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St George's Hall
Rob Ainsworth 17 November 2006
St George's Hall lies in the centre of Liverpool on Lime Street and presents an awesome first impression to visitors exiting from the nearby train station. The building was designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes and opened to the public in 1854, after having taken over ten years to complete. Its practical purpose was to act as hall, concert hall and law courts for the city, but it also served the role of being a supreme expression of confidence by a city that was newly flush with wealth and success and wished to announce this to the world.
Built in a neo classical style the hall has been described as the finest example of its type in the country by Prince Charles and the building is superbly decorated within. Marble pillars, fine mosiacs and enormous chandlers all abound. The structure is rightfully grade one listed.
Amongst other notable facts are that Charlies Dickens would often give readings here, and that the murder trial of Florence Maybrick, wife of supposed Jack the Ripper suspect James Maybrick, took place here - she was alleged to have poisoned him.
The hall today is owned by Liverpool Council and has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment after having been mostly closed to the public for many years. Sadly it still remains closed the majority of the time. Though there is talk of changing this. The hall is sometimes open for trade shows and exibitions and if you happen to be in the city when one of these take place, you would do well to pay a visit inside.
St George's is truly one of the jewels in Liverpool's crown that helps set the place apart from your average provincial town or city.