What you need to know about Liverpool
Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region. Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, and historically lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire. It became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire. Its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to North America. Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary and RMS Olympic. The popularity of the Beatles and other music groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool’s status as a tourist destination. Liverpool is also the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby. The Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007. In 2008, it was nominated as the annual European Capital of Culture together with Stavanger, Norway. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street. Liverpool’s status as a port city has attracted a diverse population, which, historically, was drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly from Ireland and Wales. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, and colloquially as “Scousers”, a reference to “scouse”, a form of stew. The word “Scouse” has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
Liverpool has several tiers of government; the Mayor and Local Council, who are also stakeholders in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the National Government and the European Parliament. Liverpool is officially governed by a Unitary Authority, as when Merseyside County Council was disbanded civic functions were returned to a district borough level. However several services such as the Police and Fire and Rescue Service, continue to be run at a county-wide level.
As with other large cities, Liverpool is an important cultural centre within the United Kingdom, incorporating music, performing arts, museums and art galleries, literature and nightlife amongst others. In 2008, the cultural heritage of the city was celebrated with the city holding the title of European Capital of Culture, during which time a wide range of cultural celebrations took place in the city, including Go Superlambananas! and La Princesse. Liverpool has also held Europe’s largest music and poetry event, the Welsh national Eisteddfod, three times, despite being in England, in 1884, 1900, and 1929.
Liverpool experiences a temperate maritime climate (Köppen: Cfb), like much of the British Isles, with relatively mild summers and cool winters. More recently, the Met Office has operated a weather station at Crosby. Although Liverpool has a mild climate for its northerly latitude, it is far cooler than the London area during summer days, both as a result of being farther north and due to being exposed to maritime air from its west. The highest temperature recorded at the Bidston Observatory was 34.5 °C (94.1 °F), recorded on 3 August 1990, whilst the highest temperature recorded at Crosby was 34.3 °C (93.7 °F), recorded on 19 July 2006. For the period of 1971-2000, the warmest day of the year should reach an average of 27.6 °C (81.7 °F).
According to data from the 2011 census, 84.8 per cent of Liverpool’s population was White British, 1.4 per cent White Irish, 2.6 per cent White Other, 4.1 per cent Asian or Asian British (including 1.1 per cent British Indian and 1.7 per cent British Chinese), 2.6 per cent Black or Black British (including 1.8 per cent Black African) and 2.5 per cent mixed-race. 1.8 per cent of respondents were from other ethnic groups. Liverpool is home to Britain’s oldest Black community, dating to at least the 1730s. Some Black Liverpudlians can trace their ancestors in the city back ten generations. Early Black settlers in the city included seamen, the children of traders sent to be educated, and freed slaves, since slaves entering the country after 1722 were deemed free men. Since the 20th century, Liverpool is also noted for its large African-Caribbean, Ghanaian, and Somali communities, formed of more recent African-descended immigrants and their subsequent generations.
Landmarks and recent development projects
Liverpool’s Three Graces, the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building at the Pier Head Liverpool’s history means that there are a considerable variety of architectural styles found within the city, ranging from 16th century Tudor buildings to modern-day contemporary architecture. The majority of buildings in the city date from the late-18th century onwards, the period during which the city grew into one of the foremost powers in the British Empire. There are over 2,500 listed buildings in Liverpool, of which 27 are Grade I listed and 85 are Grade II* listed. The city also has a greater number of public sculptures than any other location in the United Kingdom aside from Westminster and more Georgian houses than the city of Bath. This richness of architecture has subsequently seen Liverpool described by English Heritage, as England’s finest Victorian city. The value of Liverpool’s architecture and design was recognised in 2004, when several areas throughout the city were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the sites were added in recognition of the city’s role in the development of international trade and docking technology.
The thousands of migrants and sailors passing through Liverpool resulted in a religious diversity that is still apparent today. This is reflected in the equally diverse collection of religious buildings, including two Christian cathedrals. Liverpool is known to be England’s ‘most Catholic city’, with a Catholic population much larger than in other parts of England. The parish church of Liverpool is the Anglican Our Lady and St Nicholas, colloquially known as “the sailors church”, which has existed near the waterfront since 1257. It regularly plays host to Catholic masses. Other notable churches include the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas (built in the Neo-Byzantine architecture style), and the Gustav Adolf Church (the Swedish Seamen’s Church, reminiscent of Nordic styles).