(Continued from previous page):

On 19th April 1939, the 4th Marquess of Salisbury and his company - Gascoyne Cecil Estates - transferred six "pieces or parcels of land" to the Liverpool Corporation. These included the Cistern Pit (featured in our May 2021 Newsletter) as well as the Black Wood. It is not clear whether the land was given or sold, but it seems likely that it was a gift in return for the right to develop the rest of the Gascoyne Cecil Estates' land in the vicinity. Various covenants were imposed. The Corporation was to "keep, maintain and preserve the same in perpetuity as [public] open spaces" and, in the case of Black Wood it was to "preserve and keep the trees thereon in a proper manner and in accordance with the practice of good forestry".

Black Wood remained as a much-appreciated public amenity until sadly, in February 2020, a falling branch caused the death of Mr Don Baxter while walking his dog. The result was that the City Council had to carry out a thoroughgoing safety assessment, and the Wood was closed for over a year while the necessary remedial work was undertaken. Reopened in April 2021, it will hopefully remain accessible to the public for many decades to come.

Above: An extract from the OS Six-inch Map (Lancashire Sheet CXIV) published in 1849. 'Gateacre Road' is present-day Woolton Road. The dotted line marked 'Undefined' is the Childwall/Little Woolton township boundary.

The present-day OS street map of the same area

Right: Black Wood, pictured in April 2021
© Mike Chitty, The Gateacre Society

Left: The Conveyance relating to the transfer of Black Wood and other land to Liverpool Corporation in 1939

The assistance of Alan David Wilson in the preparation of this article is gratefully acknowledged by the author, Mike Chitty

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Page created 15 Jun 2021 by MRC