The view of Liverpool’s world famous waterfront was a different scene some time ago than what it is today. In 1190 the city was known was ‘Liuerpul’, which meant a pool ลิเวอร์พูล with muddy water and another name that has been suggested is ‘elverpool’, which was a reference to the high number of eels in the Mersey.
King John granted Liverpool its charter in 1207 and advertised the establishment of a new borough at Liverpool inviting settlers to come and take holdings there. Rumour had it that the king wanted a port in the district that was free from the control of the earl of Chester and at first it served as a dispatch point for troops sent to Ireland.
Following this, the Liverpool Castle was constructed, which occupied a prominent site overlooking the Mersey and pool of Liverpool. It was described that the castle had four towers, a hall, chamber, chapel, brew-house and bake-house and was surrounded by a dry moat. Liverpool Castle was removed in 1726.
Throughout the 16th century, Liverpool only had a population of around 500 and it wasn’t until the late 1600’s that Liverpool was made a parish on its own by Act of Parliament. Following on from this the population and commerce increased rapidly and Liverpool became the second metropolis of Great Britain.
Liverpool was the safest landing spot for boats and the first wet dock in Britain was built in 1715. Profits increased from the slave trade, which helped the town grow and flourish.
Liverpool’s black community dates from this period and grew rapidly, – reaching a population of around 10,000 within five years. By the beginning of the 1800’s more than 30% of the world’s trade was passing through the docks at Liverpool and during the 1840’s the great famine brought many Irish to Liverpool. By the middle of the 1800’s a quarter of the city’s population was Irish-born.
Over the period of the 1800’s to 1900’s the growth of Liverpool continued to expand and the population grew. At the beginning of the 1800’s the population was just 78,000 and grew to a massive 685,000 by 1901.
Albert Dock AreaIn 1888 Liverpool achieved city status and by the early 1900’s it was announced the ‘second city of empire’. During this period the Albert Dock expanded and a number of major buildings were constructed such as St. George’s Hall and Lime Street Station.
As Liverpool was constantly expanding over the years, during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s people started emigrating from all over Europe to the city and the population continued to grow. It was said that Adolf Hitler’s half brother had once stayed with his wife in Upper Stanhope Street but some believe that this is untrue.
Along with the huge Irish community in Liverpool, there were also a lot of other cultures and around the area of Scotland Road was once referred to as ‘Little Italy’. In addition to this, Liverpool was also the home to a large Welsh population and some people called it the ‘Capital of North Wales’.
Following the First World War, Liverpool experienced a massive slump to its economy, which the city council tried to resolve by making various improvements such as the construction of the East Lancashire Road and the Mersey Queensway Tunnel. When the Mersey Queensway Tunnel was first built it was the longest underwater tunnel in the world.