St. Peter's Church and Church Street, Liverpool

St. Peter's Church and Church Street, Liverpool. “Drawn by W. H. Watts, engraved by W. Green.” Source: Muir's Bygone Liverpool, Plate 48.

Text accompanying the engraving

IT is hard to realize at the present day that Church Street was at one period cut off from Lord Street by salt water; but such was the case, and until the Pool was closed in 1709, Church Street and the country beyond could only be reached by crossing over the Pool by the bridge, at the foot of Lord Street. St. Peter's Church, erected in 1700, is our oldest existing public building. All its doorways are of different design, and that fact has given rise to the legend that when the plans were submitted to the Town Council, alternative designs for the doorways were suggested; and the Council, unable to choose between them, decided to use them all. Church Street remained unpaved until 1760, and was not flagged until 1816, although there were constant complaints of its muddy state, whilst one writer depicts it as a quagmire, for there was a cattle market held there once a week.

The first oratorio in Liverpool was performed in St. Peter's Church in 1766, the piece being "The Messiah." In 1880, the Rev. Canon J. C. Ryle, M.A., was consecrated the first Bishop of Liverpool, and his enthronement took place on July 1, the Church being designated the pro-Cathedral.

This view was made in the year 1800, and shows Church Street and Lord Street looking west. [49]

Formatting and text by George P. Landow. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Internet Archive and the University of Toronto and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Muir, Ramsey. Bygone Liverpool illustrated by ninety-seven plates reproduced from original paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and prints with historical descriptions by Henry S. and Harold E. Young. Liverpool: Henry Young and Sons, 1913. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library

Last modified 14 January 2013