A lock-up, a small house, a tower a dispute over water and a house named after Sir Walter Scott's birthplace, just a small part of the history of a Liverpool suburb 'Wavertree'.
Wavertree Lock up
An octagonal lock-up built of sandstone in 1796 it is often referred to as the 'Round House', it was a place were the villagers, who would assist the village constable, or indeed the constable himself could detain drunks and vagabonds. The owner of the Lake House, John Myers objected strongly to it being built claiming it would spoil his view but his objections were overruled and the building of the lock-up went ahead, the work being carried out by a Mr Hind. The building became redundant in 1845 when the first Police Station opened in the village. In its time it was used by cholera victims, in 1832, some time later it housed Irish people escaping the famine as well as being used to store the village fire hose. The Wavertree board of health considered demolishing it in 1868 but it was reprieved and became a listed building in 1979.
The Smallest House
Not far from the lock-up is a public house known as the Cock and Bottle, next door to the pub is what was originally, Englands smallest house, number 95 High Street, Wavertree, Liverpool 15. The house 6 feet wide, 14 feet deep had two rooms and was lived in until 1952 when it became part of the Cock and Bottle.
One family who lived in the house had eight children so it is hard to imagine how they managed. The house did undergo some changes during its time as a residence when its staircase was widened by one of its occupants who had trouble climbing the narrow stairs, he had the staircase width extended from 8 inches to 16 inches. The front of the property still remains although it has undergone a number of changes, not all authorised, over the years.
The photograph shows it close to how it originally was.
Wavertree Clock Tower
The clock tower was presented to the village of Wavertree in 1884 by James Allanson Picton, in memory of his wife, Sarah Pooley, who he had been married to for 50 years and who sadly died in 1879.
James Picton was a member of the city council and was on the local board of health, the Picton Library in William Brown Street was named after him, in rcognition of the service he gave to the library ofver a period of some forty years. James picton was an architect and a keen local historian. The tower bears the inscription.
"Time wasted is existence, used, is life"
Salisbury Stone, Wavertree
The Salisbury stone that remains in Wavertree stands on the site of what was formerly a lake, often referred to as 'Piggy Lake' it existed until 1929, when it was drained. By the late 1800s the lake had become overgrown with weeds and in 1861 the local 'Board of Health' decided to clean it up and surround it with trees. However, the lake was owned by the Marquess of Salisbury and as Lord of the Manor of Wavertree the work required his consent and he was not pleased with the decision of the board. He ordered that stones or 'boundary markers be placed around the lake. The markers remained until the situationwas resolved at a later date, however, there remains one stone, to remind us of the dispute. This now stands in a childrens playground.
The highest point in Wavertree is Olive Mount and here stands 'Sandy Knowe' a red sandstone house built in 1847 by James Picton. Picton wh we have previously mentioned, was an architect but also a scholar and a traveler and he named this house after the farm where Sir Walter Scott was brought up. James Picton died in this house in 1889. The house was a Methodist Chapel for many years before being converted into sheltered housing accommodation.
Robert F Edwards