The Edge Lane Drive estate

Walk on past the shops and turn right into Beechtree Road. Olivetree Road, across the way, is a cul-de-sac privately developed in the 1920s, but the bulk of the housing in this area was built by Liverpool City Council. Beechtree Road and Waldgrave Road, which you will shortly reach, form part of the Edge Lane Drive housing estate, laid out following the Housing & Town Planning Act of 1919. This Act of Parliament had been inspired by Raymond Unwin, and Liverpool - with its enormous problem of slum housing and overcrowding - was one of the first cities in the country to take advantage of its subsidy provisions.

The City Council had estimated, in 1919, that 15,000 new houses were needed to alleviate the shortage of homes in Liverpool. A total of over 1,200 acres were acquired, and by 1923 over 5,000 houses had been built by the Council. The Edge Lane Drive estate comprised almost 800 houses, the scheme including the extension of Edge Lane as one of John Brodie's new dual carriageway roads and electric tram routes.

The influence of the Garden Suburb movement on the layout of this early Council estate is obvious. The houses are in short terraces, with gardens back and front and grass verges lining the streets. There were also, originally, long avenues of roadside trees, but unfortunately they were all of one species and succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s.

Standardisation of tree-planting and standardisation of house design were two aspects in which the example of the pre-war Garden Suburb was not followed, but obviously money was short and time was of the essence. In fact the City Council did not employ an architect at this time - Lancelot Keay was not appointed until 1925 - and house design was entrusted to a Surveyor, Frederick Badger, who became the city's Director of Housing in 1919.

The above is an extract from 'DISCOVERING HISTORIC WAVERTREE',
. © Mike Chitty 1999.
If you have any queries, memories, old photographs or other information
about Wavertree, or comments on our site, please contact us

Home page                    Return to Map 19                  Return to Key Map                Next page

Page created by MRC 26 February 2000.