In 1977 The Woolton Society and The Gateacre Society walked through the centre of Gateacre discussing the history of the roads, buildings and features that make up the fabric of the village. In 1978 The Gateacre Society took a second walk round the North West quarter of the village. This year we invite you to a third excursion. The area we have chosen is in the South West - up Gateacre Brow, along Acrefield Road, down Holly Tree Road and through to Sandfield Road and the Sandhole. We visit Gateacre Chapel again, the oldest and most important building, and see a range of building types dating from 1700 onwards, and find where the area's electricity was generated years ago.
These Notes are a supplement to what our guides can say in the time available as we walk. It is not our intention that you should read them during the course of the walk; we hope to be audible and so interesting that you will not want to read them. We hope that you will read them when you get home, and that they will fill out what we have been saying.
The guides to this walk would like to emphasise that they have no complete knowledge, though they have done a lot of homework on the area we are covering. In many places they are still feeling their way, and they base their statements and opinions on features that strike them and their enthusiasm for architecture and local history. In our study of this area we have been fortunate to have sight of three sets of deeds (only a meagre three) and these have been of immense help. We hope to gather more information from you this afternoon.
Introduction - The village of Gateacre lies within two old townships; roughly three-quarters in Little Woolton (L.W.) and one-quarter in Much Woolton (M.W.). Our walk today covers part of the area in M.W. which early developed the nucleus which, shifted a little North, we know today as Woolton Village. L.W. never had such a nucleus; it was to the East an area of rich farming land with scattered farmsteads, Westwards higher heath and common. When towards the end of the C17 a hamlet did begin to develop, it was clustered around the crossroads on the old road from the ford at Hale to West Derby, Old Swan and Liverpool. The line of this road - Mackets Lane, Halewood Road and Grange Lane - seems to be very old, and if the identification of Wibaldeslei in Domesday Book with Lee Park is correct, the "T" junction and Belle Vale Road could have been here for a long time - the track which became Gateacre Brow probably began as the way to the common grazing lands.
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