Four Historic Shop Fronts in Liverpool

Often, we race down streets, skip across the road and generally rush around without taking a moment to soak it all up. How many times have you stopped and noticed the striking beauty of something that you’ve been ignorant to for days, weeks or even years? 

Liverpool has some of the most magnificent buildings in the UK, from the neo-classical splendour of St George’s Hall to the dominating art deco Philharmonic. We’ve got an impressive collection of monuments too, but what do you think of our shopfronts? 

Well, as we were looking through Instagram recently we were once again drawn to an account doing something that little bit different. Meet ‘liverpoolshopfronts’... an account ran by by Antonio Franco. 

We've asked to feature four of Antonio's shots with interesting history. Please let us know in the comments if you have any intruiging facts or anecdotes about a shop front in Liverpool.

Meet Antonio 

‘Hi, my name is Antonio Franco.  I'm a photographer by trade and passion. In 2014, I moved to Liverpool and immediately fell in love with this amazing city.

Right then, I started a journey to document facades and places I found along the way. My main motivation is to take the viewer on an alternative tour of Liverpool through my lens.’

92 Duke Street - The Monro 

With a modest frontage, the Monro; a popular and award-winning gastropub in Liverpool’s ropewalks area, has quite the history.

The street it resides on, Duke Street had become a bustling area serving the shipping industry. Duke Street had several public houses and beer houses. Beer houses sold beer and could be set up in your front room while public houses could sell spirits as well as beer, with or without overnight rooms. 

The Monro started off as a beer, wine & spirit merchants and delivered them to fine houses in the local area. It first appeared on a map in 1750 and is actually two merchants' homes joined into one. 

In its very early days, there were still green fields owned by Mrs Colquitt - neighbouring Colquitt Street is named after her. There would have been clear views from The Monro towards the docks below, allowing merchants to see what was going on.

31 Cheapside 

Located tucked away on Cheapside, number 31 could simply be missed, but it’s beautiful mosaic feature outside is well worth stopping for a look.

Although now seemingly unoccupied, this has been a pub in the Victorian times named ‘Bridewell Vaults.’ It was finally listed on the 1908 edition of Gore’s directory.

It is located across from the ‘Main Bridewell’ which is a former prison with the building title still there now and now operates as a hotel. As a listed building, the inside sports many original features with exposed brick walls, cells now bedrooms and metal hatches outside each door.  

From 1910, Gore’s lists the occupants as S McCain & Sons provision merchants. They would have been grocers and housed at 31 Cheapside until 1962, by which time they were described as egg merchants.

After this time, 31 Cheapside was occupied by a solicitors office until the mid 1990s. 

#liverpoolshopfronts #liverpool #urbandecay #uk

A post shared by Liverpool's shopfronts (@liverpoolshopfronts) on

77 Tithebarn Street - Shenanigans

Shenangians is a visually unmissable, standalone pub on Tithebarn street; one of the original ‘seven streets’ of Liverpool. The street got its name from the ‘Tithe Barn’ that was built by the city’s Lord Mayor is 1524.

The Tithe Barn was used to store the collected tithes; a tenth of farmer production from Liverpool and Kirdkdale. By 1800s, there was no need to a building to collect the tithes and the Tithe Barn fell into disrepair. As the barn disappeared, pubs began popping up in its place.

By 1842, there were 18 licensed premises on the street, most with no name. This is where we come back to Shenanigans. The first record of a public house on this site was in 1841, when official licensing records began. 
Shenanigans at the time was un-named, ran by licensee Hugh Skellern. The first name on record found for what is now named Shenanigans is ‘The Revolving Lamp’ in 1894. 

So why is Shenanigans a lone building? After WWII when Liverpool was badly bombed, the city suffered from a lot of damage. There was a lot of rebuilding on the street, which is why the pub looks the way it does - solitary with a slight lean. 

In 2013 when the pub was renovated, the original ‘Walkers’ sign was uncovered from back in 1894 when the pub was bought and run by Peter Walker. 

20 Slater Street - R Jackson and Sons 

Robert Proctor Jackson started a business at number 3 Slater Street, selling quality artists’ equipment in 1866.

In the 1870 Gore’s Directory, R Jackson and Son is listed at Number 3 Slater Street. Although the signage outside and a latter invoice, point to the Slater Street business being established in 1866 thus making the business 153 years old in 2019. 

In the 1888 Gore’s Directory Robert Proctor Jackson was listed with another store at 71 Wood Street, just around the corner from Slater Street. 

In 1892 his son, John joined the business when it then became R Jackson and Son. Fast-forward 8 years later and son Harry joins the business for it to them become R Jackson and Sons. 

Records suggest that R Jackson and Sons moved to 18a Slater Street in 1925. But the business was to relocate again after 18a Slater Street was bombed in the May 1941 Blitz. The move was to where it still stands and operates today at 20 Slater Street. Notable customers of R Jackson and Sons include Augustus John and Stuart Sutcliffe. 

R. Jackson & Sons. This shop has been supplying quality artists' equipment for 150 years. Past customers include Augustus John and Stuart Sutcliffe. The business was started by Robert P Jackson in 1866 at Number 3, Slater Street, Liverpool. In 1892 he was joined by his son John and the business became known as R Jackson & Son. Son Harry joined in 1900 and with this came a business name change to R Jackson & Sons which, three generations later, remains their trading name. In 1925 relocation was made to Number 18a Slater Street and the business remained at this address until it was bombed in the May Blitz of 1941. Today this family business continues at 20 Slater Street, its present address. #liverpoolshopfronts #liverpool #shopfronts #storefronts #street #urban #uk #britain #documentingbritain #vintage

A post shared by Liverpool's shopfronts (@liverpoolshopfronts) on

103 Mount Pleasant - Cuthbert's Bakehouse

Cuthbert's Bakehouse on Mount Pleasant has been serving delicious, home-made cakes and sweet treats at 103 Mount Pleasant since 2009. 

The quaint bakery is all the more charming thanks to it's Grade II listed exterior, built alongside 101 - 107 Mount Pleasant in the late 18th Century. 

The earliest information found regarding 103 Mount Pleasant dates all the way back to 1824, when it was referenced in the Gazetteer to a Thomas Whittaker who owned/managed the Union Tavern - which we presume was a pub!

Zipping all the way through to 1973, 103 Mount Pleasant became the outlet of a classic British delicacy, fish and chips.  

In 2007, 103 Mount Pleasant was refurbished with bakery equiment installed. Later came a license change to serve wines and spirits. 

Cuthbert's officially opened in 2009 and has since seen a single storey extension built at 103. 

Blog Post Profile 💅

This blog has been written by Jess Cavendish, Digital Manager for Marketing Liverpool. Jess looks after all things website and content related for VisitLiverpool/its liverpool, Marketing Liverpool and Liverpool Convention Bureau digital channels!

Jess loves and Aperol Spritz, her second favourite city (after Liverpool of course), is Berlin.