Standing proudly by the River Mersey is the town of Birkenhead, though not perhaps as well known as Liverpool, its over the water neighbour, it does have many an interesting corner and a history all of it’s own.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, just so you know where you are. You can also catch a glimpse of the wrought iron on the balconies and the heavily incised stonework, theses things were done with a certain panache back then.
I hadn’t been over that way for a little while so I freed up a day and took the train into Liverpool and out again, under the Mersey to Hamilton Square station at Birkenhead.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, looking across the square towards the Town Hall and the Cenotaph.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square station is on the Merseyrail Networks Wirral Line which loops under Liverpool city centre before headinbg under the river and out across the Wirral Peninsular. It runs along the northern edge of the peninsular to New Brighton, Hoylake and West Kirby as well as down to Chester and to Wrexham. The station dates from the mid 1860’s and was heavily damaged in the Liverpool Blitz during WW2 being rebuilts after the end of hostilities. As the station is below street level the tower used to house the water tanks which powered the hydraulic lifts down to the platforms. The reference to frequent electric trains came about as the original locomotives used by the Victorian builders of the line, the Mersey Railway, were steam powered, which could make the journey unpleasant to the point of terrifying.
The Square has the elegance of a bygone age, reflecting the rise of the shipbuilding wealth which transformed the town through the late Georgian and Victorian times. The Square sits just above the Woodside Ferry landing stage and forms an impressive entrance to Birkenhead, though the main shopping area is now a very short walk away which gives the Square a slightly isolated feel. However the plus side of this is that it gives the area a peaceful air.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, the Town Hall. Back to an era when one expression of civic pride involved columns, coats of arms and elegant lamps.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, the Town Hall, to light you on your way, not only function but elegant with it. These lamps stand on the steps up to the main entrance.
My plan for the day was to walk around the Square and then make my way over to Birkenhead Park on the opposite side of the town centre. I’ll get to that in the next post.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, the gardens. The laying out of the Square was begun in the 1820’s by an architect from Edinburgh, Gillespie Graham and it has a liitle of the look of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town. Three sides of the Square are made up of non identical rows, while the fourth side is occupied by the stately Birkenhead Town Hall.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, at the centre of the Square’s gardens is the memorial to Queen Victoria.
BIRKENHEAD. The trees are starting to loose their Autumnal finery in readiness for the coming Winter.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, one side of the Square showing the imposing frontages with the tower of the nearby railway station peeking coyly out above the roofs.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, a lamp standard.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, looking from the Cenotaph towards the Queen Victoria memorial.
BIRKENHEAD. Hamilton Square, looking across the Town Hall frontage towards the tower of the railway station. The square forms and impressive entrance to this part of the town from the Woodside Pier, a landing stage for the Mersey Ferries, which lies just beyond the railway station.
As I’d planned two posts on the day I made the decision to post this in black and white which I felt suited the architecture better and the follow up on the Park in colour.
MORE BIRKENHEAD INFORMATION
LOCAL TRAVEL INFORMATION
Some More Stuff.
BOOK & e-BOOKS
BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY
RANDOM on SNAPWIRE
Categories: England, Heritage, history, Photography, travel, Uncategorized, United Kingdom
Tags: architecture, Birkenhead, black and white photography, Design, history, photography, street photography, travel, Wirral