As I walk around Liverpool, which I do on an almost daily basis, the one question above all others I hear myself saying is along the lines of ‘What was there before?’. Sometimes the answer is easy and is within living memory, other times a quick Google search will suffice. The best times though are when it takes in-depth research to unearth the layers of history a particular building, street, or place may be masking beneath its latest incarnation. This has been the case with St. Paul’s Square and its current 21st Century temples of glass and steel.
What was intended as research for a blog post became more fascinating than I had imagined, and developed into a piece of work hopefully more significant.
If you can I would encourage you to first walk around, or visit virtually, the St. Paul’s Square we have today. Then as you read the full research immerse yourself in the winds of change this fascinating spot has experienced over the past 250+ years.
‘St. Paul’s Church-yard’, as it was initially called, was laid out c1760 on what was then ‘Dog Field’. Steers Dock was but 45 years old but Liverpool was now growing into one of the UK’s and indeed World’s key ports. I very much doubt that those who planned the square had envisaged the incredible wave of change that was soon to engulf both it and the growing town.
The next 250 years tells a tale of a city condensed into a square of just 50 yards by 64 yards. It has elements of immigration, religious intrigue, social change, tragedy, industry, commerce, health care, innovation, entertainment, re-birth, and a world first.
I hope to update the research in coming months as I gather further information, some hopefully shared by readers of this blog post.
If you are interested in helping get the PDF ‘published’, or printed for free distribution to interested parties then I’d love to hear from you!
Please click on the following link to open PDF, and I hope you enjoy!
It would be great to hear your thoughts, cheers.