A history of Sefton Borough’s Communities

Whilst searching for the of the term origin of ‘Yort’ a while back (see my posting of 23 07 19 ‘Formby – What is a Yort?’) I happened upon this fascinating document by the Museum of Liverpool & English Heritage on the internet:-

Sefton Historic Settlement Study – Merseyside Historic Characterisation Project from 2011


Here’s the introduction to the 84 page document:-

Introduction to Historic Settlement Study

The aim of the historic settlement study was to produce a consistent pro-forma template of information on settlements identified across all the historical townships in all 5 districts of Merseyside as based on the relevant paper First Edition Ordnance Survey 6” to 1 mile maps for Lancashire (published 1848 -1851) and Cheshire (1881 – 1882) . The purpose was to help provide background information for the data capture of character area polygons and also bring together some information on known or highlight other historic settlements, many of which have been lost or disguised by urban development. It was also thought that information would be useful for alerting to areas of possible archaeological interest to support the development management advice given by Merseyside Archaeological Advisory Service to the five districts. Historic urban settlement character is one of the key priority areas for research within Merseyside and one for which there is currently least documented archaeological evidence.

What a useful historic database this is for those wanting to know more about the origins of their own Sefton community. Go on find where you lived and get to know more about it………

Formby – Hightown cycle/footpath – It’s well overgrown

A cycle down this path reasonably regularly and it has been getting more and more overgrown this summer, making it difficult in places for cyclists and pedestrians to pass each other not least because much of the overgrowth is nettles. What’s more overhanging branches are also becoming a problem.

I’ve raised the matter with Sefton Council’s Footpaths/Rights of Way Officer.

Giant U Turn? Well a small one anyway as Hightown is saved from station closure during event

Little girl and her dog near the old Mersey Tunnel entrance during the last Giants tour of Liverpool.

I blogged about this only a few days ago and it seems that public pressure has brought about some concessions regarding the number of Merseyrail Stations that will close during the The Giants Spectacular in Liverpool in a couple of weeks time. But even with these limited concessions Merseyrail and the powers that be who are organising the event have managed to cheese off a lot of the travelling public by closing stations on the network.

Hightown is one station reprieved:-

Hightown Station

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link below:-


With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting.

Liverpool – Merseyrail – The Giants and closed railway stations

Hightown Station will have no trains stopping there during The Giants event in Liverpool.

This is indeed an odd story which is carried on the Liverpool Echo’s web site – see link below


When it was first pointed out to me it read like an April 1st leg pull but there’s no joke about it, stations such as Hightown, Aughton Park and indeed many others will be closed when The Giants event is being staged in Liverpool in early October.

Unsurprisingly rail passengers who usually get a train from one of the closed stations are less than impressed and some politicians have been backing the angry rail users. But hang on a minute, Merseyrail the train operating company will surely not have made decisions about which stations to close down in complete isolation will they? Consultation will surely have taken place with event organisers and most importantly with Merseytravel (the public sector committee of Liverpool City Region which controls the Merseyrail franchise) won’t it?

On that basis surely these station closures will have had some kind of political sign off from elected representatives, or officers to who decision making of this kind has been delegated, of Merseyside’s dominant political party will they not? But then what about the station closures in West Lancashire or Ellesmere Port that are outside of the City Region, were politicians from those areas involved in the decision making process?

Is this another example of Merseyrail seemingly carrying the can for others like with the recent train guards dispute?

With thanks to Keith for the lead to this posting

Altcar Rifle Station

I blogged about this former railway station just to the north of the present Hightown Station on Merseyrail’s Northern Line between Liverpool and Southport not so long ago. My previous posting is available via the link below:-


I have now taken a photo of the remains of the former station’s platforms and it’s below. They can be clearly seen from the footpath/cycle path that runs from Hightown to Formby.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Altcar Rifle Range Station

Yes there really was once a station serving the rifle range but it closed for good in 1921.

The Station was only a third of a mile north of the present Hightown Station (on the modern-day Merseyrail Liverpool – Southport line) and if my eyes were not deceiving me I am sure I could make out the brickwork of one of the platforms when I cycled by the site recently.

The station opened in 1862 and was called ‘Hightown Rifle Station’ but was renamed ‘Altcar Rifle Range’ in 1886.

A small narrow gauge munitions tramway ran from the station into the firing range.

I recently purchased a photo of the station and here it is:-

Click on the photo to enlarge it

And here’s a present day view looking north towards where Altcar Rifle Range Station would have been from the road over-bridge where North End Lane crosses the line above Hightown Station’s platforms:-