Unexpected treasures of Liverpool’s seafaring history!

Recently, we took a different route when walking from the car to John Lewis in Liverpool City Centre. Just look at what we stumbled across!

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They were huge and just there in the middle of the pavement. The information to the side explained that they were the ornamental gateway located at the main entrance of the Liverpool Sailors’ home. John Lewis is now stood on the site that was once the home.

It explains that the mermaids, anchors, dolphins and other nautical symbols were indicators of the building’s link to the sea. The home opened in 1850 so I think the gates might date from then too. It struck me how much thought had gone into them and how the symbols, over all this time, are still associated with sailors.

The gates were removed from the Sailors’ Home in 1951 in advance of repairs to bomb damage. I think it is fantastic that someone had the presence of mind to look after them until 2011 when, they came to rest here, outside John Lewis. They now serve as a memorial to all merchant seamen who have passed through Liverpool.

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Virtually directly opposite the gates is this building that had been the Eagle Public House but was now a bistro.  The American bald eagle that protects the building was probably off a sailing ship.  The history of the building explains that James Maury was sent by President George Washinton to Liverpool  during the eighteenth century because Liverpool was considered to be so important. One of his roles was to help American sailors if they got into trouble. He had an office on Paradise Street where the pub is and he lived in Liverpool for 44 years. He must have liked it then!

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On our walk back to the car, this building caught my eye and it turns out that it was the old Norwegian Seaman’s Mission. It too is still in use, it is now the Scandinavian Cultural Centre. I loved that such a pretty old building, this picture does not do it justice at all, is still being used and for the benefit, maybe, of the original beneficiaries, ancestors.

 

We decided that we are going to walk a different way again next time and see what else we stumble across!

 

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