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The Northern Powerhouse
Liverpool is a maritime city in the northwest of England, located along the estuary of the River Mersey that opens up to the Irish Sea. With a metropolitan area population of over 2 million, it is the fifth largest in the UK.
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Part of a series on
The Northern Powerhouse
Dating back to 800 years, Liverpool has a rich and interesting past steeped in maritime history. Following from its prominent role in transatlantic trade, the city opened the world’s first commercial wet dock and secured its role as a major port. From there, 40% of the world’s trade sailed through the docks, exposing Liverpool to customs and cultures from all corners of the world that would later shape its arts and culture scene.
The 20th century saw Liverpool’s recovery from the devastation of the Blitz during World War Two and the rise of Beatlemania that seized the world. Today, its regional economy is one of the fastest growing in England.
The Liver Building in Liverpool
It was first recorded around 1190 as ‘Liuerpul,’ which derives from the Old English ‘lifer’ that means thick or muddy water. Centuries later, the name evolved into a variety of different spellings, including ‘Leuerepul,’ ‘Lyuerpole,’ ‘Lytherpole,’ and ‘Litherpoole,’ before settling on ‘Liverpool.’
Liverpool prospered during the industrial revolution and became the world’s leading city for cotton production. As a result, Liverpool’s population grew rapidly from 6,000 to over 80,000.
With its thriving industries and expanding population, the time came to connect it to the rest of the UK’s powerful metropolises. In 1721, Liverpool was linked to Manchester by canal, with Leeds and St. Helens added in later years. When 1830 arrived, Liverpool proved how ahead of its time it was by linking itself to Manchester with the world’s first inter-city rail link.
Following from this was fifty more years of building on its structures, industries, and communities until it was granted its official city status in 1880.
The Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool
Liverpool’s rich history and heritage is visible in its many landmarks in the city centre, including the Royal Albert Dock, the Liver Building, and Anfield Stadium.
Located in the heart of Liverpool’s commercial district, the Town Hall is a beautiful grade I listed building that is a four-minute walk from the Cavern Club. Built between 1749 and 1754, it is one of the finest surviving 18th-century town halls in the country.
Located on Dale Street, Liverpool Town Hall is one of the most important buildings in the city’s history and was the seat of local government for many years.
Today, the town hall is open to the public for tours and serves as a venue for weddings, civil partnerships, conferences, business meetings, and various cultural and musical events.
Liverpool Town Hall is a fine example of 18th-century architecture. The building was designed by John Wood the Elder and is one of the finest surviving examples of his work. Built in the Palladian style, it features a grand central staircase, large assembly room, and a magnificent portico that is well worth seeing.
Liverpool Town Hall
Situated in the heart of Liverpool’s Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site, Tower Building is a grade II listed building and former office block.
It was designed by Aubrey Thomas in 1906, pre-dating his other work, the Royal Liver Building, by two years.
Overlooking St Nicholas Church and the world-famous Royal liver Building, Tower Building was converted into 73 luxury apartments in 2006, with the three lower floors being used for offices and commercial space.
Thomas’ specialised in commercial buildings that were distinguished by his inventiveness and use of the latest advancements in building technology. In fact, Tower Building was one of the first steel framed buildings in the UK.
Liverpool Tower Building
The Museum of Liverpool showcases the city’s global significance and lets visitors explore its unique geography, history, and culture. With over 6,000 objects in its collection, the museum brings Liverpool’s heritage to life by celebrating thousands of years of achievements. Some of its collections include:
Opening its doors in 2011, the museum became the latest addition to the National Museums Liverpool group, replacing the former Museum of Liverpool Life with a new purpose-built site on the famous waterfront.
Designed by Danish architects 3XN and built at a cost of £72 million, the Museum of Liverpool’s design is inspired by the trading ships that once filled the harbour and was the largest newly-built museum in Britain for over 100 years.
It occupies an impressive area of 110 metres long by 60 metres wide, making it longer than the pitches at both Anfield or Goodison Park, and as tall as five Liver Building Liver birds placed end to end.
The Museum of Liverpool
Renowned for its maritime heritage and world trade influence, the former UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the city’s iconic waterfront, as well as other areas of significance.
The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City’s historic role in the development of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution is reflected in its number of landmarks, such as the Liver Building, the Royal Exchange, the Pier Head, and the Royal Albert Dock.
Why was Liverpool Inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Liverpool was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004 due to its Outstanding Universal Value.
The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City was recognised for its outstanding architecture, maritime heritage, and its role in the development of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution.
Why was Liverpool Stripped of its World Heritage Status?
According to UNESCO, Liverpool’s World Heritage Status was lost due to the planned Liverpool Waters project (including Everton football club’s new £500 million stadium) and the “irreversible loss” to the historical value of its Victorian docks.
The loss of Liverpool’s World Heritage Status was a blow to the city, which had been working hard to preserve its heritage. Despite this, the city has remained positive and is continuing to work towards having the site re-inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The Albert Dock is famous for being the first ever purpose-built commercial dock, as well as being one of the busiest docks in the world during the19th and early 20th centuries, with an estimated 40% of the world’s trade passing through it.
Now a grade I listed building and recognised as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, the Royal Albert Dock is a widely known landmark on the River Mersey in Liverpool.
In 1845, the first stone of the Royal Albert Dock was laid by Prince Albert. The dock was then named in his honour and opened in 1846.
The dock was severely damaged during World War II but was later restored and is now a major tourist attraction in the city. In 2018, the Albert Dock was given its Royal title and is now officially known as The Royal Albert Dock.
Designed by engineer Jesse Hartley, the dock was used to handle imports and exports from around the British Empire. The dock was the first in the UK to be built from cast iron, stone, and brick with no structural wood, making it the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world.
The warehouses stored goods such as cotton, silk, tea, tobacco, ivory, and brandy.
The docks were expanded in the early 20th century to accommodate larger ships and became an important facility for transatlantic trade.
Albert Dock in Liverpool
Submerge yourself in Liverpool’s nautical history at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Situated at the Royal Albert Dock, it is the ideal location to learn about the port’s maritime past and its pivotal role as the gateway to the new world.
Discover the dangers, joys, cultures, and community of life on board with stories of Liverpool’s seafarers and passengers from the 1700s to the present day. The museum highlights the fascinating records of the merchant sailors who propelled the city’s prosperity, as well as the tales of passengers who sailed aboard leisure liners.
Other features you can expect to find in the Maritime Museum include:
Merseyside Maritime Musuem
The Merseyside Derby is always a hotly contested match, but the stakes seem even higher when played at Goodison Park. The famed Liverpool stadium has been home to Everton Football Club since 1892 and has seen its fair share of pivotal matches over the years. Whether you are an Evertonian or not, a visit to Goodison Park is definitely a must for any football fan.
Everton FC has played at Goodison Park ever since it opened in 1892, making it the longest-serving stadium in the English Premier League. The stadium has undergone several renovations over the years and now has a capacity of just over 39,000.
Despite its modest size, Goodison Park is renowned for its atmosphere. The Everton fans are some of the most passionate in the country and create an electric atmosphere on matchdays.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Liverpool for a match, make sure to catch a game at Goodison Park. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
Goodison Park, home to Everton FC
Located in the northern part of Liverpool, Anfield is the home of Liverpool Football Club. The stadium was first built in 1884 and has been renovated/expanded several times over the years.
A visit to the iconic stadium is a must for any football fan. Known for its passionate Liverpool supporters, Anfield has an atmosphere that is unrivalled to any other.
Liverpool Football Club was founded in 1892 after a dispute between the board of Everton FC and its president, John Houlding. Houlding wanted Everton to play at his recently constructed Anfield Stadium, but the other board members disagreed. As a result, Houlding formed his own club (Liverpool FC) and Anfield became its home ground.
Anfield has been through several renovations over the years to accommodate the growing number of Liverpool supporters. The most recent expansion came in 2016, which increased stadium capacity to 53,394.
Anfield, home of Liverpool FC
Liverpool’s Pier Head is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, featuring three iconic buildings that make up the Three Graces – one of the most stunning skylines in the world. The Cunard Building, Royal Liver Building, and Port of Liverpool Building were constructed as visible symbols of the city’s international prestige and commercial prowess.
The Royal Liver Building is one of the most iconic buildings in Liverpool and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Towering over the River Mersey, this Grade I listed building is a symbol of the city’s maritime heritage and is part of a world-renowned skyline.
Designed by Aubrey Thomas, the building was completed in 1911 and was the tallest building in the UK at the time, standing almost one hundred metres tall. It was also one of the very first buildings in the world to be built using reinforced concrete.
It was commissioned by the Royal Liver Assurance group, who had grown to become one of the largest insurers in the UK by the early 20th century. The company wanted a new headquarter that would befit their status and act as a symbol of their success. The Royal Liver Assurance group ended up occupying the top floors, while the lower floors were let out to other businesses, with the ground floor being given over to retail space.
The company remained in the building until they relocated to London in the 1960s. Today, the building is open to the public and offers stunning views of Liverpool’s skyline from its observation deck on the top floor. The deck is also home to the famous Liver Birds – the two mythological birds the keep watch over the city.
Often depicted in art and literature as symbols of Liverpool, the Liver Birds go by the name of Bella and Bertie, with Bella looking out to sea while Bertie watches over the city and the families of the seamen.
Urban legend has it that Liverpool will prosper so long as they remain perched atop the Royal Liver Building.
The Royal Liver Building
Situated on the edge of the river Mersey for generations, the landmark is a testament to the city’s maritime heritage. Originally constructed between 1914 and 1917, the Cunard Building is now a Grade II building and is open to the public to tour its beautiful Art Deco interior.
The Cunard Building was commissioned by the Cunard Line in 1909 with the intent of building a new headquarter that would be worthy of its status as one of the world’s leading shipping companies. It was also home to Cunard Line’s passenger facilities for trans-Atlantic journeys, such as booking offices and a passenger terminal.
Today, it is owned by the Liverpool City Council and is home to several public and private organisations, including The British Music Experience.
The Cunard Building is a fine example of Beaux-Arts architecture, with its exterior clad in Portland stone and featuring a number of sculptural details. The main entrance is located on the ground floor and is flanked by two statues of lions.
Inside, it is just as impressive as the building’s exterior, with spacious upper floors, high ceilings, and a grand staircase leading up to the first floor.
The Cunard Building is also home to the Cunard War Memorial, which commemorates the employees of the Cunard Line who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars. The bronze figure of Victory is located in front of the building and lists the names of the employees who died.
The Cunard Building
The Port of Liverpool Building stands as one of the most iconic examples of the city’s rich maritime history and features a distinctive dome in Edwardian Baroque style. The grade II listed building has served as both a customs house and headquarters for the port authority over the years.
Designed by Arnold Thornley, the Port of Liverpool Building was completed in 1907 and was the headquarters of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for from 1907 to 1994. The building was designed to accommodate the growing number of passengers using the port and to provide office space to companies responsible for operating the port.
During World War Two, the Port of Liverpool building was a strategic target for the German Luftwaffe due to the port’s role in shipping goods and supplies in Britain. As a result, the building was targeted during the May Blitz of 1941 and a bomb in the basement caused considerable damage.
However, most of the building was soon reoccupied after temporary repairs thanks to its fire resistant concrete frame. The building was completely restored following the war, with additional funds surpassing original construction costs.
Today, The Port of Liverpool Building is home to a number of prestigious businesses and is open to the public for tours around the building.
The Port of Liverpool Building was designed in Edwardian Baroque style and its structured form has been compared to those of Renaissance palaces. The exterior of the building features a distinctive dome and a number of statues and sculptures that represent different aspects of maritime trade, with mermaids, shells, and anchors adorning its cast iron gates and gate piers.
The interior has been used as a film set in several movies, including Yesterday (2019), a Danny Boyle-directed and Richard Curtis-written movie that depicts a world without the Beatles.
Port of Liverpool Building
Best known for its Premiership football teams, Everton and Liverpool, the city is world-renowned for its sport.
Commonly known as Liverpool FC, Liverpool Football Club is one of the most valued and widely supported football teams in the world. Forming in 1892, it joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield ever since.
The first ever competitive match played by Liverpool FC was against Rotherham Town on September 1, 1892, with the game ending in 7-1 to Liverpool. Then in 1965, Liverpool played against Leeds United and made history by winning their first ever FA cup final. Their success hasn’t stopped there: Liverpool became the first English team to win three trophies in one season and has won more European Cups than any other English team!
If there’s one thing Liverpool fans know, it’s that the club has more than its share of rivals. From the city’s historic Everton rivalry to more recent clashes with Manchester United and Chelsea, the Reds have faced some tough opponents over the years.
The crest of Liverpool Football Club
Everton FC is a professional club based in Liverpool and is one of the most successful teams in English football. Playing its home games at one of the oldest and most iconic stadiums (Goodison Park), Everton FC has had record-breaking success ever since it was founded in 1878.
Everton FC originally played at Anfield, but it moved to Goodison Park following disagreements with John Houlding. In 1879, the team played their first game and won against St.Peter with a 6-0 win. They became founder members of the Football League 10 years later, playing a pivotal role in the football world. Today, the club has nine League Championships, five FA Cups, and one UEFA Winner’s Cup to its name.
As many will know, Everton ’s main rival is Liverpool FC. The two clubs have been enemies since the formation of Liverpool FC in 1892, when Everton left Anfield to move to Goodison Park. The rivalry is also fuelled by the close proximity of the two clubs, as well as their historic successes.
A flag with the crest of Everton FC
With four universities and a huge choice of music venues, pubs, nightclubs, festivals, shops, beaches, and restaurants, Liverpool is the perfect place for students.
The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University are the two largest universities in the city.
LJMU is a major centre for education and research, ranking as 6th best UK university in the StudentCrowd University Awards 2022. It welcomes a community of 21,000 students from more than 100 countries to its urban campus at the heart of the city.
With over 300 degree courses to choose from, LJMU offers a dynamic and forward-thinking student experience.
The university traces its roots back to the Industrial Revolution in – the time it was established as Liverpool Mechanics’ School of Arts in 1823. Its main purpose was to offer evening classes for working men to improve their technical skills. The school later merged to become Liverpool Polytechnic and became what is now Liverpool John Moores University in 1992.
Today, the university is one of the largest in the UK, owning two campuses and 38 buildings- many of which are in the city centre.
From award-winning arts and entertainment figures to Olympic medallists, graduates from Liverpool John Moores University go on to excel in a diverse range of subjects. Notable alumni include:
Liverpool John Moores University
The University of Liverpool is one of the most renowned and oldest universities in the UK. Offering over 400 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the Russel Group University is renowned for being one of the most research-intensive institutes in the country.
The University of Liverpool’s main campus is situated in the city centre and is close to a variety of major tourist attractions, such as the Royal Albert Dock and the Museum of Liverpool.
Established as University College in 1881, it opened its doors to students the following year in what was a disused asylum. Its iconic Grade II listed Victoria Building was built in the Gothic style and inspired the term, ‘redbrick university.’
In 1899, the Liverpool University Press was created, making it the third oldest university press. Publishing the work of numerous Nobel Prize winners, the LUP has a distinguished history of publishing excellence.
Four years later, the institute became an independent university and became known as the University of Liverpool.
The University of Liverpool has produced eight Nobel laureates and many graduates who have gone on to succeed in a range of areas. Notable alumni include:
The University of Liverpool
Liverpool experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with relatively mild summers, cool winters and rainfall spread fairly evenly throughout the year.
|Record high °C||15.1||18.9||21.2||24.6||28.2||30.7||35.5||34.5||30.4||25.9||18.7||15.8||35.5|
|Average high °C||7.5||7.9||9.9||12.8||15.9||18.4||20.0||19.7||17.7||14.2||10.5||8.0||13.6|
|Daily mean °C||5.2||5.3||6.9||9.2||12.1||14.9||16.7||16.6||14.5||11.4||8.1||5.6||10.5|
|Average low °C||2.8||2.7||3.9||5.6||8.3||11.3||13.5||13.5||11.2||8.5||5.7||3.1||7.5|
|Record low °C||−13.1||−11.3||−7.2||−5.6||−1.7||3.4||6.6||3.1||1.7||−2.9||−7.5||−17.6||−17.6|
|Average precipitation mm||69.4||57.1||53.3||49.8||52.5||64.4||65.5||72.1||76.6||89.7||82.2||91.9||824.3|
|Average precipitation days||13.8||11.5||11.3||10.0||9.8||10.4||11.0||12.2||11.8||14.4||15.5||15.4||146.9|
|Average snowy days||6||5||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||22|
|Average relative humidity (%)||85.1||83.5||80.7||77.9||76.6||78.9||79.0||80.1||81.9||84.6||85.1||85.6||80.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||56.0||70.3||105.1||154.2||207.0||191.5||197.0||175.2||132.7||97.3||65.8||46.8||1,499.1|
|Mean daily daylight hours||8.2||9.9||11.9||14.1||15.9||16.9||16.4||14.7||12.7||10.5||8.6||7.6||12.3|
|Average ultraviolet index||0||1||2||4||5||6||6||5||4||2||1||0||3|