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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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Dale Street

dale st

Dale Street is one of Liverpool’s earliest, and still most important important today with its one way roaring traffic as it was in early medieval times when it led away from the centre of the old borough, down into the "dale" at the head of the creek of Liverpool.

dale streetIn the area of what is now the old Mersey Tunnel entrance, the medieval track, the lane - dipped into a shallow valley which is where it gets its name - and across up the hill to London Road, the way to Warrington and all points south. In the mid 19th century sewer excavations uncovered a wild boar’s head in this vicinity, so you can imagine how rural this area was.

dale streetIt is first mentioned in a deed of 1328 in the reign of Edward III and like the other medieval streets, the townsfolk had their plots originally assigned by the King’s Bailiff. Henceforth these were known as burgage plots, strips of land with a dwelling in front and a garden behind. It was these plots, as they gradually became used for other purposes, that provided the most important element in the structure of the town’s layout into the early 18th century. Plot owners names were often associated with the new streets and lanes built through them.. Hattons Gardens, Cross Hall Street etc.

dale streetDale Street remained for much of its life a narrow and crowded thoroughfare, little wider than today’s Cable Street. However, by the 19th century, something had to be done and at great expense, Dale Street was widened several times. It was also the principal location for the large packhorse and coaching inns which provided lodgings and board for travellers and changes of horse for the coaches. . These included names long gone such as the Saracen’s Head, the Golden Lion, the Golden Fleece, the Woolpack - all taken down during the commerical expansion of the 19th century.

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