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Castle Street, Liverpool

The ‘Commercial Quarter’/Castle Street Conservation Area

This part of the WHS is focused around what would have previously been medieval Liverpool and includes Castle Street dominated by Trials Hotel at one end and the Town Hall at the other linking Old Hall Street by Exchange Flags, Victoria Street, Water Street and Dale Street. Today a centre for commercial activity in the city, the area was included due to the nature of its street development over three centuries and the grandeur of its architecture and monuments.

Listed Buildings

Liverpool Town Hall (Grade I)
Bank of England Building, Castle Street (Grade I)
Oriel Chambers, Water Street (Grade I)
Trials Hotel, Castle Street (Grade II*)
White Star Building, James Street (Grade II*)
Adelphi Bank, Castle Street (Grade II*)
National Westminster Bank, Castle Street (Grade II*)
Liverpool and London Globe Insurance Building, Dale Street (Grade II*)
Royal Insurance Building, Dale Street (Grade II*)
Municipal Buildings, Dale Street (Grade II*)
Nelson Memorial, Exchange Flags (Grade II*)
Fowler’s Building, Victoria Street (Grade II*)
Tower Buildings, Water Street (Grade II*)
Barclays Bank (formerly Martins Bank), Water Street (Grade II*)
Norwich Union Building, Castle Street (Grade II)
Heywood’s Bank, Brunswick Street (Grade II)
Hargreaves Building, Chapel Street (Grade II)
48-50 Castle Street (Grade II)
British and Foreign Marine Insurance Company Building, Castle Street (Grade II)
Queen Insurance Building, Dale Street (Grade II)
State Insurance Building, Dale Street (Grade II)
Union Marine Buildings, Dale Street (Grade II)
Rigby’s Buildings, Dale Street (Grade II)
The Temple, Dale Street (Grade II)
Prudential Assurance Building, Dale Street (Grade II)
Imperial Chambers, Dale Street (Grade II)
Municipal Annexe, Dale Street (Grade II)
Westminster Chambers, Dale Street (Grade II)
City Magistrates Court, Dale Street (Grade II)
135-139 Dale Street (Grade II)
Granite Buildings, Stanley Street (Grade II)
Mersey Chambers, St Nicholas’ Churchyard (Grade II)
Monument to Queen Victoria, Derby Square (Grade II)
Central Buildings, North John Street (Grade II)
18-22 North John Street (Grade II)
Ashcroft Building, Victoria Street (Grade II)
Union House, Victoria Street (Grade II)
Jerome and Carlisle Buildings, Victoria Street (Grade II)
India Buildings, Water Street (Grade II)
General Accident Building, Water Street (Grade II)

Liverpool Town Hall

Liverpool Town Hall stands in High Street at its junction with Dale Street, Castle Street, and Water Street in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade Ilisted building, described in the National Heritage List for England as “one of the finest surviving 18th-century town halls”.The Buildings of England series refers to its “magnificent scale”, and considers it to be “probably the grandest …suite of civic rooms in the country”, and “an outstanding and complete example of late Georgian decoration”.

The town hall was built between 1749 and 1754 to a design by John Wood the Elder replacing an earlier town hall nearby. An extension to the north designed by James Wyatt was added in 1785. Following a fire in 1795 the hall was largely rebuilt and a dome designed by Wyatt was built. Minor alterations have subsequently been made. The ground floor contains the city’s Council Chamber and a Hall of Remembrance for the Liverpool servicemen killed in the First World War. The upper floor consists of a suite of lavishly decorated rooms which are used for a variety of events and functions. Conducted tours of the building are arranged for the general public, and the hall is licensed for weddings.

Immediately to the north of the Town Hall is a paved square known as Exchange Flags; this is surrounded on all sides by modern office buildings. In the square is the Nelson Monument, celebrating the achievements of Horatio Nelson. It is a Grade II* listed building and is the earliest surviving public monument in the city

Tower Buildings

Tower Buildings is a former office block , it stands with its longer front on the east side of the Strand, and extends round the corner into Water Street. The building is located directly opposite the Royal Liver Building, which was designed by the same architect. Earlier buildings on the site have been a sandstone mansion, and a later fortified house known as the Tower of Liverpool. After this was demolished in 1819, it was replaced in 1846 by the first structure to be named Tower Buildings. The present structure is one of the earliest steel-framed buildings in England, and details of its architecture reflect the earlier fortified building on the site. It has been converted into apartments, and into units for commercial and retail use.

Albion House – White Star Building

Albion House (also known as the White Star Building) is a Grade II* listed building . It was constructed between 1896 and 1898 and is positioned on the corner of James Street and the Strand across from the Pier Head.

Designed by architects Richard Norman Shaw and J. Francis Doyle, it was built for the Ismay, Imrie and Company shipping company, which later became the White Star Line. After White Star merged with Cunard Line the headquarters remained at Albion House until 1927. The building is situated on the corner of The Strand and James Street. The facade is constructed from white Portland stone and red brick. In 1912, when news of the disaster of the Titanic reached the offices, the officials were too afraid to leave the building, and instead read the names of the deceased from the balcony. During World War II, the gable was damaged and was later rebuilt in the late 1940s.

The design closely follows the architect’s earlier work of 1887, the former New Scotland Yard building in London. In the 1980s the Offices in Albion House were noted for their exquisite Office desks of fine wood. The entrance to the building at James Street has a fine mosaic of South America set into the floor, also near the James Street entrance inside Albion House was a wooden war memorial listing the members of staff who “Gave their lives for their country” in the 1914-18 War. It is a Grade II* listed building.

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