The Horseshoe Stones

Walk along Childwall Road, following the long sandstone wall behind which is the Olive Mount Wing of Childwall Comprehensive School (originally opened as Olive Mount Secondary Modern in 1951). The dual carriageway was laid out in the 1930s along the line of an earlier road: named as 'Moss Pit Lane' on the 1851 Ordnance Survey map as it ran towards Childwall across marshy ground. Walk past the school entrance, and stop about 20 yards before the next road junction.

A careful examination of the wall at this point will reveal two unusual stones - six courses up from the ground, and 40 feet apart - each carved with a row of four horseshoes. Wavertree folklore says that 'this is where the horse thieves were hanged', or alternatively (and less dramatically) that 'Shacklady's Smithy once stood near here'. Perhaps the stones are relics of the old smithy on Wavertree Green, demolished as a result of the Enclosure Act?

When you have managed to locate the horseshoe stones, continue walking alongside the wall, and stop on the corner. On the other corner of Thingwall Road is 'Mossfield' - now a Council-run children's home - which, at the time of the 1861 Census, was the residence of Dr James Kenyon (formerly of the High Street) his wife, five children and three servants (cook, nurse and housemaid). It is one of a small group of villas - the others being 'Nos.1, 2 and 3 Thornhill', on the opposite side of Childwall Road - built here, overlooking open countryside, in the mid-nineteenth century.

The above is an extract from 'DISCOVERING HISTORIC WAVERTREE',
. © Mike Chitty 1999.
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Page created by MRC 26 February 2000.