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Buildings of Liverpool
Liverpool has a couple of buildings which are worth to notice but can not be considered a sight on its own. However, they are close enough to a major sight to make a small detour and have a look at them.
At the junction of Lime Street, Mount Pleasant, Hanover Street and Copperas Hill you will find some nice Victorian buildings, including one with a characteristic clock and turret. It is very close to Lime Street Train Station.
Along Duke Street, you will find some abandoned buildings which have been used for public art.
127 Mount Pleasant was once a place known for high-society parties. The neoclassical building is Grade II listed. In the 1990s, it was a very popular Irish Pub and Irish cultural centre. There are efforts to refurbish the building and reopen the Irish centre again. It is close to the Metropolitan Cathedral (the Catholic one).
The Great Western buildings at the docks have not been incorporated into the redevelopment of the area. The warehouse dates from the 1890s, the adjoining office building from the 1850s. The Great Western Railway was one of the first commercial railway companies worldwide and opened in 1838. The buildings are located close to the Museum of Liverpool.
In the 19th century, there were around forty residences for harbour officials and workers at the docks. Most of them were destroyed in the 1941 Blitz, only the Piermaster's House survived. The house was restored to resemble a family house during WWII, with all the interior and furniture from this time.
Note that the windows are taped - many people did it to prevent the windows from flying in small pieces into the house when the pressure of an exploding bomb causes them to burst. The explanation in the museum is located close to one of the few windows not taped - and caused the alarm to go off when we were trying to see what was special about that particular window.
The place is great, but do not expect something to spend hours on. Fifteen to twenty minutes is enough for most. There is no entry fee, however a donation is suggested.
- Museum Visits
Queen Victoria Monument
Almost every larger city in the UK has a Queen Victoria Monument and Liverpool's is surely among the most splendid. Queen Victoria has a size of almost 4,5 metres. The four figures on the pedestal represent agriculture, commerce, industry and education while those on the dome are justice, wisdom, charity, peace and fame. The monument was unveiled 1906 by Princess Louise.
Hillsborough Disaster Monument
Though it happened in Sheffield, the Hillsborough disaster is connected with the city of Liverpool. On 15 April 1989, 94 people were crushed to death with further two dying later of injuries. Due to mismanagement in the organisation, hundreds of people were trapped in a space too small for them and even as people tried to climb over the fence onto the safety of the open pitch, they were held back by the police.
This is the most central monument dedicated to the Victims. There are others found in England, for example at Sheffield itself and at Enfield Road Stadium. The flames in the Liverpool FC crest were added to remember the victims as well.
A great old-fashioned pub.
Readers of my other pages will know that I am fond of a pint now and again and I am passionate about old-fashioned British pubs and the appalling rate at which they are closing. See my Dead Pubs society travelogue on my London page for an example of this. It was with genuine pleasure therefore that I happened upon the Crown Hotel directly beside Lime Street train station.
As the photograph hopefully portrays, it is architecturally a beautiful building in, I am led to believe, the Art Nouveau style. I know nothing about such things but I have it on good authority that this is what it is. Recently (in 2008) it was refurbished by the brewers Mitchell and Butler and they seem to have done a good job. Inside, it is no less impressive, although my photographic attempts there foundered somewhat, so you will just have to take my word for it.
The staff were friendly, the pint well served and although I did not eat here, the menu seemed to have some good deals on food.
Definitely worth a visit.
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
The sound of the Fury.
Imagine this. Imagine an artist that was, in his day, selling as much as Elvis or the Beatles. Stumped? Well, welcome to one Billy Fury. A Liverpudlian, now mostly forgotten except amongst music buffs, he really was that big. Certainly a sort of Elvis copy with the upturned collar, pouting lip and quiff, he had 1950's girls literally falling at his feet.
Born Ronald Wycherley (I can understand the name change) in Liverpool in 1940, he became a huge star in the 50's and 60's with hits such as Halfway To Paradise and I'd Never Find Another You.
He worked in TV and films until his untimely early death in 1983 from a long-standing heart complaint. In a city so musically dominated by the Beatles, and to a lesser extent Gerry and the Pacemakers, it is nice to see that this once huge star is remembered in his home place. I thought the statue was a fitting tribute, forever looking out over the Mersey. I think he would have liked it.
- Historical Travel
Lest we forget.
As I have mentioned in other Liverpool tips, the city is inextricably tied to the sea and a seafaring life. In and of itself, this can be a risky enough occupation, but in times of war, the risks are increased exponentially.
Whilst soldiers, airmen and military sailors are rightfuly remembered, there seems to be somewhat of a lack of remembrance of merchant seamen. Especially in the Second World War, when Britain was essentially unde siege from Nazi Germany, this is doubly true.
I have visited the monument to merchant seamen close by Tower hill in London, and never fail to be moved by the sacrifices made. There is a memorial fittingly by the side of the Mersey (main photo) but I found nearby several other small memorials sited on what seemed to be some sort of industrial hatch. I found this a little sad. If you are on the waterfront just East of the Albert Dock, have a look round and you will find these memorials to a lot of brave men.
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
An absolute gem.
Having just wandered out of Lime Street station on my most recent trip to Liverpool, I was just ambling fairly aimlessly as I like to do and felt like a quick drink. Purely by chance, I spotted the Ship and Mitre pub, and what a find it turned out to be.
Readers of my other pages will know I like a drink, for which I make no apology, and I do like the traditional British pub in all it's various forms. This place certainly is one of the best I have visited, it really scores on so many levels.
Firstly, and most importantly, the drink. This place justifiably prides itself on it's selection. There are twelve real ales on draught, changing literally daily. They have a noticeboard affair listing the current selection, which changes several times a day, and also forthcoming beers. Add to this about 30 German bottled beers and about 40 Belgian (or was it the other way round?), a good wine selection, and an excellent spirit selection, and you really have a recipe for a good place. For a cider drinker like myself, the choice of four draught and numerous bottles is almost unheard of and very welcome.
Add to the mix a delightful Art Deco building, which is one of my favourite styles, and friendly, knowledgeable staff, all with the typical Liverpudlian friendliness, and things only get better. A decent kitchen completes the scene, with the local dish Scouse, from which the locals derive the nickname Scousers, being particularly good. Think of an Irish stew made with beef instead of mutton and you have the idea.
Perhaps the best indicator of how good a pub this is comes from the complete mix of people who rub shoulders there. I saw everyone from suited businessmen to working men after a day's graft to students from the nearby University to the odd tourist like myself. Indeed, during the quiz night, you could hardly move in the place.
Even if you are not a drinker, I would recommend a visit here just to have a look at what a good British inner city pub should be.
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Largest two tier theatre in the country hosts touring productions, musicals and concerts. The Empire Theatre in Liverpool is owned by The Empire Theatre (Merseyside )Trust Ltd., a registered charity.
In 1986, local government reorganisation ended the life of the County Council and the Trust, now independent, became the owner of the Empire Theatre.
Apollo Leisure was appointed as managers responsible for all commercial risks and for the maintenance of the property. This removed the need for public sector subsidy. In 1995 the building was in its 70th year and in need of major improvements. Apollo Leisure had brought life back to the theatre and increased audiences, but the larger touring shows and popular musicals could not be accommodated.
The Trust decided to completely refurbish the building and increase the depth of the stage. Liverpool City Council was supportive in planning terms and was interested in a theatre extension that is now on the site of “The Legs of Man” a former public house. In July 1999 The Queen came to Liverpool and reopened the main theatre building.
The total capital project cost some £11 million which was financed from an Arts Council Lottery Grant, Apollo Leisure, European ‘Objective One’ funding and many generous donors. The final project, the Atrium and Annexe, was completed in 2002.
- Theater Travel
City Sightseeing Tours
The tour departs every thirty minutes and each tour lasts one hour the tour encompasses 12 stops starting at the famous Liver Buldings, between stops you can experience sights like the war museum in Chapel Street or remain on the tour and visit Matthew Street, the home of the Cavern Club where the Beatles played. Sir Thomas Street will offer the customer the chance to experience the Conservation Centre and its diverse collections.
Child (5-15yrs): £4.00
Senior (60+): £6.00
Student (requires valid Student ID): £6.00
Family (2 Adult + up to 3 Children): £20.00
St George's Hall
St George's Hall is in Liverpool city centre on Lime Street opposite Lime Street railway station It is a building in neoclassical style which contains concert halls and law courts, and is a Grade I listed building.
St George's plateau is the flat space between the hall and the railway station and contains statues of four lions by Nicholl and cast iron lamp standards with dolphin bases. Also on the plateau are monuments, including equestrian bronzes of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria by Thomas Thorneycroft, and a monument to Major-General William Earle by Birch. Between the equestrian statues is a cenotaph which was unveiled in 1930, designed by L. B. Budden and sculpted by H. Tyson Smith. It consists of a simple horizontal block with a bronze relief measuring over 31 feet (9 m) on each side. Sharples and Pollard regard it as one of the most remarkable war memorials in the country
It is often called the Birkenhead Tunnel to specify it serves Birkenhead as opposed to the Kingsway Tunnel, an alternative tunnel crossing the Mersey, which serves Wallasey.
The tunnel is 3240m (2 miles) long. It contains a single carriageway of four lanes, two in each direction. Different height restrictions apply to the nearside and offside lanes in each direction, due to the curvature of the tunnel. All buses are required to use the offside lane, regardless of their height.
Lane signals (consisting of an illuminated green arrow or red cross) are displayed at regular intervals, although under normal circumstances none of the lanes are currently used bidirectionally. This is in contrast to the Kingsway Tunnel, where three out of four lanes operate in one direction during peak hours.
The tunnel has two branches leading off the main tunnel to the dock areas on both sides of the river. The Birkenhead branch tunnel (known as the Rendel St. branch) is disused. It was closed in 1965. The Liverpool branch tunnel remains in use, in the exit direction only. It emerges opposite the Liver Building. Originally it carried two-way traffic, and the junction inside the tunnel was controlled by traffic lights, but this arrangement was discontinued to reduce the delays brought on by increasing traffic levels
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright
If you walk up Water Street (across the road from the Liver Buildings) keep a look out for the old National Provincial Bank Building on the R/H side just before you reach the Town Hall. The huge doors are decorated with two fantastic ferocious looking tigers. Rubbing the fangs is said to bring good luck and was routinely done by Indian sailors who believed it would ensure them a safe onward passage. Recommeded for all VT's!
- Arts and Culture
Foundation for Art & Technology (FACT)
If you enjoy cinema and visual art why not get along to the brilliant FACT Building. This purpose built arts project was designed by the award winning achitects Austin-Smith:Lord and contains two galleries and three ultra modern cinema screens. These show a combination of arthouse, international and mainstream films. The bar areas are a great place to meet up and hang out. Try to catch a film in 'The Box' This is a small screen with sofa seating and you can take your drinks in with you. A great night out.
- Arts and Culture
Top Tip - How to Save Your Soul From the Devil
One of the strangest sites in Liverpool must surely be the pyramid tomb in the now disused St Andrew's Church Yard. Why a Pyramid? Well, this tomb holds the body of Liverpool's most infamous gambler William Mackenzie. Mackenzie in his desire to secure a winning Poker hand promised his soul to the devil. He won the game but fell ill shortly after. Fearful that his pact would become reality he used his winnings to have this special tomb erected and within it placed his card table and chair. Upon his death he left instructions to be entombed sitting at the table holding the winning cards. Mackenzie reckoned that by being so interred his faustian pact could not be completed and his soul would remain secure. How cool is that!
- Historical Travel
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Liverpool Travel Guide
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