Lime Street Station, Liverpool, seen from the diagonally opposite, at the top of Elliot Street. 1849; a second roof was added in the 1880s. It was designed by Richard Turner, in collaboration with Joseph Locke and Richard Fairbairn, for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, and has recently undergone major restoration and redevelopment.

Inside the station.

The original roof of Lime Street Station was over 150' wide and used "principle trusses in the form of sickle-girders": it was "the first railway-station roof to be constructed as a single span." The absence of iron columns had some obvious advantages: "it allowed changes to the layout of platforms and tracks to be made much more easily (and more flexibly), removed awkward obstructions in the plaforms, and reduced the unlikely but dreadful possibility of a rogue engine careering into a column and bringing the whole structure down on the station" (Curl 205).

The main entrance.

There could be no better proof of the reassessment of Victorian architecture than the recent work on this station, which involved removing more recent structures to reveal the "historic colonnaded stone gable-end of the main Station shed" and enable it to be used again as the station's grand entrance ("Lime Street Gateway"). Cf., on a much smaller scale, the restoration of Crystal Palace Station in London, which involves the demolition of an ill-considered 1980s' booking-hall.

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2016, except for the last photograph, which was taken by Chris McKenna, 2006, and comes, with thanks, from Wikimedia Commons (slightly cropped). You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2, in the case of the first two) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print document. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


Curl, James Stevens. Victorian Architecture. Newton Abbot & London: David & Charles, 1990.

"Lime Street Gateway" (City of Liverpool site). Viewed 18 May 2009.

Last modified 20 July 2016