The Liscard Battery
This impressive structure which is still partially standing is one of the great land marks of the area. Nestled between
Magazine Lane and Magazine Brow, the old structure kept watch across the River Mersey as an additional line of defence
against all manner of seaborne threats.
The forts most cunning feature was not nits thick walls or heavy artillery, buts simply its location. The fort stood at the
waters edge slightly set back, but completely hidden by a variety of foliage. From the river, the fort was not visible until it
was too late and by that time it would be within firing distance. This earned the Liscard Battery the nick name of
"The Snake in the Grass". Fortunately for the local residents the fort was never fired against any enemies and as time drew
on the fort became obsolete. In 1912 the fort was sold to the Liverpool Yatch Club and over the years it has fallen into a
sorry state of repair. In addition to this many houses now occupy the site, both inside and outside of the forts walls.
The houses opposite the fort still stand and also play a part in the history of the Liscard Battery. The officers from the fort
lived opposite in the red sandstone house. Many of the houses along the road are extremely old, one even dating to 1747.
The remains of the soldiers toilets can still be seen. They are accessed by walking through private property so i would not
recommend that this be done with out prior permission. Many years ago i was carrying out a survey in one of the houses at
the back of the fort, i believe it was called "Malindi". The owner was telling me that the toilets belongs to the soldiers in the
fort and that his house was used as some sort of mess or quarters for them. He also told me that under his carpet in the
living room was a trap door which ran into the fort, however the tunnel was already blocked up prior to him moving in. The
story of the toilets checked out to be true and I was given a guided tour where I took several photographs. The one thing
that stood out the most about them was the size, you cannot see it in the photographs but they are extremely small in
height compared to todays utilities. The toilets are still in good condition but i do not know who owns them or if they
belonged to the soldiers or officers from the battery.
Britain was just coming out of the Indian colonies mutiny and
was strengthening it defensive positions especially for the
supply lines of shipping. The River Mersey was already
protected by Fort Perch rock but it was decided to built
another structure which could train its guns on all vessels
within the Mersey.
A spot at the rivers edge in New Brighton was selected. The
area was just opposite the now dismantled powder
Work began in 1858 on the project and the large fort was
completed built from locally quarried heavy red sand stone.
The fort was an impressive defensive structure capable of
holding seven 10 inch guns and a small detachment of the
55th Royal Artillery.
In those days the gunners of the fort would have wore a
smart navy blue frock as opposed to a full dress tunic. Each
of the uniforms had a red stripe down the leg complete with
brass buttons and smart black shoes. The officers of the time
would have wore a white belt and sash.
When the fort was first constructed the mens head wear
would have consisted of fur busby hats. This was later
replaced in 1878 with a blue-cloth covered helmet complete
with spike, which was again replaced in 1881 with a ball.
The area has recently been granted conversation status in June 2008 by Wirral Borough Council which is certainly a step in
the right direction.. We can now only hope that the remains of the fort and the small pieces of history around it are not
allowed to fall into disrepair like so much of Wirrals other history