Our streets are literally paved and named by the history of the city. Let’s take a tour of some of our most familiar routes, and when it comes to their stories, the clue is in the title…
Guess what? There used to be a church on Church Street. The site is still marked by a bronze Maltese cross. Designed by John Moffat, St Peters Church was the Anglican Pro-Cathedral from 1880 until it was demolished in 1922, making way for retail space originally occupied by Woolworths, now Clarks. The church was replaced by the current Liverpool Cathedral.
In the mid-18th century, Sarah Clayton (1712-1779) did the unthinkable and took over the running of the family coal business from her father, MP William Clayton. Sarah became one of the areas most prolific coal dealers and business people in the area, and built Clayton Square in 1752 to immortalise the family name.
As a medieval town, Castle Street was one of our original seven streets, laid in 1235 to leading visiting traders up from the River Mersey to the market-place in front of Liverpool Castle, which was built between 1232-1237, and stood in the area now occupied by the Crown Courts.
Originally known as Lime Kilns Lane, this was where lime kilns used to produce quicklime used in the production of iron and steel, were stored. However, by 1804, the nearby infirmary which stood on the site of St. George’s Hall complained about the fumes, and although they relocated, the name was given to the railway station in 1836.
Home to St Luke’s a.k.a The Bombed Out Church, and The Chinese Arch, Berry Street was named after Henry Berry (1719-1812), Liverpool’s Second Dock Engineer who succeeded Thomas Steers. Berry built Salthouse Dock, George’s Dock and King’s Dock, and lived at the junction of Duke Street, with the adjoining street named after him.
Named after William Hope (1751-1827), a merchant who dealt in fine textiles and built the first house on the street. The original Philharmonic Hall building replaced the Hope family home in 1846, until it was destroyed by a fire in 1933, and replaced by the current building. William’s son, Samuel, rose to prominence as a philanthropist who campaigned against slavery. William’s fourth great-grandchild was Camilla Rosemary Shand – or Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Sir William Brown (1784-1864) moved to Liverpool as a merchant, trading with America. He later became a banker, helping to set up Liverpool bank and assisting with the reformed docks, until becoming an MP for South Lancashire. In 1852, the city had a popular but temporary library, until William bestowed £40,000 to build William Brown Library and Museum as a gift to the city, which opened in October 1860.
In 1708, Reverend Robert Styth and Bryan Blundell founded Liverpool Blue Coat School, “Dedicated to the promotion of Christian charity and the training of poor boys in the principles of the Anglican Church.” The Latin inscription of this directive can be seen above the main entrance today. In 1906 the school moved to a larger site in Wavertree, but the name School Lane remained.
Lord Street was named after one Lord in particular, Lord Molyneux, whose family, the Earls of Sefton, occupied Croxteth Hall. The street was originally called Lord Molyneux Street and in the late 18th century, the Molyneux family owned a home on the north-side of Lord Street, built in 1789, which became a place of business, known as Commerce House which was destroyed in the May blitz of 1941.
Falkner Square on the border of Toxteth, takes its name from Edward Falkner, Sheriff of Lancashire, who defended Liverpool against a threatened French invasion in 1797. The land was known as Moss Lakes Fields until he renamed it Wellington Square. Prospective buyers were reluctant to move outside of town and convinced the houses would sink into the marshy ground. They nicknamed the square Falkner’s Folly which later became Falkner Square with the street leading from the location called Faulker Street.
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