Saturday, 6 April 2013

MERSEYSIDE. Lock-ups at Everton and Wavertree.

Everybody has heard of Everton, now a suburb of Liverpool. Indeed, Everton F.C features the lock-up on its crest and the club actually financed its restoration in 1997.  The lock-up, known as Prince Rupert's Tower, is situated on Everton Brow, L6 1HL and dates to 1787.



OS Grid Reference: SJ3563291618
OS Grid Coordinates: 335632, 391618
Latitude/Longitude: 53.4174, -2.9699

Photo by Roy Pledger

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a professional soldier, was the Royalist Commander during the English Civil War and used the topographical advantage of 'higher town', or Everton, to prepare to overwhelm the nearby garrison at Liverpool.

Originally surrounded by a pound, the lock-up was also colloquially known as the Stone Jug and also as Stewbum's Palace.

It fell into disrepair and in 1997 Everton Football Club funded its renovation as a continuing symbol of the club's crest of which it has been part since 1937.
The lock-up was Grade 11 listed 14.3.1975 (No.359525) and described as :

1787. Red sandstone building in form of a round drum with conical roof.
Now in public garden .
Listing NGR: SJ3563291618
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.
An early print by Liverpool artist Herdman courtesy of Everton web site.

See also :


The lock-up at Wavertree is situated in Childwell Road, L15 6UU and dates to 1796.


OS Grid Reference: SJ3929789444
OS Grid Coordinates: 339297, 389444
Latitude/Longitude: 53.3983, -2.9144

Photo by Roy Pledger

Originally the building had a flat roof but the fine pyramidal roof was installed in about 1869 when the building was restored following its near dereliction. The village is now swallowed up by the Merseyside conurbation but the lock-up still stands proudly in  splendid isolation on a small green alongside the busy main road.
It was Grade 11 listed 28.6.1952 (No.213897) and described as :
 Lock up. 1796.
Stone with pyramidal slate roof and weather-vane added by Sir James
Picton. Octagonal, of 2 storeys. Flat band over ground floor,
top cornice and 4 gables. Ground floor has round-headed
recesses with square blind windows. Entrances to south. 1st
floor has square blind windows, that above entrance has
upper part open, with diagonal iron bars .
Listing NGR: SJ3929789444
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.

These two photographs of the interior are by Caroline & Phil Bunford
on Flickr with thanks. With expressed permission.


I am grateful to Mike Chitty from Wavertree Society for allowing me to copy the following article and photograph, which appeared in their Newsletter 99 in 1994. (www.wavertreesociety,org).

" Wavertree's octagonal Lock-up was built of local yellow sandstone in 1796, at the expense of the villagers.  Drunkenness was quite a problem even 200 years ago, and it was the village Constable's job to round up offenders and accommodate them overnight until they were sober enough to be released or taken before the local magistrate.

The post of Constable was an unpaid one - the villagers took it in turns, a year at a time - but expenses could be claimed including 2 shillings for looking after a prisoner

in the Constable's own house.

In 1796 the villagers decided it would be cheaper for them, in the long run, to pay for a purpose-built lock-up!
Objections were raised by Mr John Myers, the wealthy resident of Lake House (where Monkswell Drive is today) who claimed the proposal 'showed a desire to annoy him' and would spoil his view. However, he was overruled and a Mr Hind was engaged to prepare plans and get the work in hand.


Originally the Lock-up had a flattish roof, and it was not unknown for friends of the prisoners to hide behind the parapet while knocking a hole in the roof! A small stove was installed to keep the prisoners warm, and they were supplied with food and water, but otherwise there were few home comforts.
It is said that cholera victims were dumped there to isolate them from the rest of the village; and in the 1840s the Lock-up served as temporary accommodation for destitute Irish families trekking out from Liverpool into the surrounding countryside.
By this time the Lock-up was no longer needed for its original purpose, as a proper Police Station had opened in the High Street (on the site of the present Wavertree Gardens flats). The building gradually fell into decay, until in 1868 its owners the Wavertree Local Board of Health contemplated demolition.
Fortunately for us, the Chairman of the Board was the architect and local historian James Picton, who came to the rescue and drew up plans for its repair and 'beautification', including the addition of a new pointed roof and weather vane. These plans were implemented the following year. In 1952 the Lock-up became a Listed Building and in 1979 Wavertree Village was designated as a Conservation Area The triangular village green on which the Lock-up stands has recently been confirmed as the only piece of Common Land within the City of Liverpool.
For many years the building was used by the City Council's parks and gardens department for the storage of tools and grass-cutting equipment, but it currently stands empty and disused ... except as a picturesque reminder of the Wavertree of two centuries ago ".


No comments: