Tuesday 10 November 2009

Mary Had a Little Lamb (the Birthplace of Paul McCartney)

Walton Hospital,
Rice Lane,
Liverpool L9 1AE

In 1864-9, a new workhouse was built on Rice Lane at Walton-on-the-Hill to serve the northern part of the West Derby Union. It was designed by William Culshaw who was also the architect of the Toxteth Park workhouse in Smithdown Road (which later became Sefton General Hospital). The Walton workhouse initially accommodated 1,200 inmates and, including the price of the land (purchased from Lord Sefton) cost £65,000! 

Walton Hospital, October 2009

A contemporary report notes "The grounds extend over an area of 37 acres, and it is intended to devote a great portion of the land to cultivation, so as to afford useful employment for the inmates. At either end of the building are hospitals for male and female inmates, and it is intended immediately to proceed with the laying out of a cemetery and the erection of a church. The main building is already nearly full ; and it is probable that in course of time the accommodation will not be too much for the numerous poor chargeable to the rates of the West Derby Union. Messrs. Culshaw and Sumners are the architects, and Mr. James Walters, the builder."

It gradually expanded and by 1930 could hold up to 2,500. The main building was a long three-storey T-shaped block with males accommodated at the east and females at the west. The workhouse later became Walton Institution and then part of Walton Hospital until its closure in the late 1990s. 

A photograph of Mary McCartney used as the front cover of her son Mike's  first solo album "Woman" released in February 1972

James Paul McCartney was born here on 18 June 1942. His mother Mary had once been a sister in charge of the maternity ward and when she returned to have her first baby she was given five star treatment, her ex-colleagues insisting that she stayed on the private ward.

James Paul McCartney

Paul's Dad Jim was not impressed on first seeing his son..."He looked awful. I couldn't get over it. Horrible. He had one eye open, and he just squawked all the time. But the next day he looked more human and every day after that he got better and better".

Eighteen months later Jim and Mary's second son, Peter Michael was also born at Walton Hospital on 7 January 1944. 

James Paul and Peter Michael McCartney (circa late 1944)

Walton Hospital in the 1970s

Walton Hospital, Liverpool

Walton Hospital closed its doors for the last time in December 2010. The building has been converted into residential flats.



Mike McCartney solo album Woman"

1 comment:

  1. walton hosiptal my mum worked there has a nurse from 1972 untill 1986