The Field Archeologists Treasure Hunt

or Now You See It Now You Don’t

Ron Cowell a specialist field archeologist at the museum  kindly agreed to help us in our search for the Royal Hunting Park of Toxteth.

met under tree

Ron Cowell has recently made internationally important finds in Sefton, the earliest discovery of stone age people’s homes, made long before we understood them able to do so, but he very kindly agreed to help us look for the hunting park of Toxteth; a more difficult problem in someways because our ancestors built so many terrace houses on top.

We experienced a now you see it now you don’t evening as we were learning to look at our area differently.

Ron gave us the 1769 field map of the area

1769 annotated

he had written place and street names on the map to help  us  locate ourselves

so we were probably standing on the edge of Middle Field and Corles? Field on the field boundary or drainage channel now called Princes Avenue there is still a bend remakably similar to the end of Middle Field as Selbourn meets the avenue.

Going towards Lodge Lane,  a recognisable feature on the map the Roughs edge with the Great Rough is roughly where Beaumont street is now. Rough probably means fields which are not much good for cultivation

The royal park was a working park for the king and provided wood and food Deer were under the sole ownership of the king and so the meat was highly prized but deer destroy trees so the deer needed to be kept in one area, probably of poorest soil and a wall divided the hunting park from the forest.

Before the land was disparked the first survey of the park was obtained describing the wall dividing the forest from the deer park as following the okkles brook from the waterfall to the source

Ron discussed the land quality of the hunting park as probably similar to the descriptive medieval field names in the town section across Upper parliament street  where there were many field names using the old English word for brown today continuing in Brownlow Hill or a low brown hill, brown is the colour of peat in those days more useful for peat fires than agriculture. This can be recognised in the drainage channels around fields unlike the more organic field pattern in the Smithdown area of the map

Ron then gave us a 20th century ordnance survey of Liverpool overlayed on the 1269 map,  he had drawn in streams, overlay with streamsand the contours emphasized the hills and valleys of the area. The 180 feet above sea level high land on High Park Street by Toxteth Town Hall looked like Moel Famau, which can be seen in the distance from Park Road and it, was possible to imagine the excitement of Osklesbroke tumbling down from Smithdown road cemetery through a ravine, where Sefton Park is, to the river

sefton park 30m contourWe decided to go looking for the waterfall

We think we may have found it and a trace of the deer park wall

Using the maps and the clues I have given you,

If you think you have found anything

send us a photo and we will put it on the blog

Here are a couple more images from our walk – matching th map to the landscape and the path we took looking for the waterfall!

026 028 032


About huntliverpool

HUNT! A Heritage Lottery project with a difference in Granby, Liverpool 8. A vibrant community on the edge. This project will work with Granby residents to trace the history of the Royal Hunting park in Toxteth and the agricultural land that it became in the 1600’s. This project will be of interest to: Local community members, food and growing enthusiasts, urban and rural farmers, those interested in sourcing local food / goods, local history enthusiasts, social anthropologists… HUNT! Will encourage residents and participants to uncover the history of Toxteth Royal Hunting Park and the subsequent selling off of land and establishment of agricultural farmland in the area. Ideas and themes to be explored include: * Mapping of the original park over the existing residential area * What was a Royal Hunting Park - what were they for and how did they work? * What remains of the Hunting Park today? * The areas connection to agriculture - past and present * The Granby area as a long-time home of dissenters, outsiders, new comers and those on the edge * Current residents relationships with and stories connected to nature, hunting and agriculture The project will run through the summer and autumn 2013 culminating in a community event and performance in October. There will be workshops, talks and visits organised for and by the community. This project is led by members of Growing Granby: The project is also linked to The Pool project: 'Like' un of Facebook: / Follow us on Twitter @HuntLiverpool
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1 Response to The Field Archeologists Treasure Hunt

  1. Pingback: Lost Liverpool, photos and maps

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