Liverpool : Calderstones Park

by Veronica

Harking back to the past, a visit to Liverpool ( home of The Beatles ) saw us return to "our park", the place we used to go for a walk in our "courtship days " 43 years ago.

When we booked up to see exhibits from the Chinese Terracotta Army at Liverpool's World Museum, I decided that I would like to re-visit Calderstones Park, a place we used to visit as students. The park is about half a mile from where we were students at Liverpool Hope. It is hard to think that this lovely peaceful place is in a city.

Calderstones Park is in South Liverpool and covers 126 acres of land. It is a large family park, beautifully maintained with lots to do. There is a children's play area, a café, an old mansion, a lake and green spaces. Best of all Calderstones Park is home to the ancient Allerton Oak and also the Calder Stones, Neolithic (new Stone Age) stones found nearby.

Calderstones Park is having a Heritage event in autumn 2018 and so it will be well worth a visit.


Liverpool has done a massive amount for tourism in recent years. They have had the sense to realise how much money can be made from tourism and have acted accordingly. The derelict Albert Dock has been redeveloped, there is a city tour bus, excellent restaurants and museums and here is this lovely parked which is currently being developed. The giant puppets are returning to Liverpool soon too. 


Green spaces in a city

Calderstones Park
Calderstones Park

The Allerton Oak

This magnificent tree is one of the oldest in Britain. It is so old that it has to have metal rods to support its branches and it is enclosed in railings to protect it.  It is believed to be over 1000 years old. 

The trunk is beautiful.  My friend gave the park an acorn from the tree which she had planted years ago as a tribute to her lovely park and they have planted it so The Allerton Oak will live on. 

Traditionally, The Allerton Oak was where the courts were held as there was no sheriff's house locally. 

The Allerton Oak

The ancient Allerton Oak
The ancient Allerton Oak

The Calder Stones

The Calder Stones are housed in the Botanical Garden House which is now disused for this purpose. 

Botanical House

Botanic house
Botanic house

The Neolithic Stones

Neolithic means “new stone” and these stones were found close by the park and removed there for safety. They are thousands of years old and are believed to be the remains of a dolman, an ancient tomb, as they were found with burial urns, ashes and bones. The stones have some carvings in them and also some footprints in the ancient soil on the stones. It was thought they were part of a henge or stone circle but they are now believed to be part of an ancient tomb. 

The neolithic stones
The neolithic stones

The Calder Stones are soon to be taken to London for preservation work on them before returning to Liverpool where they do indeed belong. The swirls on some stones are Neolithic about 3 - 4000 BC. The footprints are believed to be late Neolithic or Bronze Age.


Late neolithic/bronze age foot prints on the stone
Late neolithic/bronze age foot prints on the stone


neolithic swirls
neolithic swirls


This is a taster of what Calderstones Park holds. If anything, it is even better than when we were students because it has been so beautifully developed in Liverpool's tourism boost. 

It is lovely. 

Most visitors to England stay around London but there is far more to see in England than there. 

Updated: 08/02/2018, Veronica
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Veronica on 08/25/2018

That's interesting about the Baobabs.. I hadn't known about those. Thankyou.
Calderstones House is the mansion and it is still be restored so it wasn't be ready by Spring.
I would think it will be open by the Heritage days on Sept 13th and Sept 14th. The Development Officer wants it used for school events.

If you Google Image for Liverpool Giant Puppets you will see how Giant Puppets parade through the streets at festival times. They bring millions of pounds into the city from visitors.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/25/2018

Veronica, Thank you for the images and information. What are the giant puppets? Is the mansion Calderstones House? Wikipedia lists Calderstones House reopening in spring 2018 as The Reader's International Centre for Shared Reading. The Allerton oak photographs so massively that if I'm ignoring the small but signature details of color and foliage and not looking carefully or lengthily at the overall impact, it somewhat makes me think of Africa's and Australia's baobabs.

Veronica on 08/21/2018

Good Morning Tolovaj (from my most favourite country Slovenia. : ) )

Thank you. It is indeed a beautiful park but it is made extra special because of the Calder Stones and the Allerton oak. All parks have their charms but Calderstones Park in Liverpool has the edge because not only is it beautiful, it has these extra attractions.

There is an open heritage event week commencing Sept 10th with open days 13th and 14th Sept .

Tolovaj on 08/21/2018

It's great to see Liverpool has so much to offer. People living outside of England can only think of The Beatles (and Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Dead or Alive and Atomic Kitten maybe) and of course The Reds, one of the most famous sport clubs ever. Seeing such a beautiful park is refreshing and inspiring. Photos are sensational.

Veronica on 08/10/2018

That's great I can sue all this information ty .

frankbeswick on 08/09/2018

For your fossil workshops: footprints are only preserved when the ground is soft, but not so soft that they are easily erasable. That is why mud is ideal. But the mud needs to be quickly swamped and covered with something softer, such as sand or maybe silt. Then compression needs to happen. Then over time the soft material must be eroded away to reveal the prints.

Sand is the worst for footprint preservation,. Think of it. The footprints that you leave on a beach are erased with the next tide or filled in during a sandstorm. Once rock is hardened it is too late for imprinting.

Right across our area [including Liverpool] in fact across much of lowland Britain, the rock is New Red Sandstone, formed when a massive desert developed during the Triassic period 230 million years ago. This desert formed when the continents of the world had coalesced into one supercontinent, Pangaia [All Earth.] A supercontinental climate would have developed, with summers so scorchingly hot that no life could have survived. Life merely clung on at the continental margins, such as beaches. That is why we get no fossils in the local sandstone. It was during this period that the Cheshire salt deposits were laid down as lakes dried up and evaporated. Old Red Sandstone formed in the earlier, Devonian period and is found in Devon.

The oldest human fossils [bone, footprints] are found in Africa from about two to three million years ago.

If you want a fossliiferous location in easy reach go the the Great Orme in Llandudno, Wales, where the rock was formed during the Carboniferous period in a shallow ocean. The quarry on the Orme is fossil-rich.In our region fossils are also found in coal measures, but they are not at the surface.

I have two websites for you dealing with Calderstones.

Veronica on 08/08/2018

I am sure the archaeologists who have studied them are aware of all this. TY .

Veronica on 08/08/2018

Wow BSG , that's excellent information . Thank you for this. I can use this in our fossil workshops.

frankbeswick on 08/08/2018

Your account of how footprints were formed is quite correct, for in the Severn Estuary we have fossil footprint formed in this way. A family walked through mud, but the mud was shortly after swamped by a wave containing sand,. The land was compressed, but later the deposits were exposed and the sand washed away, leaving the human prints.

But this explanation cannot apply to the Calderstones "footprints" as the rock on which they are found is New Red Sandstone, which was laid down in the Triassic period, 230 million years ago,well before humans evolved, so there were no humans at the time to make the prints, and they had solidified into rock and were therefore unable to be imprinted long before humans were found on Earth..

blackspanielgallery on 08/08/2018

I viewed a video on an ancient landscape, so old that fossil records are not possible. There were strange rings in the rocks. These were about 4 billion years old. Finally, one scientist offered an explanation, and the video had it as the reason. Small gas bubbles through wet mud make a spiral wave pattern that forms concentric circles. Over time, the mud dried and forme rocks, with the pattern remaining. I suppose a similar event could have occurred, a person or other creature walked in a wet area, imprinting it. It dried and preserved the prints, then formed into rock later. This is similar to dinosaur prints.

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