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Famous Buildings of Liverpool, Walking Tour, Liverpool
Famous Buildings of Liverpool, Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Liverpool
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Man vyi
Author: irenes
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Liverpool Map and Walks" in Google Play.
Liverpool is England's most famous city, with breathtaking buildings from many different architectural periods. Its architecture makes it one of the top destinations for visitors in the United Kingdom. Take the following walking tour to discover some of the best edifices in the city.
Tour Stops and Attractions
Victoria Building
1) Victoria Building
Victoria Building is a Grade II listed building which was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1892. It was the first purpose-built building for what was to become the University of Liverpool. Victoria Building is constructed in Ruabon brick and common brick with terracotta dressings under a slate roof. It is an L-shaped building in three stories with 13 bays. The southerly eight bays have alternate gables and gabled dormers. The ninth bay forms the tower. It has an arched entrance over which is an oriel window and, above this, a three-light window. Over this are the royal coat of arms, a mosaic panel with an inscription and machicolation. The top stage has a four-face clock. At each angle of the tower are buttresses which rise to form pinnacles with lead spirelets. The end bays curve around behind an octagonal tower with a spire. Internally the entrance hall is faced in Burmantofts terracotta. An arcaded staircase leads to the first floor.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Irate
Sight description based on wikipedia
Liverpool Medical Institution
2) Liverpool Medical Institution
The Liverpool Medical Institution, or LMI for short, is one of the world’s oldest medical societies. Founded as the Liverpool Medical Library in 1779, it relocated to its present home in 1837. Housed in this Georgian era, Classical style building, the Institution is located on the corner of Mount Pleasant and Hope Street, close to Liverpool’s two university campuses. The building, designed by Clark Rampling, is noted for its distinctive curved design, a common feature in Georgian architecture.

The LMI are a medical society whose collective aim is the growth and advancement of medical knowledge. The LMI building houses an extensive medical library, stocking a range of current medical journals, as well as a collection of books dating as far back as the early 16th century. The library is open to the public on Monday to Friday, from 9.30am until 5.30pm. Admission is free, although some medical documents are available only to members of the LMI. In addition, the building’s well preserved gallery rooms can be hired as a conference venue. The LMI’s presence in the city has helped Liverpool forge a reputation as an important centre within the medical world. Nearby Rodney Street is home to a number of healthcare facilities, and is known as the ‘Harley Street of the North’.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Irate
Wellington Rooms
3) Wellington Rooms
The Wellington Rooms, more commonly known as the Irish Centre, stand on Mount Pleasant, close to Liverpool’s city centre. A Grade II* listed neo-classical design, the rooms were designed by Edmund Aikin and completed in 1816. Opening its doors in the Georgian era, the Wellington Rooms were a focal point for the city’s wealthy upper classes, hosting frequent balls, parties and other social events. The Wellington Club, who paid for the construction of the building and organised all events that took place there, was closed in 1923, ending a century of success for the building.

The building had a multitude of uses from a number of organisations throughout the 20th century. In its last days it served as an Irish community centre. The Irish Centre, as it was known, closed its doors in the late 1990s, and the building is sadly now derelict. After a failed plan to convert the grand building, complete with a ballroom and any number of period features, into a luxury hotel, the Wellington Rooms were targeted by Liverpool City Council. Their campaign to regenerate historic buildings like the Wellington Rooms has led to renewed interest in saving the site from demolition. There are currently fresh plans to reinvent the building, creating a National Dance Centre for the North West region of England.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and John Allan
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms
4) The Philharmonic Dining Rooms
If you’re looking for somewhere in Liverpool to grab a drink or a bite to eat, you won’t find a more lavish setting for a quick pint than the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. Built in 1900 and a public house for its entire existence, the Phil (as it’s known locally) is recognised as one of the most spectacular pubs in the UK. The pub stands on the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street, diagonally opposite Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall. One of several public houses added to the city in Victorian times, the Phil stands out due to its unusual exterior, with an apparently random series of bay windows and lofts, all rendered in ashlar stone.

The exterior and ornate interior, complete with mahogany and glass walls and crystal chandeliers, were designed by architect Walter Thomas. The Grade II* listed pub’s main entrance is surrounded by a black and gold wrought iron gate, designed in the Art Nouveau style by H. Bloomfield Bare. The Philharmonic Dining Rooms are open from 11am until midnight every day of the week. The pub specialises in fine wines and real ales from Scotland. Food is served from 11am until 10pm each day, consisting of classic British fare, mixed with continental dishes.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Irate
Philharmonic Hall
5) Philharmonic Hall
Philharmonic Hall is the home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and is a Grade II listed building. It is not the original concert hall on the present site; its predecessor was destroyed by fire in 1933 and the present hall was opened in 1939. The hall is built with fawn-colored facing bricks, and is mainly in three storeys. It has a symmetrical frontage with a canopied entrance flanked by semicircular stair turrets. Above the entrance are seven windows that are separated by piers surmounted by carved abstract motifs. Inside the entrance to the hall is a copper memorial to the musicians of the Titanic, and on the landings are gilded reliefs of Apollo. The interior of the auditorium is "sensuously curved." On the walls on each side are incised female figures in art deco style that represent "musical moods." The hall contains an organ with a console on a lifting platform that can be played on the stage or from the area below the stage.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Oosoom
Sight description based on wikipedia
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
6) Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, or LIPA for short, is one of the UK’s leading schools for the study of theatre, music and dance. It is housed within a reconstructed Georgian era building that was once a boys’ school. LIPA was co-founded by Mark Featherstone-Witty, manager of London’s Brit School for Performing Arts, and Sir Paul McCartney, a former member of world famous Liverpool band The Beatles. McCartney studied at the boys’ school, which closed in 1985, and was concerned that the building had fallen into disrepair. Featherstone-Witty and McCartney purchased the building in 1990, with the aim of creating a world class performing arts school in the North West region. After six years of construction and redevelopment works, the new school was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts combines state of the art modern training facilities with the grand Georgian frontage, retained from the previous building. It has franchises in two local towns, as well as overseas, including Sofia, capital city of Bulgaria. The Institute offers degrees in acting, dance and sound technology, amongst others. It is now considered to be arguably the most prestigious performing arts college in the country.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and D.pendleton
The Oratory
7) The Oratory
The Oratory is a former funeral chapel, where services were held ahead of burials in the surrounding St. James’ Cemetery. Having fallen into disrepair when the cemetery closed, it was taken over by National Museums Liverpool in 1986, and now houses a collection of sculpture. Many of the pieces held within the Oratory are memorial sculptures, drawn from places of worship across the city, including the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals. The Oratory is located behind the city’s Anglican cathedral, off St. James’ Road. The building is open each day, and can be visited free of charge.

Opened in 1829, the Oratory building was designed by John Foster. Built in the style of a Greek Doric temple, the building has a six column portico entrance on either side, and is windowless, with light pouring into the main room through a glass ceiling. This gives the Oratory the appearance of a miniature Parthenon. It has been recognised as one of the finest Greek Revival buildings surviving in the UK. In 2010, the Oratory building hosted an installation by Brazilian artist Laura Belem, where the main hall of the former chapel was filled with a thousand glass bells, which amplified abstract sounds around the building.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and yellow book
Gambier Terrace
8) Gambier Terrace
Gambier Terrace is a row of Georgian era townhouses which overlook Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. The buildings are widely credited as the work of Liverpudlian architect John Foster, and were built between 1832 and 1837. Numbers 1 to 10 are the only houses built to his original specifications, and are Grade II* listed as a result. Gambier Terrace lies in the heart of what is formally known as the Rodney Street conversation area. Known to locals as the Canning area, it includes Rodney Street, Hope Street and the area around the Anglican Cathedral.

Gambier Terrace is owned by Liverpool City Council, but is still residential and not open to the public. The terrace can be best enjoyed on a walking tour of this area’s other historic sites, including the John Foster designed Oratory, Liverpool Cathedral, St. James’ Mount and Gardens, and 59 Rodney Street. The gardens that face the terrace are a public park, and are an excellent spot to enjoy a view of the buildings. Gambier Terrace has featured on the silver screen; Gumshoe, a 1971 detective comedy starring Albert Finney, was set on the street.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and John Bradley
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