Port Sunlight Garden Village :: Shared Description

Port Sunlight was built in the late 1880s by William Hesketh Lever (later Viscount Leverhulme) to expand his soap-making business, which was at that time based in Warrington. His company (Lever Brothers, now part of Unilever) bought the area of flat unused marshy land south of the River Mersey. It was large enough to allow space for expansion, and had a prime location between the river and a railway line. Work commenced in 1888 and the site became Port Sunlight, where William Lever built his works and a model village to house his employees. The village name is derived from Lever Brothers’ most popular brand of soap, "Sunlight". William Lever personally supervised planning the village, which is arguably the finest surviving example of early urban planning in the UK.

Between 1899 and 1914, approximately 900 houses were built to house a population of 3,500 in addition to some larger "principal" buildings including the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a cottage hospital, schools, a concert hall, open air swimming pool, church, and a temperance hotel. Nearly every building in the village is Grade II listed and two sections of the landscape are included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. Lever employed over 30 different architects in the building of the village resulting in a mix of architectural styles enhanced by the parkland and some excellent public sculptures.

Lever was a philanthropist with a passion for art and architecture. The garden village had allotments and public buildings; Lever introduced welfare schemes, and provided for the education and entertainment of his workforce, encouraging recreation and organisations which promoted art, literature, science or music. The sheer scale of his philanthropy was unprecedented and the whole of Port Sunlight is now a Conservation Area and a major tourist attraction for The Wirral, standing as an enduring testament to the achievements of a remarkable man.

Today, approximately 250 of the houses in the village belong to the Port Sunlight Village Trust. The remainder are privately owned having been sold by the company during the 1980s. Up until that decade, all residents of Port Sunlight were employees of Unilever and their families.

LinkExternal link Port Sunlight Village Trust
LinkExternal link Wikipedia Article (Port Sunlight)
LinkExternal link Wikipedia biography (William Hesketh Lever)
by David Dixon

48 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SJ3384 : Terraced cottages, Lower Road, Port Sunlight by Graham Robson
SJ3384 : Girls Club Plaque by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Timber framed houses, Port Sunlight by Graham Robson
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight Heritage Centre/Museum by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight, Bridge Over The Dell by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Hillsborough Memorial, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Sea Piece by David Dixon
SJ3384 : The Lever Brothers' War Memorial, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight War Memorial by Stephen McKay
SJ3384 : King George's Drive, Port Sunlight by Stephen McKay
SJ3384 : Workers' Cottages, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : The Lever Brothers' War Memorial, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : The Dell, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Fountain in front of Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight by Graham Robson
SJ3384 : The Lever Memorial,  Industry, Education, Charity and Art by David Dixon
SJ3384 : The Lever Memorial - Industry by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Greendale Road, Port Sunlight by Graham Robson
SJ3384 : Hulme Hall by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Hulme Hall by Stephen McKay
SJ3384 : Houses, Primrose Hill, Port Sunlight by Graham Robson
SJ3384 : Cottages on Lower Road by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Christ Church, Port Sunlight by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight Water Feature by David Dixon
SJ3384 : Port Sunlight War Memorial by David Dixon

... and 23 more images.
These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Thu, 7 Jun 2012, Updated: Thu, 7 Jun 2012

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 David Dixon, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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