Sailors' Home, Liverpool

WAG 8616


The Sailors' Home in Canning Place was intended to provide good, safe accommodation for seamen whose ships were docked at Liverpool. Designed by John Cunningham in the Jacobean style and finished in 1850, the building was completely gutted by a fire ten years later and a new, fireproof interior, entirely cast of iron, was immediately constructed inside the surviving shell. Rooms were arranged on seven storeys around a glass-roofed, galleried court which rose through the full height of the buildings. The internal effect was something like a Victorian prison, but relieved by ornamental detail in the form of mermaids, dolphins, twisted ropes and other nautical devices. This drawing, made during the demolition in 1974, vividly shows the iron skeleton within the masonry walls.