Magical History Tour

The story of Liverpool

28 July 2007 to 27 September 2009

This exhibition has closed

A trip through history in a time travelling taxi

The former Magical History Tour exhibition took visitors on a journey of discovery through 800 years of Liverpool history, from medieval 'Lyverpoole' to 21st century 'Livercool', with help from a time travelling taxi driver.

Told through the lives of Liverpool people through the ages, the exhibition charted the city’s growth from a tiny fishing village to a busy port. It traced the evolution of the settlement from its earliest pre-historic roots and examined life in the medieval and early modern town before the port’s emergence as a Victorian metropolis of global significance.

The story was brought up to date with the challenges faced by those living in the city during the 19th and 20th centuries, before finally considering the evolving perceptions of Liverpool and Liverpudlians in the recent past.

Iconic objects on display included the Liverpool charters, the Huxley hoard of Viking silver and a reconstruction of the long-lost Liverpool Castle.

Themes included:

  • The origins of the Pool - a muddy river inlet that was to give the city its name
  • Why King John first established a town in this location in 1207
  • How political turbulence engulfed the medieval town
  • what effect the English Civil War had on the city in 1644
  • How Liverpool became 'the second city of the British Empire'
  • Why life expectancy in the city dropped drastically in the 19th century
  • How war has affected the people and city in the last century

In celebrating the amazing rollercoaster story of Liverpool, this exhibition played a major part in the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the city in 2007 and the city’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.