In March we were back in our belowed Liverpool. But since all of the major attractions of the city are already well known to us, we decided to wander a little bit further and have a look at Wirral on the other side of the Mersey river. A few train stations away from Liverpool is the beautiful town of Port Sunlight. Read on to discover what is so special about it.
There are many picturesque little towns in Wirral, with beautiful brick family houses, cosy little gardens and tidy green parks. But Port Sunlight is different anyway. It was founded in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever. Lever was an enterpreneur fabricating soap and was looking for a place for his new factory. He knew that if his employees are happy, they will be more productive. That is why he built houses for them and their families. But not only houses, there was a school, a theatre, a hospital, a pub, a church, recreational parks, all of which still stays there. Being a true visionary, Lever also wanted his employees to take better care of their money, founded a bank in Port Sunlight and started sending their wages there.
Lever and his wife were big art enthousiasts and patrons of art, and they accumulated a big art collection during their life. They wanted people to enjoy it as well, and so built the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1922. The entrance is free ever since and the collection as well as the building itself is stunning. Every piece is described in such a catchy way one can easily spend several hours there.
Once finished with the gallery you can take a map from the museum opposite and set off for a self-guided tour of the town. All of its 20 stops are described briefly and in an interesting way. The town is now a designated Conservation Area, most of the buildings Grade II Listed. If you get hungry, stop in The Bridge Inn, established in 1900. You can even enter the lobby of the original Lever House factory building. It was just here that we realised where the heritage of Lever went. Merging with Ducth Margarine Unie, the FMCG gigant of today Unilever was formed 🙂