The 19th century was a period of massive industrialisation and urbanisation across Britain and this was reflected in the Merseyside region. Although Liverpool was by far the largest urban centre within Merseyside, the development of a canal system and rail links throughout this period ensured better communications which allowed existing industries to expand and new ones to develop.
The same period saw a rapid increase in the region’s population; Liverpool grew from 77,500 in 1801 to nearly 437,740 in 1861 and 684,959 in 1901, and although natural increase accounted for some of this rise, the arrival of migrants from other regions of the country boosted the population figures considerably, especially during the Irish potato famine of 1845-7. This increase in population provided the workforce for the expanding industries whilst at the same time stimulating the need for housing and other amenities and services.
At the same time Liverpool saw the growth of various industries throughout the city