MAP & Locations
The historic, Georgian Grade I listed Hamilton Square is the civic heart of Birkenhead. The gardens at its centre hold a statue of John Laird and a series of memorials, including the Borough’s war memorial. From the edge of the gardens you can look across the river and see Liverpool along the shore. Behind you is the town’s retail core and the road to the shipyard. Hamilton Square is a place of hope, designed to showcase the grandeur and growth of Birkenhead. It is also a place of reflection, the way in and the way out of Birkenhead.
The striking art deco Ventilation Tower dominates the skyline of the Leftbank. It ties together Birkenhead’s built environment and transport infrastructure. As well as having a technical function it is a significant landmark and echoes a period of town planning and design filled with ambition. The 1920s is an important chapter in Birkenhead’s identity, when even the most functional space is infused with design credentials.
Woodside Ferry Terminal
Attracting commuters, tourists and visitors alike, the famous ferry is always a reminder that music and the landscape are closely entwined on Merseyside. On the banks of the River Mersey, the ferry terminal is being transformed into a destination, a place to eat and visit instead of merely a stop on a journey. The river is tied to the history and heritage of Birkenhead, just as it is to Liverpool's, and the shift towards a visitor economy - bringing visitors along the waves of the river instead of cargo and business - is another step in the town’s story.
Few places illustrate the history of Birkenhead more comprehensively than this spot opposite Birkenhead Priory. From here you look at one of the oldest buildings on Merseyside and its social and ecclesiastical heritage, while to the right you see Cammell Laird, a site so vital in the region’s industry over the past two centuries. In tying these two locations together in one spot, it does much to articulate the history and heritage of Birkenhead, its medieval role and history alongside its industrial socio economic role and character. Birkenhead is not just one thing, one identity, one place; its different roles coexist and this location emphasises that.
Birkenhead’s musical culture and heritage is richly felt along Argyle Street. New music and cultural venues like Future Yard operate in the shadow of long gone music venues, like Stairways. The next chapter in the walking tour emphasises this history of Birkenhead and its cultural contribution to Merseyside. It is often thought that bands just travelled to Liverpool, and that the musical heritage of the city region is dominated by the Beatles. Birkenhead has hosted a range of bands from Carcass to Faith No More, Little Richard and the Buzzcocks. This space, opposite one of Wirral’s newest venues, allows the visitor to place it into the context of music venues in Birkenhead. The space on this wall, above the loopline, allows the Leftbank Soundtrack to tie itself into the past, present and future of Birkenhead. It can reflect on musical heritage, new venues but also plans for the loopline and cultural infrastructure.
At Birkenhead Central, there is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of investing in cultural heritage. Mr Digby’s and Central Hotel are two venues which are either demolished or in a state of disrepair. The importance of cultural heritage, of regeneration and rebuilding can be emphasised here. How do we preserve the two together? The Pyramids, across the road, is the site of investment, while behind the station, at the old gasworks, new houses are to be built. Birkenhead is about to embark on another period of change, and reflecting on the balance between the past, the present and the future is a vital one in towns. How do we keep what has gone and preserve the past, while making space for growth and the future?