LIVERPOOL’S lost castle is to be resurrected in the renovation of one of the city’s most important squares.
Derby Square at the end of Castle Street is to undergo a major £2m revamp in high quality granite to replace the tired brick work currently there.
Once the site of Liverpool’s castle, different coloured granite will be used to mark out where the walls of the fortress would have been.
The work will be one of the final phases of the big dig and is designed to improve the city centre environment, particularly the route to Liverpool One.
The castle, completed around 1235, was built of sandstone and designed to be self-supporting in times of siege.
By the mid-1300s, it had four towers and was surrounded by a dry moat.
It included an orchard, a chapel, a bakehouse and a herb garden.
Some of the most dramatic scenes of the city’s History
were witnessed by the castle during the civil war.
In May 1643, the Parliamentarians took Liverpool and the crucial supply route to Ireland.
Royalists gained control of the fortress in 1644 but only after suffering the heavy loss of 1,500 men in just one week of fighting.
But once the Royalists were defeated, Parliament ordered the demolition of the castle.
By the early 1700s, it was in ruins and its bricks were recycled for other buildings.
Today a plaque on the Queen Victoria monument acts as a reminder of the square’s historical importance.
Work on the scheme is likely to start within weeks of the plan being formally approved by the city’s ruling executive board on Friday.
As part of the repaving project, 20 of the existing trees will be removed and replaced with seven new ones.
An additional 11 litter bins will also be in place to help keep the area outside the city’s crown court clean.
Better lights will also be installed.
“This area has historic connections but it is also links into the development at Liverpool One and Chavasse Park,” said Cllr Peter Millea, the city’s regeneration leader.
“We are going to upgrade it with high-quality materials which will make it more attractive for pedestrians in general but also make it much better for disabled people who use the square.”
Liverpool Council officials argued that the Victoria Monument should be refurbished as part of the works. But the North West Development Agency, which is part funding the project, said no money was available for its inclusion.
Work is expected to to be completed around the end of the year.
The ruling executive is also expected to approve £3.7m of works to Castle Street itself.
When the plan to improve Castle Street was first floated in 2005, the idea was to pedestrianise the road as it formed part of the proposed Merseytram route.
The Daily Post understands that full-scale pedestrianisation is no longer likely.
The council is currently consulting about what exact form the improvements should take.
But the council has said the design will be “future-proofed”, should the Government agree to provide funding for the Merseytram scheme in future.
It is hoped that work on Castle Street might start in September 2010, following the Mathew Street Festival, and finish a year later. THE LIVERPOOL ECHO