Monday, 31 January 2011

Loggerheads Tavern and Causeway-lane

Click on above map to enlarge

On the first De Quincey dérive, we discussed whether De Quincey would have been walking over open field to the North Shore on his trips to the river from Everton where he was staying in 1803. I discovered the above map which shows that he could have walked down a lane from Everton which corresponds to today's Everton Brow called Causeway Lane. Herdman's painting below shows such a lane out of the village:

The photograph below of Everton Brown taken on the dérive is a present day view looking towards where Herdman painted the above picture of Everton Village:

If you look at the above map you will notice a building called Loggerheads which would have been located below the present-day Everton Brow on Richmond Row which still exists. Below is Richmond Row which I will return in more detail in a later post:

The tavern no longer exists but would have been a feature which De Quincey would have seen on any walk from Everton down to the North Shore. Here is a description of the Loggerheads Tavern from Richard Brooke's Liverpool as it was During the Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century 1853:

The Loggerheads Tavern is also mentioned in a book called Recollections of Liverpool by a Nonagenarian. The author refers to the Liverpool born poet Felicia Hemans being friendly with the author's friends The Nicholsons who ran the tavern. Felicia as a young Ms Browne was encouraged to write by Mr Nicholson. Mr Nicholson eventually turned the tavern into a private residence but by the 1830's it had reverted back to the "Loggerheads Tavern Revived".

The above is detail from a painting by W.G. Herdman of Liverpool from Everton 1774. Kay Parrott in her excellent book Pictorial Liverpool: The Art of W.G. & William Herdman states that the dome in the wood in painting is possibly a summer house in the garden of the Loggerheads Tavern.

This is what Robert Syers says about Causeway-lane and the Loggerhead Tavern:

The road called Everton-brow has, from time immemorial, been the main passage from Liverpool to Everton; its first known name was Causeway-lane, afterwards it long went by the name of Loggerhead-lane, and for the last forty years it has been styled Everton-brow, until recently, the lower or west end has been honoured with the more dignified title of the Crescent. This road was formerly narrow, and in poor plight. It may serve to give an insight into its former state, and also to shew some other points connected with the neighbourhood of that thoroughfare, to use the words of an elderly gentleman, who well remembered the circumstances of which he treats; "The communication (from Everton) with Liverpool was through a deep sandy lane, the cops or hedges on each side not being many yards asunder, nor was there any parapet or foot path to accommodate pedestrians : just within the limits of Liverpool, at a long low house, where the late Mr. Nicholson long resided, was a small ale-house, near to a dyer's pond the latter surrounded with willows. This public-house was called the Loggerheads, and was of much celebrity in former days, which it first obtained from the civility of the landlady, and the choice and nourishing qualities of the viands and beverage she dispensed; the sign was two heads, the motto, ' We three logger- heads be.' " The informant somewhat cynically goes on to say, " Whether or not the sign was intended as a perpetual monitor to the nobles of Everton, history has left us in the dark." The same house has recently been again licensed, and is now open to the public under the name of "The Loggerheads Revived." The History of Everton 1830.

The name Loggerheads used to be common name for taverns and is alluded to in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Act Two Scene 3. The tavern sign would have shown two wooden heads with the inscription; "We three loggerheads" as can be seen in the above sign at the present-day pub in Loggerheads in North Wales. According to the Dictionary of Pub Signs; "The visitor was supposed to fall into the trap of asking where the third one was, immediately falling into the trap of becoming one himself. A variation was to say that the third man was inside having a drink. Picture of two asses were sometimes used instead of the thick log like heads." See also The Pub in Literature: England's altered state By Steven Earnshaw page 57 for mention of loggerheads in Shakespeare's Henry 1V.

I came across an interesting article on Richard Wilson in the Somerset House Gazette and Literary Museum dated 24th July 1824 which discusses the above Loggerheads sign from the North Wales pub which he painted.

Another take on the meaning of the sign can be found in Reuben Percy, Thomas Byerly, John Timbs The Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction: Volume 28 - Page 194 1836; "The sign of the Three Loggerheads, is two wooden heads, with this inscription : — " Here we three loggerheads be ;" the reader being the third."

Below is an extract from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night edited by Horace Henry Furness which has a detailed note on the meaning of loggerheads: Click on image to enlarge:

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