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Case Study; Liverpool; European City of Culture 2008 - Built on a Victorian Past: Pat Hughes

KS2 History, CitizenshipRoyal Liver Building Pier Head, IoE number 214151 © Mr Tony Myers

Key Question: What can history tell us about the growth of cities?

Learning Objectives
Pupils will learn to:
• Use websites to give them access to materials about the growth of Liverpool
• Find out about the growth of a seaport in Victorian England
• Make links with their own locality
• Create a picture folder to tell the story of the growth of Liverpool as a seaport - this could form part of the school website
• If appropriate, gain an understanding of listed buildings

Access to the internet, map of the UK, large sheet of paper to record initial knowledge.

Pre-lesson Task: Ask pupils to find out which English City is going to be the European City of Culture in 2008.

Teaching and learning activities

1. Ask children what they already know about Liverpool Swingbridge, Albert Dock IoE number  213635 © Mrs Anne Gilmore LRPS, CPAGB

Beatles, Football clubs.

2. Use the interactive white board or print copies of the front page of the Liverpool website

What more information does this give them about the city? The answer is ‘not much’! even under the heading of Culture and Tourism.

This indicates the need for a more informative website about the city and this will be the task for the class. The website does gives the information that Liverpool is aiming to become a World Heritage City. This implies that it has an important past which is worth recording.

Homework could include a look at the website for their nearest city or local town and different types of information available there. Many towns and cities have a history section, which can be used to model a history website or picture folder for Liverpool.

3. Locate Liverpool on a map of the UK

Suggest that the children use their geographical knowledge to guess how the city had developed i.e. as a seaport because it is by the sea. Record responses from 1 – 3 on the white board or large sheet.

4. Finding out more

Explain how we can find out about the growth of cities from a number of different historical sources, including the internet. Demonstrate the search facilities on the Images of England site to the whole class. If appropriate discuss the concept of ‘listed buildings’.Graving docks, Clarence Dock, IoE number 213935  © Mr Tony Myers

5. Identifying areas of research

Starting with the maritime heading, look at the images (quick search) which can be found for the Victorian period. The Maritime Museum has its own website, which shows how old bonded warehouses have been converted into the museum. There is also a website for the Albert Dock where the Maritime museum is sited and photographs of how other warehouses and yards have been converted.

6. Finding out more

Some of the images will need to be further researched e.g. the graving dock. What does the picture suggest a graving dock would be used for?
How can you find out whether your prediction is correct?

7. Recording the evidence

These Images of England photographs can be saved into a picture folder and this can then be used to write captions for them. Pupils should be encouraged to use their own thoughts about the docks, rather than copy out the architectural information from the Images of England website. A more comprehensive investigation could involve using other evidence (see below) and using this to expand the information about Victorian Liverpool. The City Council is very open about new ideas and might welcome linked school sites on this theme.

Exploring other sources of evidence about Victorian Liverpool

8. Growing cities

Other search areas on the Images of England site can show what else was being built in Victorian Liverpool. A search on ‘transport’ will demonstrate the growth of railways and use of canals. It will also demonstrate the regular use of horses because there are several stables listed as having been built at this time.

9. Using written sources

The tables below demonstrate how the census returns showed the growing city. Moses Street is composed of 2 and 3 bedroomed terraced houses, but obviously would not have been so cosy in Victorian times. Houses in Rodney Street are very much bigger and closer to the City Centre. What information does this provide about who was living in Liverpool when the city was expanding so rapidly. What does it tell us about the movements of people?




Relation to head of family Condition [married or unmarried]

Age last birthday males

Age last birthday females

Occupation Where born
25 Moses Henry Cowan Head Mar 36   Seaman Bermuda
  Louise Cowan Wife Mar   29   Bristol
  Katherine Dau     10   Bristol
  Henry Son   8     Bristol
  George Son   5     Bristol
  Marie Dau     3   Liverpool
  Edith Dau     1   Liverpool
  Child [unchristened] Dau     1month   Liverpool
  Caroline Jackson Mother-in-Law Mar       Falmouth
  George Brother Unmar 33   Seaman Bermuda




Relation to head of family Condition [married or unmarried]

Age last birthday males

Age last birthday females

Occupation Where born
10 Rodney John Hutton Head Mar 33   Wine and Spirit merchant Liverpool
  Mary Wife Mar   29   Liverpool
  Henry Son unmar 6     Liverpool
  Mary Dau unmar   4   Liverpool
  John Son unmar 6 months     Liverpool
  Elizabeth Jones Servant unmar   31 House Servant Wrexham, Wales
  Sarah Davies Servant unmar   20 House Servant Liverpool
  Eliza Payne Servant unmar   17 House Servant Galloway, Scotland



10. Using maps.

The two maps below show how part of Liverpool grew between 1846 and 1893.

• How many years have passed between Map A and Map B?
• Which streets are on both maps?
• What information do these maps give you about what was happening in this area during Victorian times?
• What was happening at the same time in the nearest city to your school?

11. Using Images of England website:

Now return to the Images of England site and see what houses you can find which were also built in this period. What sort of houses would you expect to find in this area?


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