Gateacre at the turn of the century

This image shows the Wilson Memorial Fountain on Gateacre Village Green at the beginning of the 20th century. John Hays Wilson, of Lee Hall, was Chairman of the Liverpool Water Committee and was involved in the plan to construct Lake Vyrnwy. He died in 1881, before the project began, and this memorial was erected by 'the people of Gateacre' on land presented by Andrew Barclay Walker. In the background can be seen Gateacre railway station (allegedly).


Bear and Staff

Black Bull

The Gateacre Hall Hotel was demolished during 2003/4 but during demolition a time capsule was found.


Unitarian Church

St Stephen's

Recreation Ground

Lee Park

The demolition of the Minister Blocks - 13 September 1992

Gateacre Railway Station

Gateacre Station was situated on what was originally the Cheshire Lines Committee's North Liverpool Extension Line which connected its main Liverpool to Manchester line to the north Liverpool docks at Huskisson by skirting through rural land to the east of Liverpool - at the time Gateacre was a small rural village. The line opened between 1879 and 1880 An 1887 Junction diagram shows the station being referred to as Gateacre & Woolton

On 1st September 1884 a further extension of the route opened to Southport Lord Street although it this line ran into difficulties at an early stage. It failed its first inspection in December 1883 so did not open until 1884. Its indirect route and longer journey time meant that this line was not very successful. Low passenger numbers forced the Cheshire Lines Committee's parent companies to save the line from bankruptcy (not being able to pay its debts) in 1888. The Cheshire Lines Committee's service became even slower by comparison when the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway's line switched to electric operation in 1904.

The line was always busy with goods trains going to the docks. Passenger services from Gateacre went north to Aintree Central and Southport as well as to Huskisson (the line to Aintree/Southport and the line to Huskisson split at Walton Triangle), although this latter service was cut back to Walton on the Hill as early as 1885 and ceased altogether on 1st January 1918. To the South, trains served destinations to Liverpool Central and to Manchester.

The first major service to be withdrawn was the Southport service on 7th January 1952, followed by the service to Aintree Central and Manchester on 7th November 1960. This left only the Gateacre to Liverpool Central service, which ended on 15th April 1972, supposedly as a temporary measure to facilitate the construction of the Merseyrail Loop and link lines in the City Centre. The intention was that Gateacre would reopen complete with electrification as part of this network and in the future passenger services would even reopen towards Aintree. The line from Livertpool Central did re-open as far as Garston in 1978 and to Hunts Cross in 1983 but since then nothing has happened (there is a suspicious connection with the election of Thatcher in 1979 and her attitude to public transport).

Goods traffic had steadily declined and in its later years became a single track branch running from Hunts Cross to Huskisson. The last goods trains ran in August 1975.

The line was lifted by a demolition train over a number of Sundays in early 1979.

Map of Liverpool Railways

Click on above map for further details

Today the route is part of the National Cyclway Network Route 62 - The Trans Pennine Trail. Information on the Liverpool end can be downloaded here.

Route 62 of the National Cycle Network

Stations on the Main line
  • Hunts Cross which was the junction with CLC Liverpool to Manchester line. Hunts Cross is still open today, served by electric trains

  • Gateacre (1 December 1879-15 April 1972)

  • Childwall (1 December 1879-1 January 1931).

  • Knotty Ash (1 December 1879-7 November 1960)

  • West Derby (1 December 1879-7 November 1960).

  • Clubmoor (14 April 1927-7 November 1960).

  • Walton on the Hill (1 December 1879-1 January 1918)

  • Huskisson (13 July 1880-1 May 1886).

Stations on the North branch
  • Warbreck (1 August 1929-7 November 1960).

  • Aintree Central (13 July 1880-7 November 1960).

Stations on the Southport extension
  • Aintree Central (also known as Aintree). (13 July 1880-7 November 1960).

  • Old Roan railway station. (1884)

  • Sefton and Maghull railway station, Maghull. (1884-1952).

  • Lydiate. (1884-1952).

  • Altcar and Hillhouse, (Altcar) (1884-1952).

  • Mossbridge (1884-1952).

  • Woodvale (1884-1952).

  • Ainsdale Beach (Ainsdale). (1884-1952).

  • Birkdale Palace (Birkdale). (1884-1952).

  • Southport Lord Street. (1884-1952).

Questions from the

Brain of Mensa

are now available in book form

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Go to BOM page

  • Assistance Required

    Hi my name is Jeanette Daley, was Cookson at the time. I went to Gateacre School and later I worked at Oakfield Special School for Riding for the disabled, l worked with the horses. (This was in the early 80s and there was meant to be a haunting. Of a grey lady in the house - although I never really saw anything we did hear things that were unexplainable and saw lights coming on or turning off by themselves when there would only be Fred the care taker and myself in the building and the grounds). I have tried to find information on the school but never been able to, I'd be grateful if you could help. You can reach me at