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Published: August 12th 2022
The Three Graces
The Three Graces. Royal Liver Building. Built in 1908-1910. Pier Head.
"Office building. 1908-10. Aubrey Thomas. Concrete frame with granite cladding. 8 storeys, and 2 storeys of attics. 9 bays, 13-bay returns. Front has 4 giant buttress/projections each of 1 bay width, the middle 2 framing a semi-circular portico of Ionic columns with balustraded parapet; a smaller semi-circular projecting window above with shield of arms and Ionic columns. Ground and 1st floors rusticated. Ground floor has round-arched windows. Upper floors to 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th bays recessed behind parapet and scrolls. Windows with mullions and transoms of 3 lights. Those to projecting bays with transom only. Those to 5th and 6th floors in round headed
recesses with balconies. Top floor recessed behind Doric colonnade. Frieze and bracketed cornice. Receding attics with parapets. Roof piled up with turrets and domes in receding stages. Clock towers with copper liver birds on top. Iron railings and stone piers all round at base. One of the 1st multi-storey concrete framed buildings in the world".
Grade II listed building. List entry Number: 1356370.
Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage site.
After our sojourn in Ireland, Caribbean Princess returned to the UK where our next port of call was Liverpool. Liverpool was a city I very much wanted to visit. My great-grandparents had sailed from here for America. Several of my ancestors lived or were married here. Caribbean Princess
docked at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal, the latest iteration of the Liverpool Landing Stage. The location is ideal, adjacent to Pier Head, with a view of the "Three Graces" World Heritage buildings and downtown Liverpool.
Liverpool has heartily embraced the cruise ship business, as evidenced by dockside greetings by the Liverpool Ukulele Orchestra and the costumed Town Crier. Walking across Pier Head towards the reimagined Albert Dock, we noted the old and new. There are the imposing "Three Graces": the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool building; all built between 1904 and 1916. The Port of Liverpool building retains its original use, but the other two have been repurposed, the Cunard Building as the British Music Experience and the Royal Liver Building as a general (albeit prestigious) office building. On Pier Head are also several modern buildings, part of the Liverpool docks revitalization scheme. The Museum of Liverpool is
Waterloo Warehouse at East Waterloo Dock. Built as a corn warehouse. Adaptive reuse as Waterloo Apartments.
"Warehouse. 1867. George Fosbery Lyster. Brick, with granite base and limestone ground floor, 6 storeys and 43 x 5 bays. Rusticated ground floor of open stone segmental arches and square piers. Shallow barrel vaults underneath, on 4 rows of piers. 5 loading bays and 2 hoist towers with pedimented gables. Paired round-headed windows have iron frames, louvered with round window above. Bands at sill levels. Parapet and cornice"
Grade II listed building. List entry Number: 1062576.
here as the modern Mann Island office buildings (2011).
We spent considerable time seeing the Albert Dock, dedicated by Prince Albert in 1846. The square suite of warehouses surrounding a basin was renovated in 1983-1988 as a mixed-use residential, retail and museum complex and rededicated by Prince Charles. Of particular note to visitors at the Albert Dock are the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the International Slavery Museum, the Tate Liverpool and the Beatles Experience. Pier Head, the Albert Dock and St. Nicholas Church are all part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage site.
The International Slavery Museum shares space in the Albert Dock with the Merseyside Maritime Museum, occupying the third floor. The displays are powerful, and hold nothing back to tell the story of the Atlantic slave trade. Liverpool was a centre of the slave trade, with many slave ships sailing from its port. That is why Liverpool was compelled to tell the story of the salve trade and its aftermath. The museum is arranged in three sections: Life in West Africa; Enslavement and the Middle Passage; and Legacy. To set the stage, the culture of West Africa is shown through exhibits of carvings and
Liverpool Ukulele Orchestra
Liverpool Ukulele Orchestra greets arriving Caribbean Princess passengers. Liverpool Cruise Terminal.
crafts of the West African peoples. Enslavement and the Middle Passage
relates the four centuries of the African slave trade. Exhibits begin with the peoples of the Americas. African peoples were enslaved and brought to replace the aboriginal peoples who succumbed to European diseases. Along with this are brutal displays of shackles, whips and other instruments used to force the enslaved peoples into submission. In juxtaposition are commemorative plates given to slave ship captains to wish them successful and profitable voyages. Three striking videos give first-person dramatizations of the experience of three enslaved women and their families. Legacy
shows a time line of the abolishment of slavery in the 19th century, the gaining of freedom and the aftermath of slavery. It is a most important museum to visit. The presentation is unsettling, as it should be.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum occupies three floors. The exhibits are Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, Lusitania: life loss, legacy, Emigrants to a new world and Seized!, about the Border Force and HM Customs. Between museums we had lunch at the café. Afterwards, Susan and I took a look around more of the Albert Dock area. The Albert Dock opened in 1846 as
Liverpool Town Crier
Liverpool town crier at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal.
a new type of enclosed dock and warehouse space. Goods arrived from and departed to all points of the world. The warehouses were used to store store tea, silk, sugar and spirits among other trade goods. Renovation and repurposing of the Albert Dock began in the 1980s leading to the opened of the Merseyside Maritime Museum in 1986.
I could not leave Liverpool without a visit to St. Nicholas Church, just across the street from Pier Head. In the 19th century, many couples came across the Mersey from the Wirral to marry at St. Nicholas, including my great-great grandparents. The church was bombed during World War II, but much of the original structure and the tower remain.
My maternal grandfather's ancestors came from the Wirral Peninsula, a part of Cheshire lying between the River Mersey and the River Dee. (It has been a part of Merseyside since 1972.) I was not able to visit the Wirral during our Liverpool port call, but I could see a good part of it across the Mersey. The city of Birkenhead was directly across the river from the cruise terminal and further down the river the communities of Wallasey and New Brighton
Memorial to the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room
Memorial to the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room.
"Monument. 1916. By Sir William Goscombe John, originally designed to commemorate the engineers of the SS Titanic. Banded granite obelisk, 14.5 metres high rising from a pedestal set on a tall square chamfered plinth. On the east and west faces of the pedestal are carved life-size figures of the Engine Room Heroes'- stokers on the east face and engineers on the west. On the corners at the foot of the obelisk, at a level above the heads of the figures are carved representations of Water (north-west), Earth (north-east), Fire (south-east), and Air (south-west). Between these, stylised waves in low relief, from which, on each face, a rising sun emerges. At the top of the obelisk, on each face, a draped female form, depicting the sea. The figures grasp between them breech buoys, and thus form an encircling group of figures set beneath the gilded torch flame which crowns the monument. An inscription on the south face of the pedestal reads THE BRAVE DO NOT DIE/ THEIR DEEDS LIVE ON FOR EVER/ AND CALL UPON US/ TO EMULATE THEIR COURAGE/AND DEVOTION TO DUTY' On the north face, the inscription reads ALL HEROES OF THE / MARINE ENGINE ROOM/ THIS MEMORIAL/ WAS ERECTED BY/ INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION/ MCMXVI'. HISTORY: The memorial was originally intended to commemorate the 32 engineers of the Titanic' who remained at their posts to allow the greatest number of passengers to escape from the sinking liner. However, spaces were to be left to record other heroic deeds done by sea-going engineers'. However, because of the very high loss of life at sea during the progress of the First World War, it was thought appropriate to dedicate the monument to all maritime engine room fatalities. The memorial had a considerable influence upon the design of post-1919 war memorials, particularly in respect of the portrayal of the ordinary man or woman, rather than of members of social or military elites. It is thought to be one of the most artistically-significant memorials to the Titanic disaster on either side of the Atlantic.
were visible. Ventilation towers for the two trans-Mersey tunnels dominate the skyline. The Liverpool Landing Stage was in the same location as the present Cruise Terminal, My great-grandparents sailed to America from Liverpool, so I felt I had walked in their footsteps here.
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