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Raynor, Caroline (2011) SMITHDOWN LANE, CORPORATION STABLE YARDS, Merseyside Building Survey Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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An investigation of the northern block of Smithdown Lane Stable Yard, Merseyside (NGR SJ 3634 9014), was undertaken by Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) at the request of
RA Fisk & Associates. The work was required to provide a mitigative record of the building in advance of its partial demolition as part of a residential development constructing student homes. The work was undertaken in accordance with a project design (Appendix 1) which required the implementation of a Level 3 building survey (English
Heritage 2006) of the buildings that will be demolished; the project design was checked and sanctioned by the Merseyside Archaeologist. This report sets out the results of the
investigation relating to the extant northern section of the stable yard in the form of a short document with accompanying photographs and plans. Historical Background: the location and development of the corporation stables at
Smithdown Lane, Liverpool can, in part, be attributed to the development of public health, and the land for the stables was purchased in 1866 by the Liverpool Health Committee to
provide carts to remove waste off the streets of the town. The stables were constructed in 1867 by Mr William Tomkinson and Messrs Richard and Norton; by 1870 the corporation
stables were firmly established at Smithdown Lane and a number of businesses had sprung up alongside the stables which furnished the stable yard with provisions. The demands on the stables were considerable, leading to ongoing improvements, and expansions were undertaken in 1872, 1881 and 1892. By 1935, despite the increasing usage of motor vehicles, a census showed that there were still more than 5000 heavy horses working in and around Liverpool, but by the mid 1940s the need to compete with motor vehicles for speed and efficiency in delivery and logistics was increasing and led to an increasing number of businesses turning to motor vehicles and abandoning the traditional horse and cart. In 1984, under the Hatton regime, the role of Lord Mayor was abolished and the mayor’s coach, then housed at the stables, was moved to Croxteth Hall where it was placed on
display to the general public. Following this, the stables lay vacant and the western block
was demolished at the end of 2000 in anticipation of student accommodation developments.
Building Survey Results: The building survey identified four principal phases of development relating to the existing structures. Phase 1 of the building was the Yardman’s
House (69 Smithdown Lane) constructed in 1868. Phase 2 of the present structure was in the 1880s and entails much of the extant stable block, yard and ancillary buildings. Phase
3 (c 1890s) is represented by the addition of the cook house at the north-east limit of the extant northern block. Phase 4 was the alteration to the second phase buildings in order to allow more than one business to operate out of the same stable block. This entailed the closing of some doors and the creation of others to provide two self-contained units.
Recommendations: the building complex is a survival of late nineteenth century corporation architecture, but has no listed building status and, as such, is not classified as
one of the more significant buildings within Liverpool. The condition of the building is beyond economic repair and, consequently, it has been proposed by the developer for
demolition. The present building survey has provided a mitigative record of the stable buildings in the event that they are demolished. Beneath the structure there is the potential for remains and foundations relating to the early
phases of the stable yard complex and also tunnels constructed by Joseph Williamson.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Merseyside
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2022 11:17
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 11:17
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6551

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