Liverpool’s architectural landmarks are easy to spot in the city’s skyline. From the iconic Liver Building to the magnificence of St George’s, we’re well accustomed to seeing their spectacular façades everyday.
But the lesser seen side of these incredible buildings are their beautiful interiors, often hidden away from sight or infrequently visited. Here are some of Liverpool’s most impressive historic interiors that you should definitely visit…
1. The Great Hall at St George’s
This Grade-I listed giant of a building has been described as one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world and greets visitors to Liverpool everyday when they first step out of Lime Street Station.
But while the outside is certainly impressive, it’s the interiors of St George’s that are more likely to take your breath away.
In particular, the magnificent Grand Hall. With its 82 foot high ceiling, polished red granite columns and highly decorated Minton tiles, the full impact of St George’s concert hall was revealed during the Liverpool Biennial art festival this summer when the ornate Minton flooring was revealed to the public (it is normally covered up for protection).
2. The Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool
Tucked away in the University Quarter of the city, The Victoria Gallery & Museum building is iconic for its role in coining the term ‘red brick university’.
But if you take a walk around the Victorian interiors, you can experience the elaborately decorated entrance hall finished with terracotta, turquoise and glazed tiles as well as the highly ornate corridors and decadent hallways. It’s a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.
3. Princes Road Synagogue
Many of us drive past the grand synagogue on Prices Road everyday on our way to work, but have you ever looked inside?
Take a peek to see the spectacular interiors of the first Grade-I listed synagogue outside of London. Built in 1874, the building seats up to 824 worshipers and was designed for the city’s Jewish community who had outgrown a Seel Street venue.
The building has survived two world wars and a vicious arson attack in the 70s, which lead to a huge internal restoration project to reconstruct the ornate ceiling stencils and beautiful galleries of this spiritual building. The synagogue runs regular tours, with donations going towards the upkeep of the building.
4. Martins Bank
This Grade-II* listed building on Water Street impresses from the outside with its seven storeys of classical-style architecture. But the interiors of the old offices are even more impressive. In fact, they’re so beautiful that they’ve become a magnet for film and TV producers
Empty since the early 2000s, the future of the stunning building is now uncertain so you’re not likely to be able to see the rooms inside the bank, but glimpses from photographs reveal the “masterpiece” created by Herbet J.Rowse.
Highlights include the ornate Boardroom on the eighth floor, which has a painted wooden ceiling decorated in hundreds of colourful motifs including golden Liver birds, and the jaw-dropping banking floor with its towering columns, arched ceilings and curved marble banking counter.
5. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
The concert hall that stands on Liverpool’s Hope Street today was actually a replacement for the original music hall which was destroyed in a fire in 1933.
The replacement, built by the same man behind Martins Bank, is in a Streamline Moderne style (a late version of Art Deco). The fawn-coloured building isn’t remarkable externally by the standards of many of Liverpool’s most famous buildings, but its interiors are certainly some of the most beautiful in the city.
In 1995, the auditorium was restored, bringing it into the modern world acoustically and adding state-of-the-art lighting, but the hall retains stunning features of its past, including famous wall reliefs and the unusual shape and form of the stage area.
6. Liverpool Central Library
Completed in 1860, the Central Library is one of the few buildings in Liverpool that perfectly combines modern developments with historical roots.
The building was constructed as part of the William Brown Library and Museum, which also encompassed what is now the World Museum and the Walker Art gallery.
Located on William Brown Street, the Grade-II* listed property was renovated in 2013, retaining the Picton Reading Room, with its floor to ceiling shelves and domed ceiling, and other historical features, but adding an impressive space-age like atrium. The renovations won a Royal Institute of British Architecture award in 2014.
And the best bit? You can view the stunning interiors for free as the building is still a working public library. Just wonder in anytime to appreciate the beautiful rooms inside.
7. The Philharmonic Dining Rooms
It’s unusual for a building’s toilets to be the talking point of its architecture, but the men’s loos at the Philharmonic Dining Halls definitely are.
Built between 1898 and 1900, the whole pub is decorated with musical themes relating to the concert hall across the road, including stained glass windows and a number of decorated copper panels embedded within the ornate, wooden paneled saloons. The main bar is elaborately designed in a Victoriana-style.
But the men’s urinals are the most celebrated interior feature of the pub. These Grade-I listed loos are built of rose-coloured marble and make it onto a number of ‘Must-See’ lists for tourists in town.
8. Liverpool Town Hall
One of the finest surviving 18th-century town halls in the country, Liverpool’s central civic building at the junction of Dale Street, Castle Street and Water Street, is magnificent in scale and style.
And inside, the lavishly decorated rooms reflect the city’s past riches from maritime trade. Designed in a neoclassical style, many of the suites have intricate plaster work, ornate friezes and embellished furnishings.
Even the staircases housed in the entrance hall of the building are lavished in golden trims and luxurious red carpets.
9. Alma de Cuba (St Peters Church)
Cuban-inspired bar and restaurant Alma de Cuba on Seel Street used to be an old Catholic Church.
St Peter’s was opened in September 1788 and remained a church until 1976. Its holy past is reflected in the bar’s dramatic interiors. Today, you can still see the glistening stained-glass windows and stunning alter and walk around what would have been the upper galleries of the historic church building.
Alma de Cuba is one of Liverpool’s favourite bar and restaurants, serving Latin American-inspired dishes and cocktails. You can enjoy a cocktail (or two) inside the historic architecture and enjoy the beautiful interiors on one of its legendary nights out – Voodoo.
10. The Anglican Cathedral
The magnificent exterior of Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral towers above the city, its Gothic tower visible for miles around.
But inside, the architecture is equally incredible with vast arches, endless columns and spectacular stained-glass windows. The bare bricks create a stunning visual feast for the eyes, particularly if you visit when the lighting is on. Make sure you look out for the UK’s largest organ as well: it is made up of 10,267 pipes.
11. Cunard House
The Cunard Building, one of Liverpool’s iconic Three Graces, is renowned for its impressive exterior design and dominating position on the waterfront.
But inside the beautiful wooden doors of this building is a hidden gem – the elegant, airy interior of the former passenger terminal. With embellished marble columns and glazed canopies, as well as 50,000 cubic feet of Italian marble, it’s easy to get a feel for the neo-classical inspiration behind the 20 acres of floor space in the building.
In a review shortly after the Cunard Building opened, The Liverpool Daily Post described the décor as having “the finest range of architectural interior” in the city.
The beautiful interior is the perfect picturesque backdrop to your special day, with its opulence and grandeur making it a unique venue in the city that’s sure to impress.
Steeped in history, charm and character, the famous Grade II* listed building is an iconic place to host your special occasion or business event.
For more information and to start planning your special event, call our team on 0151 305 3753.