1885: Bacon’s Map of Liverpool


This map of Liverpool by G. W. Bacon (called “The Environs of Liverpool”) was published in around 1885. It shows street-level detail, although only the names of the major roads are marked. The map covers the Wirral and the Mersey in the west, stretching across Liverpool to St. Helens in the east. The most distinctive man-made features on the map (and the only features on the key) are the railways, which are marked sleepers and all.

Also standing out are the parks, including Knowsley in the north east and the city centre parks, and are marked in green.

The map is useful or exploring the shape of Liverpool’s docklands in the middle of the 19th century.

George Washington Bacon (1830 – 1922) was a London based book and map publisher active in the mid to late 19th century. Bacon’s firm G.W. Bacon and Co. purchased the plates created by Edward Weller for the Weekly Dispatch Atlas then modified and updated them for several of their own important atlases, including The New Ordnance Atlas of the British Isles (Geographicus).

21 thoughts on “1885: Bacon’s Map of Liverpool

  • fran street says:

    i have been trying to get this map and later versions i have some bodies story which was let to me but i have to make sure it was true. i searched all broswers for 18hrs a day for three months its not enough but a least it is a start but i do thank you for your maps.
    it would be nice to know if you have later maps but again thanks.

  • Do you have any information on the parade ground, that is shown on the map at the beginning of kensington? It seems to cover a large area, which is now approx 10-12 streets. This is the first time i have ever seen it on any old map. Any information on kensington would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Tracey,

      This is a very important feature in Liverpool’s landscape, and its history, as it was the site of the “first” Olympic Games (more accurately, the First Grand Olympic Festival), which took place in June 1862, running annually until 1867. It was one of many precursors to the ‘official’ international Olympic Games which began with an Athens event in 1896.

      Unfortunately, this famous event makes it very hard to find out any ‘ordinary’ information on the parade ground, though I think it may have been a place for police to practice, and of course, parade! There’s a video on the British Pathe website showing Liverpool police officers on parade. This might be at Mount Vernon, though I’d welcome any comments from readers who may be able to use the buildings in the background to confirm or deny this.


  • Hello,

    I’m trying to locate a street in Liverpool with Bennett in the name. My Grandad was an orphan and was named after the street he was found but his doucments were destroyed in the war after the orphanage was bombed. I want to find the area he was found. There is a bennett street in Guston but I want to find out whether there was a bennett street or similar that was destroyed in the war to be sure I can pinpoint the location. Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I’ve been having a look around and I can’t find any other roads with the name Bennett in them, so I should think that you’re safe assuming you’ve found the right one. Though, as always, I’m happy to be proven wrong!


      • Hi, Iam having the same issue. There was a Bennett Street in the North of the City, possibly Everton area. I have ancestors who lived there and baptised their children in St Annes Church. I have ruled out the Garston Bennett Street as its just too far away to be plausible. I just can’t find the location of the other Bennett Street!

  • Hi there, i am looking for any evidence of a river running under Victoria Street in Liverpool and entering the Mersey by the old floating road.

    Any information welcome.

    • Sounds like a misunderstanding about the Pool of Liverpool – originally a tidal creek which ran along Whitechapel, Paradise Street and was later occupied by the Old Dock and Liverpool One Shopping centre to the Mersey.
      . iain T.

  • hi Matin
    oh can you help me at all , my great grandfather was born in Baptist street in 1851 , i have tried everything to try and get a map of this location it was in Islington , can anyone help i am really struggling to find a map with this street name on .
    i know there was Baptist place and Baptist court , whether they where in the same area i don’t know .
    thank you

  • Diane Howells says:

    I’m looking for Cornwall Street, Everton, West Derby, Lancashire as my 2x great grandfather was living there during the 1871 census and I’d like to see where it was in case it has been redeveloped. Can you give me any help please?

  • sheila gibbons says:

    Can anyone tell me when Toft street was made into a street that ran between Needham Road and Holt road, i was always told that there had been a wall running between what is now 31 and 32 the old maps it is shown but in the 1881 census houses ran from number 1-27 odd side, 2-24,can this be what became 31-55 and 32-58 there has been mention number 25 west and 25 east can this be explained.

    • Hi Sheila,
      I can’t find an exact reason, or the wall itself, but I spotted something interesting on the old maps. It seems there’s a change in the layout of all the houses that border onto the line you mentioned. I’ve attached a map with the line scribbled on top, below. Check the rear extensions on the terraces, which alternate except at that point. I suspect means that this was the border of an old parcel of land, and was developed at slightly different times or by different people. So a wall might have exited at one point. Perhaps a field boundary.

      PS looking at Street View it seems the surviving houses either side of that line are different in architecture too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>