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Long-forgotten brook. #1044346
17th Sep 2017 6:37pm
17th Sep 2017 6:37pm
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I am trying to find some information about a stream that ended up discharging into Bromborough Pool. It has long since been culverted and used as a sewer so probably now gets diverted ingloriously into the Bromborough water treatment works.

I have found an old map (http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/sheet/first_edition/lm_79ne ) which shows it (after considerable zooming and panning), unnamed, starting somewhere in the woods surrounding Reservoir road and proceeding downhill towards what is now Bebington Road Allotments. There is little trace of these days it until you get to the allotments, but there is a tiny trickle which enters a grid near Kingsbrook Way, and there is a dry ditch which runs along the rear of the houses on Princes Boulevard down towards the rear of Tesco's carpark.

From there you have to follow the lie of the land. The lowest point runs roughly parallel to the old Chester Road past the entrance to the Oval, and eventually dives under the railway embankment somewhere near the station (Probably under the bridge) and enters Port sunlight. One assumes the culvert will follow the route of the stream pretty closely.

Originally before that land was built on, it ran along under Corniche Rd. to join the pool shortly after. These days I suspect Corniche Rd is where it does a sharp right and ends up in the Wastewater plant.

I would really like to find the name of this stream. One might guess at the Kings Brook, or perhaps the Wood Burn. (It started in the wood after all) but these are guesses based on the names of roads that came well after it was culverted and forgotten.

If anyone can direct me to some documentary evidence for the name of this little brook, I would be very grateful. There are probably thousands of similar little streams which have been 'sewerised' and their names forgotten. It seems to me a sad end for things that, in all probability, have been around for millions of years. And who knows, when we have wiped ourselves out will probably burst out of their culverts and reestablish themselves again!

Last edited by Excoriator; 17th Sep 2017 6:38pm.
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Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044347
17th Sep 2017 8:54pm
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remember seeing an old photograph of port sunlight near The Bridge Inn . My wife used to work at church drive school in port sunlight and said the playground to the left of the school was built on an old stream (or tidal creek..thats why its low down). Yesterdays Wirral book covering Port Sunlight may have reference to it. Flicking through it now so will post any findings
There is a Brook Street shown on a 1907 Plan of Port sunlight village in roughly the right location

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044348
17th Sep 2017 9:41pm
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The school has always struck me as a very interesting building. I always thought it was to do with maximising the floor area without taking up too much space and without building it up another storey. This doesn't preclude your wife's account of course. The architect could have simply taken advantage of the geography.

I suspect that the playground may well be the spot where the culvert makes a sharp left turn. At the A41 boundary is a tall sewer vent pipe. There is an identical one by the bridge under the railway embankment at Bebington Station.

In all probability, the redirected stream or sewer goes under the A41 and probably went under a small footpath which was 'stolen' a few years back to build a house upon, directly by the pedestrian crossing. My guess is it goes below the subway under the bypass and thence across the playing fields, parallel to Corona Rd to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The original stream, of course, would have gone straight ahead to Water Street.

It would be interesting to talk to a United Utility worker familiar with the sewerage system in the area. It is very likely that the main sewers have names - official or unofficial - which reflect their History.

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044349
17th Sep 2017 9:57pm
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I just found this paper, which confirms the existence of the stream/sewer:

WIRRAL WATERSHEDS AND RIVER SYSTEMS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON LOCAL History.
By E. H. Rideout, B.Sc., A.I.C.

www.hslc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/74-6-Rideout.pdf

I think it must come from a journal published by the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Page 119 mentions it briefly in reference to the tributaries to Bromborough pool(I quote):

Yet another tributary to this system remains to be described: a stream now almost completely obliterated, at the head of the pool. The tracing of its course is only possible nowadays by the topography of the region in question, aided by existing ditches in the upper part of its course and by the boundary between the borough of Birkerihead and the township of Higher Bebington. It most probably arose on the eastern slope of Mount Wood near the pumping station, excavated a well marked valley in the clay from below Cavendish Road and followed almost parallel to the line of the Old Chester Road through Bebington station, flowing into the plain of the Pool between Lower Road and Windy Bank.

Sadly, no name is mentioned. What a tragedy if it has gone forever.

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044350
18th Sep 2017 7:28am
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'There are probably thousands of similar little streams which have been 'sewerised' and their names forgotten. It seems to me a sad end for things that, in all probability, have been around for millions of years. And who knows, when we have wiped ourselves out will probably burst out of their culverts and reestablish themselves again!'


Thanks for a very interesting article, Excoriator.

One of the better-known of Wirral’s lost rivers was the stream known as the Rubicon - we’ve had stuff about it previously on WikiWirral. It flowed from the Oxton area of Birkenhead along what is now Borough Road and drained into Tranmere Pool near the site of Central Station.

Before Birkenhead spread outwards, the small valley of the Rubicon was apparently a delightful place of sparkling water, woods and flowers. It seems to have been known as Happy Valley (a name that was commemorated in a now-demolished Pub opposite the library in Borough Road). A set of stepping stones forded the stream near Whetstone Lane.

There remains some hint of this rural idyll in the name of a local road, The Woodlands, which was developed on the eastern banks of the stream.

Around the turn of the 19th century, the Rubicon was buried under the new Borough Road and Tranmere Pool also eventually vanished under concrete and tarmac.

The stream and the pool were diverted into underground culverts along Hind Street, Blackpool Street and Waterloo Place, draining into the Mersey near the junction of Chester Street / New Chester Road.

Blackpool Street / Waterloo Place, below the now disused Birkenhead-Chester Railway bridge, is the lowest geographical point in Birkenhead, so the drainage there was problematical.

During wet weather, the underground culverts would often overflow and the water would burst out of the drains and flood the road under the bridge. For a brief while, the Rubicon and Tranmere Pool would rise again.

Last edited by yoller; 18th Sep 2017 7:36am.
Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044351
18th Sep 2017 7:34am
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Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044352
18th Sep 2017 8:03am
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Thanks Habdab. I'd already found that site. It didn't yield a name unfortunately.

I knew about the Rubicon too Yoller, thanks. I wonder how it got that particular name?

I believe in the 1950's a weir to take excess water into a relief tunnel was installed about where the Tech was. From there the tunnel was excavated back up Borough Rd to the junction with Everest Rd.where it turned left and ran deep below Everest Rd, under the Sportsman Pub and into Victoria Park and into St Pauls Road. It discharged into the Mersey from a portal below the elevated road in the Tranmere oil terminal. It has probably been intercepted since to divert it towards the Bromborough wastewater treatment plant.

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044353
18th Sep 2017 8:28am
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle
Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044355
18th Sep 2017 8:40am
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See after 'Poton'. from Holinshed Chronicles. Written 1577

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...epage&q=Poton%20Seacombe&f=false

Another fall between Bebington and Bromborough Chappell descending from the hills.....



Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
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Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044356
18th Sep 2017 9:03am
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Not this one?


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Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044357
18th Sep 2017 9:08am
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Could the 'hills' mentioned in the above, have been Storeton Hill , 171ft above sea level ?

Someone else will know more about that .


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
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Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044361
18th Sep 2017 1:42pm
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All these tiny streams must have had names at one time, but they’d probably have been known only locally and it’s unlikely anyone ever properly recorded them.

But I reckon in this case that something like Kings Brook and Wood Burn may be near the mark. Those names are used for roads in the modern era, but must have come from somewhere and are quite precise and descriptive.

As for the Birkenhead stream, the original Rubicon was a small river that marked the boundary between Italy and Gaul. In 49BC, Julius Caesar crossed it with his army, starting the civil war that led him to become Rome’s ruler.

I wonder if a surveyor or an academic thought a comparison with the Italian river seemed apt, amusing, or even ironic? Or was the stream so called because it marked the boundary between Tranmere and Birkenhead?

As far as I know, the name was only used informally. I’ve seen ‘Happy Valley’ on an old Birkenhead map, but not The Rubicon.

In his book Sidelights on Tranmere, J E Allison says the Birkenhead stream was sometimes called The Rubicon by the Victorians, ‘but this classical name could not have been the original one’.



Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044365
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From what i have been told there was a stream behind the crest in the convent garden that would of probable run down where bebington road is now . To mayre park. At a talk about said hall it was mentioned that the lancelyn family had a fountain instslled on the roundaboyt do people could have fresh water to drink this runs directly towards the source the lowest point in the park under the railway and on to memorial in port sunlight . Still running down hill to the church it would flow into the brook that became bridge street.

Thats as much as i can gather .

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: Excoriator] #1044366
18th Sep 2017 8:55pm
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I have a new 'best guess' for the name of the brook.

Today I drove down (The?) Old Chester Road from the crossroad by what was Fairs Cameras to Bebington station. There is plentiful evidence of there once having been a stream there in the names of the roads, many of which have 'bank' in them. Bankside road, Hurst Bank Rd, Thorpe Bank Rd, and Rydal Bank Rd, for instance, all run down towards where the stream would have run. None of them sounds very likely as to the name of the stream, however, and they are all different. They all relatively new, and the names probably reflect the fact that someone in the council knew there was a stream there but not what it was called.

So I went back to this map - http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/sheet/first_edition/lm_79ne which shows the stream largely unculverted except where it passes under the railway embankment with the road at Bebington station. I discarded Wood Burn as a name when I spotted a patch of woodland in the area we now call 'Woodhey' on the grounds that this patch of woodland was the origin of that name

The map is dated 1840 and there was very little built around there at that time. It does show Old Chester Road, however, and across the road from the station is a single row of houses. Glory be it is still there, still unadopted by the look of it, but called Ashbrook Terrace. You can see it clearly when waiting for a Liverpool train from the station platform. There are three charming old double-fronted cottages still there.

So there you have it. My best guess (pro tem) is that it was called the Ash brook. If anyone can prove I am wrong with hard documentary evidence of the actual name I shall be more than delighted!

Re: Long-forgotten brook. [Re: pacef8] #1044367
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Originally Posted by pacef8
From what i have been told there was a stream behind the crest in the convent garden that would of probable run down where bebington road is now . To mayre park. At a talk about said hall it was mentioned that the lancelyn family had a fountain instslled on the roundaboyt do people could have fresh water to drink this runs directly towards the source the lowest point in the park under the railway and on to memorial in port sunlight . Still running down hill to the church it would flow into the brook that became bridge street.

Thats as much as i can gather .


Thanks pacef8. I think that was one of the other tributaries that discharged into the pool. I don't suppose there is a name for that either.

It is shown in the 1840 Ordnance survey map I referred to above, and looks as if it ran through where the shops in Lower Bebington are now, and - as you say - under the railway after passing through Mayer Park. It appears to join 'my' stream just before it reaches the pool.

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