WATERLOO: A Great Place to Live,Visit and Invest
Waterloo is located 15 minutes by a frequent train service or by car from Liverpool and all the attractions that a major cultural World Heritage City has to offer. www.visitliverpool.com. It is four miles to the national motorway network offering easy access to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport. It is within a two hour drive from four National Parks, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District and Snowdonia.
Waterloo enjoys a stunning setting on the estuary of the Mersey. To the west it is bounded by Crosby Coastal Park with its three mile long sandy beach which features “Another Place” – known locally as the Iron Men – a world class piece of modern sculpture by Sir Antony Gormly. It is also home to Lakeside Adventure Centre and Crosby Leisure Centre To the east, Rimrose Valley Country Park and Leeds-Liverpool canal form a distinctive boundary.
Before 1815, Waterloo consisted of a few fishermen’s cottages and farms known locally as ‘Crosby Seabank’. In the early 19th century the area gained a reputation for its sandy beaches and clear water attracting wealthy visitors from the quickly growing city of Liverpool.
To satisfy demand, a grand hotel was planned and, as legend goes, the building work started on the very day on which Wellington defeated Napoleon, June 18, 1815, close to the Belgian village of Waterloo. The hotel was originally going to be named Crosby Seabank Hotel but by 1816 the battle of Waterloo was a national symbol and on the first anniversary of the battle, the great victory was celebrated with the opening of the renamed Royal Waterloo Hotel. It was later decided to hold an annual dinner to celebrate the event which continues to this day.
As the years passed, the area began to grow in popularity as a bathing place and a coach began to run regularly to the hotel from Liverpool. Some of the wealthier visitors began to build residences nearby. One such was Thomas Ismay, founder of The White Star Line, who built a large house in what became Beach Lawn. These grand houses included stables and mews and are an architectural feature of the modern day Waterloo.
Many of the roads took names associated with the famous battle and as a result the area gradually became known as ‘Waterloo’ Brunswick Parade commemorates the Duke of Brunswick who fought with Wellington against the French. Another ally was the commander of the Prussian army, General Blucher, who gives his name to Blucher Street. Whereas Murat Street is named after Joachim Murat who had a chequered career as one of Napoleon’s generals. The Grade II-listed Potters Barn Park, houses a replica of the La Haye Sainte farm buildings, a central point in the Battle of Waterloo.
Waterloo continued to grow and has important historical links, notably with the ill fated Titanic. The ship was owned by The White Star Line and the Captain, Edward John Smith lived in Marine Crescent before his death in one of the world’s most famous shipping disasters. The first blue commemorative plaques outside of London were used in Liverpool. Both the captain and owner of the ‘Titanic’ shipping line have such plaques on their Waterloo houses.
The four seafront gardens were built in the inter-war years as a major social project to provide work for many of the local unemployed. The Waterloo area is well served with public parks, the largest being the popular Victoria Park bordering College Road. Recently a new skate park was constructed at Potters Barn on Cambridge Road.
The modern day Waterloo is a socially diverse small town with a population of around 15,000 people. The boundary of the township is closely contiguous with that of Church Ward in the Borough of Sefton. Sefton Council produce ward profiles giving social indicators for each ward. The link to the Church Ward profile gives information that could be assumed to correspond with that of Waterloo.
The development of Waterloo has bequeathed a rich architectural legacy resulting in much of the town being included in one three conservation areas with many buildings being listed as being of special architectural or historic interest. Waterloo is known for its variety of independent shops and restaurants located on South Road, St John’s Road and Crosby Road North. Waterloo also has its own award winning Plaza Community Cinema and is home to Crosby library. The area includes many highly rated schools for all ages and abilities. It also has a very active community and voluntary sector. Sefton CVS and a creative core of people of all ages including many musicians and other performers. Most of the people performing at The Waterloo Festival are from the local area or live nearby.