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Extract from the Illustrated London News View of Liverpool

1865: Illustrated London News View of Liverpool from the Mersey

This is a colossal map in a very literal sense (Note: don’t forget to scroll all around and see both panels!). It’s a large print which splits Liverpool across two frames, and was issued as a supplement to the Illustrated London News in 1865.

The view is a bird’s eye panorama like Ackermann’s Panoramic View of 1847, and is as full (if not more so!) than the other map. If anything, the scale is more accurate on this image. The buildings look more true to life, though the ships in the foreground look a little over-sized to help fill the composition.

Panoramic map of Liverpool, 1865
Customs House and Sailors Home

My favourite part of this map is how clearly we see the old Customs House sitting next to the Sailors’ Home – two crucial maritime service buildings. The Albert Dock is also there in all its glory, full of ships of sail and steam.

Panoramic map of Liverpool, 1865
The Albert Dock, with paddle steamers and docked sail ships

Away from the centre’s famous landmarks, we can see a beautifully detailed bird’s-eye view of St James’s Gardens (later the Anglican Cathedral). Nearby stands the Great George Street Congregational Church today operating as the Black-E.

Panoramic map of Liverpool, 1865
St James Gardens and Congregational Church, 1865

This is a bustling image of Liverpool in the middle of its acendancy to pre-eminence. Looking at the skyline brings this home – chimneys pierce the sky next to windmills, those workaday buildings we so often associate with a long-lost agricultural past.

Panoramic map of Liverpool, 1865
Skyline showing windmills alongside industrial chimneys