The Friends of Everton Park launched an historic and broad-ranging heritage trail in 2012. A decade on, it remains a fascinating circular walk for those wanting to visit what is now the green roof of Liverpool. The top park that sits above Netherfield Road and below Heyworth Street is an historic strip of land that conjures up contrasting subject areas from its 1644 English Civil War links to the 1879 birthplace of big-time football on Merseyside. The circular route, just over a mile long, presently features 12 boards, each providing a fascinating insight into the ancient, social and football history of the district as well as encompassing the most spectacular view in Liverpool from the summit of Everton ridge.
Friends of Everton Park trustee John Hutchison said: “The Everton Park Heritage Trail remains a favourite and well-visited local attraction, a facility that visitors from all over the city can enjoy as well as incoming tourists.”
Local resident Jim Fearns added: “Just to take in the uninterrupted view from up there of the city below, the River Mersey, the Wirral Peninsula and the Welsh Hills is a wonderful thing. Of course, this unique view of the city is the very reason why Prince Rupert brought thousands of Royalist troops to Everton in 1644, the perfect vantage point to plan his attack on the town of Liverpool where the Parliamentarian defenders faced a devastating outcome.
“This story is naturally featured in detail on one of the boards and the military theme continues with an insight into four men with powerful Everton connections whose valour in battle secured each of them a Victoria Cross salute.”
Of course, the modern Everton Park is just as famous for its former steep terraced streets where up to 200,000 people once lived in back-to-back terraced houses in one of the most densely populated areas of the country at that time. These residents were swept to all corners of the city during the controversial 1960s clearance programme. They have found a voice through the ‘Lost Tribe of Everton & Scottie Road’ memories project, inspired by the books of journalist and author Ken Rogers, another Friends of Everton Park trustee, who said: “Visitors walking the trail can stop at any point belong the way and think about the social history of the district that went before, or remember loved parents and grandparents The foundations of many of the old terraced streets tantalisingly lay under the park’s sweeping green slopes.
“People come from all over the city, indeed from all over the world, to this special green space to try and plot the actual front door sites of their former family homes. “John Hutchison concluded: “The aim is to encourage people to walk the trail themselves because this really is a special strip of land with such an amazing history.”