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#345502 - 28th Aug 2009 2:37pm Rock Park
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Rock Park was once one of the most desirable places to live in Birkenhead. I spent some time here yesterday, looking at the fine houses, now all in flats. The park is split in two now by the by-pass & there's constant traffic noise where there would have been peace & quiet.
The American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, rented a house here while he was American consul in Liverpool. The house is now gone, but a single gatepost remains.


Nathaniel Hawthorne 1853.

“Passages from the English Notebooks”

ROCK PARK.
September 2nd. We got into our new house in Rock Park yesterday. It is quite a good house, with three apartments, beside kitchen and pantry on the lower floor; and it is three stories high, with four good chambers in each story. It is a stone edifice, like almost all the English houses, and handsome in its design. The rent, without furniture, would probably have been one hundred pounds; furnished, it is one hundred and sixty pounds. Rock Park, as the locality is called, is private property, and is now nearly covered with residences for professional people, merchants, and others of the upper middling class; the houses being mostly built, I suppose, on speculation, and let to those who occupy them. It is the quietest place imaginable, there being a police station at the entrance, and the officer on duty allows no ragged or ill-looking person to pass. There being a toll, it precludes all unnecessary passage of carriages; and never were there more noiseless streets than those that give access to these pretty residences. On either side there is thick shrubbery, with glimpses through it of the ornamented portals, or into the trim gardens with smooth-shaven lawns, of no large extent, but still affording reasonable breathing space. They are really an improvement on anything, save what the very rich can enjoy, in America. The former occupants of our house (Mrs. Campbell and family) having been fond of flowers, there are many rare varieties in the garden, and we are told that there is scarcely a month in the year when a flower will not be found there.


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Description: Gatepost to Nathaniel Hawthorne's house

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Description: One of the fine old gas lamps, now converted to electicity.


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#345504 - 28th Aug 2009 2:47pm Re: Rock Park [Re: chriskay]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
aww you missed my old house, mine was the one with the Subway entrance at the front. takes me back smile

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#345509 - 28th Aug 2009 3:33pm Re: Rock Park [Re: Wheels]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Some great buildings in there
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Over 5000 years of Wirral History:

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#345520 - 28th Aug 2009 5:05pm Re: Rock Park [Re: Wheels]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: Wheels
aww you missed my old house, mine was the one with the Subway entrance at the front. takes me back smile


Sorry about that, Wheels; I remember seeing the subway, which side of the by-pass were you?
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#345572 - 28th Aug 2009 9:44pm Re: Rock Park [Re: chriskay]
oxtonmac Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Loc: wirral
I think that gas lamp is only 1 of a couple that still exist on the wirral .

anyone know of any more ?

my dad had on years ago he stripped it back to the lovely copper and brass and fitted it with new glass.

I would love it now, but he fell on hard times and sold it !!!

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#345620 - 29th Aug 2009 10:36am Re: Rock Park [Re: oxtonmac]
MissGuided Offline

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Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Did any of the properties get demolished when they built the by-pass?
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#345625 - 29th Aug 2009 11:05am Re: Rock Park [Re: chriskay]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 676
Loc: Isle of Wight
Great photos. In a certain way the bye-pass may have helped to preserve the Park from any further desecration. It's a pity the esplanade could not tbe brought up to the same standard as the houses.
Here's a photo with the sun shining!


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Description: 'The Firs'



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#345628 - 29th Aug 2009 11:31am Re: Rock Park [Re: bri445]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 676
Loc: Isle of Wight
Nathaniel Hawthorne's description of the 'Idyllic' Park.

(From 'Birkenhead News' article re 'battle of the bye-pass', 1967)


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#345670 - 29th Aug 2009 6:20pm Re: Rock Park [Re: bri445]
SUExx Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th Jan 2009
Posts: 1701
Loc: new ferry/bebington
i went through rock park only recently, the first time for many years. Reading that description of rock park it sounds as if its from a novel and you can almost visualise the horse and carriages and the smell of flowers.

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#345687 - 29th Aug 2009 7:52pm Re: Rock Park [Re: MissGuided]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: Snooze
Did any of the properties get demolished when they built the by-pass?


Quite a lot, I think. Shame; why didn't they go the other side of New Chester Rd?
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#345694 - 29th Aug 2009 8:10pm Re: Rock Park [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
From A perambulation of the hundred of wirral


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God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#351803 - 24th Sep 2009 11:32pm Re: Rock Park [Re: bert1]
Christine12 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Sep 2009
Posts: 139
Loc: Port Sunlight
I love Rock Park - I love the old gate posts as you go in. There was a lot of uproar about the new building of flats as you enter the second road of Rock Park. They've eventually become occupied but has anyone seen the state of the grassland area as you go in? It seems a big shame that it looks like a dumping ground when you're driving into such a lovely area...

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#371425 - 7th Dec 2009 1:15pm Re: Rock Park [Re: ]
buddy Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 18th Sep 2008
Posts: 5001
Loc: South Wirral
Thanks for all the photos and info on Rock Park - brought back memories for me - I lived in the top floor flat of No 20 for nearly a year when I was married in 1965 - and travelled to St Helens daily by Train/bus!!
Spooky place at night though!!!

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#371676 - 7th Dec 2009 8:56pm Re: Rock Park [Re: ]
buddy Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 18th Sep 2008
Posts: 5001
Loc: South Wirral
Originally Posted By: summer01
was this grade listed and do you know any thing about the oringinal house?


Don't know if it was grade listed - at the time it was let out as furnished accomodation - owner (Mrs Johnson) at ground level, 1st and 2nd floors let out

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#371757 - 8th Dec 2009 6:38am Re: Rock Park [Re: chriskay]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
Originally Posted By: chriskay
Originally Posted By: Wheels
aww you missed my old house, mine was the one with the Subway entrance at the front. takes me back smile


Sorry about that, Wheels; I remember seeing the subway, which side of the by-pass were you?


I was on the water side (the side you took the pics)

I will Upload some pics of mine later.

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