The Wavertree Urns

In North Drive there has been some infilling of modern semis, but most of the houses date from the late 1860s. Some of them have been subdivided into flats, though nowadays there is an encouraging trend towards single-family occupation when properties change hands. Just past No.16a on the right-hand side, you will notice a very large side garden, with large rocks punctuating its uneven surface. Older residents of Wavertree remember 'Scotch Betty', an eccentric lady fond of chasing small boys out of her garden! The bumps are said to mark her dogs' graves.

Cross the road at this point and stand by the gate of No.27. Looking up at the gable-end wall of No.29, you will notice a painted terracotta urn set into the brickwork. This commemorates an intriguing discovery made when the house was being built in 1867, which put Wavertree firmly on the map of Prehistoric Merseyside. For while the foundations for this pair of semi-detached houses were being dug, the workmen uncovered a number of Bronze Age burial urns - dating from before 1000 BC - containing human remains and flint arrowheads. Several urns were smashed by over-eager treasure hunters, but two were recovered and presented to the Liverpool Museum, where they remain - as the 'Wavertree Urns' - to this day.

Walk past No.29 ('Urn House') to the adjoining No.31 ('Urn Mount') which has another terracotta urn set into the gable-end wall. Back in 1867 the two houses were being built for Patrick O'Connor, the High Street ironmonger.

The above is an extract from 'DISCOVERING HISTORIC WAVERTREE',
. © Mike Chitty 1999.
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Page created by MRC 26 February 2000.