The Customs House, Liverpool, in 1828

WAG 1545


This immense building, designed by the corporation Surveyor John Foster Jnr. and erected between 1828 and 1837, stood at the historic heart of Liverpool in Canning Place, the site of the city's first enclosed dock. Its central portico faced north towards the town hall at the opposite end of Castle Street. It was the grandest example of Foster's severe Greek Revival style, no doubt intended to emulate the great public buildings then rising in London such as the General Post Office. It was also a symbol of the port's economic importance in the early 19th century but was demolished following bomb damage in World War II. Very little is known of Barrow beyond the evidence that he worked for a time in Liverpool as a draughtsman specialising in architectural subjects.