Lord Street c1887
Lord Street 1900
Lord Street 1955
Lord Street is a short street, litle more than a hundred metres from Whitechapel to Derby Square. According to Picton’s Memorials of Liverpool, in 1668-70, Castle Orchard ran from the castle down towards the original pool (where Whitechapel is today). The stream was crossed by a bridge with the path leading to the Great Heath (the land to the east of the pool and south of London Road). The land was owned by Lord Molyneux who fell into dispute with the Corporation as to the right of way. The dispute was settled by treaty and Lord Street (originally Lord Molyneux Street) was formed and a stone bridge was built across the stream. Intriguingly, Picton mentions that in 1851, excavations for sewers uncovered the arch of the bridge, which had apparently been buried a few feet below street level. The width of the bridge was about 15 feet. According to Picton, the bridge was covered up and still existed in 1873). Does it still remain? A fascinating prospect for a future Time Team exploration.
The top photograph was sent to me courtesy of Charlie Schreiner. He had bought it on eBay because the description suggested it was possibly a daguerrotype. In fact, the photograph is a peculiar hybrid but of a much later date (daguerrotypes had largely disappeared by the 1850s). Charlie forwarded me his scan of the photograph and it was soon clear that it was from the late 1880s (Hope Bros did not start trading at that site until c1887). The view up Lord Street terminates with the Church of St George,(1726-34), a fine building in the Classical tradition. A later addition was a fine east window by W.Hilton, described by Picton as one of the finest compositions of the English school. The council paid the artist £1000 for the commission – a considerable sum. In Picton’s words: It is not often we have to record munificent encouragement of the arts in the proceedings of town councils. Let this stand to their credit.
The second photograph (courtesy of LRO), taken over a decade later, shows virtually the same view. There have been cosmetic changes to the buildings and the church is still there, although it had closed in 1897. Within a short time of this photograph, it had been demolished and the site cleared for the widely disliked (architecturally) statue of Queen Victoria. What happened to Hilton’s fine glass window?
The area around Lord Street suffered dreadfully during the war and virtually the whole of the left-hand side was blitzed. The 1955 photograph shows the extent of the damage and the start of reconstruction. Sadly, the 1950s replacements have little character compared to the fine Victorian shop facades.