South Castle Street

Two photographs of the Castle Street area. The first is largely unchanged – although the block of offices on the left had been replaced by the turn of the century. The main area of interest is the horse-drawn omnibus alongside the row of carriages. To the right, the old Exchange building can be seen, behind the Town Hall.
The view of South Castle Street is a Frith photograph of about the same time. The ghostly spire of St George’s Church can be seen above the buildings on the left. In the foreground are the shops of Thomas Ogden (presumably the Ogden’s tobacco magnate), who also had shops in St James Street, Mill Street, Green Lane, Park Lane and Cornwallis Street according to my 1874 Gore’s Directory. On the other corner, at 61 Castle Street, is J. Sewill, Watch and Chronometer maker (and still trading from their current shop in the Albert Dock).
Ogden’s building on the left (and much of its terrace) survived wartime bombing – but was swept away in the early 1970s to make way for the monstrous Canning Place development. It had survived for over 125 years – their concrete replacement managed 25 years. Enough said.
Francis Frith made his fortune in Liverpool before devoting his life to photography and becoming one of the great topographical photographers of the 19th century (particularly through his amazing photographs of Egypt and Sinai). His commercial enterprise covered the country but he was particularly strong on Liverpool – taking hundreds of photographs of buildings and ships. I am particularly interested in finding out more about Frith and would welcome any information on his time in Liverpool and of any photographs he took (especially earlier ones). He deserves a book – but I need to dig out a few more facts first!

Castle Street 1875

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