After looking through all the amazing photos of old Liverpool ( here
), I came across something called the Goree Piazza and warehouses. I had always wondered why The Strand in Liverpool was such a wide road. Not only did they fit the overhead railway along there but there was also two warehouses down the middle, roughly in line with the back of the Cunard and Liver buildings.
One of the few clues left of this historically significant place.
Map from 1864
Named after Île de Gorée in Senegal, apparently an island off West Africa used as a slave trading base. The warehouses were built in 1793 and stood for at least 160 years when they were finally demolished between 1948-1950, following major bomb damage in WWII.
'Liverpool's extensive growth during the 18th century, due in large measure to profits made in the Atlantic slave trade, brought an increasing demand for storage space. In 1793, in response to this demand, successful merchants built the Goree Warehouses, named after Senegal's Goree Islands off the coast of Africa. When fire destroyed the buildings in 1802, merchants rebuilt the warehouses in 1811, for trade with Africa continued after Parliament brought an end to the British slave trade.' Source
Directly in front of the warehouses would have been George's dock where the Three Graces (Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings) and Pierhead now stand (left in the illustration below).
Taken from http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum
The American author Washington Irving worked from here between 1853 and 1857. Also, [Nathaniel] Hawthorne (American novelist) was rewarded in 1853 with the position of United States consul in Liverpool shortly after the publication of Tanglewood Tales. The role, considered the most lucrative foreign service position at the time, was described by Hawthorne's wife as "second in dignity to the Embassy in London". His offices were based at Goree Piazza. Source
1913 (building over on far left at bottom of Water Street is still there today)
Warehouses showing heavy bomb damage, 1948.
A 'new' Goree Piazza now exists off Drury Lane.
By the fountain is a plaque shaped like an African shield (left of centre between ornamental plants) which gives brief History
of the original piazza. The plaque was presented by Cammell Laird
& Company (S & E) Limited, who built the fountain.
'This is a mechanical/water feature sculpture put up in 1967 on Fenwick Street near the Liver Building.
Most of these kinds of sculptures were removed by city councils years ago because they sound like toilet's flushing, so this is a rare example of a kinetic piece of public art. If you're lucky you'll see it in action.' Source