Heritage Challenge: Land & Growing Histories

5th Mar 2021, 2:00pm

We are on the search for local history enthusiasts to join us to delve into, and share learning about Bootle’s heritage as an agricultural community and how the land we now live on was once used. 

Long before the industrial revolution brought heavy industry to the boroughs of Bootle and Linacre the areas were enlarged and where used for farming. We think this was food crops like cabbage, potato and carrots, and also crops like Flax used to make Linen. We would like to unearth our local heritage to inspire and start collective thinking about our shared past. 

Your mission should you choose to accept it… 

Working alongside Camilla from Bootle and Sefton Community History Group and Human Libraries’ Participation Producer, Laura Yates, we are looking for local people to join in researching Bootle’s heritage. To inspire you when starting your research journey, Laura has recorded a reading of the book ‘The Story of Crosby, Sefton and Litherland’ by Charles L. Lamb, written in 1936. The book delves into our ancestors’ pasts as self-sufficient hunters and gathers, before discussing the improvements in agricultural techniques and farming, which lead to growing practices and changed the landscape of the area. 

The first challenge of 2021 is to do as much digging as possible about the link between Linacre and agricultural use of land in the area, and imagine what life was like for our ancestors, and the comparison to present day. 

As the library is closed we are unable to access resources there, but you can start to try and paint a picture of the area then through online resources — we’ve made a list for you below of some interesting ones: 

Old maps are available to view and search from the National Libraries of Scotland. Just click on ‘Find a Place’ and write in the name of the area. It will give you a list of zoomable maps usually stretching back to the mid-1800s. Access resource here.

Martin Greeney who is a historian with a particular interest in topography and ancient history has some interesting information about the borough Access here.

There are also other places you can search to find out information about the agricultural past of Sefton through the Sefton Looking Back’s website. Access here.

Sefton Historic Settlement document from Merseyside Historic Charictarisation Project. Assess Here.

British History online: ‘The parish of Sefton: Introduction, church and charities’. Assess here.

New and Old Map Slider Access here.

Medieval Landscapes and Estates by J.M. Lewis. Assess here.

Historic Farmsteads Preliminary Character Statement North West: Access here.

If you don’t want to join the online group but still want to take part, please still submit your ideas, research, and thoughts to us either via phone, email, or Facebook messenger and help us to build a picture of rural.

Join us to share your stories and research or just listen to a tale or two from Sefton gone by at the Bootle and Sefton Community History Group online meeting on Friday 5th March at 2 pm. Drop us an email at humanlibraries@gmail.com or text/Whatsapp 077751240427 and we’ll share a Zoom link with you before the meeting. You can also register your interest with Camilla via the Bootle and Sefton History Group on Facebook.