Many roads were obliterated as a result of the Liverpool to Wallasey tunnel being built in the last 1960s but some have survived, remembering a long gone hamlet which gave the name to the traditional Scouse phrase of ‘going for a bevvy’ (aka pint, few ales, few scoops etc etc).
300 years ago the built up area of Liverpool stopped at the corner of Tithebarn Street and Vauxhall Road, where the ‘road to Ormskirk’ began. This routed along the line of the current Marybone and Gardners Row then forked with one road heading towards Kirkdale (now Limekiln Lane) and the other to Walton and Ormskirk (now Scotland Road).
The place where the road forked gives rise to the current street name of Bevington Bush, which was a tiny hamlet consisting of no more than an inn and handful of cottages. The place was an idyllic place in the late 18th Century for sailors to take ladies for a stroll and a drink, away from the dirtiness of the town to somewhere with wonderful views of Everton Heights. Bevington Street and Bevington Hill also remember the hamlet, while the romantically named street of Summer Seat gives an idea of what used to go on in the immediate area.
In the early 1800s road improvements led to the road to Ormskirk being connected to Byrom Street, leading to the Bevington Bush road becoming a minor thoroughfare. Liverpool’s rapid development led to Bevington Bush being on the outskirts of the growing town by 1810, then in the 1820s it was completely swamped by the court properties that were built to its south – Burlington Street, Eldon Street, Paul Street and Naylor Street amongst others.
There was an indication of which way the area was heading in the Liverpool Mercury of 3rd April 1818 when it was reported that the foundation stone of a church would soon be laid in Bevington Bush which was ‘principally for the accommodation of the poorer class of parishioners.’ Around the same time, there was a rush of house sales in the area, with merchants who had properties with gardens selling up, the buyers often being builders who would pack in as many people as possible o maximise rent revenue.
The old hamlet may be long gone, but the legacy remains as Bevington Bush gave the origin to the Scouse term ‘going for a bevvy’, or to have a pint of beer. It may have been nearly 200 years ago but the phrase is still going strong.