• LOCATION 18 | Liverpool History and Culture: From the Past to the Present

    Bank of England building

    Turn left and keep going along Castle Street.

    The building with the large blue door on the left corner of the street, symbolises Liverpool's wealth in the 19th century. in the mid nineteenth century it was the wealthiest UK city outside of London. It was therefore no surprise therefore that the first UK branch of the Bank Of England outside the capital opened here in 1848.

    It was not prosperity for all, however as there were great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth at the time. For example, less than a half mile behind the town hall, thousands lived in overcrowded, insanitary housing. Recurring epidemics such as cholera killed many. In the 1840s, half of Liverpool children would not reach their 5th birthday. In 1847 the Great Irish famine began and tens of thousands of Irish men, women and children fled their country. As the most convenient port, the great majority headed to Liverpool adding to the enormous strain on the city.

    Liverpool council slowly responded. It demolished the worst accommodation and became the first in the country to build and own housing stock.

    We are nearing the town hall. There has been a hall on this site for over 500 years. The current hall opened in 1754 and is the oldest, unaltered building in the city centre.

    Cross the road at the traffic lights and walk to the street on the right side of the hall.

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Liverpool History and Culture: From the Past to the Present