City Highlights: The Georgian Quarter Inside the Liverpool Cathedral

City Highlights: The Georgian Quarter

The idea to build a grand housing area in the Canning area of town started in 1800 when city surveyor John Foster Snr created a blueprint to make a grid plan of housing. This was a time when Liverpool’s nouveau riche could afford more luxurious surroundings. Choosing an area known as Mosslake Fields, to the ware of St James’s Mount (from where the Anglican Cathedral now rises), Foster built away from the grime and the warehouses of the city centre.

Over the next 100 years a succession of developers built a large number of imposing and elegant town house, mostly in the Georgian style. The streets radiating off from Hope Street (recent winner of Best Street in the Academy of Urbanism Awards) and Rodney Street are lined with fine terraces, now home to cosy neighbourhood bistros such as The Quarter (Faulkner Street) and the gastro-pub delights of The Blackburne (24 Catherine Street).

Hope Street is bookended with the city’s two cathedrals: the strident silhouette of the (Catholic) Metropolitan cathedral of Christ the King and the world’s second largest Anglican cathedral – the jaw dropping Liverpool Cathedral. Between them lies the stunning new Everyman Theatre (Stirling prize winning no less) the recently spruced-up Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (175 years old this season) and the Paul McCartney-kickstarted Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. And tea and cake at women’s social enterprise, Blackburne House is always a treat too.

Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral

The Great Space

“The Great Space” is the appropriate new name given to the city’s towering red sandstone Cathedral which dominates the city skyline for miles around. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece, the largest in Britain, features the highest and heaviest carillon of bells in the world and Britain’s mightiest organ. Superlatives aside, it’s remarkably awe inspiring within, with an ornately carved Lady Chapel, fabulous refectory (great for lunches) and stunning stained glass windows.

Take a tour of the tower, if you’re not afraid of heights, for an unsurpassed view over the handsomely laid out streets of Georgian Liverpool below. Christmas at the cathedral is a really special time. Check out Liverpool Cathedral events or read our Tale of Two Cathedrals story.

Along Rodney Street, at No 62, is the birthplace of William Gladstone. St Andrew’s Church (Rodney Street) and its amazing triangular tomb said to contain the remains of railway tycoon William McKenzie who is said to have lost his soul to the devil when he lost a bet.

To trick his way out of the wager he is said to have been sealed within the tomb sat on a stool next a table clutching a hand of cards. He reasoned that if never buried, his soul could never be claimed.

Fancy a drink after all the exploring?  There’s so many options in the area. Try the basement booze of Clove Hitch’s No 23 Club (craft beers and bourbon at 23 Hope Street) or the cocktails and small plates at Kabinett (2a Myrtle Street).  Or marvel at the ornate features in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms.

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Published: 14/12/2015

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