1910: Bacon’s New Plan of Liverpool

If you’ve browsed this website much before, you’ll be familiar with the name Bacon. He produced the 1885 Plan of Liverpool which is a low-detail overview of much of Merseyside. From that other map you get a general impression of rail links and built up area. But this map, produced 20 years later, is something else altogether.

It’s much more detailed, divided into quarter-mile squares and showing huge amounts of detail. The water in the river, docks and canal is wonderfully rendered with concentric outlines, and the main routes into town are highlighted in a yellow-orange tint.

Landmarks of 1900s Liverpool

The higher level of detail on this map brings out some interesting features making their first appearance on a map. We can see ‘Huskisson’s Monument’ next to the Customs House. William Huskisson’s wife Emily was devastated by his death on the opening day of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway, and erected a number of monuments to him. I’m not sure whether this one survives somewhere else in the city – the monument in St. James cemetery was already in existence in 1910, as this map shows.

At the other end of the social scale are the (at least at the time) steadfastly working class monuments to football: Anfield and Goodison Park. Goodison falls outside the previous detailed map, the 1890 Plan of Liverpool (North Sheet), and was in any case only opened in 1892. Anfield (opened 1884) looks like a blank spot.

In other parts of the city the detail level on this map shows individual houses where they are large enough. The main two examples are in Bootle (shown in the inset map) and around Newsham Park.

In contrast are the dense tangle of streets and buildings in Everton Village. Here, as across north Liverpool, terraces are depicted in long blocks, but it’s still possible to see when houses have space behind them, or are arranged around a central courtyard, such as arund Mackenzie Street.

Edwardian industry and life in Liverpool

Liverpool in 1910 was perhaps at the height of its wealth, population and industry. This is reflected on this map at the docks: the railways around Bramley More and Sandon docks tightly interweave. See also the huge timber yard near Canada Branch Dock, influencing an interesting detail on an old pub nearby.

There are two final interesting developments since the last detailed map was published. Firstly, the Royal Infirmiary has expanded massively, and now extends from Dover Street all the way north to Pembroke Place. Secondly, St John’s Gardens is no longer the churchyard of St Johns: it’s been laid out as a public garden (though with a design that has changed a lot since then).

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