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Historic England Research Records

Port Sunlight

Hob Uid: 1362582
Location :
Wirral
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SJ3373084400
Summary : Model garden village for the accomodation of workers to the nearby Port Sunlight Soap Factory. The village was planned by William Hesketh Lever when he needed to move to a new factory location from Warrington in 1886. The site originally covered an area of 22.6 hectares of which 13 hectares were allocated for the village, the remainder for the factory. Construction first started in 1889-1890 in the southwest area of the village and included houses and public buildings set around a formal open space designed by architects including William Owen. More building in this area took place in 1891-92 and 1893-97. Further expansion of the village was planned in 1892 increasing its total area to 53 hectares and involved new architects as well as those employed during the first phase of construction. No architect was responsible for the design of more than two or three blocks of houses. Most of the houses were arranged in blocks of up to 18 dwellings, with blocks of between three and ten being the most frequent. The blocks were of foward facing houses set around central allotment gardens and forming greens. Two designs of housing were built, the Kitchen Cottage offering standard workers accomodation with three bedrooms and the Parlour Cottage for Clerks with four bedrooms. Larger houses were built for managerial staff. In 1910 a competition was held for the revised plan for completion of the village as much of the central area around the Diamond had not yet been developed. This was won by Ernest Prestwich and implemented together with revisions by Lever and James Lomax-Simpson. More housing was constructed during the 1930s and included the building of Jubilee Crescent in 1938. A programme of restoration took place during World War II when damaged housing stock was restored or rebuilt to orginal designs by James Lomax-Simpson. Between 1963 and 1977 a programme of modernisation took place involving the renovation of houses and the provision of back gardens and garages.
More information : Model garden village for the accomodation of workers to the nearby Port Sunlight Soap Factory. The village was planned by William Hesketh Lever when he moved to a new factory location from Warrington in 1886. The site originally covered an area of 22.6 hectares of which 13 hectares were allocated for the village, the remainder for the factory. The first houses to be built, 28 in total, were constructed at the junction of Bolton Road and Greendale Road in 1889-90 and were designed by William Owen. Further housing and public buildings were added in 1891-92 and 1893-97. These were designed by William Owen, other architects involved included Douglas and Fordham, Douglas and Minshull, Grayson and Ould and John Joseph Talbot. This phase of construction completed the original village, situated in the southwest corner of the present village. This layout was designed by William Owen and was based on a plan by William Hesketh Lever. It comprised housing facing on to the railway and factory enclosing a public park The Dell and allotment gardens. Future village expansion was planned in 1892 increasing its total area to 53 hectares. All the architects employed during the initial construction were involved together with additional architects including Maurice B Adams, Ernest George, Edwin Lutyens, Ernest Newton, Jonathan Simpson, James Lomax-Simpson, Edmund Kirby and T M Lockwood and Sons. None were responsible for the design of more than three house blocks. Most of the blocks comprise of up to eighteen dwellings, with blocks of between three and ten being the most frequent design. The blocks were of an irregular plan set back forming greens. Two types of accommodation were available, the Kitchen Cottage, the standard type of accomodation and the Parlour Cottage which were intended as clerks' houses. The Kitchen Cottage comprised a kitchen, scullery, larder and three bedrooms. The Parlour Cottage comprised kitchen, scullery, larder, parlour and four bedrooms. All had bathrooms. A few larger houses were built for managerial staff. The layout of this phase of development continued the theme of housing facing onto the railway and public roads, with blocks of housing enclosing allotment gardens. In 1905 a competition for house designs was held, but by 1910 James Lomax Simpson was made Company Architect and was responsible for most of the subsequent construction work. In 1910 a competition was held for a revised plan for completion of the village as much of the central area including The Diamond, had not yet been developed. This was held for the students of the Liverpool School of Architecture and Department of Civic Design and won by Ernest Prestwich. His design together with revisions made by Lever and James Lomax-Simpson was implemented. More housing was constructed during the 1930s and included the building of Jubilee Crescent in 1938. A programme of restoration took place following World War II when damaged housing stock was restored or rebuilt to original designs by James Lomax-Simpson. A programme of modernisation took place between 1963 and 1977 and involved the renovation of houses and the provision of back gardens and garages. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Merseyside 26-Jul-2002
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : PART 28
Source Number : 2
Source : A Guide to Port Sunlight Village
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Initial building phase 1889-90
Monument End Date : 1890
Monument Start Date : 1889
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Additions of 1891-97
Monument End Date : 1897
Monument Start Date : 1891
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Expansion planned 1892
Monument End Date : 1892
Monument Start Date : 1892
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Further development
Monument End Date : 1910
Monument Start Date : 1910
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Additions of 1930s
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1930
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Additions of 1938
Monument End Date : 1938
Monument Start Date : 1938
Monument Type : Garden Village, Model Settlement
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Restored after 1945
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1945
Monument Type : Garden Village, Model Settlement
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Programme of modernisation 1963-77
Monument End Date : 1977
Monument Start Date : 1963
Monument Type : Model Settlement, Garden Village
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Register of Parks and Gardens Legacy No.
External Cross Reference Number : GD5154
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 38 SW 141
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, PORT SUNLIGHT VILLAGE
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31