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#1084879 17th Nov 2023 5:39pm
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This is an historical question really - but, I wondered who owned the terraced properties in the Cathcart/Cleveland wards during the mid & late 1800's ? Most notably around Price Street, Brook Street, Beckwith Street areas, if anyone can help please.
Also, would these have been houses to rent or would some have been owner occupied ?

Appreciate any help.

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The land owners in that area were Francis Richard Price and John Laird. I imagine they either sold the land or had builders build houses for them and rented them out. I doubt many were sold. If you look at the Liverpool Mercury Newspaper around 1840s there are many adverts for rental properties and land for sale around those wards, by agents.


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https://sites.google.com/site/wirralhha/the-story-of-wirral

"The first few streets of Birkenhead were laid out by the lord of the manor, Francis Richard Price. Then in 1825, at the behest of William Laird, the great Scottish architect, James Gillespie Graham, produced a plan for a modern new town, with a gridiron pattern of streets, a range of fine late Georgian buildings and the imposing Hamilton Square. The town grew, with a market, theatres and music halls, the first tramway in Europe and the world’s first publicly funded park – Birkenhead Park – which played a key role in the development of the parks movement and became a model for parks design including Central Park, New York."

Last edited by bert1; 18th Nov 2023 4:45pm.

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Thanks bert, that's great. So, do you think Price and Laird would have been the landlords to the tenants or would other landlords have bought land/buildings from them ? Just trying to work out who the tenants would have paid rent to ?

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Looking at the Uk Poll Books and Electoral register around 1840+/-
Examples, Frances Richard Price, Freehold Houses and Land, Birkenhead.
William Laird, Freehold Houses and Land, Birkenhead.

This means they had multiple properties in Birkenhead with no specific roads mentioned, I assume they had properties rented out.
Other example, John Laird, Freehold House, Cathcart St, that would have been his only property.

Charles Price, Freehold Houses and Land, Brook St. I take that as owning Houses and Land only in Brook St.


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That's brilliant bert, thanks very much. Are those poll books/registers online eg. Ancestry by any chance ?

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Yes, Ancestry.


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Great - thank you.

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Just thought of a related question to the earlier ones - in that part of Birkenhead, why did people (tenants?) move house so frequently ? My grandad, after he married in 1899, moved house 9 times in 17 years in this area, up to when my dad was born in 1916. Other family relatives in the area did the same. Was it non-payment of rent/eviction or some other cause maybe ?

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Some of it was down to eviction, the rent went up and the tenant couldn't afford to pay the increase. Landlords wouldn't think twice about putting a family on the streets and tenants had no protection. Also, upsizing and downsizing played a part, as families grew, larger properties were sought, as the children left home downsizing played a part. I know with one of my family members, the more they moved the closer they got to the docks, where he worked. I just thought it was to save his legs or transport costs.


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Yep, good points about the upsizing/downsizing bert - thanks.

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Originally Posted by drumgarron
Was it non-payment of rent


Very common, tenants moving house in the middle of the night so the landlord didn't catch them welching on the rent.


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What level of rents are we talking about here ?

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There's adverts in the Liverpool Mercury, 1899/1900 for properties to rent, various areas. The areas are Liverpool, Birkenhead, Liscard, Egremont, Rock Ferry. Terraced properties range from 4shillings per week up to 7s/8s per week.
Semi's appear to be around £22/£25 per year. Rock Ferry has a property with 6 bedrooms, Lounge, Dining room and Large garden, £33 per year.


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my family lived in byrom street school place census show that a number of familys would live in one house occupying one or two rooms .the houses where built on clay deposits owned by local brickworks .my grandparents lived met and married in byrom street and appear to have moved frequently .i am trying to obtain photos of byrom st.which was demolished to make way for oak and eldon gardens vittoria court etc in the early sixtys.

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