Liver Building, Liverpool

23 Reviews

Liverpool waterfront
  • Liver Building
    by Dabs
  • Liver Building
    by liverguide
  • The Liver Buildings at dusk
    The Liver Buildings at dusk
    by Myfanwe

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Liv-ahh or Liv -err ?

    by sourbugger Updated Jan 22, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is certainly unusual that the best known building in a city is home of a very boring institution like an insurance comapany.

    Having said that, this fine early 20th century building also boasts a pair of mythical birds, which are the most well known symbol of the city.

    In terms of pronounciation, they are the "liv -ahh" birds rather that "Liver" in the way that the city itself is pronounced.

    The origin of the use of the bird dates back to 1207 and the creation of Liverpool as a city. King John (1199-1216) needed to establish a military stronghold close to both Wales and Ireland and picked on an insignificant small fishing port

    As a result John granted Liverpool (or Lerpole as it was then known) a "charter of Liberties", and for this favour the town leaders could levy tolls and set up a municipal court.

    The city's fathers therfore choose a symbol which reflected King John's patronage - the Plantaganet emblem of the Black Eagle of St John the Divine holding a sprig of broom in its beak.

    There are a number legends surrounding the birds - the main one being that if they ever fly off. Liverpool wil cease to exist. The other main one appears to be that there is no offspring because they have never seen one another face-to-face.

    Some vivid imaginations around here.

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

    Liver birds...fly away soon.
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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Liver Birds

    by stevezero Written Nov 26, 2005

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    The emblem of the mythical Liver Bird is seen all over Liverpool, and is also on the shirts of Liverpool FC. However the most famous ones are to be seen on the top of the Royal Liver Building at Pier Head.
    The legend of the Liver Bird was spread by the American novelist Herman Melville, most famous for writing Moby Dick. In another novel, Redburn, Melville told the tale of the Liver Bird which he read in a guidebook on visit to Liverpool in 1839, and which he possibly believed to be true. The story now became inextricably linked with the city of Liverpool, although it was still the subject of argument as to whether the bird should look like a Cormorant or an eagle - the current bird shows characteristics of both. It is believed to be the good luck charm of sailors.

    Liver Bird
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  • ROYAL LIVER BUILDING

    by sabsi Written May 4, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Royal Liver Building is probably Liverpool's best known landmark. It is definitely the most impressive part of the Pier Head Buildings. The building is one of the first large concrete buildings in the world - luckily in those days (1908 to 1911) the style to build with concrete was much nicer than some time later!

    The building is home of the Royal Liver Insurance company. At the top of the building there are the city's mythical Liver Birds.

    Notice that Liver is pronounced with an I like in "time" whereas Liverpool is pronounced with an I like in "river"

    Address: Pier Head

    Royal Liver Building
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  • LIVER BIRDS

    by sabsi Updated May 4, 2003

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    The 18-foot tall copper birds above the clock towers are the mythical Liver Birds, symbol of the city. Local legend is that if they fly away, Liverpool will cease to exist. Thank god they are attached by very strong cables ;)

    Address: Royal Liver Building, Pier Head

    A Liver Bird
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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    The Liverpool Skyline

    by littlesam1 Written Apr 20, 2003

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    Behind me you will see the three famous Victorian buildings at the Port of Liverpool. Look closely and you will see the Liver bird on top of the Liver Building. I was standing just outside of the Merseyside Maritime Museum when this picture was taken. I had seen these buildings in many pictures of Liverpool.

    Larry at the Port of Liverpool

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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Royal Liver Building

    by stevezero Written Nov 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A great place to start in Liverpool is at the Pier Head. Here near the ferry 'cross the Mersey, you find the three buildings known as the "Three Graces".
    It was designed by W Aubrey Thomas, and built for the Royal Liver Assurance company and opened in 1911. It continues to serve as the company's head office today. The construction is of steel frames and reinforced concrete, so is a forerunner of the modern skyscraper.
    Visitors have access to the Atrium area on the ground floor and the cafe

    Royal Liver Building, Liverpool Royal Liver Building, Liverpool Royal Liver Building, Liverpool Royal Liver Building, Liverpool Royal Liver Building, Liverpool
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  • Bigs's Profile Photo

    Liver Buildings

    by Bigs Written Jan 4, 2005

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    These "three graces" are maybe the most pictured buildings in Liverpool. Situated right at Pier Head you can't really ignore them. They are huge.

    This is the Dock board Offices building. The most right of the three at night.

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

    Dock Offices

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  • steventilly's Profile Photo

    Waterfront - Liver Building

    by steventilly Updated May 8, 2003

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    Home of the famous "Royal Liver Insurance", built between 1908 and 1911 it was the largest and finest concrete buildings of its time. In fact, it still looks good and is a lesson to all those designers of the grey concrete monstrosities of the 60's.
    The clock towers at front and back are topped by two birds known as "The Liver Birds".

    Liver Building, 2003

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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Royal Liver Building Clock

    by stevezero Written Nov 26, 2005

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    The clock faces beneath the famous Liver Birds are the largest in the country, two and a half feet bigger than the more famous Big Ben in London,
    They are called George clocks as they were started at the exact moment that George V was crowned on 22nd June 1911.

    Address: Pier Head

    Royal Liver Building Clock
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  • londonlover's Profile Photo

    The Liver Birds

    by londonlover Written Jun 26, 2004

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    These three mythological birds sit atop the main buildings on the Liverpool side of the River Mersey. They are a major symbol of the city, and I think they look nice against the stormy sky at dusk, don't you?

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

    Keeping watch over the Mersey

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  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    The Liver Buildings

    by Myfanwe Written Nov 13, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Royal Liver Building is a fantastic Grade I listed building located in at the Pier Head. Along with the neighbouring Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, it is one of Liverpool's Three Graces, which line the city's waterfront and is part of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.

    Opened in 1911, the building is the purpose-built home of the Royal Liver Assurance group, which had been set up in the city in 1850 to provide locals with assistance related to losing a wage-earning relative. The Royal Liver Building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of L and is famed for being home to two fabled Liver Birds that watch over the city and the sea. Legend has it that were these two birds to fly away, then the city would cease to exist. The Bells of the Liver Building clock strike each hour but I was surprised to read that what we here are not actually bells but a series of piano strings played through an amplifier!

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

    The Liver Buildings The Liver Bird The Liver Buildings at dusk The Liver Bird What no bells?...
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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Royal Liver Building

    by Dabs Written Sep 6, 2014

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    As we were walking to the Albert Dock we saw the Royal Liver Building which is topped with a Liver bird. The three buildings here along the waterfront, the Cunard Building, Port of Liverpool Building, and the Royal Liver Building are known as the Three Graces.

    It was opened in 1911 and was home to the Royal Liver Assurance group, it was the tallest building in Europe from completion until 1932 and the tallest in the United Kingdom until 1961. Since then three other buildings in Liverpool have been built that are taller, West Tower, Radio City Tower and Liverpool Cathedral.

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

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  • The Royal Liver Building Liverpool

    by liverguide Written May 11, 2016

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    The iconic Royal Liver Building is possibly the most recognisable of Liverpool's famous Three Graces. The other two graces being Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings which are located nearby. This wonderful trio occupy the former site of Georges dock (1771) which was drained at the start of the twentieth century

    This architectural jewel was built for the Royal Liver Assurance who at the time required a new head office. It was oversized for their requirements but did provide valuable office space for rent.

    The Royal Life Assurance started out as the Liverpool Lyver Burial Society in 1850. The aim of the business was to provide respectable burials for its members and support for families left behind.

    Construction commenced in 1908 and took three years and £530000 to complete. The architect was Walter Aubrey Thomas. It is one of the earliest multi storey reinforced structures in the world. The building comprises of a self contained concrete frame with a network of load bearing columns which support the walls and floors.

    The Royal Liver Building has two towers which provide a lofty perch for the famous Liver Birds. The birds are the winning entry of a competition. The winner of the competition was German sculptor Bernard Bartels (1866-1955). Bartels had settled in England prior to the outbreak of World War One when he found himself arrested and incarcerated in the Isle of Man which lies beteen Liverpool and Ireland. Anti German feelings due to the War lead to Bartels name being erased from the records. However in 2011 Liverpool post humously awarded Bartels the "Citizen of Honour Award" in recognition of his wonderful contribution to the cities skyline.

    Here are a couple of intersting facts about the Royal Liver Building:

    Each Liver Bird is 18 feet tall.

    The Liver Birds are tied down to prevent them flying away. Legend says that if the Liver Birds fly away the city will cease to exist.

    The two clock towers are 295 feet high.

    The tower clocks are bigger than Big Ben in London due to their whopping 25 feet diameter.

    The clocks were started at the same time as King George V was crowned.

    The towers do not have bells but were fitted with chimes in 1953 to remember the Royal Liver employees who lost their lives during the two World Wars.

    There is no general public access to the Royal Liver building. However it is possible to enjoy the buildings exterior from the surrounding thoroughfares.

    The Three Graces are within walking distance of the city centre and convenient for other waterfront attractions including the Albert Dock.

    When visiting the waterfront we suggest taking an extra layer of clothing due to the breeze coming off the River Mersey.?????

    Please visit my self funded website on liverpooltouristinformation.guide before visiting Liverpool.

    Thankyou for reading my review.

    Tip

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Liver Building

    by tim07 Updated Feb 14, 2010

    The Royal Liver Building was built in 1911 as the head office of the Royal Liver Friendly Society. Its size and position on the Pier Head overlooking the Mersey makes it one of the cities most famous buildings.

    This Grade I listed building is 90 metres high with 13 floors. Its two clocks are 7.6 metres wide, making them the biggest in Britain. The 5.5 metre tall copper liver birds that stand on top of the towers are a cross between an eagle and a comorant. They are a symbol of the city of Liverpool.

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

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  • wandabendik's Profile Photo

    Liver Building.

    by wandabendik Updated Jul 4, 2007

    Royal Liver Building
    1908-11
    Listed Grade I
    The head offices of the Royal Liver Friendly Society, which had its origins as a mid-19th century burial club was designed by Aubrey Thomas. It is notable as one of Britain's first multi-storey reinforced concrete framed buildings. Stylistically unique in England, it is more akin to the early tall buildings of America such as the Allegheny Court House (1884) by H. H. Richardson and the Garrick (formerly Schiller) Theatre by Adler and Sullivan, with eclectic Baroque, art nouveau and Byzantine influences in its modelling.

    The roof is piled up with turrets and domes in receding stages and the clock towers have copper Liver Birds on top, by George Cowper and the Bromsgrove Guild. The two birds face away from each other, one towards the river and the other towards the city. The poses are traditional, the birds stand with half-upraised wings, each carrying a sprig of seaweed in its beak. The birds are 18 ft high, their heads are 31/2 ft long, the spread of the wings is 12 ft, their length is 10 ft and the legs are 2ft in circumference. Their bodies and wings are of moulded and hammered copper fixed on a steel armature.

    Although there are Liver Birds on many buildings in Liverpool, it is the two which roost on top of this building that are the biggest in the city and which to many people are the very identity of Liverpool.

    Next year they will be doing tours on the upper gallery to see the birds.

    The large four-dial turret electric clocks when installed were the largest in the United Kingdom.
    The four dials are each twenty five feet in diameter and are two hundred and twenty feet above street level, the clocks hands are made of copper, with each one weighing in at five hundred weight, each hand is fourteen feet in length.

    The clock was made by Gents of Leicester, and before it was delivered to its final resting place the twenty five foot dial was used as a table at a special dinner.

    Address: Liverpool waterfront

    liver buildings. Clock tower liver buildings.

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