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#613496 - 1st Nov 2011 1:39pm Old Chester Road
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
Apologies for pinching bits of maps and info from various topics without stating sources
Trying to sort out where it started and ended

Old Chester Road, which was built in 1790 as the main highway between Woodside Ferry and Chester by crossing the Tranmere pool until the construction of Thomas Brassey's New Chester Road; which also had an embankment across the Tranmere Pool in 1839.
At sometime it started from Grange Street (which became Tunnel Road - because of rail tunnels after 1861?) and I think may have been the Chester Steet part from Waterloo Place to by Green Lane Station where it then carried on. I would have presumed it went to chester but can only find on any maps I have it stops by Dacre Hill and a google map now shows it stopping at Bebington Station.
Ive also noticed on one map that Green Lane may have been called Holt Hill Road once

The stream entered Tranmere Pool near the present Central Station. The creek, about 300 yards wide at its mouth, curved inland for about half a mile, forming on its northern side a tongue of land on which the gasworks were built in the 1840s. The Pool could easily be forded at low water, but at high tide its crossing was made at great risk. Very high tides must have come well up the valley, at least as far as the site of St John's Church

Here's some more info on the location of Tranmere Pool, taken from Birkenhead Priory and the Mersey Ferry, by R. Stewart-Brown, published in 1925.
Explaining the siting of the priory on the headland of Birkenhead, he writes: 'On the south, where Abbey Street represents approximately the line of the old river bank, the outlook was over the wide expanse of Birket (Tranmere) Pool, then of far`greater extent, but much curtailed in the last hundred years, particularly in the later period.
'The New Chester Road through Tranmere may be taken as representing the old strand line of the Pool as far as Green Lane Station, about which point the Pool ran inland to the west for nearly a mile, and at high tide most of the land now occupied by the gasworks, railway sidings, the Central and Town stations, was under water.
'The Pool could be forded until about 100 years ago, at low tides in the summer, by stepping stones approximately on the line of New Chester Road between Green Lane and Abbey Street, and probably this method of approaching the Priory was a very ancient one.
'It was not until the spring of 1790 that an embankment to carry the new turnpike road was made at the mouth of Tranmere Pool to a height which rendered it passable for general traffic above the highest spring tides.'


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1858, mills and fletcher plan  enlarged.jpg

grange_street.jpg

Tunnel rd and Holt Hill rd.  1938 .jpg

old chester road - dacre hill.jpg

old chester road- beington road.jpg



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#613498 - 1st Nov 2011 1:44pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
I wonder if the hotel marked on maps is the Royal Chester Hotel ( California or Revolver)or was possibly a Tranmere Ferry Hotel


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1838 MAP what hotel.jpg

1836 old chester rd.jpg




Edited by derekdwc (1st Nov 2011 1:46pm)

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#613549 - 1st Nov 2011 3:33pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
nightwalker Online   Reading

Old Hand

Registered: 17th May 2010
Posts: 374
Loc: new brighton
Derek, I’ve dug out an article called “Early Liverpool Coaching” by AH Arkle written in 1921 which may help, and a map of the early coaching routes (not very clear unfortunately). Arkle says:

“I can find no trace of a coach running regularly between Chester and Woodside Ferry before 4 June, 1762, when it was announced that a new machine with six able horses would set out from the Golden Talbot, in Chester, for the Woodside Ferry Boathouse every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning at 8 o'clock, and take passengers at 4s. each, returning at 4 o'clock on the same day to Chester. The same machine went every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Parkgate, at 2s. 6d. each. Boats would attend at the Woodside on the above days to carry passengers to Liverpool.

It is somewhat difficult to determine what road the coaches used between Chester and Woodside. At first the route appears to have been from Chester to Bromborough Pool (the present Chester Road); thence by Lower Bebington and Dacre Hill to Tranmere, along what is now Church Road, and down Whetstone Lane to Grange Lane (now Grange Road), and on to Woodside. About 1790 the Old Chester Road was improved and the coaches, after passing Lower Bebington to Dacre Hill, there turned to the right along the Old Chester Road, crossing the Pool (Tranmere) by the bridge, or rather embankment.

The New Chester Road, connecting Bromborough Village with Birkenhead and avoiding the steep gradients by Lower Bebington, is quite a modern road, having been made about 1840 by Mr. J. Brassey, the famous contractor”.


An article in the Liverpool and Lancaster Herald of 7 August, 1790, says:

“We hear that the embankment at Birkenhead Pool in Cheshire to complete the communication of the turnpike road leading from Chester to the Woodside Ferry opposite this town was made possible for horses and carriages above the highest spring tides in the month of March last, and the turnpike road is now in such a state of forwardness that it is expected that another summer will complete the whole length from Chester to the above ferry; the distance 16 miles only”.

Interesting post Derek.


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Birkenhead coaching routes.jpg



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#613601 - 1st Nov 2011 4:54pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
Very interesting,thanks for posting

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#613633 - 1st Nov 2011 5:39pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: nightwalker]
Norton Online   Reading

Smartchild

Registered: 29th Sep 2011
Posts: 601
Loc: Wallasey
Derek, good work in putting together a better picture from the other threads. Also thanks to 'nightwalker'.
In the book 'Sidelights on Tranmere', JA Allison has drawn a map (undated) of the early township, where the only road of any significance towards Chester is route of Old Chester Road and Bebington Road, towards the station, where is a road off to the east for New Ferry, but continues towards Bebington as Bebington Road.
So, what's in a road name? I suspect that in times when people didn't travel too far, it's quite logical to call it after the place it goes to - in this case Bebington. When it gets to Chester, the road is called Liverpool Road. If you are going from Chester to Hoylake you would take Parkgate Road. And if you were going from Hoylake to Birkenhead, then its Birkenhead Road, unless you go the other way from Birkenhead to Hoylake, and then start off in Hoylake Road. I suppose that Old Chester Rd could have been called London Road, but the Londoners don't call the A41 Birkenhead Road.
Anyway, I noticed that one of the maps shows the Coliseum as a Music Hall, which it was from 1879 to 1910, when it became a cinema (closing in 1962), so helping to date the map. I also noticed a black square at the bottom of Downham Road, but I can't make out what it says. And between the two is a road off to the west, about where Southwick Road is, but it is a lot longer and does not fit with the present pattern of roads.
Back to the Green Lane triangle, the maps do have some good reference points. The tannery is one, and the junction of Chester Street and Green Lane is obvious by the angle it makes. This, of course, is where the main gates of Lairds stood and is now just part of the roundabout, as is Mason Street (not shown on the maps), the only reminder of which is the back wall of the car park of the old hotel/Pub in the middle. There is a black square there but I think the word 'Hotel' on that map, by its placing, refers to a larger building by Tranmere Ferry, and lost under Lairds somewhere.
Another road joining the roundabout is the remainder of Mollington Street, as far as the railway bridge. This could be more significant than I first thought, because looking at the detail in the maps uploaded today, it would seem that this bridge is over the path of the river flowing from the Happy Valley to Tranmere Pool.
Just something else to ponder over..

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#613931 - 2nd Nov 2011 10:25am Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
Just wondering if the embankment they built for the Chester roads and was built for two purposes and oould have used rock from the Tranmere quarries making it a seafront wall and the land reclaimed for the building of the gasworks (1840s)plus crossing the pool

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#613965 - 2nd Nov 2011 11:59am Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
nightwalker Online   Reading

Old Hand

Registered: 17th May 2010
Posts: 374
Loc: new brighton
Don't know whether these have been posted before - the coastal and Mersey surveys of Edward Eyes made in 1828 and 1839. Very interesting and some mentions about land being reclaimed.


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Eyes Birkenhead1.jpg

Eyes Birkenhead2.jpg

Eyes Birkenhead3.jpg

Eyes Birkenhead4.jpg

Eyes Birkenhead5.jpg



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#614104 - 2nd Nov 2011 4:45pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
It still surprises me the amount of knowledge that keeps cropping up on wiki, especially in the History section

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#614116 - 2nd Nov 2011 5:00pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: nightwalker]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Some very interesting stuff here. Presumably the name Old Chester Road only became used when New Chester Road was built.
@Norton: I can't find the map you refer to in Allison's book, but here's one from that book dated 1843 with some features marked.


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old chester rd..jpg


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#614120 - 2nd Nov 2011 5:03pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
rocks Offline

Wiki Guide

Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
Posts: 6630
Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
great thread and very interesting for me as i live just off old chester rd, in the 4th map down my rd isnt even on the map and my recent trip to the archives i found out my rd was built in 1897 and my house built between then and 1901
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The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

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#614152 - 2nd Nov 2011 6:06pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: rocks]
Geekus Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Sep 2010
Posts: 1195
Loc: Wiki Wirral
I agree with Rocks. This is another excellent thread.

Can anyone give me any information on the Tranmere Congregational Church (opened, I believe, in 1901)?
I'm interested in knowing if this is (or was) located at 199 Old Chester Road? It's hard to tell when looking at old trade directories if 199 was the address of the church itself or a residential property next door.

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#614171 - 2nd Nov 2011 6:44pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
Norton Online   Reading

Smartchild

Registered: 29th Sep 2011
Posts: 601
Loc: Wallasey
Chriskay - The 1843 map is the map I was thinking of. I didn't have the book right in front of me at the time I replied, but I remembered it had "J.E. Allison" on it, so I credited it.
Looking back at what I had written, I can see now where I went wrong, sorry. Yes, it is dated and I do refer to a road off the New Ferry which isn't on it, but is on the 1840 that nightwalker uploaded. What I had been doing was looking through "The Storeton Tramway" as well that afternoon, and a couple of ideas may have got merged.
The significant point is that there were really only two routes out of Tranmere towards Chester, which came together in Bebington.
Nightwalker - very interesting look at what was happening to the land coastline at the time.
According to the survey in the book, the high water line has risen, and the tidal reach has moved further inland. Of the shoreline and banks of the river it mentions erosion in parts and silting up elsewhere, plus land reclamation.
A 180 years on and still the topics of much debate.

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#614172 - 2nd Nov 2011 6:52pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: Geekus]
Norton Online   Reading

Smartchild

Registered: 29th Sep 2011
Posts: 601
Loc: Wallasey
Originally Posted By: geekus
I agree with Rocks. This is another excellent thread.

Can anyone give me any information on the Tranmere Congregational Church (opened, I believe, in 1901)?
I'm interested in knowing if this is (or was) located at 199 Old Chester Road? It's hard to tell when looking at old trade directories if 199 was the address of the church itself or a residential property next door.


There is another Old Chester Road thread running. In it I wrote -
"So, before I put the large-scale OS map away (SJ3287SW) I'll just run through the properties along that section of road, so covering the East side of Old Chester Road from Orchard Road to Cobden Place, as follows.
Opposite St. Lukes Church is Orchard Rd. Between here and Beaconsfield Rd. we have numbers 119 to 123. Between Beaconsfield Rd. and Randle St we have the garage. From Randal St to Union St. we have numbers 149 to 167. From the south side of Union St. we have numbers 167A to 179, then we reach the Methodist Church. Then we number up to 199, next door to the Tranmere Congregational Church, then numbers 201 to 213 take us to the corner of Cobden Place."

By my reconing, that actually makes it un-numbered as 199 is on one side and 201 is on the other. I might need to get the maps out again...

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#614210 - 2nd Nov 2011 7:37pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4965
Loc: Birkenhead
In 1916 Wilmers Street Directory
199 Old Chester Road
Hope this helps


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199 old chester road.jpg




Edited by derekdwc (2nd Nov 2011 7:38pm)

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#614344 - 2nd Nov 2011 9:59pm Re: Old Chester Road [Re: derekdwc]
Geekus Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Sep 2010
Posts: 1195
Loc: Wiki Wirral
Thanks guys. It does look as if the church itself may have been classed as 201. I was doing some family History and the 199 Old Chester Road address came up. Just wanted to make sure it wasn't the church itself.

Cheers.

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