach (with sand) before the shoreline was filled in. Fished for sticklebacks and newts in the pond. The brick bridge (now pedestrians only) connected Fulwood Road to the links.
    The golf clubhouse and the fields around it were later managed by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board sports (or social) club with a football field and a cricket pitch.
    There was a second bridge across the railway (Cheshire Lines Committee) about 200 yards to the northwest which led onto what was army land where the WW2 anti-aircraft batteries were emplaced behind the barracks on Aigburth Road. We, too, explored the underground bunkers where the ammunition was stored, thinking they were old prison cells. I never found any old rifles, but did pick up a “tin hat”.
    This area was later leveled and the rugby field and clubhouse were built. All housing estate now.
    I would often walk home from school, St Michael’s in the Hamlet, across this area.
    A special treat were the railway sidings, south of the main line, which I believe were part of the Dingle Oil Jetty rail system, connected somehow though St Michael’s near the station. This was fenced off, but was no barrier to determined ten-year olds.
    Not sure if any of the mansions were still standing when we explored the woods. (Never did find any caves or see Frankie Vaughn). There were certainly ruins, which we thought were once an old monastery, but probably “The Priory” name was the origin of that assumption.
    Final thought. I was baptized in St Michael’s Church and my mother’s funeral service was held there.

    • Martin Baker says:

      Interesting Al. My great grandfather lived in a wooden house which was at the bottom end of Fulwood Drive, right on the banks of the Mersey. It was called Shore Cottage or Baker’s Cottage. I am told it was demolished in the 1920s, maybe 1930s, but I wonder if you have any recollection of any remains or maybe footings ? They also had a brickworks maybe 100 yards or less to the north west of the house. Again, do you remember any evidence of the existence of a brickworks, maybe a kiln or chimney ? Best wishes, Martin.

      • Al Owens says:

        Martin, I have a confession. I didn’t go down Fulwood Park much. Most of my exploration and play was between the gollies, St Michael’s and the Dingle-the opposte direction. The houses on that road were all big and impressive, not like the terraced rows in Fulwood, Ancaster, Ashbourne and Ampthill Roads. (Larkfield was built later. Semi-detached houses with real gardens).
        I can’t remember ever going all the way to the shore end of Fulwood Park. We used to cross it frequently to get to Jericho Lane and Otterspool using the “alleypaths” from the end of Annesley Road which ran parallel to the railway tunnel.
        So I can’t recall what the river end of the street was like. I wish I had explored there before that section was fenced between Jericho lane and the bottom of Fulwood Road on the golf links for security at the entrances to the tip.
        That area now is most desirable with great views over Riverside Drive and the Mersey.
        A satellite shot shows a construction or commercial area (ie not a house) several houses up from the river end, which could indeed be the brickworks site. I’ll try and find a street view, too.
        We did go carol singing each Christmas at several Fulwood Park houses (St Andrew’s Church Sunday School). My doctor, Dr Blaquiere, operated from a stone house near the entrance, and at the corner of Ampthill Road was the Co-op. This is now the Fulwood Arms pub, a most welcome improvement.

  23. Al Owens says:

    I’d really like to know more about the railway sidings built east of St Michael’s station and south of the main line. Is there a good map showing their complete layout? You can see part of the tracks on some of the post war maps. Also the outline of what looks like a large oil tank in the Priory Wood area-the most easterly tank extending from the main Dingle Oil Terminal. An above-ground pipeline is mentioned on other posts about this area..
    The sidings were built on the area north of what is now Bempton Road, (Penhale Close, Rosewarne Close)
    I’m guessing oil was pumped to the tank wagons parked under the gantries on the sidings. Where were the trains taken? The obvious link would be westward towards the goods yards at Brunswick Dock. There was rail access to the oil terminal and the Dingle jetty from there via Herculaneum Dock.
    How long were the sidings in use? Who owned them? Why a separate storage facility?

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Al, not sure to be honest, I’ll look into it though. Thanks.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Al,

      I think the best maps for the 20th century are on http://www.old-maps.co.uk. You need a subscription to view really close up but I think this gives a pretty good idea for free. You can do a screenshot for free anyway.


      When the link opens just zoom out a little and the map will appear. To get rid of the blue rectangle, click on icon under Contact Us on the top right of the map, it’s a square with corner points, when you hover over it it says ‘Switch print extent off’

      There are quite a few maps from the 50s to the 80s so they may help answer your question.
      Interestingly there are two maps dated 1987, one shows the area before the garden festival (even though that was 1984) and the other shows the developed site. Clicking these alternatively gives a really good idea of what changed.

      The large tank by St Michael’s had already been taken down when I played there as a child in the 1970s. The overground pipeline, (still there I think, at least the ditch is) led to this tank I’m sure.

      The tank was surrounded by a high wall in what is now Priory Woods but we climbed over a fence at the side. The concrete base of the tank was still there and filled with water. Wildlife flourished in this man-made pond that was hidden from humans. I remember seeing a tiny birds nest attached to reeds, possibly a Reed Warbler. Also a huge red and black hairy caterpillar. Then again, we often saw birds nests on the oldest part of the rubbish tip, Partridges I think. You couldn’t see them until you were up to them and they’d fly up at the last second scaring the wits out of you! Amazing how quickly nature reclaims its land isn’t it?

      If you find out anything yourself please add it to the comments, I’d be very interested to hear it.

  24. Al Owens says:

    That map reference worked perfectly, Glen, and I was able to print a copy. Thank you.
    Shows four main sidings and a head shunt; with the single gantry.
    We’d play on the tracks. I don’t remember ever seeing any railway staff there, although if you got too close to the main line the loco fireman would throw a shovelful of hot coals at you.
    We were trainspotters complete with our Ian Allan notebooks. Mostly boring tank engines. The really interesting locomotives were on the London line at Mossley Hill.
    The best actual ride experience was, of course, on the Overhead Railway.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Al, I think I’ve mentioned it on the blog but we’d walk the lines in the mid 70s before it opened again. We got to Dingle tunnel and a shunter came along and we had to cling to the walls. I wish I’d seen the Overhead Railway, what a loss to the city that was. The whole reason I started the blog was because of fragments of memories of the area and I wanted to make sense of it all. What I’ve found from all the great comments I’ve had over the years is there’s a lot of people with a memory far better than mine.

      I live in Garston now and I noticed a pathway between the railway and the houses, I mentioned to my wife only yesterday that if so was 10 I’d have a den built there in no time.

  25. Gwen Everett says:

    I lived at 69 St Michaels Church Road from 1932 to 1941, it was the very last house in the road and my bedroom window looked out over the golf course, I remember the gun batteries being put there and being forbidden to crawl through the fence to play in the sand bunkers. Going to the Cassy most weekends. We were bombed out in 1941 and went to Frodsham. I was christened in St Michaels Church. I went back to to look at the old place after 77 years, quite an experience.

    • peter madariaga says:

      hi Gwen, I lived in Ampthill Road from 1941 until1966 bottom of our road was The Golles and then onto the Cassie Shore..What I found interesting about your blog is your reference to being able to see the “Golflinks”.Our crowd never saw it as a golf course even though we refered to the first field as the Gollies and the field across the railway bridge that became the rugby pitch after being filled in we called it The Second Gollies which I guess is what you culd see from your bedroom,great place for sledging when we were kids..Question. Do you recall the sandstone lions in the dell?Cheers for now Peter.

  26. Matthew Todd says:

    My grandfather was born in Toxteth Park Liverpool in 1879. His name was Henry Albert Huddleston assention 1896 3rd Battalion Kings Liverpool. I have a photograph of him in Uniform and a copy of his record if you’d like to email me I’ll send it over to you.

  27. ray blagg says:

    Have just enjoyed reading all the memories made me feel very home sick for my lovely Liverpool. I am 73 now and grew up in Rosslyn St, both my parents had lived in the street the name being Ward and Donnelly. I have a vague memory of Peters family the Madarigas and the McGuiness as my best friends was a relation Laura Pedersen one wonderful lovely Lady. I spent many a day with my knickers covered in mud while playing on the shore and photos to prove it. My dad was an extra i the Frankie Vaughan film couldnt see him though. Love to you all keep up all the lovely memories its been a real treat.

    • David Thomas says:

      I sure i know your family we lived on Bryanston Rd our family name is Thomas

      • Glen Huntley says:

        Hi David,

        Our family lived on the north corner of Belgrave and Bryanston from the mid 1930s to 1986. My nan lived on the other side on the corner of Allington.

        I’m useless with names I’m afraid, my memory is shocking. I’ll ask my sisters.

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Ray

      Thanks for getting in touch and sharing your memories. If you want you can send me your photos and I’d be delighted to include them on the site.
      You can email them to thecastironshore@gmail.com

      I’ll ask my older sisters if they remember your family. Our family name is Kenny, Glen Huntley is my pen name (I got the name from an old house on Aigburth Road by the Mayfair)

      I have a sister about your age called Joan, she went to St Charles.

  28. S.C. Harker says:

    Hi Glen,
    Looking forward to having a look at your site.
    In 1911 census Henry Tongue was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of ? of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. A relative of mine, Mabel Henrietta Allin was a domestic for the family . I think the address is Priory, Dingle, but it is obscured on the census document.
    The Allin family were from Lydiate, prior to that, the Nottingham area. George was a baker and worked for Liptrots.
    Best wishes to you and yours.

  29. Emma Jones says:

    My grandfather Walter Abram died ww2 on the 25th September 1944 in italy but he lived it Dingle with my grandmother Nora Eleanor Tune and i’m made aware an article with publisher for my grandfather official notification of his death and his photo was published of him in the newspaper x

  30. Peter Harvey says:

    I lived on Ampthill Road from age 3 to 13 (now 48) and remember the fields at the bottom of the street being called the gollies, its what I still call them today even though I moved from pool aged 16 to join the army and have never been back. I have a lot of famil still living in the area and surrounding areas but my memories from growing up there are amazing. There where a few bridges going over the train tracks from the streets that where there to get to the gollies, one had no walls, I remember one year there was a huge explosoion coming from them tracks, apparently someone through an old matress onto them and the third line causing an almighty electrical short that sent sparks 200ft up and changed the sky to purple!

    • Glen Huntley says:

      Hi Peter, I remember those bridges. One in particular may be the one you refer to because I remember a solitary old tree next to it. That sounds super dangerous (but impressive). Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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