Liverpool is a city in Merseyside, England, on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. A borough from 1207 and a city from 1880, in 2011 it had a population of 466,415. The city is within the historic county ofLancashire. Its urbanisation and expansion were largely brought about by its status as a major port, which included its participation in the Atlantic slave trade. Liverpool was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, and many other Cunard and White Star ocean liners such as the RMS Lusitania,Queen Mary, and Olympic.
Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, was drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly those from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldestBlack African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians (from a long-standing jocular alteration of 'Liverpool' to 'Liverpuddle') and colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
Tourism forms a significant part of the city's modern economy. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and it held the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008. Labelled the "World Capital City of Pop" by Guinness World Records, the popularity ofThe Beatles, and other groups from the Merseybeat era and later, contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination.
Several areas of Liverpool city centre were granted World Heritage Sitestatus by UNESCO in 2004. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street. Liverpool is also the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton. Matches between the two are known as the Merseyside derby. The world-famousGrand National also takes places annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city.
King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool, but by the middle of the 16th century the population was still only around 500. The original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough. The original seven streets were laid out in an H shape: Bank Street (now Water Street), Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street (now High Street), Moor Street (now Tithebarn Street) and Whiteacre Street (now Old Hall Street).
In the 17th century there was slow progress in trade and population growth. Battles for the town were waged during theEnglish Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. As trade from the West Indies surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, and as the River Dee silted up, Liverpool began to grow. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade helped the town to prosper and rapidly grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.
In the early 19th century Liverpool played a major role in the Antarctic sealing industry, in recognition of which Liverpool Beach in the South Shetland Islands is named after the city.
By the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool, and the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The population continued to rise rapidly, especially during the 1840s when Irishmigrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. By 1851, approximately 25% of the city's population was Irish-born. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Liverpool was drawing immigrants from across Europe. This is evident from the diverse array of religious buildings located across the city, many of which are still in use today. The Deutsche Kirche Liverpool, Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, Gustav Adolf Church and Princes Road Synagogue were all established in the 1800s to serve Liverpool's growing German, Greek, Nordic and Jewish communities respectively. One of Liverpool's oldest surviving churches, St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, served the Polish community in its final years as a place of worship.
Liverpool has been described as having "the most splendid setting of any English city." At(53.4, −2.98), 176 miles (283 km) northwest of London, located on the Liverpool Bay of the Irish Sea the city of Liverpool is built across a ridge of sandstone hills rising up to a height of around 230 feet (70 m) above sea-level at Everton Hill, which represents the southern boundary of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain.
The Mersey Estuary separates Liverpool from the Wirral Peninsula. The boundaries of Liverpool are adjacent to Bootle, Crosby and Maghull in south Sefton to the north, and Kirkby, Huyton, Prescot and Halewood in Knowsley to the east.
The thousands of migrants and sailors passing through Liverpool resulted in a religious diversity that is still apparent today. This is reflected in the equally diverse collection of religious buildings, and two Christian cathedrals.
Liverpool is known to be England's 'most Catholic city', with a Catholic population much larger than in other parts of England.
The parish church of Liverpool is the Anglican Our Lady and St Nicholas, colloquially known as "the sailors church", which has existed near the waterfront since 1257. It regularly plays host to Catholic masses. Other notable churches include the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas (built in the Neo-Byzantine architecture style), and the Gustav Adolf Church (the Swedish Seamen's Church, reminiscent of Nordic styles).
Liverpool's wealth as a port city enabled the construction of two enormous cathedrals, both dating from the 20th century. The Anglican Cathedral, which was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and plays host to the annual Liverpool Shakespeare Festival, has one of the longest naves, largest organs and heaviest and highest peals of bells in the world. The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, on Mount Pleasant next to Liverpool Science Park was initially planned to be even larger. Of Sir Edwin Lutyens' original design, only the crypt was completed. The cathedral was eventually built to a simpler design by Sir Frederick Gibberd; while this is on a smaller scale than Lutyens' original design, it still manages to incorporate the largest panel of stained glass in the world. The road running between the two cathedrals is called Hope Street, a coincidence which pleases believers. The cathedral is colloquially referred to as "Paddy's Wigwam" due to its shape.
Liverpool contains several synagogues, of which the Grade I listed Moorish RevivalPrinces Road Synagogue is architecturally the most notable. Princes Road is widely considered to be the most magnificent of Britain's Moorish Revival synagogues and one of the finest buildings in Liverpool. Liverpool has a thriving Jewish community with a further two orthodox Synagogues, one in the Allerton district of the city and a second in the Childwall district of the city where a significant Jewishcommunity reside. A third orthodox Synagogue in the Greenbank Park area of L17 has recently closed, and is a listed 1930s structure. There is also a LubavitchChabad House and a reform Synagogue. Liverpool has had a Jewish community since the mid-18th century. The Jewish population of Liverpool is around 5,000.The Liverpool Talmudical College existed from 1914 until 1990, when its classes moved to the Childwall Synagogue.
Liverpool also has a Hindu community, with a Mandir on Edge Lane, Edge Hill. The Shri Radha Krishna Temple from the Hindu Cultural Organisation in Liverpool is based there. Liverpool also has the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara inWavertree and a Bahá'í Centre in the same area.
The city had the earliest mosque in England, and possibly the UK, founded in 1887 by William Abdullah Quilliam, a lawyer who had converted to Islam, and set up the Liverpool Muslim Institute in a terraced house on West Derby Road. The building was used as a house of worship until 1908, when it was sold to the City Council and converted into offices. Plans have been accepted to re-convert the building where the mosque once stood into a museum. There are three mosques in Liverpool: the largest and main one, Al-Rahma mosque, in the Toxteth area of the city and a mosque recently opened in the Mossley Hill district of the city. The third mosque was also recently opened in Toxteth and is on Granby Street.
In Liverpool primary and secondary education is available in various forms supported by the state including secular, Church of England, Jewish, and Roman Catholic. Islamic education is available at primary level, but there is no secondary provision. One of Liverpool's important early schools was The Liverpool Blue Coat School; founded in 1708 as a charitable school.
The Liverpool Blue Coat School is the top-performing school in the city with 100% 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE resulting in the 30th best GCSE results in the country and an average point score per student of 1087.4 in A/AS levels. Other notable schools include Liverpool College founded in 1840 Merchant Taylors' School founded in 1620.Another of Liverpool's notable senior schools is St. Edward's College situated in the West Derby area of the city. Historic grammar schools, such as the Liverpool Institute High School and Liverpool Collegiate School, closed in the 1980s are still remembered as centres of academic excellence. Bellerive Catholic College is the city's top performing non-selective school, based upon GCSE results in 2007.
Liverpool has three universities: the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University. Edge Hill University, originally founded as a teacher-training college in the Edge Hill district of Liverpool, is now located inOrmskirk in South-West Lancashire. Liverpool is also home to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).
The University of Liverpool, was established in 1881 as University College Liverpool. In 1884, became part of the federal Victoria University. Following a Royal Charter and Act of Parliament in 1903, it became an independent university, the University of Liverpool, with the right to confer its own degrees. It was the first university to offer degrees in biochemistry, architecture, civic design, veterinary science, oceanography and social science.
Liverpool Hope University, which was formed through the merger of three colleges, the earliest of which was founded in 1844, gained university status in 2005. It is the only ecumenical university in Europe. It is situated on both sides of Taggart Avenue in Childwall and has a second campus in the city centre (the Cornerstone).
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, founded to address some of the problems created by trade, continues today as a post-graduate school affiliated with the University of Liverpool and hothaw an anti-venom repository.
Liverpool John Moores University was previously a polytechnic, and gained status in 1992. It is named in honour of Sir John Moores, one of the founders of theLittlewoods football pools and retail group, who was a major benefactor. The institution was previously owned and run by Liverpool City Council. It traces it lineage to the Liverpool Mechanics Institute, opened in 1823, making it by this measure England's third-oldest university.
The city has one further education colleges, Liverpool Community College in the city centre. Liverpool City Council operatesBurton Manor, a residential adult education college in nearby Burton, on the Wirral Peninsula.
There are two Jewish schools in Liverpool, both belonging to the King David Foundation. King David School, Liverpool is the High School and the King David Primary School. There is also a King David Kindergarten, featured in the community centre of Harold House. These schools are all run by the King David Foundation based in Harold House in Childwall; conveniently next door to the Childwall Synagogue.