Thomas Picken after Samuel Walters
The Port of Liverpool 1875
38.5 x 26 inches
This magnificent panoramic view of Liverpool delineates many of the famous landmarks that could be seen along the north bank of the Mersey, from the Victoria and Waterloo Docks in the east to the Custom House and Albert Docks in the west. Also shown are the Tower Buildings, the Town Hall and the churches of St. Nicholas and St. George. As one would expect the river in the foreground is dominated by shipping from the humble rowing boat to the majestic new, trans-Atlantic steam ships.
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Liverpool in the middle of the C19th. Its significance lay in its strategic, maritime and mercantile importance at the heart of the British Empire. Between 1824 and 1858 the city and port expanded at an extraordinary rate: 140 acres of docks were built incorporating 10 miles of quay side development. Ships leaving Liverpool were destined for every corner of the globe, linking the British Isles with every part of the empire and forging links with the post-colonial Americas. Hundreds of thousands of Irish, Welsh and English migrants left from the Port of Liverpool seeking a better life in the USA. Famous shipping lines such as Cunard and The White Star Line established themselves in the city. By the late 1870s it is estimated that the population of the city had reached nearly half a million. This panorama is a celebration of civic pride in a city at the height of its importance.