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Thread: Liverpool’s second town hall

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default Liverpool’s second town hall

    A KEY historical building may have been unearthed by archaeologists at the new dockside canal extension.

    Experts are examining remains at the Pier Head they believe may be Liverpool’s second town hall.

    British Waterways is creating a £17m extension to the Leeds and Liverpool canal from Stanley Dock to the Albert Dock.

    Archaeologists have made several interesting finds as workmen dig down more than 20ft to create basins and tunnels for the new link.

    Among them are pieces of sandstone decorated with scrolls and bosses of flowers, which were filling in ground 30ft behind the 18th century Chester Basin walls.

    British Waterways project manager Charlie Wilsoncroft said: “Our archaeologists think they are most likely to be from the second Liverpool town hall and may date from around 1750.

    “They are being catalogued and will be given to the museum.

    “We’ve also discovered some early river wall, made from yellow sandstone which just crumbles when you touch it. We think this dates from the 1720s or 1730s.”

    The work has also uncovered cobblestones, the foundations of dockside warehouses, and large parts of the Chester Basin walls.

    Workers have also discovered the curved rear of the pink sandstone basin wall, which is the colour it would have been 220 years ago.

    Phase one of the canal extension, across the Pier Head and behind the new Museum of Liverpool site, will be completed by June 2008.

    The 20ft wide canal will come out of a tunnel on to the Pier Head, widen out into a basin in front of the Liver Building, then go underground again below a new grassed area in front of the Cunard Building, before coming out into a second stepped landscaped basin outside the Port of Liverpool.

    The work can be seen by webcam by visiting www.britishwaterways.co.uk/liverpoolcanallink

    catherinejones@liverpoolecho.co.uk


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  2. #2
    PhilipG
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    Liverpool's Town Halls have always been on or near the site of the present Town Hall.
    The present building opened in 1754, was gutted by fire in 1795 and rebuilt within the external walls.
    The previous Town Hall of 1673 was practically next door, a little to the south, so whatever they've found near the Pier Head was never the Town Hall.
    I thought archaeologists were supposed to know about local history.

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    Senior Member A.D.W's Avatar
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    I was down at the Pier Head last night, Kev. Oh what a mess the place is in. I do hope it is all worth it in the end!



    When is this building coming down?


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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    Liverpool's Town Halls have always been on or near the site of the present Town Hall.
    The present building opened in 1754, was gutted by fire in 1795 and rebuilt within the external walls.
    The previous Town Hall of 1673 was practically next door, a little to the south, so whatever they've found near the Pier Head was never the Town Hall.
    I thought archaeologists were supposed to know about local history.
    Hi Philip

    This is rather an odd claim. As you indicate, these people may know how to shovel some dirt but they don't know their history if they are making such a claim.

    Chris
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    Yes Phil and Chris. It's the first thing I thought when I read the OP. However, if it's not foundations and just debris or blocks etc, I wonder if something makes them think that rubble from the old building would have been moved there to infill something but it certainly seems odd that they wouldn't know that all the town halls have been on the same site.
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  6. #6
    theninesisters
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. D. Williams View Post
    I was down at the Pier Head last night, Kev. Oh what a mess the place is in. I do hope it is all worth it in the end!



    When is this building coming down?

    Blimy, I remember going for a meal in that place years ago - about 15 years ago!

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    Hi Jona

    How was the chop suey?

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Yes Phil and Chris. It's the first thing I thought when I read the OP. However, if it's not foundations and just debris or blocks etc, I wonder if something makes them think that rubble from the old building would have been moved there to infill something but it certainly seems odd that they wouldn't know that all the town halls have been on the same site.
    Hi Ged

    That might be it since they do say, "Among them are pieces of sandstone decorated with scrolls and bosses of flowers, which were filling in ground 30ft behind the 18th century Chester Basin walls."

    So rubble from one of the early town halls used as fill might be the answer.

    Chris
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    Senior Member taffy's Avatar
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    Default Excavated old sandstones blocks at Pierhead

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Ged

    That might be it since they do say, "Among them are pieces of sandstone decorated with scrolls and bosses of flowers, which were filling in ground 30ft behind the 18th century Chester Basin walls."

    So rubble from one of the early town halls used as fill might be the answer.

    Chris
    Yes I think that's right. After all these docks were built on the river bed and not on dry land as such. The stones must have been used for infill. You can just see them piled up on the sides of the canal excavation in the photo below
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pierhead Liverpool  041.jpg 
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    theninesisters
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Jona

    How was the chop suey?

    Chris
    I think it was an english style restaurant before it was a Chinese restaurant - well either that or they got in my pie and chips just for me

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    MarkA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jona76 View Post
    I think it was an english style restaurant before it was a Chinese restaurant - well either that or they got in my pie and chips just for me
    I seem to remember it was a 'Beefeater'.

  12. #12
    PhilipG
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    The stones have been identified as coming from the 1673 Town Hall, and used as infill.

    Quote:
    "In the area excavated in the previous photo, the site of the former Chester Basin, a number of carved stones were discovered. These have been identified as coming from the old 1673 Liverpool Town Hall, demolished to make way for the existing Town Hall in the 1750s. The stones had been used as infill behind the basin walls."

    Source via 'Wallasey' in Manchester Dock thread.
    http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/ll...ool-link12.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    The stones have been identified as coming from the 1673 Town Hall, and used as infill.

    Quote:
    "In the area excavated in the previous photo, the site of the former Chester Basin, a number of carved stones were discovered. These have been identified as coming from the old 1673 Liverpool Town Hall, demolished to make way for the existing Town Hall in the 1750s. The stones had been used as infill behind the basin walls."

    Source via 'Wallasey' in Manchester Dock thread.
    http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/ll...ool-link12.htm
    Very interesting! Thanks, Wallasey and PhilipG. I hope the carved stones from the old 1673 Liverpool Town Hall will be suitably displayed for the public to see in the new museum as they are one of the only tangible remainders of early Liverpool.

    Chris
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    A truly great re-discovery.
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    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  15. #15
    PhilipG
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    Default Liverpool Town Hall. Built 1673.

    Demolished 1747.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jona76 View Post
    I think it was an english style restaurant before it was a Chinese restaurant - well either that or they got in my pie and chips just for me
    It was the infamous Bernie Inn!

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    I noticed a while ago some stone blocks dumped at the North end of Princes' Dock, some carved. Anyone know the origins of them. I thought they may be the Pier Head stones, unless they're stored elsewhere.

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