Category Archives: Liverpool’s Heritage

Oasis of peace

St James's Cemetery, Liverpool (1979) – Huskisson Monument in the foreground

St James’s Cemetery, Liverpool (1979) – Huskisson Monument in the foreground

A page of Liverpool City Council’s website [http://liverpool.gov.uk/leisure-parks-and-events/parks-and-greenspaces/st-james-gardens] presents the former quarry below the Anglican Cathedral as an “oasis of peace”, a bland description that matches the 1970s landscaping of one of the city’s most dramatic corners.

The stone for much of eighteenth-century Liverpool was quarried here.  As Mount Zion it was a place of resort, especially after the discovery in 1773 of a chalybeate spring which was thought good for “loss of appetite, nervous disorders, lowness of spirit, headache…proceeding from crudities of the stomach, rickets and weak eyes”.

Renamed St James’s Mount, after the newly-built adjacent parish church, around 1775, it became more genteel.  John Bridge opened “a coffee house of considerable repute…frequented principally by persons of a superior class”.  Visitors relished the contrast between the vast quarry face and the “subterraneous [entrance], supported by arches, [which] has a pleasing and romantic effect”.

When the quarry was practically exhausted in 1825 it became St James’s Cemetery, so immediately profitable that as soon as it opened in 1829 its first year of trading paid an 8% dividend.

The Liverpool architect John Foster Jnr designed a funerary chapel, the Oratory, and built a series of retaining walls, ramps and catacombs into the quarry face.  Mike Faulkner’s informative website [http://www.stjamescemetery.co.uk] provides details of the tunnels that gave access for mourners and hearses.

By the time St James’ Cemetery closed in July 1936, 57,774 burials had taken place.  From that time onwards maintenance became an increasingly severe problem.

The floor of the cemetery was almost entirely cleared by the City Council between 1969 and 1972, isolating John Foster Jnr’s magnificent 1833 mausoleum of the Liverpool MP and President of the Board of Trade, William Huskisson (1770-1830).  Huskisson’s statue by John Gibson has been removed for safety.

Other celebrated Liverpudlians buried here include the architect, John Foster Junior (1786-1846), Sir William Brown (1784-1864), donor of the William Brown Library, and the much-loved Catherine “Kitty” Wilkinson (1786-1860), an Irish-born washerwoman of Denison Street.  She is famous for making her water-boiler available to maintain cleanliness during the 1832 Cholera Epidemic, “indefatigable and self-denying, she was the widow’s friend, the support of the orphan, the fearless and unwearied nurse of the sick, the originator of baths and wash-houses for the poor”.

St James’s Gardens, as it’s now known, provides a green amenity in the midst of the city.

But I miss the Gothick atmosphere of the accumulated gravestones and monuments that filled the quarry floor until 1972.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps, a chronology and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

Right idea, wrong moment

Oriel Chambers, Water Street, Liverpool

Oriel Chambers, Water Street, Liverpool

When I take groups around Liverpool city-centre, I pause in front of Oriel Chambers on Water Street, and invite people to guess the date of the building.  Most people get it wildly wrong, as I originally did, unless they’re sharp-eyed enough to spot the date high in the central gable.

Oriel Chambers is a tall, elegant office-block, its framework picked out in nail-headed stone mullions which frame the delicate cast-iron windows which give it its name.

It would do credit to an architect of the present generation:  in fact it was completed in 1864 by a virtually unknown architect, Peter Ellis Jnr (1804-1884), who for his pains was virtually laughed out of the profession.

Its inner courtyard (inaccessible to the public), faced with cantilevered iron cladding, even more uncompromisingly anticipates the Modern Movement.   Except for one other framed building a couple of streets away, 16 Cook Street (1866), Ellis built hardly anywhere else.

Oriel Chambers is also significant in engineering history because Peter Ellis installed the first ever example of a paternoster lift:  https://madeupinbritain.uk/Paternoster.

The Builder pompously dismissed Oriel Chambers out of hand:

The plainest brick warehouse in town is infinitely superior as a building to that large agglomeration of protruding plate-glass bubbles in Water Street termed Oriel Chambers.   Did we not see this vast abortion – which would be depressing were it not ludicrous – with our own eyes, we should have doubted the possibility of its existence.  Where and in what are their beauties [sic] supposed to lie?

Ellis’ obituary in the Liverpool Daily Post (October 24th 1884) describes him as an architect and surveyor “held in high esteem by the members of his own profession” without mentioning a single building or design.

It’s possible, however, that Ellis’ genius had a distant flowering.

After the fall of Atlanta in 1864, an American planter with Liverpool business connections, Simon Root, sent his son to Liverpool for the duration of the American Civil War.  The son was John Wellborn Root (1850-1891), who returned to the USA and became one of the leaders of the Chicago School of architects, responsible for the development of iron- and steel-framed buildings and the birth of the skyscraper in New York and Chicago .

1860s Liverpool wasn’t a big place by modern expectations.  It’s unlikely that the young Root didn’t notice Ellis’ buildings and the fireproof warehouses that Jesse Hartley and George Fosbery Lyster had built along the river front.

There’s no proof, but there’s a strong likelihood that the magnificent achievement of the Chicago School of architects may have a root in the Liverpool buildings that contemporary architects didn’t give the time of day.

The first monograph on the life and work of Peter Ellis is Robert Ainsworth & Graham Jones, In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis (Liverpool History Society 2013).

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps, a chronology and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

Flat-pack churches

St George's Church, Everton, Liverpool

St George’s Church, Everton, Liverpool

The idea of prefabricating architectural bits and pieces for export to the colonies predates the Victorian period.

There was a remarkable collaboration between Thomas Rickman (1776-1841), who became Professor of Architecture at the Liverpool Academy, and John Cragg (1767-1854), the owner of the Mersey Iron Foundry, who was described by a contemporary as “a remarkable man to whom I cannot find a single gracious allusion on anybody’s part”.

Rickman is the archaeological scholar who worked out the chronology of medieval churches, and gave us the expressions ‘Norman’, ‘Early English’ and ‘Decorated’:  [See ‘Buried Lives’ in Barton-on-Humber].

The pair collaborated on three pilot projects in Liverpool:  one, St Philip, Hardman Street, has long gone;  the other two survive as distinctive monuments to nineteenth-century innovation.

At St George’s Church, Everton (1812-14), though the external walls and the tower are stone, the whole of the interior structure – columns, roof-beams, braces and panels – and the window-tracery are of delicate, finely-detailed castings.

The same moulds were also used in Cragg’s own neighbourhood when they built St Michael-in-the-Hamlet, Toxteth (1814-15), where the walls are brick (at one time stuccoed), and all the external architectural detail, such as pinnacles and copings, is also of iron.

Thomas Rickman felt confident that churches could be constructed on these lines for no more than £6,000 each.  In fact, when John Cragg built St Michael-in-the-Hamlet at his own expense, the total outlay using the moulds from St George’s came to £7,865.

Though cast-iron tracery and other ecclesiastical decoration is not uncommon in early-nineteenth century churches and other Gothic Revival buildings, I’ve never come across any reference to recognisable examples of Rickman’s designs for the Mersey Iron Foundry turning up anywhere outside England.

Perhaps somewhere, in a distant land, there’s a church or chapel built from the same kit as the two Liverpool churches.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lecture Survivals & Revivals:  past views of English architecture, please click here.

 

Overhead underground

Former Dingle station, Liverpool Overhead Railway

Former Dingle station, Liverpool Overhead Railway

The Liverpool Overhead Railway was the only example in the British Isles of the American elevated railway, which once filled the streets of New York City and elsewhere with girders and noise.  The most well-known surviving example is the Chicago Loop.

The Liverpool line followed the docks, all the way from Seaforth in the north to Herculaneum in the south, skirting behind the great Pier Head buildings and providing a grandstand view of the ships berthed beside the River Mersey.

My granddad used to take each of his six kids to Liverpool between the wars to ride on the Overhead and, if they were in luck, to tour a transatlantic liner lying up between voyages.

Those dockers who didn’t ride on it to get to work would walk underneath the rail-deck at ground level, so it was known as the “Docker’s Umbrella”.

Hardly any vestige remains above ground of this distinctive piece of transport history, which was scrapped in 1956 simply because it was life-expired.  If it had survived, it would now be a magnet for tourists in a Liverpool very different from the one for which it was built.

One of the two surviving carriages forms a focal point in the display at the new Museum of Liverpool.  (The other is awaiting restoration at the Electric Railway Museum, Baginton, Warwickshire:  http://www.emus.co.uk/lor.htm.)

There is, however, an intriguing survival at the southern end of the line – an underground station.

In 1896, three years after the opening, the railway was extended through half a mile of tunnel to Park Road, Dingle where it linked with the south Liverpool tram services.

The tunnel mouth, above the site of Herculaneum Dock, is still prominently visible, and the station itself survives, much less obvious but structurally intact, in use as a car-body repair shop.

Visitors are made welcome, if you can find it.

Background information and excellent photographs of Dingle Station are at http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/l/liverpool_overhead_railway/index.shtml.

Movie footage of the LOR is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2913oZVvkL8&feature=related.

The King of Edge Hill

Edge Hill Cutting, Liverpool (1990)

Edge Hill Cutting, Liverpool (1990)

When trains approach Liverpool’s Lime Street Station from Edge Hill, it’s possible to discern oddities in the smooth sandstone surface of the dank, vertical-sided cutting.  The line, which was originally in tunnel, runs through a very strange part of the city, honeycombed with what are now called the Williamson Tunnels.

Joseph Williamson was born, possibly in Warrington, on March 10th 1769.  At the age of eleven he arrived in Liverpool looking for work, and made his fortune as a tobacco and snuff merchant and built speculative housing at the then picturesque settlement of Edge Hill.

Standing on the edge of a slope looking down on the River Mersey, these houses were built with arched cellars, which were extended above ground as the natural contour dropped some twenty feet towards Smithdown Lane.

Quite how this development led to the construction of the first man-made caves in the sandstone is unclear.  Possibly Williamson recruited workmen from the droves of unemployed that came seeking work, particularly after the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815.  Perhaps he wished to offer financial support without giving charity.

Legend has it that when in the 1830s Robert Stephenson engineered the first railway tunnel from Edge Hill to Lime Street, the navvies unexpectedly broke through the floor of their works and were confronted by Williamson’s men going about their own tunnelling business.  Stephenson’s men, convinced they had penetrated into Hell, apparently fled.  Eventually, Robert Stephenson and Joseph Williamson met, and the young engineer was sufficiently impressed by the scale and quality of the Edge Hill tunnels to pass on some of Williamson’s workforce to his railway contractors.

At Williamson’s death in 1840 all work on the tunnels stopped, and the owners of the surrounding property quickly took opportunities to break through to dump rubbish in the voids beneath their houses.  The opening out of the rail tunnel into Lime Street sliced through the entire network, including a triple-deck tunnel, evidence of which can still be discerned with difficulty in the walls of the cutting.  Over the following decades the accessible spaces were filled in, and to this day the foundations of new building operations on the former Williamson estate are customarily disrupted by unexpected voids.

By the late twentieth century Williamson’s works had been largely forgotten, except as apocryphal local stories.  In the mid-1990s a group of enthusiasts formed to rediscover and where possible preserve the Edge Hill caves, and to take practical steps to make them accessible to the public.

Three sites are currently under investigation, on Smithdown Lane, Mason Street and Paddington.  A previously unknown entrance to the system was discovered during the construction of the Williamson Student Village.  At Smithdown Lane the Williamson Tunnels visitor centre opened in September 2002, utilising the former Corporation stables that abut one part of the tunnel complex [http://www.williamsontunnels.com/visit.htm].

 

Tunnel under the Mersey

Mersey Tunnel Queensway:  Central Avenue

Mersey Tunnel Queensway: Central Avenue

When you drive through the two Mersey tunnels, the 1934 Queensway and the 1971 Kingsway, you’re being watched – and cared for – by a small team of professionals, many cameras and, in Queensway, a great deal of 1930s over-engineering.

The Mersey Tunnel Tour is the public’s opportunity to see behind the scenes of Queensway, and to understand that it’s much more than a hole in the ground.

The tour takes visitors from the top of the George’s Dock Building, which is essentially an elegant Art Deco fan-assisted chimney with an office block attached, to the safety refuges below the road-deck.  And, of course, back to the surface.

It’s a moderately strenuous two hours, and because the ventilation station is a dusty, though not dirty working building, it’s a good idea to go dressed for gardening rather than tourism.  (On the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, we came straight from St George’s Hall and may have been a little over-dressed.)

The 1920s designers couldn’t be sure how the finished tunnel would work practically.  At the time it was the longest under-river bore in the world.  Furthermore, traffic was changing as horse-drawn carts and electric trams began to give way to motor vehicles.

In these circumstances, especially in a two-way tunnel, ventilation was crucial, and could not be skimped.  The later Kingsway is in fact two unidirectional bores, so the traffic itself acts as a piston, pushing foul air through.  Queensway has six ventilation stations;  Kingsway needs only two.  In each case, the fresh air has to be pumped in at either end:  after all, there’s a river in the middle.

The party-piece on the tour is to see one of the 22ft-diameter fans start up, high in the George’s Dock building.  These are the original 1934 fans, built into the building.  Even at the lowest of four speed-settings, they’re distinctly draughty.

And they work.  When you stand beside the traffic lanes below the river, the air is remarkably fresh.

Another resonant experience is to stand below the road-deck on Central Avenue, an empty corridor intended for double-deck electric trams to connect the Liverpool and Birkenhead systems.

The original specification assumed that the road tunnels would carry 3,000 vehicles per hour, travelling at an average speed of 15mph while maintaining a distance of 100ft apart in four lanes.  Down below, an endless procession of double-deck trams, each carrying perhaps sixty people, could have shifted many more thousands.

Of course, it didn’t work out that way.

In a different age of faster, cleaner road vehicles with far better brakes than between the Wars the ventilation system has a much easier time, yet carries enough capacity to cope with any foreseeable emergency such as a blockage or fire.

One of the benefits of the Mersey Tunnel Tour is the reassurance of seeing how efficiently motorists are looked after if the traffic in the tunnel stops in its tracks.

Not that most people give an emergency a second thought as they breeze between Liverpool and the Wirral, listening to their car radios.  And not realising why they can use their radio in the tunnel.

Booking a Mersey Tunnel tour requires premeditation:  e-mail to tours@merseytravel.gov.uk.

For further background information on the Queensway Tunnel, see http://www.cbrd.co.uk/indepth/queenswaytunnel.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

 

Another Albert

Stanley Dock, Liverpool (1983)

Stanley Dock, Liverpool (1983)

Stanley Dock, in Liverpool’s north docks, comes as a surprise to those who only know the celebrated tourist honey-pot of Albert Dock.

Built soon after Albert by the same engineer, Jesse Hartley, and opened in 1848, Stanley is the only one of the Liverpool docks to lie inland from the dock road.  This is because it forms the link between the dock system and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Only in recent years has this link been extended through what remains of the north docks, across Pier Head in a cutting and into the Albert Dock complex.  Now you can sail your narrow boat all the way into the heart of the rejuvenated city centre:  http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/liverpoolcanallink/link60.htm.

Stanley Dock itself has hardly been touched since the Second World War.  Its austere brick warehouses, with iron columns and semicircular crane-arches, are very similar to the buildings at Albert and Wapping Docks.  Adjacent are entertaining Hartley buildings such as the battlemented gatepiers and the Hydraulic Power Centre (1854).

The southern half of the dock was filled in at the end of the nineteenth century to accommodate Anthony George Lyster’s gigantic Tobacco Warehouse (1900).  Probably the largest warehouse in the world, this impressive structure held raw tobacco in bond.  Alongside is the King’s Pipe, in which scrap tobacco was burnt to avoid paying duty.

The Tobacco Warehouse is gigantic, thirteen storeys (125 feet) high and forty-two bays wide with a floor-area of 36 acres.  Joseph Sharples, in his Pevsner Architectural Guide Liverpool (2004) points out that its great depth and low ceilings (only 7 feet 2 inches because the tobacco was stored in short stacks to prevent damage) have been an obstacle to redevelopment since it came out of use in 1980.

Now at last it looks as if Stanley Dock and the Tobacco Warehouse are ready, after years of planning,  for redevelopment:  see http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/capital-of-culture/capital-of-culture-liverpool-news/2003/12/08/100m-plan-for-tobacco-building-100252-13704568/ and http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2011/12/07/stanley-dock-tobacco-warehouse-residents-will-share-development-with-bats-92534-29908689/2/.

This enormous project will require the disruption of one Liverpool’s Sunday-morning amusements, the Heritage Market:  http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news//tm_headline=dock-market-fear-for-jobs&method=full&objectid=18817453&siteid=50061-name_page.html.   

There is a superb series of images of the Tobacco Warehouse in its current state at http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=797873#post797873.

The photographer, an urban explorer who goes by the name ‘rookinella’, says, “Stanley Dock has made for a fine night’s sleep the few times that we’ve been to Liverpool.  Picturesque views, period features and private en-suite bathrooms for everyone…”  What can they mean?

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps, a chronology and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

 

Alma de Cuba

Former St Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Seel Street, Liverpool

Former St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Seel Street, Liverpool

If you’re looking for somewhere unusual to eat in the centre of Liverpool you can do a lot worse than Alma de Cuba [http://www.alma-de-cuba.com/homepage] on Seel Street, one of the streets running parallel to, and between, Bold Street and Duke Street, within easy walking distance of Lime Street and Liverpool One.

This vibrant, ultra-modern bar restaurant sits inside the oldest surviving Catholic church building in Liverpool.

Indeed, St Peter’s Church is astonishingly old for a post-Reformation Catholic place of worship.  It opened in 1788, ten years after the passing of the first Act of Parliament rescinding the penal laws governing the persecution of Catholics ever since Tudor times.

St Peter’s thrived as a place of worship for nearly two hundred years.

When it could no longer support a local congregation it was transferred in 1976 to the Polish Catholic community and rededicated to Our Lady of Czestochowa.  This attempt to keep it going lasted only two years.

Eventually, the developer Urban Splash rescued the building and it opened as a particularly fine Latin American restaurant in August 2005.

It’s the sort of place where award-winning barmen toss glasses in the air and usually catch them.  And Sunday brunch is enlivened with, of all things, a Gospel choir.

The walls are stripped to the bare brickwork and the ceiling has been removed, revealing the roof-beams.  The ornate Classical sanctuary is intact, with a plate-glass mirror in place of the reredos.

It’s disconcerting to eat and drink and listen to music while staring at the inscription “TU ES PETRUS” – Christ’s words to St Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” [Matthew 16:18].

The contrast between spirituality and hedonism isn’t quite comfortable, and some customers might look askance at the restaurant’s tag-line “Heaven can wait”.

Nevertheless, the building – arguably the most precious archaeological gem of the proud Liverpool Catholic community – survives and is physically safe.  It needn’t be a restaurant for ever, and at least it’s not a pile of rubble.

For so many former places of worship, that’s all too likely a fate.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lecture Survivals & Revivals:  past views of English architecture, please click here.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps, a chronology and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.

 

Everyman

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (1978)

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (1978)

Almost opposite Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral stands – for a short while longer – an undistinguished building of huge cultural importance.

The former Hope Hall, a nonconformist chapel of 1837, after many transformations, became the Everyman Theatre in 1964.  This was the cockpit of artists, writers and playwrights in the great wave of Liverpool’s prominence that followed the success of the Beatles.

The poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, the playwrights Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, and a cluster of actors including Bernard Hill, Anthony Sher, Julie Walters and the late Pete Postlethwaite were associated with the building before and after a further rebuilding in 1975-7.  The premieres of Willy Russell’s John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert (1974) and Shirley Valentine (1986) took place at the Everyman Theatre.

The building was also celebrated for its Everyman Bistro, founded in 1970 by Paddy Byrne and Dave Scott in the basement.  Here was as good a buffet as you could find in Liverpool, and a convivial atmosphere without rival.

Now the Everyman is to be replaced by an entirely new building, opening in 2013, and you can watch the process, day by day, at http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/content/Home/AboutUs/NewEveryman/LiveCam.aspx.  Sooner or later, you’ll see the queue for the reopening.

Sarah Horton and Ronnie Hughes’ film tribute to the Everyman Bistro is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EibgxJnWMKU&feature=player_embedded.

The opening season at the new Everyman begins on Saturday March 8th 2014 with Twelfth Nighthttp://www.everymanplayhouse.com/show/Twelfth_Night/1031.aspx.

 

Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral (Gibberd version)

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

When I take groups to Liverpool, I love to lead them from one cathedral to the other, usually from the Anglican Cathedral, which has pointed arches and a vista towards a distant high altar, to the spectacular circular space of the uncompromisingly modern Catholic Cathedral.

The Metropolitan Cathedral, as it is properly known, was initiated in 1960 when Archibishop (later Cardinal) John Heenan decided a cathedral had to be built, and quickly, on the Brownlow Hill land that had been a building site since the 1930s.

His brief, in the years before the Second Vatican Council, was to have a building that would give a congregation of two thousand an uninterrupted view of the high altar, would cost no more than a million pounds, and could be built within five years.

The competition winner was Sir Frederick Gibberd, who engineered a circular space, with a corona supported by ring beams held in place by sixteen angled pillars and diagonal concrete buttresses.

Within each bay of this structure he placed a variety of free-standing chapels, most of which were initially left plain for future generations to embellish.  The echoing space of the interior is lit by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens’ deeply coloured glass.

The Metropolitan Cathedral was consecrated in 1967 – completed on time and within budget.

Like so much 1960s architecture, the haste to complete meant that new, untried materials were used which did not stand the test of time.  Within a generation, the leaking roof had to be reinstated and much of the cladding replaced.  The processional approach that Gibberd intended was only constructed at the start of this century.

Nevertheless, the spiky profile of the Metropolitan Cathedral has integrated into the Liverpool skyline with a much lighter touch than Lutyens’ bombastic basilica ever could.

It’s ironic that the architect of the Anglican Cathedral, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was a Catholic;  Sir Frederick Gibberd, architect of the Catholic Cathedral, was in fact a Methodist.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lectures on Liverpool architecture, please click here.

The 68-page, A4 handbook for the 2011 Liverpool’s Heritage tour, with text, photographs, maps, a chronology and a reading list, is available for purchase, price £15.00 including postage and packing.  To view sample pages click here.  Please send a cheque, payable to Mike Higginbottom, to 63 Vivian Road, Sheffield, S5 6WJ.