Back in March, 2011, I posted a photograph of a church asking if anyone could locate it. Quite a few replied naming it as All Saints, Bentley Road near to Princes Park. I have just come into the possession of two further photographs – of the exterior and interior – which add further confirmation (not that it is needed) that the identification was correct.
The Victorians obsession on reverting to a medieval style of architecture is somewhat bizarre given the inventiveness of science and industry. I can appreciate that ecclesiastical thinking was a reaction to the seismic changes in society (and thinking – especially Darwinism) which had thrown traditional beliefs into turmoil but the churches they built were generally austere and forbidding places. I can appreciate the craftsmanship but a Sunday spent on those hard benches, especially in winter, would have been purgatory.
My eye is caught to the building on the right. It has the name John Wilson – who is listed in my 1893 Directory as a dealer in horses and job master.Bentley Road was a solid middle-class area with a good mix of nationalities: Hermann Straus (merchant), Myer Kuno (professor of languages), Auguste D’Almeida (wine merchant), Decio Ferreira (wine merchant), Josef Hanliezek (chemical manufacturer) living alongside surgeons, engineers, surveyors and printers. I have avoided all mention of Brexit but here is proof, in one short street, that Liverpool was a bustling cosmopolitan city well over a century ago.