Liverpool is a city in north-west England. It was a minor port town of Lancashire awarded a borough charter by King John in 1208, but in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Liverpool developed into a major global city. This prominence was based largely on trade, including tobacco, sugar and a major involvement in the Slave Trade. Although the slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1806, Liverpool continued to flourish as an industrial, trade and financial industries centre. Liverpool has the largest number of listed buildings outside of London,and more notable Georgian buildings than Bath. The Liverpool waterfront is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains three important buildings known as the "three Graces" - the Royal Liver building, the Cunard building and the Port of Liverpool building.
Liverpool is noted for its two cathedrals, Anglican and Roman Catholic. The former, a traditional design from the early 1900s, is built from local sandstone. The Catholic cathedral built in a modern style during the 1970s is affectionately known as Paddy's Wigwam or the Mersey Funnel - a pun on the pioneering Mersey Tunnel constructed under the river between Liverpool and Birkenhead.
Liverpool was the European Capital Of Culture for 2008.
The city currently has a population of approximately 450,000, known as Liverpudlians (and nicknamed 'Scousers' after a local dish), with the wider Merseyside region having a population of 1.5 million. The city itself contains suburbs such as Aigburth, West Derby, Aintree and Knotty Ash.
The culture of Liverpool has been portrayed by the author and dramatist Carla Lane in a number of highly regarded television dramas including "The Liver Birds" and "Bread". Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale are noted playwrights from Liverpool. Bleasdale effectively portrayed the misery and deprivation of 1980s Liverpool in dramas such as The Black Stuff, while Russell, probably the most well-known of current Liverpool writers has enjoyed huge success with offerings such as Educating Rita, Blood Brothers and Shirley Valentine. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest existing professional orchestra in the country.
The nickname for both the city and its distinctive accent, scouse, is derived from the eponymous stew. The origins of the name are lost but the similarity of the name to Scandinavian words for ship's stews points to a maritime derivation. Due to the large influx of Irish immigrants into the port in the 19th Century the accent is very distinct from that of the surrounding area. Those speaking Scouse will include a large number of typically Irish elements into their speech.
Famous natives of Liverpool:
- Arthur Askey (comedian and actor)
- Cilla Black (singer, TV presenter)
- Stan Boardman (comedian)
- Cherie Blair (prominent lawyer)
- Tony Booth (actor and father-in-law of Tony Blair)
- Billy Butler (comedian)
- Jamie Carragher (footballer)
- Melanie Chisholm - Mel C (former Spice Girl)
- Edwina Currie (politician and author)
- Ken Dodd (poet, comedian and singer)
- Kenny Everett (disc jockey and comedian)
- Steven Gerrard (footballer)
- William Gladstone (Four times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
- Derek Hatton (politician)
- George Melly (jazz singer and author)
- Derek Nimmo (comic actor)
- Steven Norris (politician)
- John Peel (disc jockey and radio personality)
- Ted Ray (comedian)
- Anne Robinson (TV presenter and journalist)
- Norman Rossington (comedian and actor)
- George Stubbs (artist)
- Jimmy Tarbuck (comedian)
- Ricky Tomlinson (trade unionist, actor, comedian and banjo player)
- Siegfried Sassoon (poet)
- John Lennon (Beatle)
- Sir Paul McCartney (Beatle)
- George Harrison (Beatle)
- Ringo Starr (Beatle)
- The Beatles
- Tate Liverpool
- Echo and the Bunnymen
- The Liverpool Poets
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra