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Old Swan History

Old Swan maps circa 1830's.
St. Oswalds church does not appear until 1842. The first map, Plot 2473 is roughly where St. Oswalds church will be built. The Quarry is where Hoult's Corner was built.

The second one is interesting because it shows the Old Swan Glass Works (plot 2477 and 2476). These Glass Works were bought by Pilkingtons and Chances in 1855. The huge round bit would have been the 'cone' where the furnace was located ( see pic below left from website )
Info and maps from Yo Liverpool Forum

Old Swan Glass Works, started in 1825. The old english style of glass had the 'knob' in the middle wheareas the french were making clear, plain sheet glass. 40 french workers were "imported" and their methods employed to great success, a new cone was built and mens wages grew to £3 10s a week AND they had their own brass band !
The sheet glass for the Custom House, priced at 9 1/2d per foot and the plate glass in the Royal Insurance Buildings, at 7s 6d per foot, all came from the Old Swan Glass Works. A fraud case later closed the factory for good.

A Map of Old Swan from 1906.
From Southgate Road ( right ) there are no residential homes, from Baden Road ( right ) there are none either. Queens Drive doesn't exist and neither are the estates beyond. The Rope Works on St. Oswalds Street is still there. Look to the bottom of the map and you can see where Springfield Street "was", before being knocked for "Edge Lane" to run right through it.

Old Swan Manor House - Circa 1850.
Built in 1715, it once stood on the west side of St Oswalds St.
pic courtesy of the LRO.

The Early Days.

The district of Old Swan was just a small village 'near Prescot'.
Father Maddocks was much affected at the spiritual destitution of the Catholic's living in Old Swan, far from Church and in many cases, far from God.
In 1835, between Old Swan and Sheil Rd not more than 20 houses are shown on a map of the district. From Sheil Rd on to the top end of London Rd was all fields except for the country road along which a stage-coach conveyed passengers. Horses were changed at Low Hill ( a small Hamlet ) and again at the Old Swan Inn.
In Old Swan , on the corner of Derby Lane, where the Barclays Bank now stands, was the West Derby Bridewell or Lock Up - right One side of Derby Lane was bounded by a hawthorn hedge and save for a cottage or two and a farm house or two, from there, right out to Knowsley and Huyton there were fields.
Petticoat Lane is now Broadgreen Road and Prescot Lane, now Prescot Road. Black Horse Lane existed, here was the famous Blacksmiths Shop - above right.
Towards Knotty Ash, on the opposite side, there were a few cottages dotted along the side of the lane. Opposite Black Horse Lane was a footpath which wended it's way across the land now occupied by the roads off Broadgreed Rd. Crows Walk it was called, it was a way to Oakhill Park, where many of the old houses still remain. At the foot of the hill by this path, you would reach Oak Vale Nurseries, which stretched right across to Mill Lane and from whence the trees were sent to all parts of the world. Derwent Road existed, one side of Derby Lane, a few shops between there and Greenfield Rd and on to Stanley where was the then new Cattle Market. St. Annes Protestant Church was built in 1831 and on the east side of it were two or three little streets. The opposite side was occupied by farms. Opposite Green Lane there was a school called Salisbury House and from there, up to St. Oswald's St ( then Edge Lane ) there were a row of cottages with long gardens. Behind these and taking there names from the near by quarries were Rock Mount ( North and South ), Rock View and Rock St.
Rock St. emerged into St. Oswald's St, parallel with it was Victoria Place and next to that was the Rope Works.
On the Church side of St. Oswald's St there were a row of cottages, with long gardens which came up to the railings of the present Infant School. Past the Rope Works there were the fields belonging to Elm House. Elm House stood between Elmshouse Rd and Edge Lane Drive. This description gives us an idea what the area was like around 1840.
Opposite Gorton Rd in Broadgreen Road there were two or three cottages. In one of these, Fr Maddocks Lived. He said Mass for more than two years, every Sunday, in an outhouse and it is recorded that so great was the attendance that the windows were left open so that the cowds, kneeling outside on the cobblestones could hear mass.

The land for the St. Oswald's Church was a gift from Mr. edward Chaloner of Oak Hil House.
At the end of 1839 the foundation stone of St. Oswald's church was laid, the contract being given to a firm called Myers and Architect being Mr A W Pugin. St. Oswald's Church took over two years to build, in the meantime, Fr Maddocks secured the little house, next to the Church. The cost to build St. Oswald's Church, as Fr Maddocks has it, was somewhat over £5,000.
Fr Maddocks then built a Presbytery for himself, a very unpretentious place.
It is now part of the Convent Of Mercy. The original Priest's house can be clearly defined within the Convent.
There were four rooms, two upstairs and two downstairs. A door led into the school ( now the Parish Hall and the lean-to at the side of the house was where the Canon stabled his Donkey.
Here he lived in great poverty. In fact he seems to have no care for himself at all but he was brimming with good nature and very fond of the children of the parish, who crowded round him whenever they saw him. His charity ws so great that his housekeeper often had to hide even his clothes for fear he would give them all away.
The building of the church was the reason for calling this part of Edge Lane - St. Oswald's St. 
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