Lost treasures of Liverpool now confined to history – Liverpool Echo

Posted: February 22, 2021 at 2:22 pm

In a city as steeped in history as Liverpool, it's easy to find fascinating reminders of the past on nearly every street.

But there are some iconic landmarks that we've loved and lost along the way, as the city evolves and changes.

From The Futurist Cinema in Lime Street to the hustle and bustle of Stanley Dock Market, these lost treasures were loved by locals but have now sadly been confined to history.

We decided to reminisce about this by taking a look back in our archives at some of the places we wish we could bring back.

This list includes facilities that have either gone completely, or which people would struggle to recognise today.

If there is anything you think should have been included in this list or you would like to share your memories then please let us know in the comments below.

The Futurist Cinema

The cinema first opened under the name of the Lime Street Picture House in 1912 and was the city centre's first purpose-built cinema.

It boasted a full orchestra for silent films as well as seats for 1029 customers

When another cinema opened in Clayton Square named 'Liverpool Picture House,' the Lime Street Picture House changed its name to City Picture House.

But this name didn't last long either and in October 1920 the cinema was renamed The Futurist by its new owners.

The building suffered bomb damage during the Second World War but it was quickly rebuilt and the cinema began showing films again that year.

The Futurist closed on July 17, 1982, and stood derelict for decades.

It was demolished in 2016 to make way for a 39m redevelopment including a hotel, student accommodation and a Lidl store.

Designed by artist Anthony Brown, the facade of the building tells the story of the history of the street, from the Futurist to the Yankee Bar, the National Milk Bar and even Marks & Spencer.

Liverpool Castle

Liverpool once had a medieval castle that stood on the site now occupied by Derby Square and Liverpool Crown Court.

The Castle of Liverpool was built as a result of King John issuing a Letters Patents, popularly known as the Royal Charter, to Liverpool on August 28, 1207.

It is believed to have been constructed around 1235, although some records suggest it could have been as early as 1208.

The castle was located at the top of what is now Lord Street, offering the highest point in the city overlooking "the Pool".

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It had a hall, chapel, brewhouse and bakehouse, as well as a moat running around the outside.

An act was passed to demolish the castle in 1715 and build a church in its place, with St George's church built on the old site. Another church was later built in its place but this was demolished in 1899.

A plaque dedicated to the castle can be found today on the Victoria Monument in Derby Square.

Liverpool Fruit Exchange

Often passed by without a second glance on Victoria Street, the old Fruit Exchange in Liverpool city centre was once a hive of activity.

The building was originally built in 1888 as a railway goods depot for the London and North Western Railway, to serve Exchange Station on Tithebarn Street.

It was later converted into a fruit exchange in 1923 by James B. Hutchins and soon became the main trading point for fruit within the city.

Hundreds of people would gather in the exchange halls and bid for fruit which had just arrived in Liverpool from all around the world

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Towards the end of the last century, the warehouses were converted into pubs, with parts of the former marketplace still serving as licensed bars, like Rubber Soul.

What's left of the property that isn't involved in Liverpool's nightlife is now classed as a Grade II listed building.

Today the old auction rooms now sadly lie empty and covered in dust.

Theatre Royal

Situated on the north side of Williamson Square in the city centre was the now demolished Theatre Royal.

First opening its doors on June 5, 1772, the Theatre Royal was later rebuilt in 1802 with a striking curved facade designed by John Foster.

It hosted readings by Charles Dickens, appearances by comedian and clowning pioneer Joseph Grimaldi, and performances by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and virtuoso violinist Niccol Paganini.

But by the early 20th century the theatre had been stripped out and was used as a cold store.

Its facade survived until 1971 - inspiring the curved Playhouse extension next door but it was flattened for road improvements.

Stanley Dock Market

Stanley Dock Market sadly closed in December 2011 after being based in the same building for thirty years.

It came after plans were approved to redevelopment the Grade II-listed Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock.

The iconic building has since been restored and converted into a 130m residential development after laying derelict for decades.

Photos from our archives show the hustle and bustle of Stanley Dock Market back in its hey day.

Overhead Railway

The Liverpool Overhead Railway opened in 1893 and was the first electrically-operated elevated railway in the world.

Known as the "railway in the sky" helped to ease congestion on the docks and served as a stunning architectural backdrop to our busy and bustling industrial city and port.

It ceased operation on December 30, 1956 and by 1958 it had been demolished.

Today the only reminder of it is a display inside the Museum of Liverpool.

Liverpool's lost football stadium

Back in the Victorian era, Liverpool Caledonians FC was one of the leading clubs in the city.

Despite the part they played in Liverpool's sporting heritage, relatively little is known about the club and where they played.

While records show that Woodcroft Park, a 30,000- capacity stadium in Wavertree, was the home of Liverpool Caledonians FC, the exact location of the stadium remains a mystery.

It's a puzzle historians from the Wavertree Society have been trying to solve for years

Liverpool's Wellington Rooms

Liverpool's Wellington Rooms, also known as Liverpool Irish Centre, has not been in regular use since 1997.

The Neo-Classical building on Mount Pleasant, was designed by Edmund Aikin and built between 1815 and 1816.

Originally built to be an assembly room, it was first used by high society for assemblies, dance balls and parties.

The building officially opened as Liverpool Irish Centre on 1 February 1965 hosting music and drama performances as well as serving as a base for clubs and societies.

Today the building sadly lies empty and unused, over two years after urgent work was carried out to slow the decay of the landmark.

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Lost treasures of Liverpool now confined to history - Liverpool Echo

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