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The Old Seven Streets of Liverpool
When King John granted Liverpool a charter, or more accurately Letters Patent, in 1207 there were seven streets arranged in an H-shaped grid. These streets are still discernible today. Castle Street, Dale Street, Chapel Street and Tithebarn Street have retained their original names, whilst Bank Street is now Water Street, Mill Street is Old Hall Street, and Juggler Street is now High Street.
1. What will you now find on the site of the medieval castle in Derby Square?
2. If you look down Castle Street what is the magnificent domed building at the far end?
3. On the corner of Castle Street and Cook Street is a building with four Corinthian columns; which bank was this built for?
4. Walk down Cook Street past Union Court, which gives you a glimpse of Dickensian Liverpool on your left. On your right you will find 16 Cook Street. Why was this so unusual when it was built?
5. Along Tithebarn Street you will find an impressive building that was once a railway station. Which station?
6. Behind the Town Hall on Exchange Flags you will find the Nelson Memorial. Who are the prisoners in chains on the memorial?
7. Which sumptuously decorated arcade of shops and offices will you find linking Water Street with Brunswick Street?
8. No. 14 Water Street, on the corner with Covent Garden, is an amazing building. Why was it so controversial when it was first built?
9. How did Chapel Street get its name?
10. The word 'strand' means shore, but why is there a street called The Strand so far from the river?
Answers – Tour 1
1. A magnificent statue, which is Liverpool's tribute to Victoria, Queen and Empress.
2. The Town Hall, designed by John Wood (1749–54); the dome was completed in 1802 and the portico completed in 1811 by James Wyatt.
3. The Bank of England. This was its first branch outside London. It was built 1845–48 and designed by Charles Cockerell.
4. Designed by Peter Ellis and built 1864–66. It was designed as offices and in order to allow as much light in as possible there is an amazing amount of plate glass to the proportion of stonework for the time. It was considered dangerously modern when it was built!
5. Exchange Station built in 1886 by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company, which ran trains from here north and to Scotland. The station closed in the 1970s and was redeveloped into offices known as Mercury Court, but the station façade has been retained.
6. Many people think they are slaves. However, they are French prisoners of war from the wars with Napoleon at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
7. India Buildings completed in 1930 and designed by Arnold Thornely and Herbert J. Rowse.
8. This is Oriel Chambers designed by Peter Ellis and opened in 1864. It was controversial because of the enormous amount of glass in the building. This was to give as much light as possible into the building before electricity was widely used.
9. It was named because of the Chapel of St Mary del Key, first mentioned in 1257, which stood on the site of the present parish church of Our Lady and St Nicholas.
10. The river came right up to the present Strand until the late eighteenth century. All the docks and buildings to the river side of The Strand are built in the river!
UNESCO World Heritage City
You don't have to go to the Taj Mahal to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Liverpool was designated a World Heritage City in 2004 because of its history as a maritime mercantile city. It is considered the supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain's greatest global influence. Liverpool has the biggest and most complete system of historic docks anywhere in the world. The World Heritage Site is spread over six locations in the city. See if you can identify them. These questions will get you started.
1. Liverpool was one of the first ports to have warehouses right on the dock side. This saved having to transport goods from the dock to warehouses in the city. Where will you find this?
2. Which impressive baroque building with its magnificent dome was built as a 'cathedral' to the trade that was coming in and out of the Port of Liverpool?
3. Which building reminds us that a port needs a financial infrastructure with powerful insurance companies to back up the shipping lines?
4. Where will you find a stunning arcade of shops and offices completed in 1930?
5. The merchants of Liverpool were not just focused on making money, they also had literary interests. What was built to prove this?
6. Which Victorian prime minister is quoted as saying 'Liverpool is the second city of the British Empire'? It earned him a statue at the front of St George's Hall.
7. The Bank of England decided that it needed a branch in the 'second city of the British Empire'. Where will you find this building?
8. Where will you find merchant houses and historic warehouses built in the eighteenth century?
9. Where will you find the largest brick warehouse in the world?
10. Which man-made waterway links three parts of the World Heritage Site?
Answers – Tour 2
1. The Albert Dock, designed by Jesse Hartley and architect Philip Hardwick. It was built 1841–46 and opened by Prince Albert in 1846.
2. The Port of Liverpool Building on Canada Boulevard at the Pier Head. It was the headquarters of the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board. It was designed by architects Briggs & Wolstenholme with Thornely & Hobbs and built 1904–07.
3. The Royal Liver Building on Canada Boulevard at the Pier Head was built for the Royal Liver Insurance Company. It was designed by W. Aubrey Thomas and built in 1908–11. It was also innovative as it was the first reinforced concrete building of such a size.
4. India Buildings, which links Water Street and Brunswick Street. It was built for the shipping company Arnold Holt & Co., and was designed by Arnold Thornely and Herbert J. Rowse.
5. The Picton Reading Room in William Brown Street. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock, built 1875–79 with more than a passing similarity to the circular Reading Room at the British Museum.
6. Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81), First Earl of Beaconsfield. He was prime minister from February to December 1868 and 1874–80.
7. On the corner of Cook Street and Castle Street, not far from the Town Hall. It was designed by C.R. Cockerell and was built in 1846–48.
8. Lower Duke Street in the area known as the Rope Walks. In Colquitt Street you will find the Royal Institution in a Paladian mansion built as a house for Thomas Parr in 1799. This gave the intelligentsia of Liverpool a special status.
9. The Stanley Dock Conservation Area to the north of the city. This is the Tobacco Warehouse.
10. The Leeds–Liverpool Canal constructed between 1770 and 1822. It is the longest single canal in the UK constructed by one company. In 2009 the £20 million Liverpool Canal Link extended the canal from the Stanley Dock, past the Three Graces on the Waterfront and into the Albert Dock and the Salthouse Dock, where canal boats can be moored.
The Albert Dock
A revolutionary design when it was opened in 1846, the restoration of the Albert Dock in the 1980s signalled the start of the regeneration of the city. Now it is a magnet for visitors with its shops, cafes, restaurants and museums as well as providing loft apartments.
1. How did the Albert Dock get its name?
2. Where will you learn all about the 'fab four'?
3. A branch of which world famous art gallery will you find here?
4. When he became engineer of the Liverpool docks, Jesse Hartley considered the system inefficient when goods had to be transported from the docks to the warehouse in the town. How was this dock built to cut down on that?
5. Why were 13,729 (or thereabout) beech and elm trees needed before workers could even begin to build the dock?
6. Why did Jesse Hartley, the dock engineer, insist on building the warehouses with cast iron and brick?
7. All the pink Doric columns around the dock are made from cast iron. If you look carefully, however, you will find three grey columns together in one corner. Why is this?
8. Why do so many people who have never been to Liverpool before recognise the Dock Traffic Office with its stone Doric pillars and even talk about a weather map of Britain floating in the dock?
9. Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, visited Liverpool in March 2006. Which museum did she describe as 'extraordinary'?
10. Why can you sometimes see canal narrow boats sailing through the Albert Dock?
Answers – Tour 3
1. On 30 July 1846 Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, came to Liverpool to formally open the new dock and to give it his name.
2. The Beatles Story, a museum about the world famous group from Liverpool, is housed in the basement of the Britannia Pavilion in the Albert Dock. It opened in 1990.
3. Tate Liverpool was opened in the Albert Dock in 1988. It became the home of the National Collection of Modern Art in the North of England.
4. As the warehouses were on the quayside, goods could be unloaded from the ship straight into the bonded warehouses, thus saving a lot of time and energy.
5. The dock was built beyond the shoreline and well into the River Mersey. The trees were needed to give a solid foundation on the river bed on which to build it.
6. Too many of Liverpool's warehouses were vulnerable to fire. Hartley experimented and concluded that the most fire-resistant materials to build with were brick and cast iron.
7. These three columns are made of granite. The dock itself is built of granite and there was some left over. Hartley was determined not to waste it!
8. Granada TV Studios were located in the Dock Office Building between 1986 and 2006. It became famous because the Richard and Judy Show was produced there.
9. The International Slavery Museum, which is housed within the Maritime Museum in the Albert Dock.
10. The Leeds–Liverpool Canal, which originally terminated in the Stanley Dock, was extended in 2009 to enable boats to sail in front of the Three Graces, through the Albert Dock to moorings in the Salthouse Dock.
William Brown Street, the Cultural Quarter
By the middle of the nineteenth century Liverpool was famed as a place where the enterprising could make money and some of them certainly became very rich. The leading citizens wanted to show that they were cultured as well, so William Brown Street became the cultural quarter as buildings were built in the neo-classical style to house a music festival, a museum, a library and an art gallery. St George's Hall is considered a neo-classical masterpiece. One commentator says that the other buildings are not in the same league, but taken together as a piece of romantic classical urban scenery they have no equal in England.
1. St George's Hall was built in 1854 and is one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world, but why was it built?
2. The floor in the concert hall is made of stunningly beautiful Minton tiles. Why can't you always see them?
3. In the concert hall there are statues of a number of outstanding men of the city who made their mark in the nineteenth century. There is now a statue of one woman. Who is she and what important contribution did she make to the city?
4. You will see Walker's Ales advertised on some of the finest pubs in the city. Has this anything to do with the Walker Art Gallery?
5. Why are the gardens behind St George's Hall, alongside William Brown Street, known as St John's Gardens?
6. Where will you find an outstanding collection of Ancient Egyptian antiquities?
7. Why might you have to walk over your favourite books to get into the Central Library?
8. Where can you go to imagine you are in the Reading Room of the British Museum?
9. Where will you get a good panoramic view of William Brown Street and the surrounding area?
10. Just before you enter William Brown Street on the right-hand side is a recently erected memorial in the shape of a massive drum with ninety- six names on it. Why was this placed here?
Answers – Tour 4
1. To house a tri-annual music festival and to provide court rooms for the newly established assize courts.
2. They are covered with deep wood blocks and are only uncovered on special occasions as it is very expensive to do this.
3. Kitty Wilkinson (1786–1860). Kitty believed soiled clothing was not healthy at a time when disease was killing many people in Liverpool. She opened her own home to enable the poor to wash their clothing. She inspired the creation of the network of wash houses throughout the city.
4. Yes. Andrew Barclay Walker, who built some of the best pubs in the city, was elected Mayor of Liverpool in 1873 and gave £20,000 towards the building of the public art gallery that now bears his name.
5. When St George's Hall was built St John's church stood in what is now the gardens. This was a Gothic building built in 1775–83 and demolished in 1898.
6. The World Museum built in 1857–60 in the neo-classical style and rebuilt in 1963–69 after war damage.
7. The walkway leading into the stunningly refurbished Central Library has the titles of some famous books carved into the stone. See how many of them you have read!
8. The Picton Reading Room in the Central Library is a rotunda just like the Reading Room in the British Museum. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock and built in 1875–79. Be careful about entering this room, its atmosphere has the power to draw you into one of its books and you will be there for hours!
9. When you enter the Central Library the new atrium definitely has the wow factor. Go up the escalators or take the lift to the top floor. There you will find a viewing platform that will give you stunning views of St George's Hall and the surrounding buildings, as well as a distant view of the Three Graces and other landmark buildings.
10. This is one of the memorials to the ninety-six football fans killed at the football match at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield in 1989. This event and its aftermath had such a profound effect on the people of Liverpool that you will find other memorials to it as you explore the city.
The Ropewalks of Liverpool
There are several long, narrow straight streets that go downhill in the city towards the Waterfront. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries rope for the rigging of sailing ships was manufactured in Liverpool. This required long, narrow stretches where ropes made from hemp could be spun by rope makers walking backwards from a spinning wheel. The rope makers have long since gone but this group of streets where they spun the hemp is still known as The Ropewalks – Bold Street, Wood Street, Fleet Street, Seel Street and Duke Street.
1. John Bellingham lived on Duke Street. He is unique in British history, for what violent achievement?
2. Nathaniel Hawthorne lodged at 186 Duke Street when he lived in Liverpool in the 1860s. Why was he here?
3. You will find a very fine sandstone building on the corner of Duke Street and Slater Street. It dates from 1800, but why was it built?
4. Just off Duke Street is Colquitt Street and here you will find the Royal Institution. Why has this been a very influential building in the history of the city?
5. Further up Duke Street you will find Dukes Terrace behind the main street. These homes have been converted into through houses for modern living but why do they remind visitors of a darker time for Liverpool's poor?
6. There is a statue of William Huskisson opposite Dukes Terrace. He is remembered in Liverpool because of the way he died – how?
7. At the bottom of Bold Street there is a grand Greek revival building from 1802. What was this built for?
8. Why is one of the streets that turns into Bold Street known as Concert Street?
9. Numbers 14–16 Bold Street date from 1848–61 and have very special plate glass windows. Does this mean the building has a distinguished past?
10 If you look above the shop fronts you will see the original style of the buildings. No. 58 Bold Street stands out for which style of architecture?
Answers – Tour 5
1. He is the only man to have assassinated a British prime minister. He shot Spencer Percival in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812.
2. He was the American Consul.
3. It was built as the Union News Room, a gentlemen's club where patrons could read the newspapers. In the 1850s it became the town's first public library. Only the façade is now original.
4. Built as a private residence in 1799, it was taken over by the Liverpool Royal Institution in 1815 and become the centre for the promotion and study of literature, science and the arts in Liverpool.
5. These are the only surviving back-to-back houses in Liverpool. At the end of the nineteenth century houses such as this would have accommodated thousands of poor people in appalling conditions.
6. He was a Liverpool MP and a senior member of the British Government in the 1820s. He sadly became the first fatal victim of a railway accident when he attended the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway in 1830.
7. This is the Lyceum. It was built to house the first gentlemen's subscription library in England, which had been established in 1757. It closed in 1942.
8. On the corner of Bold Street and Concert Street is a building that used to be the Halles Des Modes because it was a music hall.
9. Yes it does. This building was built for Cripps, a fashion store selling ladies clothes and shawls that was the first of its kind. Miss Tinnie was a celebrated patron of this shop. Bold Street in the nineteenth century was known for fashion stores and furriers.
10. It was built in the Arts and Crafts style, a mid-nineteenth century attempt to return to a style of living before the coming of the factories. Such a style was a myth but it produced some interesting buildings.
Excerpted from "The Blue Badge Guide's Liverpool Quiz Book"
Copyright © 2018 Peter J. Colyer.
Excerpted by permission of The History Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Sara Wilde McKeown,
About the Author,
Tour 1 The Old Seven Streets of Liverpool,
Tour 2 UNESCO World Heritage City,
Tour 3 The Albert Dock,
Tour 4 William Brown Street, the Cultural Quarter,
Tour 5 The Ropewalks of Liverpool,
Tour 6 Rodney Street,
Tour 7 Hope Street,
Tour 8 A Ribbon of Parks,
Tour 9 Two Cathedrals and Other Places of Worship,
Tour 10 A Magical Mystery Tour,
Tour 11 A Pub Crawl,
Tour 12 Listed Buildings,
Tour 13 Tunnels, Bridges and Railways,
Tour 14 Statues,
Tour 15 Sport and Leisure,
Tour 16 War and Peace,
Tour 17 Art and Artists,
Tour 18 Sons and Daughters of Liverpool,
Tour 19 Speke Hall,
Tour 20 Ferry 'Cross the Mersey,
Tour 21 Port Sunlight,
Tour 22 Odd Names and Expressions,