Walton, originally known as Walton-on-the-Hill, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, is an area situated to the north of Anfield and the east of Bootle and Orrell Park. Historically part of Lancashire, it is largely residential, with a diverse population.
Walton has a history of animal attractions. In 1884 the Liverpool Inner City Zoological Park & Gardens opened on what is now the Cavendish Retail Park. Its star attraction was "Pongo", a chimpanzee who lived in the Monkey House. The Zoo itself was known for its large bronze Liver Birds which sat atop of the entrance gates, and its splendid beauty. The gardens closed in the early 1900s and the only surviving remains is the Ticket Booth, which is now a cafe beside The Plough public house. The Rice Lane City Farm is also housed in Walton, this is situated at the end of Rawcliffe Road.
The Prince of Wales pub on Rice Lane, which has the nickname of "The Sod House", was given the nickname by King Edward VII, who after making a royal visit to the previously mentioned Zoo, entered the establishment for refreshments, and proclaimed the pub to be a "Sod House" for reasons unknown. An alternative, or perhaps associated, explanation is that the landlord used clods of earth ("sods") draped over the beer barrels to keep the beer cool. He would water the sods and heat would be drawn from the barrels as the water evaporated.
The Shell Garage on Rice Lane (now Elite Fleet Car Dealership) was once the Official Workshop of Ferrari for their raceteam when competing at Aintree Grand Prix course in the 1950s.
Remains of Town Hall
Walton-on-the-Hill`s Town Hall was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Queens Drive fly-over. Though no longer there, the side wall, which includes the name etched in stone, still stands on the northbound side of the A59 at the fly-over. The wall is currently owned by a garage which occupies the space.
Walton also housed the now demolished Queens Drive Baths, which until 1981, was "Olympic Standard" in its size. The Baths and Washhouse, as it was then called, opened in 1909 and remained an iconic late-Victorian boothed pool until its radical renovation. In 1929, 25 September, Marjorie Hinton set the record for the 200 yard breaststroke in its main (olympic) pool.
Grace Road Barracks TA Centre also existed in Walton until the 1980s/1990s.
Walton was also once the location of Walton Hospital, on Rice Lane. Several famous Liverpudlians, including Sir Paul McCartney of Beatles fame, were born at the hospital. The hospital was also a regional centre for neurology and neurosurgery. However, as demand for services continued to increase, the capacity for patient`s at the relatively small Walton Hospital site decreased and in 1998, all services were later transferred to the newly-built The Walton Centre, located on the same site as Aintree University Hospital in Fazakerley.
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