Anne Hultzsch on the Liverpool Workshop

The new AHRC-funded international research network on Architecture and Society in an Age of Reformaims to establish a dynamic, long-lasting, multi- and interdisciplinary research forum to investigate the relationship between architecture and society in the period 1760-1840. On 19-20 September 2017 it organised a first workshop in Liverpool. Over two days a small group of scholars from the UK, the Netherlands, and Norway visited Georgian buildings around Liverpool considering issues such as user experience, patronage and knowledge, radical vs. conservative, as well as the specific mercantile and industrial context of Liverpool.

During the day of visits, we visited a number of cast iron churches, such as St George’s in Everton and St-Michael-in-the-Hamlet, both based on designs by Thomas Rickman in collaboration with the iron foundry owner John Cragg. We also saw the Wellington Rooms and the Lyceum, both built by subscription and the latter becoming the first subscription library. The ensuing discussion evolved from the networks of merchants and scholars involved in erecting these and other buildings to the ways in which they can be placed into this period of political and social transformations.

This first workshop will be followed by two further events in Birmingham and Bristol as well as an international conference next autumn. Thank you for the stimulating event!