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A Walk around Liverpool City centre in 1949

 

The main source for this page is a Ward Lock Guide book about Liverpool, written just after the Second World War. I've included it on my site because it contains the history behind most of Liverpool's main buildings and Institutions. Lots of Old Liverpool content!. Please bear in mind that this was written some time ago and Liverpool City centre has changed since then

Click to see City Centre Map 1949

 

“Our itinerary starts from Lime street station, the principal of the Liverpool termini, and practically in the centre of the city. It stands on the east side of Liverpool’s widest street, opposite the stately St George’s Hall and convenient for many of the principal places of interest.

 

The opening of the railway line from Liverpool to Manchester in 1830 proved to be the beginning of the vast system which now covers the whole country. It was on this line that George Stephenson’s famous engine, the “Rocket” won a great trial of locomotives – an event which took place previous to its official opening. The railway originally ended at Crown street, but it was soon found necessary to extend to its present terminus, and this was effected by a series of short tunnels and deep open cuttings through Edge Hill, the magnitude of the task being evident to anyone who has glanced out of the window as the train draws into Lime street station.

The station, though built on what was considered a scale more than large enough for the traffic anticipated, soon proved, like so many other stations, inadequate for it’s purpose; it has in consequence, been several times enlarged, the work necessitating the destruction of whole streets. The double roof, of iron and glass, each section with a space of nearly 255 feet, is the largest of its kind in Britain.

 

Immediately in front of the station, and in reality forming part of it, is a six-storied building in the French Renaissance style. This was once the North Western Hotel but it has now been superseded by the large Adelphi Hotel in Ranelagh Place.

 

Lime street, the wide thoroughfare from which the station is named occupies the site of batteries erected by Prince Rupert for the reduction of the castle during the siege of 1644. The street was laid out in 1745, and was at first named Limekiln Road, after some limekilns, the site of which is now occupied by the station, the name of the street being abbreviated to its present form in 1790. For some time afterward there were extensive rope walks abutting on it at the east and west, but by 1825 both sides of the street were built. Originally a narrow thoroughfare, it has been widened from time to time. Lime street contains a number of hotels, shops and places of amusement, including the Empire Theatre, with a colonnaded front.

On the plateau separating St George’s hall and Lime street is the city Cenotaph, designed by L. P Budden, and now dedicated to those who fell in both world wars.

To the right and left of it are equestrian bronze statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, by Thorneycroft, and unveiled in 1871 and 1866 respectively. In front of the cenotaph are four colossal bronze lions, and behind, on the steps of St George’s Hall is a bronze statue of the Earl of Beaconsfield (Benjamin Disraeli) by C B Birch, unveiled in 1883

At the south east corner of St George’s Hall is a statue of Major General William Earle (1833-1885), one of Liverpool’s most distinguished natives, who met his death while leading an attack at the Battle of Kirkeban in the Sudan. This statue is also by Birch

 

St George’s Hall

 

This noble building opposite Lime street station, is one of the architectural glories of Liverpool and has been thus described by R Norman Shaw: “I have been all over the continent and I have certainly seen nothing finer in its way than St George’s Hall, if as fine. It’s simplicity makes it all the more impressive, and whilst striking to the eye, the design is full of refinement, and in it we have a building for all time, one of the greatest edifices of the world. I look upon it as our finest example of the Greek Style”.

It is noteworthy that the architect, Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, was only twenty four years of age when his design was adopted (he died at the early age of thirty-three) The hall was commenced in 1838 and opened after sixteen years work in 1854. The cost, including furniture was over £333,000. . Externally, the hall is both grand and beautiful: internally, it is adapted to many purposes, there being two assize courts, an immediate hall for public gatherings, and a fine concert hall.

The Hall, built of grey tinted stone, is raised on a platform, approached by grandly proportioned flights of steps. The extreme length of the building is 500 feet, the total width 170 feet.

 

We continue north along Lime street, beyond London Road, by Commotation Row, and in the open triangle between this and William Brown street is the lofty Wellington Monument 150 ft high by Lawson. The statue was cast from cannon taken at Waterloo.

The visitors eye will have been struck by the unusually fine range of buildings on the far side of William Brown street These comprise, from left to right, the City Technical College and the Museum extension, the Museum and the Public Library, the Picton reference library, the Walker Art Gallery, and the County Sessions House

 

Museum, Picton Library and Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery

 

The gallery, the gift to the city of Sir Walker during his mayorality (1873), and designed by Cornelius Sherlock and H.H Vale, was opened in 1877 and enlarged by the addition of nine rooms in 1882. A further large extension was made in 1933. The Gallery is in Corinthian style, the portico consisting of a broad flight of steps. On either side are large marble statues of Raphael and Michaelangelo. He portico is crowned by a figure representing the Arts. The most important part of the the collection consists of the Roscoe Collection of Italian and other early masters and art unrivalled collection of works by English painters. Among the latter are examples by eighteenth and early nineteenth century masters, such as Reynolds, Gainsborough (“Viscountess Folkestone”), Romney (“Mrs Sargent”), Raeburn (“Ann Stirling” and “A Girl sketching”) Turner (“Rosenau” and the “Wreck Buoy”), Richard Wilson (“Snowdon”) and Thomas Girtin: a good selection of the Liverpool school of painting, including Richard Wright (1733-1775), Richard Caddick (about 1750-1823), and William Huggins (1820-1884), a representation of the Pre-Raphaelite group Rossetti (“Dante’s Dream”), Millais (“Lorenzo and Isabella”) and Holman Hunt (“The Triumph of the Innocents”), and among modern British artists, examples by Orpen, Augustus John, Wilson Steer, W.R Sickert, Harold Gilman and Paul Nash.

In 1933 Lord Wavertree bequeathed to the gallery £20,000 and a collection of sporting pictures and more recently these have been enhanced by the acquisition of the Walter Stone collection of British sporting pictures with which it is intended to make the basis of a gallery devoted to this subject. Another recent bequest was that of Miss E G Holt, who left the city her important collection, containing valuable examples of early English artists, and also her house at Mossley Hill which has been converted into a branch Art Gallery, Museum and Library.

 

The County Sessions House on the east side of the Art Gallery, was built in 1884, and is for the use of the old magistrature. Like other buildings which beautify this part of Liverpool, it is of Composite Classic architecture. The principal front has a portico of double columns. On the opposite side of the Art Gallery is….

 

The Picton Reference Library

 

The Picton Reference Libray was built as a reference library of the British Museum type and was opened in 1879. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock and named after Sir J A Picton, who was chairman of the Library. Museums and Arts Committee for nearly forty years.

The reference library is a large domed circular building 100 feet in diameter and 60 feet high. In the centre of the roof is a skylight 24 feet in diameter. In front of the building are fourteen fluted Corinthian columns, 35 feet high up, supporting a frieze and cornice.

The reference library can seat over 200 readers at any one time and carries a stock of over a million items, covering every subject. A feature of the library is the large number of encylopaedias, dictionaries and quick reference books in many languages and over 900 periodicals of all kinds. Deeds and other material relating to the city may be consulted in the local history department. The rock beneath the Room has been excavated and the space formed into a large lecture room, known as Picton Hall. In this hall which can accommodate over 1,000 persons, lectures, film shows, rfecitals etc are held in winter months. Adjoining the Picton reference library and entered from it is the……

 

Hornby Library of Fine Art

 

The library, one of the finest pieces of architecture in Liverpool, was the gift of Hugh Frederick Hornby (d. 1890) one of the city’s merchant magnates. It was designed by T Shelmerdine and is in the Classical style. Eight Ionic columns of Bath stone, 26 feet high, support an entablature which in turn carries  a barrel- vaulted ceiling. The library contains 7,860 fine art books, including some rare first editions, 8,000 engravings, dating from the early sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries, and 3,000 autographs of famous people. In addition there are many excellent examples of the work of modern printing presses and a collection of 50,000 bookplates

Next to the Picton Reference Library, on the west side is …….

 

 

The Brown Library

 

The Library was given to the city by Sir William Brown M.P, after whom William Brown street, in which it is situated, was named to commemorate his liberality. The library opened in 1860, was designed by Thomas Allom in the Corinthian style. It is 222 feet long and 164 deep, and has a fine portico.

The library suffered extensive damage during an air raid in May 1941, when the entire stock of books was destroyed. The ground floor, however was restored in 1945 and now houses the Central Lending Library, containing some 50,000 volumes, both fiction and non-fiction, including many works in foreign languages. Incorporated into the same building is the Music Library, with a stock of about 12,000 volumes of music of all kinds, together with a considerable selection of sheet music

A feature of the library service is the provision of books, both English and foreign, in Braille type, for the use of blind readers. These are subscribed for by the Corporation to the National Library for the blind, and are posted without charge to those who apply for them. Adjoining the library are….

 

The Public Museums

 

This building, also the gift of William Brown, designed by John Weightman, and opened in 1860, was almost completely gutted by fire, subsequent to aerial bombardment in May 1941, and still awaits restoration. Among the principal exhibits were the Natural History Collection of the thirteenth Earl of Derby, the collection of archaeological and ethnological specimens presented by Joseph Mayer, silversmith and antiquary, a Liverpool man; the Brian-Faussett Anglo Saxon collection; the Austin Crinold collection; some examples of old pottery, made chiefly in Liverpool in works whose site is now occupied by the museum building.; a unique collection of bird skins , comprising over 70,000 specimens, and a gallery of shipping showing the evolution of merchant craft from the earliest times to the present day. Many of these had been evacuated at the beginning of the war and others were salvaged from the disastrous fire….

The last and westmost of the range of buildings in William Brown street comprises the Museum Extension Galleries and the Technical College, designed by W. Mountford and completed in 1906. It has a frontage of about 200 feet and the same depth as the museum. The lower floor houses the Technical College, the entrance to which is in Byrom street, while the two upper floors formed the extension to the Museum. These were damaged in May 1941. On the other side of William Brown street, and overlooked by St George’s Hall are……

 

St John’s Gardens, formerly the churchyard attached to St John’s Church, demolished by the corporation around 1888. A massive wall runs all around, and the 3 and a quarter acres of gardens, bright with flowers and plants, are decorated with statues of prominent citizens. Close to the north-east entrance is a bronze statue of William Rathbone (d. 1903) M.P. for Liverpool from 1869 to 1880 and a founder of the University, by George Frampton. In front is a Monument to Alexander Balfour (1824-1886), a merchant  and shipowner whose benefactions gained for him the distinction of being “one of Liverpool’s noblest citizens”. In a depression where the old church stood is a Monument of W. E. Gladstone (1809-1898) by Sir T Brock. In line with a statue of William Rathbone is a statue of Sir A. B. Forward (1836-1898), M.P., J.P.and Privy Councillor, by George Frampton. Another monument of note is is the statue of Monsignor Nugent, by F.W. Pomeroy. Monsignor Nugent’s work in founding and aiding homes for women and others made his name beloved in Liverpool and known all over the world. The same might be said of Canon Major Lester (1829-1903), the founder of several Liverpool charities, whose statue lso by George Frampton records the beneficent work of fifty years.

The most important piece of sculpture in the gardens however is the King’s Liverpool Regiment Memorial, commemorating officers and men who fell in the Afghan campaigns 1878-1880), ; in Burma 1885-1887, and in the Boer War 1899-1902. This was executed by W.Goscombe John, the prominent features being a figure of Britannia on a pedestal, on one arm of which is a soldier of the time of 1685, with the figure of a khaki-clad warrior of the Boer War on the other wing. The record of the regiment is given in it’s battle honours, from those of Marlborough’s armies to the siege of Ladysmith. The figure of a young drummer at the back of the memorial is also worthy of notice.

 

Looking down the slope of St John’s gardens we have in front of us the broad thoroughfare once known as the old Haymarket, but now named Kingsway, and beyond that the magnificent entrance to…..

Mersey Tunnel

 

Queensway

 

The splendid roadway-tunnel which leads underneath the Mersey to Birkenhead. This is the largest underwater road-tunnel in the world and one of the most impressive engineering achievements in Britain. The difficulty of communication between Liverpool and the Cheshire side of the Mersey had always been a problem, and the idea of constructing a tunnel under the river for the express benefit of road traffic had been mooted for some considerable time. The present scheme was first drafted in 1922, work was commenced in 1925, and the tunnel was officially opened in July 1934. The architect was Herbert J Rowse and the principal engineers of scheme were Sir Basil Mott an J.A.Brodie. The engineer in charge of the work was B.H.M Hewitt. The total cost of the undertaking was over £7,000,000. The principal tunnel which runs from Kingsway to King’s Square, Birkenhead, is 2 and seven eighths miles long and 46 and a quarter feet diameter outside, (44 feet inside), with a roadway 36 feet wide and provision is made for four lanes of traffic, two for slow (6 to 21 m.p.h) and two for fast (21 to 30 m.p.h) traffic In addition, there are two smaller branches, with roadways 19 feet wide, and two lines of traffic, to serve the dock areas on either side; and these start  from the New Quay and Rendel Street Birkenhead. The total length of roadway in the tunnel is 2 and a half miles. The lower parts of the walls throughout are lined with black glass

The most outstanding achievement of the tunnel is the remarkable ventilating system. As the Queensway was designed solely for the use of  vehicles propelled by internal-combustion engines some new form of mechanical ventilation  was inevitable, and after a series of exhausting experiments carried out in the tunnel itself, a system was adopted in which the air is forced through a duct which runs underneath  the roadway, gaining access thence to the tunnel by openings along the kerbs By this means 2,5000,000 cubic feet of air are delivered into the tunnel every minute; but to achieve this result  six great ventilation stations are required, three on each side of the river, with large towers to take the necessary fans.

Entrance to the tunnel is restricted to vehicles only and the tolls are : motor cars, up to 8 h.p. 1s; above 8 h.p. but not exceeding 12 h.p., 1s 6d; above 12 h.p. 2s.: motor-cycles, 6d.; with side-car, 9d.: cycles, 3d. All these charges include the driver (or rider) and a charge of 2d. is made for each passenger carried. Other tolls are applicable to goods vehicles etc. Period contracts are also available

 

The Kingsway entrance, where the road descends in a gradient of 1 in 30, is flanked by two monumental towers. Over the archway is a white stone memorial at the ends of which are standing figures of King George V. and Queen Mary, who opened and named the tunnel. In front of this set out in small coloured stones is a circular map of Queensway

 

From Kingsway several important streets radiate. From the south-eastern end , St John’s lane leads past the wall of St John’s gardens, and the south side of St George’s Hall to Lime street. Whitechapel connects Kingsway with Lord and Church streets, the principal shopping streets. Victoria street, a fine wide thoroughfare, the “newspaper street”. of Liverpool runs westward, past the General Post Office, to North John Street, and is continued, as Cook street, to Castle street, and as Brunswick Street to the Pierhead. Dale Street is described below. Byrom Street, starting by the Technical College, leads to the braod long Scotland rd, which threads a district inhabited mainly by the labourers employed at the docks. Between St John's Lane and Whitechapel is Queen's Square, with an open-air market, the southern end of which is the Royal Court Theatre. To the right beyond Brythen Street, is Williamson Square, with the Playhouse, the home of Liverpool's Repertory Company. Directly out of Roe Street, opposite Queen Square runs Great Charlotte Street, on the right hand side of which is St John's Market, occupying the site of an old rope-walk, and generally providing an interesting display of provisions, fruit, flowers, etc.On the other side of the street is the Fish Market The markets are a great source of interest to visitors, and it is chiefly in such places that one is able to grasp the cosmopolitain character of the population

 

Dale Street

 

One of the best streets of the city, is really a westward continuation of William Brown Street. It leads to the Municipal Offices of the Town Hall, the Exchange and other important buildings, and eventually (as Water Street) to the Pierhead. At the corner of Hatton Garden is the Central Police Station, a square, massive, unadorned pile. At the rear is the head Fire Station, easily recognisable by it's watchtower, and on the opposite side of the road, the Transport and Electricity Offices.  A little further down Dale Street, on the left-hand side are-

 

The Municipal Buildings

 

An imposing pile in the Corinthian style, complete in 1867. The tower and square pyramidial spire - the latter containing a for-dialed clock and a peal of bells which chimes the hours - reach to over 200 feet above the pavement. Spacious as is this building, however, it is quite insufficient for the various branches of civic administration, and various departments are accommodated in other buildings in the vicinity. In Sir Thomas Street, leading to Victoria Street are the Education Offices

 

On the south side of Victoria Street, in the centre of the commercial quarter is -

 

The General Post Office

 

With the exception of St Martin's-le-Grand London, the Liverpool Post Office was, until it's great damage by bombing in May 1941, leaving only two of the original five stories, the largest and most important in the kingdom. In consequence of the great and varied commercial and shipping interests of the city, and the vast industrial centres in the neighbourhood, millions of letters and newspapers pass through Liverpooll Post Office in a single week to all parts of the kingdom and to every portion of the globe.

The Post Office had various headquarters, in Lord Street, in Old Post Office Place, and in the Custom House (now demolished) before the present building , in the Italian Renaissance style , was opened in 1899. The Public Hall is of fine proportions and has a superb inlaid ceiling

 

The Old Post Office at one time led to an important discussion in the House of Commons, Bright and Cobden attacking the then Home Secretary Sir James Graham, because as they alleged, the letters of Mazzini and distinguished exiles resident in this country had been tampered with at Liverpool Post Office. The allegation was denied, but it brought about a number of important postal reforms

 

Looking down Victoria Street, the high tower of the Mersey Tunnel Ventilating building, at the rear of the Dock Board Offices, can be seen standing up prominently. In this street west of the Post Office are two important Exchanges, the Fruit Exchange opened in 1924, probably unique in that two sets of auctions may proceed under the same roof at the same time, and a little further on, the Produce Exchange, the first of it's kind to be established in England

Returning to Dale Street by North John Street, we pass the second great Ventilating Building of the Mersey Tunnel, a tall and somewhat austere construction On the corner of the two streets are the Royal Insurance Buildings, with a pillared tower and a curious sundial dated 1903. To the right Moorfield's leads direct from Dale Street to the Exchange Station, to the left, a prominent building now stands out. This is -

 

Town Hall

The Town Hall

 

The oldest of Liverpool's public buildings. It was designed in a classical style by John Wood of Bath, and built in 1754 The council chamber and the ballroom were added in 1789, the dome in 1795 and the portico fronting Dale Street in 1811. The principal facade, with it's Corinthian portico had breadth, and is characterised by a dignified simplicity. The lofty dome, which was designed by Matthew Coates Wyatt is crowned by a large figure of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom by C.F.Ross 

 

The first edifice of the kind which Liverpool possessed stood nearly on the site of the old High Cross, which was adjacent to the present hall. In all probability it was a thatched building, for in 1567 it was ordered to be slated ; and in 1654 an order was issued for it to be "lathed and tiered over with hair mortar and made handsome".

Its successor, erected in 1673, had a low square lantern above the roof which served as a lookout for vessels coming into the mouth of the Mersey It stood on "pillars and arches of hewn stone, and underneath was a public exchange for the merchants" However, as the building was low and the arched exchange very gloomy, the merhcnats and dealers wisely preferred the open air of the Exchange Flags behind

The commerce and requirements of the port increasing daily, it was decided to erect the present spacious building, which, like its predecessor, has an arched exchange beneath

 

The Entrance Hall is embellished with a series of Junette frescoes, executed by J M Amschewitz in 1909, and illustrating various events in the history of Liverpool, commencing with the granting by King John of the town's charter. The walls bear tablets engraved with the names of the Honorary Freemen of Liverpool and on one side is a fireplace carved in Flemish style. The Hall of Remembrance has eight lunette-shaped panels by Frank O Salisbury commemorating the men and women of the city who lost their lives in the First World War. Right and left of this spacious vestibule is the Mayor's Parlour, retiring rooms, etc. and in the rear is the council chamber, the walls of which are mahogany panelled to the height of 15 feet. From the inner entrance hall rises the Grand Staircase lighted from the finely designed dome, in the spandrels of the four arches supporting which are allegorial paintings by C W Furse On the staircase is a statue of George Canning, Prime Minister in 1827, by Chantry,a dn portraits of King George V and Queen Mary. The reception rooms were described by Edward VII as the finest suite of rooms in England. The centre room is hung with portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and others, and this and the adjoining rooms are furnished with some fine pieces made in the city between 1820 and 1830. The Ballroom is a noble apartment, 90 feet long and 42 feet broad, lighted by three great chandeliers each 28 feet in length. Doors lead out to a stone balcony, previously used on State occasions for viewing the life on the Exchange Flags. The banqueting room is also richly decorated

 

At the Town Hall, Dale Street becomes Water Street, providing the most direct route to the Pierhead and the Landing Stages, and passing between the offices of great shipping companies and other businesses, many of which have been rebuilt on "skyscraper" lines. Among these must be mentioned Martins Bank Building, the India Building  and the Holt Building

 

At the rear of the Town Hall are -

 

The Exchange Flags

 

An institution peculiar to Liverpool. The Flags occupy the site of the old High Cross, where merchants of the port transacted business in preference to meeting in the dingy sunless arches of the Town Hall. But with the opening of the magnificent new Cotton Exchange building in Old Hall Street their popularity waned, and they now form a quiet secluded quadrangle. (Part of the Flags is at present occupied by temporary buidings housing the Passport Office and the Cable office) In the centre of the Flags is a monument to Nelson, a bronze group by Wyatt and Westmacott.

On the north-east and the north-west side of the Flags is -

 

 

The Exchange

 

Originally erected in the early nineteenth century. At first the merchants met in the arches beneath the Town Hall, but, preferring the open air, soon came to use the space in its rear - now the Flags - for the transaction of business. This being inconvenient in wet weather, in 1801 a project  was set on foot for the erection of an exchange commensurate with the dignity and importance of the city. It is said that the capital sum required, £80,000 was subscribed in three hours

The building was opened for the transaction of business on January 1st 1809

In the course of the next fifty years the commerce of the port had so expanded that both the area of the Flags and the Exchange were inadequate. In 1859, a new company obtained powers to purchase adjoining property and to enlarge the Exchange. The building then occupied a site  two acres in extent. The commerce of the city continuing to expand, this building also eventually became inadequate for its purpose, and a reconstruction of the Exchange was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War

 

The Exchange now consists of two distinctly varying groups of buildings. In the north-east corner of the Flags is the remaining part of the old Exchange, with attractive arcades opening on to the flags. On the west side of the Flags is the giant new building (matching the Martins Bank building to which it is adjacent) known as Derby House. Here are the headquarters of the Liverpool Underwriters' association and numerous other offices and the Commercial Reference Library, an institution designed specifically for the businessman, with directories, periodicals, maps and other necessities, Information on every aspect of commerce and trade in all parts of the world is obtainable here without charge During the recent war a part of Derby house was taken over by the Admiralty, and it was here that the great convoys across the Atlantic were charted.

On it's east side the old Exchange building faces Exchange Street, at the junction of which with Dale Street is the Stock Exchange, one of the most important in the country.

In the other direction Exchange Street leads into Tithebarn Street, along which, to the right is the entrance to the Exchange Station fronted by the Exchange Hotel

Walking westward, Tithebarn Street is continued by Chapel Street one of the oldest streets in the city, leading to St Nicholas Church and the Pierhead. From the junction of the two streets, and opposite the Exchange Buildings starts Old Hall Street, which passes on the right ;-

 

The Cotton Exchange

 

This magnificent building, opened in 1906, is set among surroundings which scarcely allow its architectural attractions full play. Like some others of Liverpool's great buildings, it is in the Renaissance style. It has a double colonade in front, the lower one of Doric, the upper of fluted Ionic columns, and is surrounded by towers and statuary. The Exchange itself is a large handsome and well-lighted hall, surrounded by two-storied colonnade of polished granite columns. Capacious open terraces on the first and second floors are accessible from the central hall, and these give space for the transaction of business, while there is also a considerable area available for the same purpose on the pavement below the lower rank of columns. Rooms for reading, smoking, arbitration, and appeal have their places, and there is also a clearing house, a clearing-room bank, board room, committee rooms, secretary's rooms and suites of cotton merchants' offices. Centrally placed on the street level in the colonnade is the Liverpool Cotton Association War Memorial, a particularly vigorous figure of a British soldier in action.

We continue northward along Old Hall Street, passing the well-designed Telephone Exchange (1939) to Great Howard Street which continues parallel with the line of socks, but a short distance  inland. At the junction of the streets is the David Lewis Northern Hospital, formerly the Northern Hospital, rebuilt by the David Lewis trustees in 1902. The hospital is well equipped and consists of  a number of interconnected blocks. Diagonally opposite, at the corner of King Edward Street is one of the most notable institutions in the city, the St Paul's eye Hospital completed in 1911, and taking the place of the St Paul's Eye and Ear Hospital

 

The hospital was founded in St Paul's Square in 1871 by Dr George Edward Walker, who took a couple of rooms in a private house for the treatment of poor people suffering from diseases of the eye and ear. In a few years the hospital was made into a public charity, and in 1908 the commencement of pioneer work for the prevention of blindness in newborn infants made an extension of accomodation necessary. In order to deal with the cases of infantile ophthalmia at once, arrngements are made to admit both mother and child to the hospital, both being brought straight to the hospital as soon as the case is reported to the Health Authorities.

A further extension was opened in 1932, and the hospital now has accomodation for 100 in-patients, while in the out-patients department some 80,000 attendances are made annually

King Edward Street leads to New Quay, the southern end of the long dockside road which extends as Waterloo Road and Regent Road, to Bootle and Seaforth. A little way along to the left is the Dock entrance to the Queensway Road Tunnel, another pleasing piece of architecture.

Just beyond, at the fot of Chapel Street is the site on which is being rebuilt :-

 

St Nicholas Church

Services in temporary building on Sundays at 9 (Matins), 9.30 (Parish Communion) and 6:30 (Evensong) Holy Communion on Mon. and Wed at 9, Tues at y.30, Thurs. at 8, and Fri at 7: Evensong daily at 5.30

 

Officially the Church of our Lady and St Nicholas, and familiarly known as "The Sailor's Church". Tradition seems to point to the site as having been held sacred from time immemorial. The original structure was dedicated in 1360 and served as chapel-of-ease to the mother Church at Walton until 1699, when Liverpool was made a separate parish. A statue of St Nicholas, the patron of mariners once stood in the churchyard. The body of the church was almost completely demolished in an air attack in December 1940, only the outer walls and the tower and the spire being left standing The former have since been taken down, and the rebuilding of the church commenced. (Services are being held in a temproary building until the new church is complete) The tower, completed in 1815, 120 feet high, and the lantern spire, another 60 feet, are to be retained. The churchyard commands a view across the Mersey and away to Bidston Hill that is at all times pleasing , but specially so at high water, when numbers of vessels are entering and leaving the port

Coming from the church towards the Pierhead, we notice on the left:-

 

The Tower Buildings

 

A handsome block in white stone, containing the offices of several important shipping lines and other business firms. They were built on the site of a former group, which in 1856 had displaced an ancient structure erected by the Stanleys in 1252 for purposes of observation and defence. Henry IV granted permission in 1404 to Sir John Stanley to embattle the building, so that it assumed the character of a fortress, and was subsequently used as a prison

A scene of astonishing activity is presented at this point. In front, across the street is the Overhead Railway under which runs goods trains passing to or from the docks. But it is an intervening street that one gains an idea of Liverpool's vast transport trade. Passing in one direction is a never ending procession of lorries, with immense loads of cotton bales, foodstuffs and other goods, going from the docks to the railway warehouses whence the goods find their way - the cotton to Lancashire mills, the foodstuffs etc. to all parts of Britain. On the other side of the street are empty lorries returning for further loads and they too form an unending procession. It is a wonderful site, the more fascinating the longer it is studied. Incidentally it will be noticed that many horses are still employed in this heavy work.

Motor haulage, of course, is used as far as possible and economical, and many cargoes are taken direct from the ship's side by motor lorry to mills fifty miles and more away, but it is the boast of Liverpool that horses employed in the city's industry are the finest in Britain, and it is a boast to which it is barely possible  to take exception.

Crossing the road and walking underneath the Overhead Railway and to the right  of the great Royal Liver Building we find ourselves at the:-

 

 

Pierhead

 

This has been called the Gateway of Liverpool, and might well be called Gateway to Europe. The liners bring their thousands of passengers to the Landing Stage, whence all who have disembarked, if they do not travel at once from the Riverside Station must enter Liverpool by the Pierhead.

And as a great many of those who are bound for various parts of Europe come here first, the Pierhead is truly a Gateway of Europe; through it pass every year not only many millions of ferry passengers, millions more of citizens and visitors who find the Landing Stage a delightful promenade, but also hundreds of thousands who every year cross the Atlantic to and from America via Liverpool. A worthy gateway it is too. The impression made on the stranger coming to Liverpool from overseas by the lines of the docks along the Mersey mouth as the vessel comes slowly up the river is deepened as three magnificent buildings which dignify the Pierhead come into view.

Those three buildings are the giant offices of the Royal Liver Friendly Society, the Council building and the magnificent offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.

 

The Royal Liver Building

 

This monster building is the headquarters of the Royal Liver Friendly Society. Only figures can give any idea of the size of this sky-scraper: the length is 301 feet; width 177 feet six inches, height from pavement level to top of main towers 295 feet; height from foundation level to top of towers, 36o feet; floor area 40,000 square yards. Below the roof there are eleven stories and each of the main towers has six stories thus making seventeen in all

The building is of a free English Renaissance type, and one of the features contributing to the highly succesful effort greatly to improve on the box-like pattern of the ealy American sky-scraper is a magnificent main cornice two stories higher than the seventh floor cornice, which is 14 feet above the ground. Two main entrances give access to large halls and corridor, and the entrance facing the river has a handsome portico (The Water Street entrance is embellished with a balcony of pierced balustrades and pedestals, with carved scroll) The great towers at either end constitute the most notable features of the architecture. Each is surmounted by a giant figure of the Liver Bird, the mythical specimen from which the city is traditionally supposed to take it's name.

The tower at the river end contains a three-dial clock, the largest in England and one of the three or fourth largest in the world. The diameter of each dial is 25 feet and the minute hand is 14 feet long and a yard wide. The pair of hands weigh rather more than five hundredweight. The clock is connected with Greenwich and worked electrically. Each day the current automatically corrects any fractional error which may have occurred during the preceding twenty four hours. In the interiror the building is the big suite occupied by the Royal Liver Society, and other suites are occupied by large business firms, shipping companies etc.

 

The Cunard Building

 

This noble edifice built between 1912 and 1916, is the middle one of the three great pierhead buildings. In it's general outline and decorative detail it embodies the best features of the Italian Renaissance as represented by the Farnese Palace at Rome, a building which was completed somewhere about the middle of the sixteenth century. The outstanding impression aroused by the examination of the exterior of the Cunard Building is that of massive, solid, elegance, suggestive of great spaciousness and comfort within. The length of the building from the front facade on the Pierhead is 330 feet.

Below the lower ground floor, which covers 5,580 square yards, are two basements, each 7,000 square yards. Then comes the ground floor with 5,200 square yards, and floors above of approximately the same dimension. In all, the area of the various floors is 50,130 yards, or nearly 11 acres. Upon such a space, and allowing comfortable standing room, it would be possible to accomodate some 250,000 people, or one third of the population of the city of Liverpool.

The building stands on a strong sloping base built of rough big stones. Large wall surfaces are broken only by the rusticated angles and the windows on the first floor. The fourth floor windows are absolutely devoid of decoration, to emphasize the greater elaboration of the parts above and below them The building is capped by a highly decorated frieze and heavy projecting cornicewith a plain coping wall. It thus forms a united whole worthy of the position it occupiesand of the world wide interests which are centred in it. The carving is itself, not only decorative but of great interest in the choice of subjects. The shields inthe frieze on the Pierhead elevationcall attention to the period of disturbance during which the building was completed, by bearing upon them the arms of the allies of the First World War: Great Britan and Irleand, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Serbia and Montengro are conspicuous At the four angles of the building is the shield of the Cunard Steam Ship Company, supported on a great eagle. On the heads of the third floor windows looking out towards the river are the arms of the principal ports of Britain.

Fronting the office is the Cunard War Memorial, a fine column surmounted by the figure of Victory, looking out upon the river

 

The Dock Board Offices

 

Occupy the third and southmost of the great trio of buildings (later called the 'Three Graces') and architecturally the palm must go unhesitatingly to these. The building, great as it is, does not challenge the sky-scraper for height, but it is an architectural poem, beautifully balanced, and for all its size, presenting a most attractive appearance of lightness. Built in 1907, at a cost of £250,000, it is in the Renaissance style and is almost square at the base, the front and back being 260 feet in length, while the sides are 220 feet. The four corner towers reach to a height of 140 feet above the street, and the central dome reaches to 220 feet. The main entrance which faces the river, is of modest dimensions but excellent design. On each side is a figure, one which previously bore a spinning wheel, representing industry, and the other, embracing a ship, symbolising commerce

The visitor, on entering, finds himself in a hall 75 feet across, paved with Calcutta marble, with massive marble columns all round supporting the wide galleries. Above is the impressive view of the great dome and in the floor, below the apex of that dome, the design of a large compass, giving the true North and South, is let into the pavement. Around the lower gallery a continuous band of copper is inscribed with the words "They that go down to the sea in ships that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep"

From the large hall corridors with marble walls branch off to the parts of the building. A grand staircase leads from the main hall to the galleries, and from the latter run corridors to the various offices. The windows which light the staircase are of stained glass with the coats of arms of all nations.

 

In front of the Dock Board Offices is a statue of Sir Alfred Lewis Jones (1845-1909), a ship owner of Liverpool, and the founder of  the important Liverpool School of Tropical medicine, in Pembroke Place. Forming an admirable centrepiece between the Cunard Building and the riverside wall is an equestrian statue of King Edward VII, unveiled in 1921. From the Pierhead wall there is a fine view across the river to Birkenhead and Wallasey, with the prominent towers of their town-halls, and a great concourse of docks, shipbuilding yards, large grain elevators, and other evidences of industry.

 

The Landing Stage

 

We leave the Pierhead and pass down one of the ten hinged bridges which connect the Landing Stage with the mainland. The Landing Stage, a remarkable structure, is 2,534 feet in length-nealy half a mile-and 80 feet broad. It rests on some 200 iron pontoons, is held in position by the bridges and mooring chains with their ends in the river wall, and rises and falls with the tide. What this means is easily seen by anyone who visits the stage at low tide, when the great walls stand high above the water, and again at high tide, when the stage has been lifted 20 feet, allowing the visitor to see what is happening on the land. In addition to the bridges there is, for the use of motor traffic, an inclined roadway, 550 feet long, and this likewise "floats" up and down with the tide. The whole stage divides the northern part of the docks from the southern, and is itself, by name at any rate in two sections - the Prince's Landing Stage and the George's Landing Stage The latter is used entirely by ferry boats and to the former come the great liners, as well as some of the coasting vessels and the boats for North Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Overlooking the Landing Stage is the Titanic Monument, erected in memory of the heroic engineers  who were lost when the Titanic collided with an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York in 1912.

The first foating stage was constructed in 1847 and was 500 feet long. Later, the Prince's Stage, over 1,000 feet long was built, and the two were joined in 1873,. In the next year however, the whole structure was destroyed by fire, at a loss of £150,000. It was then rebuilt practically as it is now.

 

The whole Landing Stage is a favourite promenade for Liverpool people, and almost every visitor inspects it, even if he sees no other feature in the city. It is busiest in the summer, when the traffic to various Merseyside resorts is enormous, and when hundreds of thousands of trippers come and go with the North Wales and Isle of Man steamers. (The luggage boats which once carried thousands of motor-cars, charabancs, and lorries across the Mersey every month have now been discontinued, largely due to their traffic being taken by the Queensway road tunnel). At any time when a liner comes in or departs there is always a large concourse of interested spectators surrounding the iron-railed area to which only voyagers and other privileged persons have access. Immediately behind the Prince's Landing Stage is the Riverside Station, a large double platform terminus designed specifically for the Atlantic and other ocean passenger traffic. The voyager leaves his ship by a sheltered way to the Customs Examination Rooms, then after his luggage has been passed, walks forward still under cover to the waiting express train which is to take him to London and the other large cities of the country. Regaining the Pierhead from the Landing Stage we pass between the Royal Liver and Cunard Buildings to the foot of Water Street. To the right is what little remains since their devastation by aerial bombardment, of the old -fashioned arcade of the Goree Piazzas, above which stood great warehouses and offices which dated from the opening years of the West African trade. Passing in front of the site of the piazzas, we turn into the first turning on the left to Brunswick Street, in which was the Corn Exchange, until it too, was destroyed by bombing. It is interesting to note that after the event the members of the exchange continued to meet here in the open air, until new accommodation was found for them. The corn dealers formerly transacted their business, in common with others, on the flags of Castle Street, in front of the Town Hall. In 1803 however, they raised £10,000, and commenced the exchange in Brunswick Street, which was opened four years later

Nearly opposite the west end of Brunswick Street, and behind the Dock Board Offices, is the principal Ventilation Building of the Queensway Road Tunnel, this imposing structure which embodies also Central Station and operating offices of the ventilating system, was designed (like the tunnel) by H.J Rowse. It is surmounted by a huge tower carrying the blowing and exhaust fans, which soar above the surrounding buildings and the whole is in a modern and very pleasing style of architecture.

We turn to the left into James Street and pass James Street Station, the "City" station of the Mersey Railway. As with the London undergound railway system, the booking hall is level with the street, but the station itself is far below it. There is a good lift service, and a staircase also communicates with the platforms. An inclined subway leads into Water Street, close to the exchange and the Town Hall.

James Street leads to Derby Square, a large open space, on the site of the castle built by King John and pulled down between 1659 and 1726. In the centre now stands a Statue of Queen Victoria, unveiled in 1906, under a dome 56 feet high. A considerable space left by the bombing of the buildings on the south-east side has revealed a fine view of the cathedral. Derby Square is the junction of several important streets. To the left, Castle Street, one of the original streets of the city, in which are the Liverpool branch of the Bank of England and other important buildings leads back to Dale Street opposite the Town Hall. Ahead is Lord Street, to the right South Castle Street leads to Canning Place, the site of the first Liverpool Dock, excavated in 1715, and filled in in 1829. It occupied an area  of nearby 3 and a half square acres. On the same site was subsequently erected the Custom House, a vast building in which was carried on the supervision of the excisable merchandise imported and exported at Liverpool, amountin to many millions of pounds per annum. It was, however, completely destroyed during the Second World War, and the site, up to the present  remains vacant. On the northern side of Canning Place facing South Castle Street, is a bronze statue of William Huskisson (17170-1830) provided for by his widow. It is a duplicate of that in St James Cemetery. Facing the east end of the Place is;_

 

The Sailors Home

 

A most interesting and useful institution. It is, in the best sense of the word a "home" for Jack ashore.

It was built by public subscription, the foundation-stone being laid in 1845. In 1850, the shipping offices were opened, and two years later the home was open for boarders. The institution soon proved its value and the number of sailors using it regularly increased. In 1874, owing to increasing demands, a branch was opened in the north end of the city, from which quarter a large amount of the Atlantic shipping is done. The building in Canning Place rises to a height f six stories, and is in the Elizabethan style. The interior consists of a vast hall, from the sides of which extend six tiers of rooms, two hundred altogether. The dning-room extends across the entire front of the building, and there are also a library, a billiard room, and other communal rooms

 

On the west side of the Home is another important road junction Paradise Street goes left to the junction of Lord Street and Church Street and is continued by Whitechapel, which leads back to Kingsway and St George's Hall. The road going forward soon divides in two : Hanover street, to the left leads to the junction of Church Street and Bold Street, near the Central Station; Duke Street to the right provides the shortest route to the Cathedral. From the north -east corner of Canning Place, South John Street passes through a much bombed area to -

 

Lord Street

 

Which despite the damage it received during the war, remains one of the most fashionable streets in the city. With it's continuation, Church Street and Bold Street, it forms the chief shopping thoroughfare and is always crowded with pedestrians. Some of the best restaurants too, are here-abouts.

Lord Street changes its name to:-

 

Church Street

 

At the spot where Whitechapel and Paradise Street intersect it. The shops of Church Street are on a larger scale generally than those of Lord Street. The thoroughfare takes its name from St Peter's Church, formerly the Parish Church of Liverpool and Pro-Cathedral; but that building was demolished in 1922 and shops erected on the site. On the right hand side of the street Church-Alley gives access to School Lane, which takes its name from the old Bluecoat Hospital and School, founded in 1709 by Bryan Blundell, a seafaring man, the last representative of a once powerful Catholic family from Ince Wigan

His grandfather, having become a Protestant was disowned by his family and went to sea in order to earn a livvelihood. In this vocation he was later followed by his son and grandson; and the latter, having his attention directed to the number of homeless and friendless children in Liverpool, determined to do something for them Appealing to the Mayor and other leading townsmen, he succeeded in raising funds to build the schoolhouse, and in 1756, when he died, a hundred children were being clothed and fed. The charity was in 1906 removed to a new building in Wavertree. The building in School Lane, now known as Bluecoat Chambers, was partly gutted during an air-raid. Exhibitions of paintings etc.  sometimes take place here

 

At the corner of Church Alley and School Lane is the Athenaeum News Room and Library, a proprietary institution formed in 1798, prominent citizens such as William Roscoe and Dr Rutter taking an active part in its foundation, and moved here in 1923. The news room is well supplied with charts, maps, globes, etc. In the rooms above is a valuable and curious library. Many of the books were collected by Roscoe. In Parker Street, leading to Clayton Square (from which Elliot Street returns to Lime Street), are more big shops. At the upper end of Church Street, where it becomes Bold Street, is an open space formed by the junction with Ranelagh Street, the name of the last perpetuating the site of Ranelagh Gardens, a popular eighteenth century resort. It leads to Ranelagh Place, with the prominent Adelphi Hotel at the south end of Lime Street. In Ranelagh Street is the main entrance to Central Station, covering an area of 4 and a half acres, mostly cut out of rock.

At the wstern end of the station and connected with it by a stair-case and subway is the Low-Level station, the terminus of the Mersey Railway, 30 feet below ground. No passenger lift is required here, but one is provided for luggage. The platform is of the "island" type, with lines of rail on each side. This useful connection enables passengers arriving a the Central Station to get to Birkenhead, New Brighton, Hoylake and other places on the Cheshire side of the Mersey without having to cross the city.

Bold Street boasts some of the most exclusive shops in the city. At the corner of Ranelagh Street is the Lyceum with an Ionic portico, and containing a news room, the establishment of which dates back to 1758, a coffee room and other amenities for members. Towards the upper end of Bold Street, Colquitt Street goes off on the right, and near the far end of this is the building which, before the war, housed the Royal Institution, the centre of the literary and scientific societies of Liverpool and district. Established in 1814, the Institution was granted a charter of incorporation by George IV and has done useful if not prominent work. It has now been transferred to the University.

Colquitt Street ends in Duke Street, in which at no 153 (just to the right) lived Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Mrs Blodgett". Fellicia Hemans (1793-1835), the poetess was born at no 118, a little further down on the opposite side

At the head of Bold Street another open space is formed by the junction of it with Renshaw Street , Leece and Berry Streets.    Here in a commanding position stands St Luke's Church, previously one of the most handsome churches in Liverpool, but unhappily like many of the city's religious buildings, almost completely gutted during the war, only the outer walls and the tower being left standing. The chancel was a copy of the famous Beauchamp Chapel at Warwick. The flight of steps to the tower gives and imposing effect to the latter

Renshaw Street goes left to Ranelagh Place and Lime Street and Leece Street ascends to Rondey Street and Hardman Street; but most visitors will now eagerly e turning their steps towards the Cathedral, whose rich and lofty tower has protruded into many views. It is most conveniently reached by way of Berry Street and Upper Duke Street

 

The Cathedral

 

Liverpool Cathedral is built on the ridge of St James 's Mount, an elevated position from which it gradually dominates the city. It is unique, not only being the first cathedral to be built in England in the present century, and the only one to be any part complete, but also in the high individuality and richness of its architecture, which cannot be said to conform to any of the recognised ecclesiastical  style. Though still unfinished as a whole, the wise policy of completing each individual part of the Cathedral in turn has enabled these sections to be used and to be appreciated

The building of the Cathedral is one of the most striking events in the history of the city. The Bishopric of Liverpool was formed in 18180, and the now-demolished Parish Church of St Peter, in Church Street was assigned to the diocese as its cathedral. But from the first it was in the minds of devout churchmen to have a cathedral worthy of the city and the diocese. In 1887 the sum of £41,000 was raised with that object in view, but for various reasons the scheme made little progress, and was eventually postponed until the time was more opportune. That time came when Dr Chavasse was appointed Bishop of Liverpool in 1900. A committee was formed, and in a few monthsthe sume of £325,000 was raised. This was sufficient with which to proceed, and after careful consideration St James's Mount was selected as the site. Here the building has been going forward, as speedily as is consistent with good work, since the foundation stone was laid by King Edward VII on July 19th 1904. The Lady Chapel was consecrated in 1910, and the Choir and Eastern transepts and the Chapter House were opened in 1924. The Central place under the Tower and the western transepts were finished in 1941. Still to be built are the Nave and West Front of the Cathedral , and such smaller features as the Refrectory and the Radcliffe Society.

The architect whose design was selected was Mr Giles Gilbert Scott, the grandson of Sir Gilbert Scott. When his design for Liverpool Cathedral was completed he was only twenty-one years old, and in order to unite his brialliant ability with practical experience, G F Bodley, the great exponent of Gothic architecture , was appointed joint architect. Mr Bodley, however, died two or three years later.

The red sandstone of which the cathedral is composed, has up to now practically all been quarried inside the boundary of the city, at Woolton

 

When it is finished Liverpool Cathedral will be the largest in Britain and the fourth in size among ecclesiastical buildings in the world. It's eventaul total superficial area of 101,000 feet may be compared with London's St Paul's 87,400 square feet - and York Minster - 61,000 square feet - at present the largest cathedral in Britain.

(There was a long description of te Cathedral that I've left out as it would have made the page too long, at some point I'll put it on a page of its own)

 

On the east side of the Cathedral is St James's cemetery, occupying a disused quarry. Among its trees is the domed Mausoleum of William Huskisson, the eminent statesman who was killed while assisting at the inaugeration of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830

Across the south end of the cemetery (the only exit from which is St James's Road) runs Upper Parliament Sreet, and from the junction of this with Hope Street is obtained the best view of the cathedral. The shadows lurking in the depths of the great buttresses of the east end give to the body of the building an impression of strength and solidity, while the more slender ribs of the huge tower create a sense oftre aerial lightness and grace

The shortest route back from the Cathedral to Lime Street is by way of Rodney Street and Mount Pleasant.

Rodney Street, which continues St James's Road northward is full of charming 19th century houses, formerly the residences of some of the most distinguished families of Liverpool. It is the birthplace of W E Gladstone

The house, a fairly large one numbered 62, is now a Toc-H Hostel. It originally stood comparitively detached, with a wing on eah side, but one of the wings has since been altered and converted into a separate dwelling . Here on December 19th 1809, was born William Ewart Gladstone, four times Prime Minister of Great Britain - orator, poet, scholar, statesman; a man of the most varied gifts, eminent in all. He was buried in Westminster Abbey on May 28th 1898. It is remarkable that of the five great parliamentary leaders of Queen Vctoria's reign - the fourteenth Lord Derby, Disraeli, Gladstone, Bright and Salisbury - three belong to South Lancashire and two, Gladstone and Derby to Liverpool and its vicinity

 

At no 9 , further along Rodney Street on the opposite side , were born Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861), the poet and his sister Ann Clough (1820-1892) who became the first principal of Newnham College Cambridge. Rodney Street ends in Mount Pleasant, at the corner of which is Liverpool Chest Hospital. We descend past the imposing headquarters of the Y.M.C.A (built in 1875) and Roscoe Gardens, a quiet by-water and the only remaining part of what was once a graveyard (here William Roscoe, the historian and philanthropist was buried in 1831) to reach Ranelagh Place which is overshadowed by the stately Adelphi Hotel, one of the finest in the country The hotel stands on the site of the White Horse Tavern , connected with Ranelagh Gardens , the scene of many merry eighteenth century junketsings.

In Renshaw Street, to the left here is the Charles Garrett Memorial generally known as the Central Hall, erected on the site of an old Unitarian Chapel. The building, now used for Methodist congregations is capable of holding  3,000 persons In Hawke Street, a short thoroughfare behind the Adelphi Hotel, connecting Copperas Hill and Brownlow Hill is the Roman Catholic Pro Cathedral, dedicated to St Nicholas, and erected 1810-12. It consists of a chancel and nave only : the marble alter designed by Pugin.

From Ranelagh Place, Brownlow Hill ascends direct to the University. Those however, who are making their way thither from the Cathedral commence by way of Hope Street which skirts the east side of St James's cemetery. Further along it are several important buildings. The first of these is the Liverpool Institute, founded in 1825 by William Huskisson and now including the City School of Art, the High School for boys (entrance in Mount Street) and Blackburne House for Girls (right). Next is the Homeopathic Hospital, previously the Hahnemann Hospital (1887).

At the corner of Hardman Street is the School for the Blind , instituted in 1791 - the first of its kind in the world. The buildigs here were opened in 1851 and extended in 1931 to a site formerly occupied by a Chapel for the Blind

On the opposite corner of Hope Street is the Philarmonic Hall, the home of the Liverpool Philarmonic Society. This building designed by Herbert J Rowse, replaces the italianate building  burnt down in 1933. Alongside the Philarmonic Hall starts Myrtle Street, in continuation of Hardman Street. On the left-hand side of it are the Radium Institute, the Eye and Ear Infirmary, an institution established in 1820 and housed in a Gothic structure of brick and terracotta dating from 1879: The Liverpool Gymnasium now organised by the Y.M.C.A and at the end of the range of buildings is:-

 

The Children's Infirmary

 

Officially the Royal Liverpool Childrens Hospital, established in 1851 to provide medical treatment and medicine , and to diffuse amongst the poor a better aquaintance with the methods of managing and nursing sick children The present buildings opened in 1907, were erected at a cost of £60,000 on the site of the old Infirmary Accomodation is provided for both medical and surgical cases. A nurses' home and a laundry is inlcuded in this up to date hospital, and the out-patients department across Mulberry Street is second to none in the city. Continuing along Hope Street, we pass the Masonic Hall, in an Italianate style and the Hope Hall before reaching Mount Pleasant

Hope Hall has had a varied history. Originally built in 1857 as the scene of the ministrations of the Rev. R Aiken, a revivalist from the Isle of Man, it was afterwards consecrated as a Church of St John the Evangelist; in 1853 it was sold by auction ,and is now used as a cinema

At the corner of Mount Pleasant Street, almost on the site of the house where William Roscoe was born, is the Liverpool Medical Institution, a small semi-circular building containing lecture halls, a reading room, a theatre, and a valuable library for the use of medical students. Behind this is the Liverpool Maternity Hospital, opened in 1926, and opposite the latter, on the corner of Oxford Street, are the City Laboratories and University School of Hygiene (1914), the the Departments of Public Health and Bacteriology. Mount Pleasant reaches Brownlow Hill. In the open space are the foundations for the Metropolitain Roman Catholic Cathedral, which when completed, will be by far the largest church in Britain. The design by Sir Edward Luytens.

At the top of Brownlow Hill is the University of Liverpool, founded in 1881. (there is a long description of the University that I've left out as it would have made the page too long, at some point I'l give it a page of its own) Adjoining the University Buildings on the north is:-

 

The Royal Infirmary

 

Designed by Alfred Waterhouse. Affiliated are the Medical Faculty of Liverpool University and the Training School for nurses.  There is the Tropical Diseases Ward, in connection with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and a commodious out-patients department. Brownlow Street, passing the Infirmary, leads into Pembroke Place. Here, near to the Infirmary is the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with a large laboratory. Founded by Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, this school works in conjunction with the University and the Royal Infirmary, its object being to give practical training to medical men in all branches of Tropical Medicine and in the treatment of tropical diseases. The school has become famous the world over on account of its magnificent work in rendering West and Equatorial Africa more habitable.

Pembroke Palce descends westwards to join London Road (which leads back to Lime Street. In the open space formed by the junction of two streets is an equestrian statue of George III, by Westmacott, eected in 1809. In the other direction is the Dental Hospital, opened in 1910. Northward from Pembroke Place to Moss Street, which is continued through Shaw Street is the Liverpool Collegiate School. This college is in the Tudor Gothic style, was designed by the young architect of St George's Hall H L Eames, in 1840 and first housed Liverpool College, a large boys school which is now at Sefton Park. On the opposite side of the road, Langsdale Street descends into Salisbury Street, at the corner of which is the Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier, designed by Pugin, and adjoining a college of that denomination. From the south end of Shaw Street, Islington returns to Willaim Brown Street and Lime Street

 

 

Caryl Williams www.old-liverpool.co.uk Old Liverpool 1998-2008

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