World Museum Liverpool (detail)

World Museum Liverpool (left wing), designed as the William Brown Library and Museum by Thomas Allom (1804-1872), modified by the corporation architect John Weightman, and opened in 1860; extended by Edward William Mountford (1855-1908, architect of the Old Bailey, London) 1896-1901; interior rebuilt after war damage. William Brown Street, Liverpool. [Entire façade]

The "first of the forum buildings to be laid out on William Brown Street" (Lewis 108), this Grade II* listed building "set the pattern" for this important group of civic buildings, and has been described as "a restrained and well-proportioned classical composition with a deep central portico and prominent end bays" ("William Brown Museum and Library"). The wing shown here leads up to the majestic central portico, and includes (on the far left) the beginning of Mountford's extension. Despite the later architect's more baroque style, the two parts harmonise well. The extension, with its notched stonework, "advancing pedimented bays, with extravagantly blocked columns flanking big, deep niches lined with windows" (Pollard and Pevsner 298), as well as its matching ground, balcony and roof balustrades, adds to the elegance and fineness of detail of the design as a whole. The allegorical sculptures above the window niche and the reliefs in the pediment here are all by F. W. Pomeroy, who also sculpted the pedimental figures and the crowning figure of Justice above the Old Bailey. [Detail of sculptures]

Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Lewis, David. Walks Through History: Liverpool. Derby: Breedon, 2007.

Pollard, Richard and Nikolaus Pevsner. Buildings of England: Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

"William Brown Museum and Library" (a Liverpool World Heritage City site). Viewed 13 Junbe 2009.

Last modified 13 June 2009