Maghull – Bob’s Field, Bobby’s Wood or Bobbies Wood?

The photo above is of a piece of public land (maintained by Maghull Town Council but owned by Sefton Council) at the junction of Liverpool Road South and Northway (A59). If you know of it you may refer to it by one of the names at the head of this posting, but which is right and why?

I have always known of it as Bobby’s Wood but that’s just because someone told me it’s name many years ago. I never questioned it nor did I know it seeming had a very similar name (but with a different spelling) or indeed yet another name.

I guess community given names like this grow over time and if there’s more than one version doing the rounds then unless a formal title is given to the land by say a council, which then puts up a plaque/sign to that effect, then the differing names will perpetuate.

Anyway in one of my other lives, as a Maghull in Bloom volunteer, I wrote a posting for the Maghull in Bloom News Facebook Page (which was copied to the Official Maghull Community Page) recently regarding a volunteer/community activity taking place on this piece of land today Saturday 20th October.

The list of former Mayors

The posting led to this exchange with between former Town Mayor (1984/85) Maghull Rhona Simon and myself (see photo of former Mayor’s board in Maghull TH above):-

Rhona Simon – In the fifties, this area was known as Bob’s field, don’t know where Bobbie’s wood came from! I climbed my first tree there!

Tony Robertson – I wondered that too. Someone mentioned a connection to me about the Police hence Bobbies.

Rhona Simon – There was a horse called Bob that was kept in that field, hence the name. Someone else out there must remember him!

So now we know it’s name is actually Bob’s Field or at a push Bob’s Wood, it has nothing to do with Policemen or women of a previous generation.

Thanks for setting the record straight Rhona

Note: click on the photos to enlarge them

6 thoughts on “Maghull – Bob’s Field, Bobby’s Wood or Bobbies Wood?

  1. Glyn Chapman says:

    You were not alone climbing the trees, Rhona what fun it was in the 50‘s
    I know the field as Bob‘s field

  2. sandra Porter says:

    I used to play there as a child in the 60s/early 70s, with my grandad, Bill Whitehead, he lived at Broadwood Avenue, my dad used to climb the trees and even put some big nails in the trunks to help him and his mates climb them.

  3. Stuart Harrison says:

    My mums on the Past Mayors board, Hilda Harrisonn1989/1990 thanks Tony

  4. Frank Sharp says:

    The Bobby’s Wood name is a curiosity I was exploring earlier this year, and received a reliable first-hand account from my mother! She has lived at Woodend (Liverpool Road South) since she was born in 1938, and clearly recalls, that in the late 1940s, the said horse – Bobby, grazed during the daytime in the walled wood. Apparently, the horse belonged to a Mr Mitchell, who owned the grocers shop at Woodend (last shop next to Woodend Avenue, and pictured on the website ‘I grew up in Maghull,’ first picture under ‘Shops and Local Business). He would leave the horse in this wood during his working day and take it with him when he had finished work.

    However, it does not necessarily suggest an official name. Consequently, Dr John Rowlands kindly loaned me a hard copy of a Tithe map dated 1840 and an 1908 OS map (which I have had professionally scanned into a PDF format, if interested). The 1840 map indicates a huge area of woodland combined from small named woods, with ‘Bobby’s wood’ most likely to have been Broad Wood combined with what is referred to as: ‘plantations, Broadwood House/Farm, schoolyard, pleasure grounds and garden’, occupied by Mr Henry Dobson, whilst the landowner was Sir George Drinkwater. Dr Rowlands added, the occupier had been known to plant a tree for each of his newly born children. However, I think a few more trees have been added since then because there are over 30 now! Interestingly, the 1908 map does have a specific reference number which may reveal an historic name.

    Not wishing to sound too much like an anorak, but you and others may find the following web link interesting, as it provides various historic maps including the above area with the facility to zoom in, but most interestingly there is a blue toggle button on the left of the page which when you slide it provides a gradual transparency of today’s map on top of the old, if that makes sense.

    Finally, I understand from The Champion Newspaper that the council is considering a peace garden in some form in this area, in an attempt to enhance its appearance for all concerned, particularly because it is an important gateway into Maghull. The thousands of bulbs planted by the Maghull in Bloom on Saturday will be a great start.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *