Kitty Wilkinson, pioneer of health reforms and saviour of hundreds of lives during the cholera outbreak of 1842, is to have her statue erected in St Georges’ Hall. She will be the first woman to have such a memorial here.
Currently a shortlist of potential sculptors is being drawn up, and it may be that descendants of Kitty will be involved in the final selection.
Liverpool Knowledge Quarter revamp
The area and roads outside the Metropolitan Cathedral – Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter – are to get £6m funding for a facelift. The money comes from the Northwest Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
See also Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter gets £6m face lift – BBC Liverpool
Plan of Liverpool Castle by E.W. Cox, from Wikipedia
Last weekend I visited Liverpool Castle. The castle itself was pulled down in 1715 and St George’s Church built in its place. However in 1895 E.W. Cox prepared a reconstruction for the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and in the first decade of the 20th Century the first Viscount Leverhulme built a reconstruction of the ruins of the castle in the village of Rivington near Chorley. Today it stands in Lever Park, a large area of woodland on the east bank of Rivington Reservoir.
The replica castle stands on high ground overlooking the reservoir, and though of course it can never quite match the shape of the landscape in medieval Liverpool, the lake acts as a stand-in for the Pool (compare this plan on Wikipedia with the satellite view on Google Maps). The position of the Mersey itself would have been in a west to east direction, on the north side of the two most complete towers at Rivington.
The castle was incomplete by the time of Lord Leverhulme’s death in 1925 and work stopped, though the majority of the intended layout was in place. Today the castle has its fair share of graffiti, and evidence of fires and drinking are all around. However, it’s a great place to go to get a feel for one of Liverpool’s lost gems.
I’m not sure whether this castle is a full-scale replica or not, so anyone who could shed a bit of light on it would be most helpful! If you’ve been there yourself, what did you think of the place?
The Castle is the subject of my first ever Flickr upload! All Creative Commons, so do with them what you like, as long as you credit me (if you use them please link to this blog or Historic Liverpool).
This week English Heritage released a list of historic sites, wrecks, parks and landmarks they deem most at risk from demolition, development pressure or vandalism. Numerous sites in Liverpool and the surrounding county feature on the list, as detailed in this Liverpool Echo story
A new Beatles museum is being planned for the revamped Pier Head, part of the new Pier Head-based Mersey Ferries terminal. While the irony of this association may have been lost on the builders, the new museum will offer visitors a single ticket for both the ferries and the main Beatles Story at the Albert Dock. Jerry Goldman, director of the Beatles Story, said that plans for the main site had to be changed due to lack of space. The space at the Albert Dock will be doubled, but the Pier Head exhibition will allow them to ‘complete the picture‘.
Although not officially falling within Liverpool’s boundary’s, another of Merseyside’s attractions is drawing attention with the release of a set of postcards of Birkenhead Park. Glyn Holden has been collecting the cards since 1972, showing the Grade II listed park, opened in 1847. The design inspired later parks, such London’s Victoria Park, and Central Park in New York. Wirral Council have given £500 to allow the cards to be shown in the parks pavilion exhibition.
Weak finances and lack of a long-term vision have been two accusations levelled at city councillors recently, as part of an audit into the way a number of local councils are run. In addition, the behaviour of councillors in meetings and the ‘leaking’ of information to the press for short-term political gain have been highlighted in the report. This comes less than a month after the news that Liverpool City Council were revealed as the worst-run financially.
Continuing this series of catch-up stories, I thought I’d mention the recent UKTV History channel’s competition to find Britain’s favourite historic site. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Briton’s were most proud of the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge. In second place, however, was HMS Victory, which I think surprised a lot of people. In third place, however, was our very own Anglican Cathedral! A triumph of the 22 year old Giles Gilbert Scott, it took from 1902 until 1978 for the Cathedral to go from inception to completion. The architect is buried under the bell tower.
The August edition of the Museums Journal contains an interview with Richard Benjamin, the head of the recently opened International Slavery Museum. Although having no curatorial experience when he took on the role, Benjamin
has a bachelor’s degree in urban policy, community and race relations, and studied for a PhD on the archaeology of the African diaspora. Having spent his entire career giving access to education to ‘non-traditional’ groups, he is well qualified to “challenge the bigots, and to give people of African descent a sense of empowerment, by giving them information on African achievement and historical knowledge.”