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Old Photographs of Liverpool: St. Peter's Church 1 On to parts 2 and 3

st peter's church

st peter's churchSt. Peter's Church stood in Church Street from 1704 to 1919 on a site later to be occupied by the first Woolworth's store in the UK. It served as Liverpool's Pro-Cathedral before the great Anglican Cathedral was built on St. James' Mount. If you look up at the top of the former Woolworth's building, you will notice a memorial to the vanished church- the cross keys symbol of St. Peter. The gardens that surrounded the building can be seen again in this photograph of the Bluecoat School.

From Picture of Liverpool: A Stranger's Guide published in 1834: "This edifice, which stands on the south side of Church street was built by assessment, and consecrated in 1704. It cost three thousand five hundred pounds and is said to be the first parish church that was erected in Lancashire after the Reformation. There are four portals, and each in a different style of architecture- a proof how little good taste or architectural beauty was understood at that time in this town. The upper part of the tower is octangular and ornamented at the angles with pinnacles, each bearing a gilt vane.
The entire height of the steeple is 108 feet, and it has a peal of eight bells.
The interior of the church is furnished with pews, and the galleries rest on four well carved oak pedestals, on which rise an equal number of plain columns, supporting the roof.
The altar exhibits a fine specimen of rich carving in oak, and is generally and deservedly admired. A representation of St Peter, in stained glass decorates the east window, and a large and handsome organ occupies the west end, with a gallery on each side, appropriated to the use of the children who belong to the Blue Coat Hospital.
In 1715, a mariner named John Fells gave a donation of thirty pounds, for the purpose of founding a small theological library in this church. It has since received additions from one of the rectors, and at present comprises 107 volumes in folio, 56 in quatro, and 54 in octavo. These works are deposited in the vestry, and chiefly treat on divinity and ancient church history".

st pewter's church

st. peter's church

st. pewter's demolition

A rather murky photograph of the demolition of St. Peter's in 1919. This was carried out by the building firm Mc Cormick & Lunt Ltd, founded in 1870.

After the church was demolished, much of its material and fittings were used elsewhere. The carved reredos behind the altar and other woodwork in the Chancel, the work of Richard Prescot which was completed in 1704, found a new home in St. Cuthbert's Church, Churchtown, near Southport, which dates from 1739. Other items from the church were incorporated in Christchurch, Eccleston, St. Helens, including the gallery columns and the clock. The bells were moved to the Parish church at St. Helens.

st. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter's seen in 1919, not long before it was demolished.

st. Peter's in 1919
A handcoloured view of the church, also from its final year, 1919.

St. Peter's Church gates
The gates leading to the churchyard from Church Lane in 1919.

church street blitz 1941
The neighbourhood of St. Peter's after the May Blitz of 1941

On to St. Peter's Church 2 and 3

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