In Liverpool’s historic past, there were ancient rivers that seem to no longer exist. However, they do still exist, mostly hidden from view, flowing through underground brick built culverts.
A while ago, I posted a photograph showing one of Liverpool’s ancient river culverts having been rediscovered after many years in Garston. Whilst in the Aigburth area there are a few more ancient rivers, the “Upper Brook”, “Lower Brook” and the “River Jordan”.
The course of these rivers were changed in the 19th century to form a series of ornamental water features for the new parks being built in South Liverpool. The “Upper Brook”, sourced near Wavertree, flowed close by the Brook House pub on Smithdown Road. Emerging in Greenbank Park to form Greenbank Lake, then finally into Sefton Park at the Fairy Glen. The Brook House pub was so named because of it’s proximity to the nearby Upper Brook. Whilst the “Lower Brook” thought to be sourced in Wavertree Botanic Gardens, formed two ponds near Edge Lane, flowing on to the Grotto (caves), at Sefton Park.
The river Jordan is formed where both the “Upper Brook” and “Lower Brook” flow into Sefton Park, forming Sefton Park’s lakes and watercourses. The river Jordan then flows out from Sefton Park Lake at Aigburth Vale, vanishing beneath the main Aigburth Road dual carriageway, re-emerging above ground briefly near the gates of Otterspool Park. From here, the river vanishes below ground into brick built culverts until finally flowing into the river Mersey.
It is within Otterspool Park that most of these photographs were taken, they show the river Jordan as it emerges into Otterspool park and the otherwise unseen brick culvert can been seen if you look carefully amongst the trees and undergrowth. However the last photograph, shows the Upper Brook emerging into Greenbank Lake. The River Jordan once formed The area of the river mouth “Otters Pool” or tidal creek, near to the the former Otterspool House, whereas today, the river flows below the ground in Otterspool park and Promenade through the culverts and finally, into the River Mersey through pipes.
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