Here was also a pleasant walk over the Moss Lake Fields to Edge Hill. Where the Eye and Ear Infirmary stands there was a stile and a foot-path to the Moss Lake Brook, across it was a wooden foot bridge. The path afterwards diverged to Smithdown-lane. The path-road also went on to Pembroke-place, along the present course of Crown-street. I have heard my father speak of an attempt being made to rob him on passing over the stile which stood where now you find the King William Tavern. He drew his sword ( a weapon commonly worn by gentlemen of the time) which so frightened the thieves that they ran away, and, in their flight, went into a pit of water, into which my father also ran in the darkness which prevailed. The thieves roared loudly for help, which my father did not stop to accord them. He, being a good swimmer, soon got out, leaving the thieves to extricate themselves as they could. There were several very pleasant country walks which went up to Low-hill through Brownlow-street, and by Love-lane ( now Fairclough-lane). I recollect going along Love-lane many a time with my dear wife, when we were sweethearting. We used to go to Low-hill and thence along Everton-road ( then called Everton-lane), on each side of which was a row of large trees, and we returned by Loggerhead's-lane (now Everton Crescent), and so home by Richmond-row, ( called after Dr. Sylvester Richmond, a physician greatly esteemed and respected.) I recollect very well the brook that ran along the present Byrom-street, whence the tannery on the right-hand side was supplied with water.
…It does not require a man to be very old to remember the pleasant appearance of Moss Lake Fields, with the Moss Lake Brook, or Gutter, as it was called, flowing in their midst. The fields extended from Myrtle-street to Paddington, and from the top of Mount Pleasant or Martindale’s-hill, to the rise at Edge-hill. The brook ran parallel with the present Grove-street, rising somewhere about Myrtle-street. In olden times, before coal was in general use, Moss Lake Fields were used as a “Turbary,” a word derived from the French word Tourbiere, a turf field. ( From the way that the turf is dried we have our term topsy turvy, i.e., top side turf way). Sir Edward More, in his celebrated rental, gives advice to his son to look after “his turbary.” The privilege of turbary, or “getting turf,” was a valuable one, and was conferred frequently on the burgesses of towns paying scot and lot. I believe turf, fit for burning, has been obtained from Moss Lake Fields even recently. Just where Oxford-street is now intersected by Grove-street, the brook opened out into a large pond, which was divided into two by a bridge and road communicating between the meadows on each side. The bridge was of stone of about four feet span, and rose above the meadow level. The sides of the approach were protected by wooden railings, and a low parapet went across the bridge. Over the stone bridge the road was carried when connection was opened to Edge-hill from Mount Pleasant, and Oxford-street was laid out. When the road was planned both sides of it were open fields and pastures. The first Botanic Gardens were laid out in this vicinity; they extended to Myrtle-street, the entrance Lodge stood nearly on the site of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum. In winter the Moss Lake Brook usually overflowed and caused a complete inundation. On this being frozen over fine skating was enjoyed for a considerable space. The corporation boundary line was at this side of the brook. In summer the volunteers sometimes held reviews upon these fields, when all the beauty and fashion of the town turned out to witness the sight. At this time all the land at the top of Edge-hill was an open space called the Greenfields, on part of which Edge-hill church is built. Mason-street was merely an occupation lane. The view from the rising ground, at the top of Edge-hill, was very fine, overlooking the town and having the river and the Cheshire shore in the background. Just where Wavertree-lane, as it was called, commences there was once a large reservoir, which extended for some distance towards the Moss Lake Fields, Brownlow-hill Lane being carried over it.
…This bridge has lately been a subject of remark, it having been laid bare in making some excavations for houses in Oxford-street. But this bridge is not the one alluded to previously which was constructed of wood, and was merely a foot-bridge, whence two paths diverged to Edge-lane and Smithdown lane.