|| It is believed
that Liverpool started out as a tidal pool next to the River Mersey before being founded as
a port by King John in 1207 as Lifer
Pol, meaning muddy pool.
The English had recently conquered Ireland and King John
needed another port to send men and supplies across the
Irish Sea. It wasn’t long before a market, which
was then the focal point of a town, was set up leading
to an influx of craftsmen and tradesmen in the area.
During the Middle Ages wine was imported through Liverpool
from France, but the town’s main trading partner
was Ireland, who sent over skins and hides in return for
iron and wool.
By the end of the 14th century, Liverpool had a population
of around 1,000, which was made up of fishermen, tradesmen
and farmers, and their families. But the growing town
suffered a huge set back, when it was caught up in the Civil War between 1642 and 1648, and
royalist soldiers besieged the town.
However, things took a turn for the better for Liverpool
when the Black Death swept through London forcing
merchant families north to Liverpool. From this influx
of skilled labour and capital, in addition to the local
industries of coal, salt and glass,
Liverpool grew rapidly and in 1715 the first dock was
The 18th century was the era when Liverpool’s fine
architecture began to take shape with the building
of the Town Hall in 1749 and the Bluecoat Chambers in 1717. Liverpool also established overseas markets,
becoming renowned for its spice, sugar and tobacco trade. And from around 1730 the city’s
merchants began making huge profits from the slave
trade, forming trade route triangle with Africa and
the West Indies.
Goods from Manchester were given to the Africans in return
for slaves, who were transported across the Atlantic to
the West Indies and sugar was brought back from there
The slave trade was abolished in 1807, and today the story
of this legacy can be found in the Transatlantic
Slavery Exhibition at the Merseyside
By the mid 19th century, Liverpool was home to a fully
working dock complex – the historic Albert
Dock, which was opened by Prince Albert in July
From 1837 royalty, presidents and rich landowners flocked
to the city to attend the annual Grand National
at Aintree, which has since become the world's
most famous steeplechase.
By the turn of the 20th century, Liverpool had achieved
city status and was the second greatest port in the British
Empire. In recognition of this, the magnificent Anglican
Cathedral was built in 1904.
However, the early part of the 20th century was a tough
time for Liverpool, because the opening of the Manchester
Ship Canal caused trade to suffer.
World War II also had severe effects upon the city,
while the World War II was even more dramatic;
in May 1941 eight nights of bombing left 4,000 dead, 4,000
injured and 10,000 homes reduced to rubble.
It was the Swinging Sixties that brought new prosperity
to the city, with new docks being opened and, of course,
the birth of the Beatles phenomenon.
Four local boys caused a stir in their hometown, playing
regular acts at the now world famous Cavern Club. Their
first single Love Me Do was recorded
in September 1962 and the rest, as they say, is history.
These days the Beatles legacy continues to bring visitors
to the city, desperate to see where the Fab Four grew
And with Liverpool having the prestigious title of the European Capital of Culture 2008, the 21st century
is undoubtedly the start of a whole new chapter in the