Do you remember Liverpool’s courts?

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court housing reconstruction in the museum

Copyright Mark McNulty

If you’ve visited the Museum of Liverpool you might have seen the court in The People’s Republic gallery.  This reconstruction represents a standard housing type in Liverpool from the early 18th to the mid 20th centuries. Small back-to-back houses densely packed around courtyards formed the homes of tens of thousands of people.  Without adequate water supply or drainage in many areas they became ‘slums’.  From the early 20th century programmes to clear them and replace them with better quality housing with improved facilities benefited communities across the city. Now, no court housing remains in Liverpool, there are just a few examples of back-to-back houses, and tantalising traces of courtyards in a few structures around the city.  There are, however, photographs, maps, and written descriptions of them, especially from the 19th century. We are now looking to record memories of the courts in the 20th century for a new oral history project, so we would like to hear from anyone who can remember what Liverpool's court housing was like.  Did you live in a court, or perhaps visit family members who did?  Do you remember what they were like, and how it felt to live in one?  Were they small, dark and dingy or were they cosy, compact and a place where close community thrived?  Tell us your story! Find out how to get involved on the Appeals page on the website.