Area of the Pier Head in 1860. The Liver Buildings were built in 1911 and topped with two "mythical birds" on which the City's name is based. However, they are supposed to be Cormorants and not mythical at all. In fact the birds can be seen holding seaweed in their beaks. This seaweed was known as "laver" and which gave them the name "laver birds", so maybe Liverpool should really be Laverpool? My info comes from a lot of sources but even the most informed can be wrong.

In the Readers Digest Travelling Britain from 1992 which I saw recently. It shows an image of a coaster in Albert Dock alongside the Liverpool Pilot Boat and yet the caption clearly states "a tug sails along the river, in the background is the Royal Liver Building" - obviously they have no idea what a tug looks like, or the Mersey seafront. The "pool" was an inlet, long vanished, as seen here.

The first dock was started in 1715 and was built on "the pool". This area is now underneath the city centre and is currently (May 2008) being redeveloped with a massive building project. In fact, even the Pier Head is rapidly changing and is beginning to resemble a miniature Manhattan, with its high rise buildings rising alongside and over the Liver Buildings etc. The skyline has already changed forever.

Liverpool in 1611, naught but a small fishing village or hamlet above can be seen what are now parts of Liverpool, Kirkdale, Bankhall, Wavertree and Bootle.

I lived on the Wirral for many years, up to 1981. I worked on and near the Pier Head and the docklands in the mid 60s. I travel up to here sometimes on photo trips to supplement this web site. I do not like the changes being made to the Pier Head area, the Three Graces (Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building & Mersey Dock & Harbour Board) are being swamped. The magic of the 60s, the bustling dockland, the busy river, the hubbup of activity in the shipping offices and surrounds have all gone. Its like a ghost town. All the shipping is now confined to a privately owned area of dockland in Bootle. Liverpool, as a port, is extinct. I loved the place, but not now. The image on the right is the Pier Head as it was in 1955.

This is the Pier Head as was, as is - there is another page showing more of the surrounding area of Liverpool and Wirrals ferries here. The river is featured here. The dockland on both sides of the river.



The Strand

After 1908 but before Cunard Building


Dockland WW2




Mann Island. Civilian sailors would come ashore after discharge from their ship to sign up on vessels ready to leave

Oops! Note the wrong time on the river side clock (facing).   


Nothing unusual, except I was in Birkenhead at the time, zoom shots across the river looking up Water Street

The changing Pierhead. Top image 2000 and the bottom image 2016
The PSNC Building on the corner of The Strand and James Street, Liverpool Pier Head. In the 60s it was a hive of maritime activity but the offices now stand empty and forlorn, reflections of bygone days. It was once the home of the White Star Line and it was from the lower central balcony that the Chairman announced to the world that the Titanic had sunk. 070405.

Taken from Egremont, Wallasey - Sept 09

I hate the 'new' pier head
The statue of Capt Walker RN, famous U boat killer. He invented the concept of the Hunter/KIller Group His ASW tactics are still in evidence today in the Navies of the world