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Liverpool Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Liverpool.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Liverpool.
1974 county of Merseyside.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ34269027
Latitude 53.40514° Longitude -2.99030°

Liverpool Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Liverpool Castle is first mentioned in 1347 among the estates of the honour of Lancaster as being moated with four towers. During the Civil War it was occupied by the Royalists in 1643, and in 1659 Parliament ordered it to be demolished. But only the gatehouse and part of the walls were pulled down. In 1725 the castle was completely demolished for the construction of St George's Church, which has since been demolished (Fishwick 1901).
In 1927 during the excavations for a public convenience in Derby Square NW of the Queen Victoria Memorial, the west moat was found.
The north moat was found during the excavations for the now (1928) Midland and National Provincial Banks. Some twenty feet from the SW corner of the latter Bank a subterranean tunnel running in a southerly direction below James Street was found. It is probable that the tunnel connected the moat or ditch with the old tower or some defences on the shore. A sewer has now been constructed along the tunnel (Larkin 1927).
A castle was built at Liverpool early in the reign of Henry III, probably by William de Ferrers. It became a Lancastrian possession and thence a royal castle in 1399. There are references to a gateway, curtain wall, chapel and interval tower or angle tower in the 15th century (HKW). (PastScape)

It has been incorrectly suggested that a Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1235 Jan 19 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).


Cox's article of 1892 is elderly and has some esoteric content that needs to be read with circumspection but is a thorough examination of primary sources, antiquarian descriptions and archaeological remains. A replica of the ruins of this castle, based on Cox's conjectures was started to be built at Rivington (see Air Photo in 1912 but never finished.
The patent letter of Henry III given to William Ferrers in 1235 was not a licence to crenellate or fortify his castle (The term licentia does not occur in the text). It was a royal request to the local population to support (faciant rationabile auxilium) Ferrers in strengthen his (?already existing) castle.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:34

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