Not so long ago I had a good look around the Poppy Fields new housing site adjacent Maghull North Station.
I was particularly looking to see what had happened to the pond/grotto that had long been within the grounds of the former Moss Side Hospital/Ashworth South Hospital. I found it and took this shot through a building contractor’s fencing:-
I recall my old former Maghull Town Councillor colleagues John Sharman and Bill Chambers talking about it, as at the time they both worked at Ashworth Hospital. I refer of course to before the Ashworth South Site closed.
I then went searching for some background information about it and came across this in a Ecological Impact Assessment of the Ashworth South Site conducted by Atkins in May 2014 as part of the planning application process for the house building*.
‘Pond 3.4.5 A large pond is located within the woodland and is approximately 400 m2 in size and considered to have poor suitability to support great crested newts (HSI score 0.47, rated poor). At the time of the survey mallards were present in the pond as well as wrapped straw bales located within the pond which are understood to be a method of controlling pond algae. A stone built grotto approximately 10 metres long is connected to the pond (TN 29). The grotto has high bat roost potential and is a known bat roost (see 3.5.2 for more details). Peacock butterfly and moth species were recorded in the grotto at the time of the survey. No evidence of bats was recorded.’
* There had been a previous planning application process as the original intended use for the site was to have been for a new prison. Indeed, the access road into the site and the traffic island on School Lane were both constructed for the new prison. However, government changed its mind and decided to stop the prison construction with the site being sold off for the housing, which is presently being built.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
I picked up a copy of a book published in 2001 called ‘Glory Days – Transport in Liverpool’ not so long ago mainly due to my interest in local railways but on page 93 I saw a 310 Ribble bus with the destination ‘Park Lane Lodge’ on it.
Photo credit Arnold Richardson/Photobus
A query to a local bus expert confirmed that the photo was indeed taken in Maghull outside Northway Primary School at the junction of Dodds Lane and Moss Lane Lane. The bus used to terminate (having come from Liverpool) in Ribble days at the junction of Park Lane and Parkbourn.
The photo is undated but the bus is noted as being a 1959 example of a Leyland Atlantean, so the shot must be from the 1960’s. Behind the bus in the far background looks to be the roofs of houses on the Lathom Avenue Estate and nearer to the bus is Northway Primary School.
My thanks to Kevin Duggan for his help with this posting
Click on the photo to enlarge it
The second phase of the new housing development on the Ashworth South Site is well underway but one matter that has puzzled a few folk, so I am told, is the huge poles which have been erected towards the eastern end of the triangular site.
Although they could be mistaken for old fashioned radio masts they are far more likely to be for netting to be hung from to stop cricket balls hitting the new luxury properties on the Pavilions development part of the Ashworth South Site. A close examination of the photo above (click on it to enlarge) will show the Moss Side Maghull cricket square being rolled ready for the 2018 season.
A corner of wall and a door have not been demolished – I wonder why? Where the major services came into the property which sit need disconnecting?
Burleigh House was a substantial property on the Ashworth South Site in Maghull, it had previously been a part of Moss Side Hospital’s grounds and was set back a few yards off Park Lane. The land is presently being redeveloped for the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates.
But why the photo and the history lessen? Well the photo struck me as odd in that the demolition of the house seems to have been stopped with 95% it already gone but the other angle goes back a while to when I was first elected to Sefton Council’s Molyneux Ward in 1999.
Probably the first contact I had as a fresh faced and enthusiastic Sefton Councillor was from an organisation called the Beechpark Initiative, an organisation covering the Beechway estate (in Melling) and the Park Lane/Parkbourn/Parkbourn Square estate (in Maghull). The Maghull/Melling Civil Parish Boundary passes right through the middle of Ashworth Hospital in case you did not know. Both these small estates (built at differing times) had originally been staff accommodation associated with the mental health hospital they still sit either side of and which is called Ashworth Hospital these days. Here’s a note from the Charity Commission’s web site about the Beechpark Initiative:-
The charity wanted to take over Burleigh House and use it to further their community and educational aims and I recall trying to help them together the then MP for Maghull of the time George Howarth. Sadly, despite our efforts and those of others too the ambitions of Beechpark to take over the house did not become a reality so it’s rather sad to see the last bit of it hanging on awaiting its seemingly inevitable end.
Click on the photo to enlarge it. It was taken on 24th March 2018 and is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-
With Thanks to Keith Page for the lea\d to this posting
Here’s my latest photo of the SUD pond between School Lane and the new houses on the presently being built Poppy Fields estate:-
We will see more of these SUD’s appearing as Maghull’s eastern urban extension starts to be built on what is presently agricultural land on the other side of School Lane, where 1,600+ houses and an industrial park are due to constructed:-
A Merseyrail Ormskirk to Liverpool train rushes past the construction site on 19th February. Seen from the Park Lane overbridge. The new Poppy Fields development is on the left and Mersey Avenue housing is to the right.
Maghull North’s controversial new twin towers (lift shafts) as seen from the School Lane overbridge also on 19th February.This shot reverses the view so Mersey Avenue is to the left and Poppy Fields to the right.
Click on the photos to enlarge them