Articles

Some articles don’t come easily under other categories. These could be comments on the news, thoughts about other cities and archaeological sites, or reports from a conference or lecture I’ve been to.

Breathing Spaces, or A Sense of Placed

Photograph of entrance to Kazimier's pub garden

My interest in landscape is not just restricted to history and archaeology. I’m just as interested in the modern urban landscape (of Liverpool in the case of this blog), because it’s the product of everything that went before. Archaeologists recognise the ‘layers’ of landscape development as truly as they see the ordered layers in the […]

The City and the City and the Liverpool Landscape

Photo of St George's Hall, Liverpool, with CGI enhancements

This website is all about the historic landscape. It’s about how the landscape shapes what happens in the city, and it’s about the landscapes that we invent by living in it. Just think of the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ and the ‘Cavern Quarter’. Though they’re sickly marketing-gimmick names they do acknowledge some of the character that certain […]

Queensway Tunnel tour – Going underground in Liverpool history, part II

The thing which inspired this website from the outset was the huge number of historic features in Liverpool that we take for granted every day. The Queensway Tunnel is one of them. Thousands of people use it every day to commute between Liverpool and Birkenhead. It’s part of the furniture. And yet it’s easy to […]

A traveller to the Pool

The town grew up around a ‘dark pool’, from which is took its name. The pool flowed into a wide river which would one day be famous across the globe, almost synonymous with the town. The river in turn empties into the Irish Sea, for a long time an important trading route both east-west and […]

Liverpool in 1984: first hand history

Photograph of the dragon slide at the International Garden Festival, Liverpool, 1984

Ever had that feeling where you wish someone at the time had taken photos? Imagine the Victorian wealth of knowledge we’d have if even more people had hopped on the photography bandwagon! And sometimes, don’t you wish you’d taken more photos? This local history lark, perhaps without me realising it, has become centred around collecting […]

Accents, buses and lost architecture

Photograph of the Oratory at Liveprool Anglical Cathedral

I’ve got another bunch of links for you today. I’m still catching up with my saved sites, so some of these pages have been around a while. Even if you’ve seen them before, I hope you enjoy revisiting them again now! Map of Williamson Tunnels The Williamson Tunnels team are local history heroes. The bunch […]

The Williamson Tunnels – Going underground in Liverpool history, part I

Photograph of Joseph Williamson's House

Last week was one of my history-indulgent weeks on Merseyside. One where I catch up on the ever-changing town centre (it’s still changing), check that my book’s still on the shelves of Waterstone’s (it’s not 🙁 ) and book myself on a tour or two (I did). First up, on Sunday, I was lucky enough […]

Neolithic Anglesey and the Merseyside connection – a trip with the NSG

Photo of the entrance Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber

Anglesey and North Wales are very close to Liverpool hearts. Countless Welsh builders helped create some of our inner suburbs in distinctive yellow brick, and the red bricks of the University are Welsh too. More recently, there can’t be many Scousers who haven’t had a day trip or two to Llandudno, Conwy or Beaumaris. On […]

Spirits of Place: Where historic landscapes collide (with folklore and fiction)

Photograph John Reppion and Ramsey Campbell at Spirits of Place

There’s nothing like a gathering of like minds to get the keyboard fingers itching to put down a few words! And this past Saturday (2nd April, 2016), the Spirits of Place symposium held at the Calderstones Mansion was just one of those gatherings. The organiser was John Reppion, who’s written a book on 800 Years […]

Who’d be a Scouser?

Are you proud to be a Scouser? Are you relieved not to be a Scouser? Which is right? I’ve recently started reading Candles, Carts & Carbolic: a Liverpool childhood between the Wars by J. Callaghan, which is rapidly becoming my favourite out of the many first hand memoirs of living in Liverpool in the last […]

We’re all living future memories of historic Liverpool

Memories are liberally scattered around this week’s links. Photos of life in Liverpool, plus revealing the hidden corners of the city, and life on the Home Front.

The Liverpool History Geek’s Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again, so what better way to beat the winter blues than to treat yourself to the stuff below. Of course, you could also buy something for the historian in your life, but who’s gonna know?

Zen and the Art of Heritage Protection

Heritage Protection is a controversial field at the best of times. There are almost as many different opinions on a given listing, say, as there are people offering said opinions. It’s difficult for the likes of English Heritage to decide what to protect and what to let go, and it’s certainly not a scientific process. […]

Refurbishing old buildings in the historic landscape

English Heritage have released a new volume of their ‘Constructive Conservation’ series, this one entitled Sustainable Growth for Historic Places. It’s all about the benefits of re-using historic buildings for new purposes, and the effects not only on the bottom line of the developer, but also the ability of these buildings to attract customers and […]

Peel Waters and the New Liverpool Landscape

As you’ll no doubt be aware, the planning application for Peel Waters was recently waved through by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and there will be no public enquiry. Regular readers will remember previous posts, where I’ve come down against the scheme. But now that it looks like going ahead, […]

Mr. John Dewsnap and the teaching of history

This morning, the funeral of Mr. John Dewsnap took place. He was my teacher in year 6 of primary school at Blackmoor Park in West Derby (c.1992-3), and was an inspiration. It might not be too far fetched to say that, if not for him, you might not be reading these words on this website, […]

Toxteth – Some distant childhood memories.

The following blog post is a bit of a departure from the normal round of news or analysis. I was approached by Derek Tunnington who was born in Leeds but grew up in Toxteth, and has many memories of his childhood in Liverpool. What follows is his account of those years. I’d really like to […]

Churches, and Rural Landscapes in Urban Liverpool

Detail of Penny Lane Anglican Church 2, by dkwonsh via Flickr

This article was inspired by Celia Heritage’s recent article on parish churches. Her love of churches, in terms of history, began through researching family history and looking for ancestors’ gravestones. What to look out for in a parish church What to Look Out For in a Parish Church is the first article on the revamped […]

7 ways in which Liverpool *is* the Museum of Liverpool

Photograph of the monument to Edward VII outside the Museum of Liverpool

The new Museum of Liverpool opens this week, to great fanfare and after what seems like a long wait. ‘Museum of Liverpool’ is a very fitting name too, because this is a museum about the city, and about the people. It’s the largest national museum dedicated to a city in over a century, and opens […]

Toxteth – redressing the balance

Photograph of St. James's Church, Toxteth, by SPDP

July 2011 marked 30 years since the violence in Toxteth which would hang a cloud over the suburb of Liverpool for decades

Liverpool Heroes 4: Jesse Hartley

Photograph of the Blue Plaque dedicated to Jesse Hartley

Continuing our look at the men and women who have had the greatest impact on the Liverpool landscape, this time we examine the work of Jesse Hartley, dock engineer. Jesse Hartley (1780-1860) is best known as the architect of the Albert Dock. But this was just one of his achievements as Civil Engineer and Superintendent […]

Liverpool Heroes 3: Vikings in Liverpool

Photograph of a Viking longboat, taking during the 600th anniversary of the foundation of Liverpool

OK, so perhaps the Norse are as far from the ‘Liverpool Radicals’ we have in mind in 2011 as it’s possible to get. They’re distant in time, left little visible trace in our city, and went about changing society through the delicate application of pointy-horned helmets. But of course none of that is strictly true. […]

International Women’s Day – Liverpool Heroes 2: Kitty Wilkinson

Today is International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion this edition of the ‘Liverpool Heroes’ series (see the last post’s coverage of J.A. Brodie) discusses a remarkable women whose effects on Liverpool were felt for decades after her death. Kitty Wilkinson’s story is classic Victorian Liverpool: born in Londonderry in 1786, Wilkinson moved to […]

Liverpool Heroes 1: John Alexander Brodie, City Engineer

In writing about the historic landscape of Liverpool, it’s often the case that the people get mislaid, or hidden from the narrative. This post is the first in a series which aims to redress the balance, and ties in (rather loosely) with Liverpool’s Year of Radicals. These people weren’t radical in a left-wing sense (some […]

Liverpool’s Radicals

The theme for 2011 in Liverpool could be said to be a celebration of the city’s heroes. This centres around the anniversary of the death of Robert Tressel, author of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. This ‘socialist novel’ has been described as ‘seminal’, and sought to publicise the author’s criticisms of the greed of capitalism. It […]

The 2011 Census: History and Research for Liverpool (or, Why fill in the census? A historian’s perspective)

This year sees another census taking place across the United Kingdom. Censuses have been carried out in the UK every ten years since 1801 (with the exception of 1941 – the Second World War) and are therefore are amazing sources of information for family historians. Alongside other sources they can also be useful to the […]

Historic Liverpool 2010: A year in review

It’s the end of 2010. It’s been an… interesting year politically – a coalition government for the first time in my lifetime; frequent use of the word ‘swingeing’ in many and varied ways; the Conservation Centre is shutting its doors to the public; and snow is keeping you indoors reading this. But what else has […]

Liverpool Central Village – a lesson from history?

This week the developer Merepark unveiled a slick video showing the world what the new Liverpool Central Village will look like. Central Village is the name given to the array of shops and flats which is to be built to the north of Bold Street, and which will take in the vacant Lewis’s building on […]

The British Side of Liverpool Cosmopolitanism

Amongst the many things Liverpool is famous for, its long-held cosmopolitan nature is probably one of those which Scousers are less annoyed at being reminded of. Liverpool’s long history of being a world port, along with its notorious role in the African slave trade have perhaps more than any other factors stamped their effects on […]

Poor architecture, not heritage, is preventing investment in Liverpool

Council Leader Joe Anderson has hit out at English Heritage for what he sees as the over-reaching influence and meddling of the ‘heritage lobbyists’ in the future development of Liverpool. Anderson’s current gripe is related to the Liverpool Waters project, which English Heritage advised to be reduced. Since their input, the number of tall buildings […]

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