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Thread: Does Liverpool really have more Georgian buildings than Bath?

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Does Liverpool really have more Georgian buildings than Bath?

    I recently had a discussion with Mike Chitty of the Wavertree Society in which two old chestnuts came up. The first, that Liverpool has more listed buildings than any other city outside of London, simply is not true according to Mike. That honour goes to Bradford – and he has checked it up [...]


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    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    I recently had a discussion with Mike Chitty of the Wavertree Society in which two old chestnuts came up. The first, that Liverpool has more listed buildings than any other city outside of London, simply is not true according to Mike. That honour goes to Bradford – and he has checked it up [...]

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    Genuine Georgian or are you including Victorian imitations? Or are we talking listed buildings? Again, not necessarily the same thing...

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    In my blog, I made the point that most of Liverpool's 'Georgian' buildings were Regency/early Victorian unlike Bath where the buildings are true Georgian (before 1820). Georgian is a style of architecture and Liverpool's buildings count on that basis.
    The separate point I raised about listed buildings was to draw attention to the danger of making unsubstantiated claims about the city that become part of the mythology used to promote it. I am all in favour of raising Liverpool's image - it has some fantastic architecture - but not if false premises are made that will potentially be embarrassing at a later date.

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    I suppose it's natural enough, to assume people have checked the relevant info',before they make those sort of statements! The one about the number of Georgian buildings,has been around for a while,and undisputed.....till now! The truth should be told

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    Nice one Colin.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    • Georgian architecture? That is the style and that can also be a new building.
    • Buildings built in the Georgian era tat are still erect?


    I would like any new buildings in or on the edge of the Georgian Quarter built in the same style.
    Georgian style buildings have been continually built for over 200 years.
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    Default The Georgian Era

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    • Georgian architecture? That is the style and that can also be a new building.
    • Buildings built in the Georgian era tat are still erect?


    I would like any new buildings in or on the edge of the Georgian Quarter built in the same style.
    Georgian style buildings have been continually built for over 200 years.
    Nice bit of spin WW.

    Georgian building's should really be classed by the era in which they were built...certainly no later than 1837, when Victoria came to the throne. Some speculator's suggest no later than 1830, with the death of King George IV - he was also Prince Regent during his father's reign, during the madness of George III. Therefore we have the 'Regency era' running in parallel with the Georgian era, from 1811-1820, and when George III died, the Prince Regent became King George IV reigning 1820 - 1830. His brother, William IV, followed in a short reign from 1830 - 1837, and therefore ending the Georgian era for some.

    Georgian era periods often cited:

    1714 - 1811 Prince Regent takes over from his mad father King George III
    1714 - 1820 On the Death of mad King George III.
    1714 - 1830 On the death of King George IV [he was also Prince Regent 1811-1820]
    1714 - 1837 On the death of King William IV. This period is less often included...because his name's William, and not George.

    1837 Queen Victoria accends the throne. Incidentally Victoria herself [niece of William IV] was the last member of the House of Hanover [1714 - 1901].

    The popular vote is that the Georgian era is 1714 - 1830, signifying the end of the four successive king's named 'George'. The period 1830 -1837, under William IV, leaves an uncomfortable gap disliked by historians so much, and have often cited this period as late Georgian...just to fill the space between the Georgian and Victorian eras. All however, belong to the German House of Hanover.



    So the claim, Liverpool has more Georgian buildings than Bath [a Georgian town], as much as I'd like to believe it, is more than likely to be false.

    I'll wait for the claim, Liverpool has more Georgian-styled buildings than Bath, here we may succeed?

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    Thanks Colin,
    Interesting contributions coming out in the thread. I'd always accepted the Georgian claim without really thinking about it.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Nice bit of spin WW.

    Georgian building's should really be classed by the era in which they were built...certainly no later than 1837,
    I disagree. It is a style. Georgian styles were the first mass produced houses. You could buy the plans off the shelf, that is why they were so numerous and they are all the same style types. By looking at detail you can see when it was made as standard plans changed. Builders merchants catered for the contents like standard sized windows, doors, Welsh slate tiles, etc. They were built in the UK, USA, Canada and other colonies. They have been continually built since pre 1837.

    Pre 1837 building still erect in Liverpool, irrespective of style may be more than Bath.

    Georgian "styled buildings? Bath.

    One thing is clear Liverpool did have more buildings built before 1837 and more Georgian "styled" buildings.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    I disagree. It is a style. Georgian styles were the first mass produced houses. You could buy the plans off the shelf, that is why they were so numerous and they are all the same style types. By looking at detail you can see when it was made as standard plans changed. Builders merchants catered for the contents like standard sized windows, doors, Welsh slate tiles, etc. They were built in the UK, USA, Canada and other colonies. They have been continually built since pre 1837.

    Pre 1837 building still erect in Liverpool, irrespective of style may be more than Bath.

    Georgian "styled buildings? Bath.

    One thing is clear Liverpool did have more buildings built before 1837 and more Georgian "styled" buildings.
    Well, it can mean 'era', or 'style' [associated with that era]. Just like we can refer to St George's Hall as being a 'classical' building, even though we know it's from the Victorian era [started 1841]. So you're right in that a building can be known by the 'style' of the era it refers to.

    'Liverpool has more Georgian buildings than Bath' is a claim [for me] about authenticity, not about style though. If not, then I could equally claim that 'London has more 'classical' buildings than Rome'. Granted, they are in the style of classical Rome, or classical Athens, but no seriously minded person would entertain this claim for a second.

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    I think it should apply and is in fact meant to apply to the era. It's no good Wimpey building Georgian style houses this year and us claiming it as part of the Georgian stock though I do agree that new houses in a particular Georgian area should be sympathetic to that style as in Rice Street facing Ye Crack (below) or when renovated back to their replica - former glory as in Duke Street (below)




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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Mock Georgian is like mock Tudor. It just falls flat on it's face. Great examples Ged.

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    They do not even look Georgian and it is clear were not meant to be.

    I have seen many modern Georgian houses that look 100% Georgian copying the original patterns. The windows and how they are spaced is important in the design. The design is well proportioned that uis what they are well liked despite just "developer" houses. I have seen screw ups as well.

    Mock Tudor looks "mock", being a Tudor mix, usually with planks over brickwork giving the impression is is solid wood. The word Tudor was only used from 1911. There again I have seen authentic looking modern houses that look 100s of years old using an wood timber frame.
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    Re: St Georges Hall is Neo-Classical, simply because the time it was built is significantly after the 'Classical' period. Similarly the Anglican Cathedral is 'Neo-Gothic'. Historians have a nasty habit of pidgeon holeing things into distinct periods, this completely ignores the natural progression of history and the fluidic evolution of taste, style and design.

    I am a great believer in doing away with Liverpools tendancy to have its 'history based upon history' but I can see no real error in the claim that we do have more Georgian buildings than Bath other than in simple numbers.

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    Hi fortinian, I agree with you first point. The second, I'm not sure I fully understand? Liverpool's boast about Georgian buildings is an unsubstantiated claim, which invites deserved criticism from others, as Colin first suggested.

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    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    Re: St Georges Hall is Neo-Classical, simply because the time it was built is significantly after the 'Classical' period. Similarly the Anglican Cathedral is 'Neo-Gothic'. Historians have a nasty habit of pidgeon holeing things into distinct periods, this completely ignores the natural progression of history and the fluidic evolution of taste, style and design.

    I am a great believer in doing away with Liverpools tendancy to have its 'history based upon history' but I can see no real error in the claim that we do have more Georgian buildings than Bath other than in simple numbers.
    Maybe that should really read 'neo-Georgian' if you want to include all those houses built in the posh end of Halewood ten years ago...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin View Post
    Thanks Colin,
    Interesting contributions coming out in the thread. I'd always accepted the Georgian claim without really thinking about it.
    Probably because you were too busy carrying that load of firewood(sorry,or getting her to do it!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doh View Post
    Maybe that should really read 'neo-Georgian' if you want to include all those houses built in the posh end of Halewood ten years ago...
    Ha,Ha,

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doh View Post
    Maybe that should really read 'neo-Georgian' if you want to include all those houses built in the posh end of Halewood ten years ago...
    I don't know the houses you are on about but if they were built ten years ago then they would probably be classed as 'modern Neo-Georgian' but the original Neo-Georgian style was that in the late 1900s and early 20th century. Edward Lutyens (him of cathedral fame) was an advocate of Neo-Georgian style.

    A good example of Neo-Georgian is the Liverpool Guild of Students building: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...36.67,,0,-8.92

    The point I was making is that Georgian arcitectual style conventions continued into the first ten years of Victorias reign, there was no firm cut off point when a building became 'Victorian' just cos she was on the throne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    Probably because you were too busy carrying that load of firewood(sorry,or getting her to do it!)
    Division of labour - I was carrying the cigarette.

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I've just had an interesting post from Martin Greaney who states that, according to local authority websites, Bradford has 5700 listed buildings and Liverpool has 2500.
    Something is dreadfully wrong with Liverpool's official PR if they keep peddling fallacious facts. Does anyone ever check what is being put out? OK - if it was a close run thing you might say there are grounds for error - but to be out by 3200 strikes me as being quite a serious misrepresentation.
    Instead of churning out such clearly dodgy 'facts' about Liverpool's heritage - there needs to be a rethink about how the city is branded. It has brilliant architecture - so there is no need to be lazy and just repeat the same clearly unsafe mythology.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    I've just had an interesting post from Martin Greaney who states that, according to local authority websites, Bradford has 5700 listed buildings and Liverpool has 2500.
    Something is dreadfully wrong with Liverpool's official PR if they keep peddling fallacious facts. Does anyone ever check what is being put out? OK - if it was a close run thing you might say there are grounds for error - but to be out by 3200 strikes me as being quite a serious misrepresentation.
    Instead of churning out such clearly dodgy 'facts' about Liverpool's heritage - there needs to be a rethink about how the city is branded. It has brilliant architecture - so there is no need to be lazy and just repeat the same clearly unsafe mythology.
    Does Liverpool have listed blocks with the individual buildings not counted? Liverpool can muster far more listed buildings than Bradford. Maybe the city doesn't try enough. The council do not like a lot of these buildings as it constrains them when they develop.
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    Grade 1 listed buildings - Bradford Metro Brough 12.Bradford City has 7.
    Liverpool has 26 grade 1 and 85 grade 2*.
    Liverpool has the most grade 1 listed buildings outside of that there London.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    I've just had an interesting post from Martin Greaney who states that, according to local authority websites, Bradford has 5700 listed buildings and Liverpool has 2500.
    Something is dreadfully wrong with Liverpool's official PR if they keep peddling fallacious facts. Does anyone ever check what is being put out? OK - if it was a close run thing you might say there are grounds for error - but to be out by 3200 strikes me as being quite a serious misrepresentation.
    Instead of churning out such clearly dodgy 'facts' about Liverpool's heritage - there needs to be a rethink about how the city is branded. It has brilliant architecture - so there is no need to be lazy and just repeat the same clearly unsafe mythology.
    To misquote a certain 'lady': "Bradford would say that - wouldn't they?"

    How were the numbers arrived at?
    I've found it impossible to get an up-to-date list of Liverpool's Listed buildings.

    How often do we hear that English Heritage won't list yet another well-loved Liverpool building, and let listed ones become de-listed so they can be demolished?

    "Does EH like Liverpool?" could be the name for a thread on Yo!

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I am sure all authorities have to adopt the same procedures regarding listing. Take a look at Bristol which has 4500 listed buildings of which a staggering 100 are Grade 1 listed and 500 are Grade 11* listed.
    This raises an additional point - Liverpool's PR machine has always stated that the city has more Grade 1 listed buildings than any other city outside of London. Again - clearly not true.
    These are figures from local authority websites where they have listed totals (some like Manchester just supply a list of individual buildings without a total - which looks considerable but would need totalling up from the list). Liverpool Council's states the city has 'over 2500' listed buildings. Their words - not mine.
    We must not promote the city on lazy, unsubstantiated or plainly incorrect facts. I am amazed out proposal for World Heritage status did not pick up on such errors - it might have had an adverse result.

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Sorry Quentin - I have met quite a few people from English Heritage and I can assure you they love the city. Why would they publish the magnificent series of books on different aspects of the city's heritage if they hated the place. They have actually photographed many aspects of the place over the last 20+ years - including great surveys of warehouses and other threatened buildings.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    I am sure all authorities have to adopt the same procedures regarding listing. Take a look at Bristol which has 4500 listed buildings of which a staggering 100 are Grade 1 listed and 500 are Grade 11* listed.
    Bristol does not to me look like a place with an abundance of buildings of Grade 1 quality. Maybe they apply and get it while Liverpool does not.

    We must not promote the city on lazy, unsubstantiated or plainly incorrect facts. I am amazed out proposal for World Heritage status did not pick up on such errors - it might have had an adverse result.
    All Bath is a World Heritage Site, which is not that big,but big enough. Liverpool has its old docks and large parts of the centre in the WHS and buffer zone. Far more than any other city.
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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I like Bristol - which is a much older city than Liverpool - although I much prefer Liverpool. My point is purely on the presentation of facts that are clearly very suspect. Gnasher brings up the one about Grade 1 listed buildings to add to the ones about Georgian buildings and most listed buildings. We really must get the correct information and stop perpetuating mythologies about Liverpool. If they are all incorrect, it makes us all look a bit foolish.

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    Colin.
    Where do we get up-to-date information?

    I didn't say EH "hated" us.
    I'd rather you didn't put words in my mouth.

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Sorry Quentin, my word not yours - but I don't think there is any conspiracy from English Heritage. They are committed professionals who love architecture (at least the ones I have met are).
    The problem with finding out stats is that English Heritage only allow you to search for specific buildings - and do not appear to have a league table of individual cities/towns etc. Each local authority must keep a register and some give overall numbers (such as Bradford, Bristol and Liverpool) while others just list individual buildings (Manchester has an A-Z of streets with listed buildings). This makes it all a bit difficult - but even a superficial check seems to undermine Liverpool on both the mosted listed buildings and most Grade 1 claims. As for most Georgian buildings - that is down to an individual count (count me out of that one).

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