When the Mosslake Fields were being planned, it’s quite interesting to look at land and leasowners, and other developments. Where Falkner had land leading from current Myrtle Street out to his namesake square, the owners from what was to become Abercromby included the Hollinsheads, William Roscoe, and the powerful Earle family. Before the houses were built, Roscoe had opened his amazing Botanic Gardens at the head of Oxford Street, the fashionable Wellington Assembly Rooms were built, and the early investors included the influential Gladstone clan. By the time the first residents moved in around 1820, the route up Oxford Street was already highly fashionable, with a trip to Roscoe’s Gardens an essential for any discerning visitor to Liverpool, and the impressive and luxurious gardens and houses something to be admired. Once the early fashionable residents had moved in ( John Deane Case, Robert Gladstone, Charles Pole, William Earle) the next generation of merchant princes ( The Ripleys, The Doerings) wanted to share the neighbourhood, rather than live in the ‘other square’.
Once Abercromby Square was fashionable, it’s desirability became self fulfilling, whereas the slightly later Falkner Square, arguably more beautiful, arrived at its peak once the Botanic Garden had moved. The surrounding streets (Canning, Huskisson), also very beautiful, meant slightly less exclusivity for the very wealthy, several of whom had already planned to move again, out to more rural estates and away from Town.
In terms of timing it is such a shame the nearby Anglican Cathedral came later, as visiting Falkner Square now, it’s hard to see why you would choose Abercromby over it.
I’ll admit my knowledge of the history of Falkner and his square isn’t extensive at the moment, something I think I shall need to address as I try to understand more of why this area developed as it did, and indeed whether my musings above are accurate ( and that’s all they are today, idle musings). We’ll see…