Liverpool History Society Questions

A selection of Liverpool history questions submitted to the Liverpool History Society

144a Brownlow Hill Liverpool Workhouse?


I am researching my family history, and have discovered that one of my family members was born at 144a Brownlow Hill in Liverpool. This was not the family address at that time, and the father was listed as living at the family address. Was this place a maternity hospital? or perhaps some other form of institution? The birth was completely Legitimate,  The couple having married the previous year.

Thank you


30/11/2009 - Posted by | 144a Brownlow Hill Liverpool Workhouse?


  1. Dear David,

    on doing some further research into 144A Brownlow Hill I have discovered from the Gores Directory for 1900 that 144A Brownlow Hill is the address of the Liverpool Workhouse in Brownlow Hill. This does not mean your relative was an inmate of the Workhouse as I believe it also provided medical services. Please see the scan from the directory.


    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator

    Comment by Liverpool History | 30/11/2009 | Reply

  2. Hello Rob,

    Thanks for that, after looking at an 1830s map of the area that was the conclusion that I reached, I think that Walton Hospital started its life as a workhouse, as did the Deva Hospital in Chester. But by 1910 I think that that system of “care in the community” was over.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Best Regards


    Comment by Anonymous | 01/12/2009 | Reply

  3. Hello Dave,

    glad to help where I can. You are correct that the old workhouse building became hospitals such as Walton and Mill Road. I also learned the postal address of the Liverpool Workhouse was 144A Brownlow Hill.


    Rob Ainsworth

    Programme Secretary & Web Administrator
    Liverpool History Society
    Web Site:

    Comment by Liverpool History | 01/12/2009 | Reply

  4. Hello Dave,

    I have gleaned some further information on 144A Brownlow Hill. After 1904, registrars were instructed not to record a place of birth that indicated a workhouse in case this proved detrimental to the child in later life.

    Instead ordinary street addresses were used, often these were fictitious as was probably the case with 144A Brownlow Hill, because this address in on the odd numbers side of the road. The ending “a” often appears in similar adddresses. 144a Brownlow Hill was not the workhouse's address, but the pseudo-address used on birth certificates for children born there as the workhouse did have an infirmary.


    Rob Ainsworth
    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 04/12/2009 | Reply

  5. hi my mother was born in 144a Brownlow Hill and as you say it was on her birth certificate as her address,but her father had his address down somewhere else even throw they where married and there was other children? So how can i get to know what or where the other children where living? or that they lived in the workhouse in 1921? or that the children where living with their father?

    Comment by Anonymous | 08/02/2010 | Reply

  6. my dad was born in the infirmary there, 1922, they did not live there, but the census showes their home address,scotland road, not brownlow hill, it is a shock when you are researching, but be assured it had an infirmary attached, i do believe he was born there due to them being poor, maybe there was no charge? it was long before the n h s, so even the midwife needed payment?hope you find this a little help.

    Comment by kathy | 10/02/2010 | Reply

  7. thanks kathy yes i thought that but on my mothers birth certificate where it say when/where born it says Brownlow Hill. and like you i know there was no nhs as we know it today. I just wonder where the other children where? I will look up on the census and see what i come up with THANKS AGAIN

    Comment by Anonymous | 10/02/2010 | Reply

  8. sorry i forgot also where it says on her birth certificate signature,residence of informant it gives mothers address as 144a Brownlow Hill.

    Comment by Anonymous | 10/02/2010 | Reply

  9. do u no anything about wide street in liverpool it use to be by crown strrt thanxs

    Comment by teresa murray | 15/05/2010 | Reply

  10. Hello Teresa,

    I cannot find any reference to Wide Street, the only other street with a similar name is Wilde Street near to London Road between Fraser Street and Norton Street.


    Rob Ainsworth
    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 15/05/2010 | Reply

  11. Wide Street used to run off crown street parallel to Paddington

    Comment by Anonymous | 11/06/2010 | Reply

  12. I have been looking for my real Grandmother, I knew my Dad was unofficially adopted. I found her death certificate and it shows 144A Brownlow Hill. Has this changed to an infirmary then or did she die in a workhouse.

    Comment by Anonymous | 10/11/2010 | Reply

  13. Hello,

    what was the date of death? As this will possibly indicate whether she was in the infirmary or the hospital.


    Liverpool History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 10/11/2010 | Reply

  14. My uncle was the first superintendent of the Liverpool Maternity Hospital 1926-1957. He had a commemmorative plaque, which you can see on the website If you know where that plaque is, please email

    Comment by Dave Dexter | 04/01/2011 | Reply

  15. Hello-maybe of general interest-My grandfather died on 06/11/1918 in the mentioned workhouse hospital, from the Spanish flu. Liverpool history society sent me a copy of his registration -arrived nov 1st–died nov 6th, everyone on the list bar one, died.Also included was a arial photo taken 1930 of the whole site–very clear. I was told that the Catholic Cathedral was built on here. Phil croft–Somerset

    Comment by Liverpool History Society Questions | 22/04/2011 | Reply

  16. hello

    my name is linda graney im looking for any photos taken of a sylvia anne graney she was my husbands mum and sadly there are no photos of her that we no of.she lived on brownlow hill num 154 she lived over the kenny family if anyone has any communion photos taken in the 60s with any of the graney family on we would be so pleased to hear from you.

    Comment by linda graney | 07/05/2011 | Reply

  17. I have discovered the term ‘worker at Oakum Works’ on a census entry. I know that oakum picking was a very low level job, often carried out by inmates of the workhouses,but does anyone know what the ‘Oakum Works’ were in Liverpool? Was it part of the workhouse or were there other places that people carried out this work?
    Also, in the last century, when a woman was widowed, was there any support at all?

    Comment by Anon | 29/03/2012 | Reply

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