16 Things you didn’t know about Liverpool Town Hall
Festive fun with Santa, winter weddings and unicorns are all part and parcel of our historic Liverpool Town Hall.
Story Time with Santa returns to Liverpool Town Hall on 1st -24th December 2018 and we can’t wait to see the kids’ faces light up when the big man himself settles down to read a magical tale.
Along with Buddy the Elf, Santa invites you to listen to a festive story, join in a sing along (or two) and share your Christmas wishes before receiving a special gift. This wonderful Christmas experience is so much more than a grotto and offers little ones the chance to meet Santa in a cosy setting. Each session is 45 minutes and two adults per child can attend free of charge. Click here to book.
Festive bookings are not the only cause for celebration at Liverpool Town Hall. This historic venue lends its grand reception, ballrooms and sweeping staircase to weddings all year round. Licensed to hold civil ceremonies, Liverpool Town Hall offers couples the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family in the presence of 500 years of Liverpool history, right in the heart of the city. Bookings are now being taken for 2019/20 and beyond, click here to find out more.
From Story Time with Santa to Winter Weddings, Royal Visits and the odd golden pineapple! Liverpool Town Hall has crowned Castle Street for hundreds of years, and yet there’s so much we don’t know.
Here’s 15 things you didn’t know about Liverpool Town Hall….
1 – A Whole Lot of History
The original Liverpool Town Hall was completed in 1754 and sits on the same site as two previous Town Hall buildings, equating to 500 years worth of history. (The original one was erected at the nearby Royal Bank of Scotland…and it had a thatched roof!)
2 – Take A Look Around
There’s a nod to our city’s rich history on every wall, and floor within Liverpool Town Hall. From the coat of arms on the stunning Minton tiled floor. Look up the staircase to the spectacular domed ceiling and walls which feature scenes of Liverpool’s free port creation by King John and the city as a centre for education, culture and commerce.
Keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot the lions, unicorns, golden pineapples, Liver Birds, clocks and more, on your next visit.
3 – A Warm Welcome
Liverpool Town Hall regularly throws open its doors to the public and is a host venue for Heritage Open Days, Light Night and of course, Remembrance. The friendly, knowledgeable Town Hall staff do a sterling job of ensuring every visitor gets a first class tour and learns something new during their visit. They’re also ace at taking the best pics on the balcony and sweeping staircase and of course featured heavily in the backdrop to our visit from Liverpool Giants.
4 – The Dome
The Dome, which its above the staircase and at the centre of Liverpool Town Hall is breath-taking. During an early 90’s restoration, decorators discovered a cannister filled with bits and bobs from the previous revamp. They added to it, and put it back before completing the work. We’re dying to know what’s inside and who will uncover it next!
5 – The Town Hall Goddess
Did you know that the statue that crowns Liverpool Town Hall is called Minerva? The Roman Goddess of Wisdom and Protector of Cities has watched over the city from the Town Hall roof since 1799 and even survived the Blitz.
6 – Friendly Ghosts of Times Gone By
Liverpool Town Hall staff have reported sightings of a few friendly faces over the years. There’s a lady who walks the staircase in full Victorian dress and man, complete with mutton-chops (sideys to you and me) who wanders the basements kitchen corridors too.
7 – A Georgian Hall fit for a Queen…or two
In 1851 Queen Victoria stood on the balcony of the Town Hall, to greet the merchants in Exchange Flags. Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh followed in her footsteps in June 2016 on a visit to the city to officially open the new Alder Hey Children’s hospital.
8 – Freedom of the City Awards
For those fortunate enough to visit Liverpool Town Hall, rest assured you’re joining a very special guest list. Alongside royalty, the likes of The Beatles, Bob Paisley, Nelson Mandela, Bessie Braddock, Sir Ken Dodd, Roy Castle, Gerry Marsden and many more have been granted Freedom of the City and their names adorn the walls of Liverpool Town Hall with the upmost pride.
9 – Liverpool Town Hall & the Titanic
Did you know – So enamoured by Liverpool Town Hall staircase, engineers Harland & Wolfe made a replica for their most famous ship, The Titanic!
10 – Staircase Secrets
Thousands upon thousands of staff, visitors and guests have walked the stunning town hall staircase, but very few know that the original gas line, that was used to light the gas lamps along the stairs, actually remains inside the bannister! We doubt there’s any genie’s around now.
11 – Wartime Survivor
Liverpool Town Hall sustained bomb damage during the second world war, including cracks in the marble pillars in the main ballroom. As money was needed for essentials immediately after the war, one pillar was replaced with wood and painted to match the others. Can you tell which one it is?
12 – The Show-Stopping Main Ballroom
The magnificent main ballroom, on the second floor really does have the wow factor. Hanging from the ceiling you’ll see three incredible Georgian chandeliers, each one measures 28 feet in length and contains 20,000 pieces of cut glass crystal. They also weigh over a ton a piece.
13 – Community at Heart
Liverpool Town Hall is a real community hub which celebrates the achievements of Liverpool people with gusto. From school attendance awards to civic meetings, afternoon tea with The Lord Mayor, Freedom of the City ceremonies, weddings, private functions and more. The Town Hall becomes a focal point for the city , not just in during good times but in bad too, giving us some where to grieve and pay our respects, as you’ll see above.
14 – The Council Chamber
Speaking of civic meetings! Liverpool Town Hall houses the impressive Council Chamber, which hosts Liverpool City Council meetings. The beautiful mahogany panelled room can accommodate 220 guests and can be hired out for civil wedding ceremonies. Just imagine you wedding pics in such a beautiful setting!
15 – 19th Century Graffiti
Hidden from view and seen only by those granted special access to Liverpool Town Hall roof, there’s a piece of 19th century graffiti that has stood the test of time! ‘Williams August 15th 1898’ is carved into a piece of sandstone and looks as fresh today as it wouldn’t done back then.
16 – Remembrance
Liverpool Town Hall has a permanent Hall of Remembrance which lists the names of almost 14,000 Liverpool men who died during the first world war. To mark the centenary of the end of the Great War, The Guide Liverpool created a video of a scrolling list of the names of the fallen which was projected from Liverpool Town Hall on to Exchange Flags and the Nelson Monument on the lead up to 11th November 2018.