A Collection of Engravings,etchings and aquatints of Old Liverpool from the collection held in the British Library. (Click the images to view them 'Full Size')
View showing the waterfront of Liverpool and traffic on the River Mersey. There are many sailing ships docked here in the various docks. During the 18th century a number of docks were built: the first in c.1709-21, Salthouse Dock in 1734, Canning Dock in 1753, George's Dock in 1767, Duke's Dock in 1773, the King's Dock 1784, the Manchester Dock of c.1785. Various buildings can be seen along the waterfront, one of the spires is of St George's Church, but it is difficult to identify the others. By 1800, the population of Liverpool had reached 80,000 and it had prospered as a port, importing cotton for Lancashire's growing textile industry.
View of the River Mersey, with Liverpool in the background from Perch Rock. This was at the tip of the Wirral peninsula, which guards the entrance to the Mersey and access to Liverpool. Since 1683, there had been a wooden perch- a makeshift lighthouse here. This picture shows the river traffic on the Mersey, in stormy weather. During the 18th century Liverpool had developed as a major port, by 1800, had 80,000 inhabitants. Docks were constantly built: the first in c.1709-21, Salthouse Dock in 1734, Canning Dock in 1753, George's Dock in 1767, Duke's Dock in 1773, the King's Dock 1784, the Manchester Dock of c.1785. The port was the centre of importing cotton for the Lancashire Textile industry.
|View of a ship in distress on the River Mersey|
View of a ship in distress on the River Mersey, just outside the docks of Liverpool. The ship has smoke coming from it and appears to be on fire. It is on the verge of keeling over and sinking. There are a number of other boats around the ship, presumably trying to rescue the people on board. This view is taken from a fort, probably Fort Perch Rock, which was built on the end of the Wirral peninsula to guard the entrance to the Mersey. As can be seen in the print, by this time Liverpool was a major port with many docks. It was a centre for importing cotton for the Lancashire textile industry and, by 1800, had a population of about 80,000.
|A View from Church Street in Liverpool|
View of St Peter's Church in Liverpool, situated on the west side of Church Street. This was started in 1700 and consecrated in 1704. It was built in a similar style to that popularised by Christopher Wren in his London Churches. It has an unusual shaped tower and baroque style oval and round windows. The rooftop is decorated with classical style urns. The octangular tower, each angle has a pinnacle representing a candlestick and a guilt vane representing a flame. St Peter's Church was used as the first cathedral in the late 19th century, but was demolished in 1922.
|A View of Castle Street in Liverpool|
View of Castle Street in Liverpool from the end of the High Street. Castle Street is one of the original streets of old Liverpool. In this picture, to the left there is a bank, to the right is the side of the town hall, built in 1749-54 by John Wood of Bath. In the distance is the spire of St George's Church, which was consecrated in 1734. This was built on the site of the old castle of Liverpool, which was demolished by the town authorities some time between 1718-1726. The church was designed by Thomas Steers, engineer of the first dock.
View from where Pool Lane meets Castle Street in Liverpool. The church is St Georges, situated on rising ground between the end of Pool Lane and commencement of Castle Street. It was consecrated in 1734. A guide of 1810 praises it 'in every part of this edifice the marks of taste and elegance are sufficiently evident'. However it criticises the disproportionate largeness of the windows. In the distance, at the north end of Castle Street is the Town Hall, which was built in 1749-54 by John Wood of Bath, although the dome was added by James Wyatt later.
|A View of part of the Old Dock in Liverpool|
View of the old docks in Liverpool. These were built after an Act of Parliament was passed in 1710. Daniel Defoe visited it at the early 18th century and commented that the town had a disadvantage of a flat shore, and no key for delivering goods. Consequently 'the inhabitants and merchants have, of late years, made a large basin or wet dock, at the east end of the town'. The custom house was at the east end and on the quays are shops, houses and warehouses. A guide of 1810 comments 'many of which have a very old and a very inelegant appearance. In the vicinity of this dock, the streets are in general low and wet, but the rent of the houses high, and they are numerously inhabited'. There was a wet dock - where ships were continuously afloat- and a dry dock-which at low tide drained of water and allowed ships to be accessed easily. Numerous vessels used the old docks such as ships from Ireland, the Mediterranean, West Indies and Africa.
|A View of the Town and Harbour of Liverpool|
View from the Wirral side of the Mersey, of the town and harbour of Liverpool. It is quite detailed and some individual buildings can be seen including the domes of the Town Hall , built c.1749 and St Paul's Church, built in c.1769 and also the distinctive spire of St George, which was consecrated in 1734. There were a number of docks and warehouses along the waterfront. the first in c.1709-21, Salthouse Dock in 1734, Canning Dock in 1753, George's Dock in 1767, Duke's Dock in 1773, the King's Dock 1784, the Manchester Dock of c.1785. Liverpool attracted ships from Ireland, the Mediterranean, Africa, the West Indies.
Robert F Edwards