I recently had a discussion with Mike Chitty of the Wavertree Society in which two old chestnuts came up. The first, that Liverpool has more listed buildings than any other city outside of London, simply is not true according to Mike. That honour goes to Bradford – and he has checked it up on the DofE lists. I must admit to being surprised by his revelation – but the information is there in black and white
The other much quoted statement is that Liverpool has more Georgian buildings than Bath. The source for this was Micky King, Conservation Officer for Liverpool in the 1970s, who, when asked in a press interview why Liverpool’s architecture was so special, replied with a soundbite he knew would catch their interest – but without any grounding in fact. I have always had this in the back of my mind, having visited Bath fairly regularly over the years. Bath is solidly Georgian (true Georgian – not Regency or early Victorian buildings in the Georgian style like much of Liverpool). Mike Chitty argued that Liverpool might have the edge – it was a much larger city than Bath which had a population of 34,000 in 1801 against Liverpool’s 77,000. By 1851, Bath had grown slightly to 43,000 but Liverpool had exploded to 376,000. So the issue is still unresolved. I reckon that Bath probably scrapes ahead – although that would not have been the case in the 1960s when fine terraces such as this one in the photograph were routinely pulled down. In the case of Bedford Street North, it was to make way for the University Sports Centre – which I am sure could have easily have been built on a less sensitive site.