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Thread: St. Peter's Church, Church Street

  1. #31

    Default The Brass Maltese Cross, Church Street, Liverpool

    The brass cross that was embedded in a granite block as part of the kerb stone in Church St, has always been part of my family history.

    If Dear Reader, you will recall, that during the 50's and 60's an oldish man stood with a religious banner right on that very spot.

    On Saturday 25th October 2008, I visited Liverpool City centre and checked out the cross. In fact, the cross is a Maltese cross and not a conventional cross.

    I discovevered that the cross in now located almost in the entrance of the new shopping arcade. I was able to take some photos with my daughters, a third generation from the craftsman who made the cross, my grandfather.

    His name was Samuel Pilkington, and was a 'White Smith' working for the Liverpool Corporation based in Breckside Park just off Lower Breck Road, Anfield.

    Sam worked for the 'Corpy' all his life, alongside fellow corporation Pavers, who were 'Taylor's' from my mother's side of the family. The original location of the cross was on the Kerb edge of Church St oppoosite the Tatler Cinema. It remained there from when Church St was first designed in the 1920's through until the area was pedestrianised.

    Then the cross was moved further towards the shop fronts, and then it disappeared under builders hoardings until its new location.

    The Maltese cross was made from brass that had been part of the alter rail from St Peter's Church, the Pro-Cathedral.

    It's probable that the paver who carved the recess in the granite block for the cross, was also a relative of mine. I wonder how many people will notice a small brass cross embedded into the new pavement? 'Far too busy dashing backwards and forwards'. I recall there was a plaque on the wall of Woolworths Store in the 1950's - is there any reference to the cross now?

    My grandfather (Pop) still has a son who may know more, if so, i'll come back to you on that. I've not lived on Merseyside for some years, as now living in Cumbria, but whenever I do return, I always look for the cross.

    I'm in my three score and thirteenth year and note that Liverpool has changed so much in that time.



    Ex-city centre worker throughout the 1950's - just my patch!

  2. #32
    Location Kensington drone_pilot's Avatar
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    WOW excellent info there Brian, Looking forward to more.

    PS for those who dont know.

    His name was Samuel Pilkington, and was a 'White Smith'
    A whitesmith is a person who works with "white" or light-colored metals such as tin and pewter. While blacksmiths work mostly with hot metal, whitesmiths do the majority of their work on cold metal (although they might use a forge to shape their raw materials).
    The term is also applied to metalworkers who do only finishing work - such as filing or polishing - on iron and other "black" metals.


    From Wikipedia.
    Last edited by drone_pilot; 10-27-2008 at 01:15 AM.
    multi multa; nemo omnia novit

  3. #33
    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Brian. I love the cross and to hear the history about it is great. Because it had been hidden for so long, I myself checked it out just last week. Ever since I was a child walking down Church Street, I've always looked out for the cross because it really is part of our heritage.

  4. #34
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default St Peter's Church, Church Street, 1704

    Hi everyone,

    I remember reading somewhere that the design for St. Peter's Church, Church Street [consecrated 1704] was based on Wren's rebuilding of St. Andrew's Church, Holborn, London [1686]. I can't remember where I read this, but has intriged me ever since. I took some pictures of St Andrew's for comparison.

    Does anyone have any information, or sources to back this up?

    St Andrew's wasn't burn down during the great fire of London [1666] but was in such a state, that they decided to rebuild it anyway - only the original tower was kept, prior to the rebuild in 1686. The tower itself, was reclad in 1704, the same year that our own St. Peter's opened it's doors.
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  5. #35
    Partsky
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    Once again, superb stuff, Darren. Thank you so much for another wonderful post

  6. #36
    Senior Member underworld's Avatar
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    Where on Church Street was it? Was it opposite Marks and Spencer and in front of the Bluecoat?

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Partsky View Post
    Once again, superb stuff, Darren. Thank you so much for another wonderful post
    Yep, I will go along with that too

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    Local Historian Cadfael's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough, if you were to stand outside St Helen at St Helen's while the bells rang, you would be transported back to the City Centre (not literally) as the bells from St Peter's Church were saved and put in this tower!

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by underworld View Post
    Where on Church Street was it? Was it opposite Marks and Spencer and in front of the Bluecoat?
    Diagonally opposite M&S
    See the map attached.
    .
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  10. #40
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZappathing View Post
    Yep, I will go along with that too
    Partsky & ItsaZappathing - thanks guys, my pleasure, cheers

  11. #41
    Senior Member underworld's Avatar
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    Gotcha

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    Quote Originally Posted by underworld View Post
    Where on Church Street was it? Was it opposite Marks and Spencer and in front of the Bluecoat?
    There's a stone, with a small brass cross,set in the pavement,denoting where the altar was!This is roughly near where H.M.V. was,and a "Jesus saves" guy used to stand near it up to the early 80's! I think Ged's got a pic' of him on his site.

  13. #43
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenwhite100 View Post
    Diagonally opposite M&S
    See the map attached.
    .
    There was a brass cross in the kerb stone where the church was. Not sure if the cross is still there. Altar? Mmm I doubt it.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    There was a brass cross in the kerb stone where the church was. Not sure if the cross is still there. Altar? Mmm I doubt it.
    Maltese Cross, in a granite set - it's back there.

  15. #45
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default The Maltese Cross & St Peter's Church Altar

    The Maltese cross location, in relation to St Peter's church altar. Hopefully this will clear things up a little. Descriptions are given below each image.





    Image 1 ^ St. Peter's Church, Church Street.

    Again, I've scaled the 1848 OS map over the Google earth view.

    The green zone highlighted, is the boundary of the graveyard over today's pavement area. So, in fact, you've been walking over consecrated ground without even realising it? Although, it was probably deconsecrated before the demolition, and certainly before rebuilding.

    The blue zone, represents the 'sanctuary' [ie: raised floor area], at the top of the nave, which was accessed by a couple of steps. The altar is located towards the rear of this zone.





    Image 2 ^ St. Peter's Church, Church Street.

    An enlargement of the map above, showing the sanctuary & 'altar' [in blue] and location of the Maltese cross in Church Street, [before you ask - I didn't have a 'Maltese Cross' symbol on my pc?]. Also, part of Church Street and Church Lane's current pavement trespasses over the original graveyard, which I've highlighted in green.





    Image 3 ^ 1758 view of the Altar, St. Peter's. Unsourced image.





    Image 4 ^ St. Peter's Church, Church Street.

    Postcard view, early 1900's.





    Image 5 ^ St. Peter's Church, Church Street. Internal view - LRO image, no date.

    Image 6 shows the opposing external view of the window above the altar, from outside in Church Street.






    Image 6 ^ St. Peter's Church, Church Street - looking toward Lord Street





    Image 7 ^ St. Peter's Church, looking down Church Alley.

    The image was taken from in front of Bluecoat School gates. The Crompton Hotel [now M&S] can be seen in the background, with Basnett Street next to it, on the left.





    Image 8 ^ Maltese Cross representing St. Peter's Church, Church Street.

    The cross falls outside the plan of the church, but is within the original church yard.[/U]



    So where is the Altar now? The position of the actual 'Altar' is probably in one of the shops that now line the arcade through to School Lane. If I had the architect's drawings - I could locate it with some accuracy.


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