History of Liverpool

Discover there is more to Liverpool's history than the slave trade, Irish immigration and The Beatles! This website is perfect for schools and anyone interested in local history study.

During 2021 new KS2 / KS3 school teaching resources are being added to this site. Ideal for teaching local Liverpool history. Free lesson materials, PowerPoints, worksheets, quizzes, activities and image galleries all in one place.

(Stone Age,  Industrial Revolution, Victorian and Norman Conquest lesson resources are now completed)

Carve a name for yourself in Stone Age Merseyside.

  • 10,000 years ago only a handful of tribes lived in the Merseyside area.
  • Mesolithic Stone Age hunter-gatherers settled just outside of Crosby.
  • Lots of Stone Age relics have been found along the line of the River Alt.
  • In Formby, there are ancient Stone Age footprints perfectly preserved in the mud.
  • At Calderstones Park in Allerton, there is the ancient Calder Stones. A historic burial chamber.
  • Read more facts about Life in the Stone Age.

Free Stone Age Teaching Material

  • KS2 Friendly facts about the Stone Age. (Differentiated for reading ability)
  • A gallery of Stone Age photos (Great quality and easy to browser and copy from)
  • Stone Age Teaching Resources (Differentiated Worksheets) and Powerpoints. With simple text and large interesting images to stimulate discussion.
  • Huge Collection of Quizzes and Learning Activities (Stone Age Wordsearch, Matching & Sequencing Neolithic Tools, Animal Paintings, Archeology Fact-Finding etc...)

What did the Romans ever do for us?

The answer is, more than you think. There is evidence of Roman remains scattered all over Merseyside:

  • A Roman trade port in Wirral
  • An ancient Roman wishing-well at Halebank.
  • A Roman road was found in Aigburth and Roman relics have been unearthed all over the area.
  • A Roman Tile Factory in Tarbock that made pottery for Chester barracks.

There is a strong theory that around 600A.D there was an earthquake in the area, changing the geography of the Mersey. This could be the reason why the Romans never settled long in this area.

Discover more about Roman Liverpool. Find out what Celtic tribe your ancestors belonged to. They never had an amphitheatre to play footy in, but the Romans were definitely here!

The Norman Conquest of Liverpool

  • People from this area would have fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
  • Anglo-Saxon West Derby trained killer hawks that could have been used at the battle.
  • Read what the Domesday book said about the area with an English translation of the Liverpool Domesday book page!

At this time, the Merseyside area was known as the 'West Derby Hundred'. The Norman Knights built the Motte and Bailey West Derby Castle. It was used to help them control the area. In this section, you can see exactly where the Castle was and what it looked like.

Discover more facts about our area during The Norman Conquest.

Free Norman Conquest Teaching Material

  • Huge Collection of Quizzes and Learning Activities (Norman Conquest Wordsearch, Matching & Sequencing events, Gapped word tasks about Battle of Hastings, Norman Conquest and Domesday Book and a multi-choice quiz.) Ideal for lesson starters or homework.

Liverpool in Medieval Times

  • In 1207 the area was given a Royal Charter to trade.
  • The original spellings of the city were: Lyrpul, Litherpul, Ly’rpole, Lyverpool, Lyverpol, Lurpole, Liverpol,  Liuerpul and Leverpool.
  • The city centre only had seven streets. This section has interactive maps to show you exactly where they are today.
  • In 1232 Liverpool Castle was built. You can see exactly where it stood, with interactive 'then and now' photos.
  • In 1323 King Edward II stayed at the Castle. As the area became a thriving shipping port during this period.
  • Discover your place in the medieval Merseyside Feudal System.

The Black Death Plague arrives

Back in summer 1349 the temperature was freezing! The city's streets had only just had pavements fitted! The place was full of death and disease and then the plague arrived!

  • Learn about the origins of the Black Death Plague.
  • Find out how the strange ways people tried to cure it.
  • A quarter of the city's population died when the Plague arrived.
  • Liverpool had a plague 'lockdown' but it only lasted for three weeks.

Discover facts about how the Black Death.

Liverpool in the Late Middle Ages

This is the 'forgotten' story of life during the 1400s.

Find out the origins of the Eagle and Child, Croxteth Hall and Knowsley Hall. Also, discover the connection between the Princes in the Tower of London. Who may have met their fate via deadly scouse hands!

The English Civil War comes to Liverpool

In 1644, 10,000 men arrived in town for a huge Civil War battle. To put this in context, the whole population of the area at this time was only 2000 people! The army was led by Prince Rupert. It was reported at the time that he had a magical dog and an ‘invisible’ monkey. Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers trashed Liverpools Castle. If that's not all, the Civil War saw the King’s head chopped off and Christmas was cancelled!!!

  • Read about how the Civil War between King and Parliament started.
  • Learn about Prince Rupert’s Tower that features on the Everton badge.
  • See 'then and now' maps to see exactly where Civil War battles took place in the city centre.
  • Find out what may have happened at Childwall. The haunted Bloody Acre may have got its name from a Civil War battle.
  • Learn about the Seige of Liverpool during the Civil War. A conflict that killed more people than the first and second world wars combined.

Georgian Liverpool and the Trans-Atlantic Trade Triangle. 

  • During the 1700s the city became the centre of world trade.
  • The population exploded from about 5000 people at the beginning of the century to 80,000 at the end of it.
  • In addition to the slave trade, it was piracy that brought most of the wealth to the area.
  • Merchants made millions from importing cotton, rum, tobacco and sugar.
  • Soon the area became the tooth decay capital of the world!

In these pages, you will learn balanced facts about Liverpool in Georgian times. Also, its role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade triangle.

Slavery and Piracy are nothing to be proud of. But like many other cities, the foundations of our city are built on them.

Liverpool kickstarts the Industrial Revolution. 

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, the city became the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Journey back to Industrial Liverpool and the start of the railways.

Free Industrial Revolution Teaching Material

  • Cartoon story of the Industrial Revolution
  • Teaching Resources to aid lesson discussions. Including a PowerPoint of children working in factories. (colourised images to bring the topic to life). Also a Powerpoint of the Industrial Revolution (including The Rocket at the Rainhill Trials).
  • Differentiated worksheets on Canals and Rainhill Trials.
  • Huge Collection of Quizzes and interactive Learning Activities (Industrial Revolution Wordsearch, Matching Child Labour jobs, Sequencing key events, cloze gapped paragraphs to help develop keyword knowledge, fact-finding painting etc...)

Victorian Liverpool: A splendid time is guaranteed for (almost) all!  

  • During Queen Victoria's reign, the city's population exploded from 160,000 people to 700,000!
  • After London, Liverpool arguably became the second most important city in the world.
  • In this section, you can see the slum housing your ancestors lived in.
  • Learn about Kitty Wilkinson and the Cholera epidemic.
  • Discover the history of Liverpool and Everton football clubs
  • Learn that St George’s Hall wasn’t built back-to-front after all!

This section tells the story of  Charles Dickens living and working here. See‘'then and now' photos to see how the city changed in Victorian times. An incredible legacy of wonderful architecture that great people left us.

Free Victorian Teaching Material

World War Two and the Blitz of Liverpool  

  • See photos of the devastation from the Blitz bombings in 1941.
  • Learn about how rationing and evacuation affected the city during World War II.
  • Learn about Adolf Hitler living in Liverpool. Yes, Hitler didn’t just bomb our chippy, he could have worked in it!
  • Discover the truth and half-truths about the Hitler family that lived in Toxteth.

Read about life during the Second World War.

old liverpool photos facts