Bootle’s Lost Castles project is starting to construct its castle today (Thursday August 9th) located in North Park, Bootle Leisure Centre. Volunteers are welcome to come along & get involved!
Elevation and construction: Thursday 9 August at North Park, Bootle (Bootle Leisure Centre)
Demolition: Sunday 12 August at North Park, Bootle (Bootle Leisure Centre)
Looking at Bootle’s industrialised shoreline today it can be hard to imagine a time when the town was not a busy seaport. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, Bootle was a picturesque coastal village.
In the next few years Bootle became so popular as a tourist destination it was described as ‘…the most popular bathing town on the Lancashire coast’. It became a weekend resort for Liverpool’s growing population.
William Miller, a wealthy solicitor, was one of a number of local businessmen to build seaside villas on the coast. Miller’s villa was designed to look like a castle, he also made money by hiring out bathing huts to the growing number of tourists.
By 1855 thousands of day-trippers were visiting Bootle Bay, much to the dismay of contemporary writer Henry Grazebrook:
‘…myriads of the unwashed from the purlieus of Liverpool, repair to this spot, and at high water advance boldly into the sea, male and female promiscuously, each supplied with a square of yellow soap.’
Bootle’s tourist invasion was short-lived. The lines of bathing huts and fashionable salt-water baths gave way in the 1860s to docks, warehouses and workers’ housing, expanding ever outwards from Liverpool.
How to Get Involved
We are looking for community groups, organisations and individuals to come along and help make this unique project happen.
There are a diverse range of roles to get involved with: