A street that boasts some of the best bars, restaurants and architectural masterpieces in the whole of Liverpool, and it’s one of its most historic streets in all the city.

Stretching from the neo-Baroque Queen Victoria Monument on James Street, to the magnificent Georgian Town Hall, Castle Street may only seem small but it's become a favourite street for many. Formerly an area known for its banking and commerce, we're seeing it now become the gateway to its foodie haven (and we're smitten).

To show you just how colourful and beautiful she is, we’ve pieced together some of its history, bringing it all the way back to the present day to show you all the delights we now have Castle Street to thank for.

So many great streets in Liverpool 🚢🏻

A post shared by Jon Cooper // Liverpool (@cooperjond) on

While you sit in one of Castle Street’s bars or restaurants, perhaps enjoying some food or a drink, take a closer look; you’re also at one of the most important historic spots in Liverpool. Castle Street was one of the original seven ancient streets of the city and you can even see it on maps dating way back to the 13th century.

Before Liverpool was even a city, when it was still a medieval town several hundred years ago, Castle Street was an important route between the river and the castle. The town’s market used to be here, and boats would dock in the river, unpack their goods and bring them up into the town to sell, under the shadow of the castle.

Spent a while imagining how the castle would have looked

A post shared by Coral Smith (@coralsmith94) on

 Estimated to have been built between 1232 and 1237, Liverpool Castle stood until the mid-18th century, close to where the Crown Courts are now, and the famous Victoria Monument which stands at the base of Castle Street looking up towards the Town Hall. In fact, if you look at the Crown Courts you’ll see it looks a bit like a castle, and that’s what the design was inspired by. It’s believed there have been Town Halls - although not the same one - on the same site on Castle Street since the 14th century.

Close to the Town Hall you can still see evidence of Castle Street’s market past. There’s a large stone which marks the edge of the town’s fair. It’s called the Sanctuary Stone and it’s likely there were more all across Liverpool. Originally it would have stood a couple of feet high. Markets had their own laws and rules, probably because traders would come from different places, so it made sense to have one governing them all. The stone would mark the boundary of the market area, and where the rules would control. The stone itself has been dug up several times over the past century in Liverpool. Each time it has been relaid, in 2011, 1937 and 1947 a freshly minted coin has been buried with it.

If you look down Castle Street itself, the oldest buildings are all along the west side, of the left if you’re standing facing the Town Hall. The first building, with its arched windows that’s quite a pale stone is highly decorated and was built for a bank. Many of the buildings along this side have an Italian and classical influence and style. One, no 48-50, was designed by James Picton, a famous Liverpool architect who also designed the Picton Library Room in the magnificent Central Library.

One of the most striking buildings, no 42, now houses a coffee shop. Dating from the Victorian period, it was called Victorian Chambers and sports four mermen, complete with trumpets made of shells. Other panels are carved with a bird synonymous with Liverpool – we wonder what that might be called πŸ˜πŸ˜‰ - and the coat of arms of Lancaster.

The stunning Liverpool branch of the Bank of England stands opposite no42 (the last building on the right). London architect C.R. Cockerell designed it sometime back in the 1840s after becoming the surveyor for the Bank of England, going on to design branch offices for them in Manchester, Bristol and Plymouth too. Like many buildings of Liverpool it’s considered a masterpiece of the Victorian trend for neoclassical architecture with its Doric pillars; we agree.

Most famous of all, of course, is the Town Hall. Grade I listed, it’s described as “one of the finest surviving 18th century town halls”. It has a rich history; in fact the very final act of the American Civil War took place on the steps of this building, when Captain Waddell presented a letter to the city’s mayor surrendering his vessel, the CSS Shenandoah, to the British government in November 1865.

Replacing an earlier town hall nearby, it was designed by John Wood the Elder and built between 1749 and 1754. If you look directly down Castle Street at the Town Hall, you might notice it seems a little…off-center. Well, that’s because Water Street which ran to the junction with Dale Street, the west-east axis, was continuous and built up across the junction so that the town hall was not visible originally from that aspect.

tonight's venue - Liverpool town hall

A post shared by a s t l e s (@astlesmusic) on

You can book tours of the Town Hall to see the vividly decorated interior - and of course the famous balcony where The Beatles waved from in 1964. On the ceiling downstairs are murals painted in 1909 depicting events in Liverpool’s history. There are memorials to those from the city who died in WWI and those who have been awarded the Freedom of Liverpool. The upper floor is made up of reception rooms, adorned with fireplaces and chandeliers, where you can imagine dances or special city events taking place, with dancing guests and festivities.

One of my favourite streets in Liverpool πŸŒ†β€

A post shared by R A H M E H (@rahmehaladwan) on

In the modern day, Castle Street is as it always has been,;a beautiful street in the centre of Liverpool, full of bustle and activity. It’s one that retains Liverpool’s grandeur but also has its latter-day love of food and drink and a friendly welcome for visitors. Basically, we love you Castle Street! And of course you want to know where to go on this lovely street of ours, so we suggest taking a look at our top picks below πŸ‘‡

Eat 

Tapas at Beatles City! #bacaro #liverpool #tapas #uk #portuguesearoundtheworld

A post shared by Jorge Rocha (@jorgerocha4) on

It's really hard to choose just one place on Castle Street fior the best eats, we have to be honest. Castle Street is largely becoming another foodie hub in the city and we certainly know why. That being said, we love Salthouse Bacaro for its Venetian small plates of pizzetts, pasta’s, risotto’s which can only be classed as perfection. Failing that, you've also got the delicious San Carlo, or the indie spot of Izakaya which is quickly becoming a favourite for sushi-lovers. 

Drink 

A post shared by John Walker (@jwalker156) on

You can spend a whole night on Castle Street and have THE best night. Take the Underground Gin Society with its incredible choice of gins served with perfect tonics and garnishes, the pint-sized Pinch for killer cocktails or head for a pint at McGuffie's; who's shop front dates back to when 'Glorious John' McGuffie and his company first moved into the premises back in 1910.

Sleep 

❀️

A post shared by Steph (@stephjl77) on

Designed by the architects Lucy and Little, 62 Castle Street is a Grade II listed bolt hole that started life in 1868 as the Alliance Bank then North & South Wales Bank. It's now got to be one of our fave places to stay in the city (thanks to the a-ma-zing suites and the incredible interior - the staircase is worth a visit itself). 

Related

Liverpool Town Hall
Historic House/Palace
Liverpool Town Hall

Liverpool Town Hall is a magnificent 18th century grade one listed building situated in the heart of the culture quarter close to Mathew Street.

San Carlo
Restaurant
San Carlo

San Carlo Liverpool, the newest of the San Carlo restaurants, is set on the sophisticated Castle Street in the heart of Liverpool's business district and offers a very unique experience in Italian dining.

Comments

Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply