Toxteth Park Cemetery, 30th June 2024

Toxteth Park Cemetery was opened in 1856, and although it is now in the built-up area a couple of miles south of the city centre, it was then just outside the boundary. It is full of ornate Victorian Gothic memorials to the great and good of Liverpool in those days, and is Grade II listed. Many years ago I was on a walking tour of the historical graves and remember seeing the final resting place of James Dunwoody Bulloch, the Confederate spy. We didn’t see it today, because none of us could remember where it was.  
The lovely sunny weather we had in early June has turned, and it was overcast, with a cold wind and blustery showers. A bright spot was this lovely pink-flowered shrub by the entrance gates, which seems to be a member of the pea family.

The gate lodge seems to be occupied, with a pretty container garden by the front door.

There was very little wildlife about. The derelict old chapel was overgrown with Buddleia, where we might have hoped to see butterflies, but it was too cold and windy today.

Not many birds, either. A flock of Herring Gulls were wheeling and calling over the distant graves, as if they had found something edible. There were Carrion Crows, Magpies, Wood Pigeons and the occasional Blackbird. Someone had scattered grain which attracted feral Pigeons, and also a Grey Squirrel and a timid Rat.

There were a fair few trees, but even they didn’t seem to harbour much wildlife. They were a mixed selection, mostly natives, including Turkey Oak, Sycamore, Norway Maple, a few ornamental Cherries and Hawthorns. Also some Weeping Ash, which are very appropriate for a cemetery but now looking rather leggy. Has Ash Dieback got to them? The best were the Lime trees, mostly Common Lime and others which might have been Silver Pendent Lime. They seem to have flowered very well this year.

There were hardly any proper seats to be had so we lunched on some fallen gravestones in the shelter of a big spreading Turley Oak. On the way out, we admired the disused pub on the other side of Smithdown Road, the Royal Hotel, with wonderful tiles on the front and a fantastic lantern over the door at the right-hand corner.

Public transport details: Bus 86 from Elliot Street, supposed to be 10.16 but was actually 10.25, arriving Smithdown Road / Salisbury Road at 10.45. We all returned at different times after visiting the Asda supermarket.

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