Charles Berrington, builder

Stop at the top of Hereford Road, where it meets Charles Berrington Road. All the roads on this estate - with the exception of Charles Berrington Road itself - were named after cathedrals or minsters: Peterborough, Hereford, Lichfield, Newcastle, etc. The reason for this was that Berrington's cousin - and foreman joiner - was Charles Litchfield, whose name therefore inspired not just one but nine separate street names!

Now walk to the left along Charles Berrington Road. It is unusual for the name of a builder to be commemorated in such a direct way: such lengthy street names more usually referring to political or similar personalities. Apparently the less-ostentatious name 'Berrington Road' was originally suggested, but vetoed by the Council because of possible confusion with Barrington Road which is not far away.

Charles Berrington was born in Bedfordshire in 1848. His mother was a lacemaker, and the travellers who took the finished pieces in exchange for more cotton told tales of Liverpool where the streets were 'paved with gold'. Charles's opportunity to visit the city came when one of his nephews decided to emigrate to America. Using horses and a wagon borrowed from the family farm, Charles gave him a lift to the docks, probably intending to return with goods for sale. Having arrived in Liverpool, however, Charles found the business opportunities irresistible, and set up as a teamster and stevedore in Toxteth.

His move into house-building came in the 1890s. It was unusual for an Englishman to break into this Welsh-dominated industry, but Berrington was perhaps inspired by the contrast between the Liverpool slums and the 'model' village of Cardington where he had grown up. After building in the Aigburth district, he acquired this Heathfield Park estate, between Church Road and Heathfield Road, and established a builder's yard in Woolton Road nearby.

The last house on the right-hand side of Charles Berrington Road - No.66, which at one time had a wooden balcony - is listed in old street directories as the 'Heathfield Park Estate Office', owned by the Executors of Charles Berrington. This is a reminder that, when they were first built, the houses were all rented; owner occupation being very uncommon in Liverpool before the 1930s. Berrington himself died in Bedford in 1910, leaving assets valued at over £330,000. (Isaac Dilworth, by comparison, had left only £5,000).

At the far end of Charles Berrington Road, stop outside the modern semi-detached house called 'The Kings Mill': No.35 Beverley Road. Look up at the front gable of No.36, opposite, and you will see the builder's name commemorated yet again: 'Charles Berrington Villas 1910'.

The above is an extract from 'DISCOVERING HISTORIC WAVERTREE',
. © Mike Chitty 1999.
If you have any queries, memories, old photographs or other information
about Wavertree, or comments on our site, please contact us

Home page                    Return to Map 12                  Return to Key Map                  Next page

Page created by MRC 26 February 2000.