Saturday, 1 October 2011

A Roscoe tour of Liverpool. Part 1

Lime St, Mount Pleasant, Roscoe St, Rodney St 
and Renshaw St

Many visitors to Liverpool arrive in the city at Lime St station, and it’s there we'll begin our tour. 

Lime St Station, Liverpool. © Copyright Stephen McKay 2011. 

We’ll start with lunch after the journey, so…...from the station go left along Lime St, past Copperas Hill (on your left) to the next major junction. Go left up Mount Pleasant, the road on which William Roscoe was born in 1753.

Roscoe Memorial Gardens
On your right, however, is the site of his grave, the Roscoe Memorial Gardens, formerly the site of the Renshaw St Unitarian Church (1811-1899), attended by the Roscoes.   

 In the Roscoes’ day, Mount Pleasant was a popular thoroughfare, leading past fields and gardens as well as rope walks, to the viewpoint of Martindale’s Hill, as it was then known. William wrote a poem about it, Mount Pleasant  when he was a young apprentice in the legal profession. His father and mother, William and Elizabeth Roscoe ran pubs here,

The Old Bowling Green, William Roscoe's birthplace (engraved R Wallis, after S Austin).
first the Bowling Green,  up by the junction with Hope St, and then the  New Bowling Green, nearer town, adjacent to which they opened a market garden. William’s sister Margaret Roscoe was born in the new pub in 1754. Neither of the pubs have survived. 

Nowadays this heavily built-up road will lead you not to a rural scene but to the groves of academe--aka the University of Liverpool. Before that, however, with the Metropolitan Cathedral in plain sight ahead of you, take the third on the right, Roscoe St, and go down here to the Roscoe Head public house, serving food and real ale, near the junction with Leece St.
Roscoe Head public house, Roscoe St, Liverpool
 Roscoe St was so named by the 1820s; further down are Roscoe Lane and Roscoe Place. There were murmurs that Roscoe deserved a finer thoroughfare, and after his death in 1831, it was suggested that what we now know as Lime St be renamed Roscoe St. Obviously this did not happen; but although the street itself is not the most picturesque of places, the Roscoe Head is a friendly pub. 

 The inn sign hanging outside is based on the portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shee of William Roscoe— of which more later, when we reach the Walker Art Gallery. 

 Up Leece St now, to Rodney St, named after the naval hero Admiral Lord George Rodney
Rodney St, Liverpool.(Photo on Flickr, by calflier001
William and Jane Roscoe lived in Rodney St in the 1780s-1790s. William was then working as a partner in the law firm of Aspinwall, Roscoe and Lace, attorneys-at-law, and he and his partners Samuel Aspinwall and Joshua Lace were involved in the first developments in the street. This superb example of Georgian domestic architecture is now part of the Rodney St conservation area.

From here we need to go back into the city centre. Head down Leece St,, then right, onto Renshaw St. On the corner of Renshaw St and Oldham St, another pub, the Roscoe Arms

The Roscoe Arms, Liverpool, (opposite the Dispensary pub)
Now I know the Roscoes’ circle liked a drink, but I think we’d better keep a clear head, as it's statues and pictures next! So, onwards and —well, downwards, actually, towards Lime St once more……………

(to be continued)

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