Baines's Lancashire Directory of 1825 says of Wavertree: "Here is a well at which charitable contributions were anciently collected, bearing the following monkish inscription in antique letters -
Qui non dat quod Habet
Doemon Infra Ridet. Anno 1414.
Which may be thus freely translated: -
He who here does nought bestow
The Devil laughs at him below".
Moss's Liverpool Guide of 1796 had gone further, suggesting that "an old monastic looking house" alongside had been "inhabited by some religious order, who might thus request alms towards their support".
Legends about the Monks Well abound, and most of the stories involve secret passageways: leading either to Childwall 'Abbey' (which never was an abbey) or Childwall Priory (which was a farmhouse near the present Fiveways junction) or the Bishop Eton Monastery (which was only established in the 1840s) or even the Rose Brewery in Picton Road! It seems likely that such legends were sparked off by Victorian children, who spotted the inlet tunnel already referred to, and the outlet pipe which would have channelled the surplus water into Wavertree Lake alongside (where the children's playground is today).