The Black & White Picture Place

Photographs of Liverpool: Clayton Square

Clayton Square just before its demolition in 1986...

Above and below: Cases Street led from Central Station to Clayton Square.
We see it below just before it was flattened to make way for a glass-covered shopping development.

Three photographs above Steve Howe

How Clayton Square looked back in 1923...

Clayton Square was named after William Clayton, a member of an influential old Liverpool family who represented the town in eight parliaments between the years 1698-1714, and who also served as Mayor in 1689.

The square was laid out between 1745-50. Progress was slow- by 1769, only four houses existed here and one of these was converted into the Prince of Wales Theatre, which was demolished in 1912 and a new theatre of a different kind, the Liverpool Picture House, built adjacent to the site.

The place changed its name numerous times over the years: the Prince of Wales News and Feature Theatre, the Liverpool News Theatre and the Gala Theatre. This writer remembers, in common with many of my kind, being left to watch the all-day cartoons the News Theatre used to run in the 1950s while Mother and Grannie went shopping.

It last showed films- of an adult nature- as the 'Jacey Film Theatre' before finally closing in 1972- when it was radically transformed into a church, known as The Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

Many of the surrounding properties- once grand houses, then prestigious shops- became occupied by 'budget' retail establishments such as Spectrum and Penny Pichers before, in 1986- after a Public Inquiry following numerous calls for the historic square to be restored- the entire area was unforgiveably demolished to make way for the soulless modern retail development shown below... 1947...

...and how it looks today

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