There are lots of ways that we can establish what the past was like, but the main method is by looking at evidence – things that ancient people have recorded or left behind. One of the oldest forms of evidence left by people living in England are stone circles – such as Stonehenge. We now think that these circle were built as huge places of worship.
Around 4000 years ago people in the area we now call Calderstones made a circle of stones, we know this because they are still here today. Perhaps these people – known as Druids – were the first people to live in our area.
Around 3000 years ago people began making things out of Bronze. In Knotty Ash and Woolton pieces of Bronze tools, weapons and jewellery have been found. This tells us that people lived there during this era.
Around 2000 years ago Roman Soldiers passed though the area of Aigburth. We know this from pieces of pottery and the remains of old roads found under ground. Also a Roman writer called Ptolemy is thought to have described an area in the pool around the river as "Portus Segantiorum".
We know little about what happened until the year 900A.D when Longboats sailed from Norway down the River Mersey. The 'Vikings' as they were known made many settlements in this area. We know this because of the names they gave places. Aigburth, Thingwall, Formby, Crosby, Toxteth, Croxteth for example are all Viking names. The biggest of the Viking settlements was probably in West Derby – the name meaning roughly meaning Wild Deer Park.
The year 1086 marks the creation of a very important historical document known as the Domesday Book. This was a huge record of every place, person and even animal that could be found in England at the time, created to tell the new King – William the Conqueror – about everything that he now controlled. It is very important in telling us what life was like at this time. The Domesday Book mentions West Derby because it had a Castle there, but there is no record of ‘Liverpool’ at all – as it is still just a tiny fishing village next to the River Mersey, with maybe only a few people living there.
Read more about the early settlers of Liverpool
Mike Royden’s Calerstones History
Megalithic Walks - Liverpool Calderstones
The Mersey Reporter: Roman Merseyside
Mike Royden’s Decline of West Derby and the rise of Liverpool
National Archives - Search The Doomesday Book