Last chance to catch Cathedral exhibitions

Delve into Cathedral history

September provides one last opportunity to visit the 'A New Cathedral 1960' and 'Workhouse to Worship' exhibitions which give a fascinating glimpse into the competition to design the Metropolitan Cathedral as well as the history of its Brownlow Hill site.

A New Cathedral 1960
Visitors from across the world have been viewing a remarkable exhibition held as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral. 'A New Cathedral 1960' offers a unique insight into the competition called by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan in 1959 to find a design for the Metropolitan Cathedral. In all, 298 entries were received and a selection of the ones that weren't chosen are on display.
 
The exhibition has been produced by Dominic Wilkinson, senior lecturer in architecture at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, and has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund North West with thanks also to John Moores University and the Cathedral Jubilee Committee for their support.
 
It runs until Sunday 10 September in the main entrance area of the Cathedral and is open from 10am to 4pm each day; entry is free.

Workhouse to Worship
An exhibition on display in the Hornby Library in Liverpool Central Library on William Brown Street shows the Mount Pleasant site prior to the construction of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Before the crypt for the uncompleted Cathedral by Sir Edwin Lutyens was opened in 1937, the site had been occupied by Brownlow Hill Workhouse – which was finally demolished in 1931, having been at one time the largest workhouse in England.
 
Brownlow Hill Workhouse opened in 1771 in open countryside to lend shelter to the poor and destitute of the parish of Liverpool. Known as "a town within a town", it occupied a nine-acre site that came to serve 5,000 inmates. Responsibility for building the Workhouse, its staffing and its administration fell on the local board of guardians. Religious worship was encouraged and an Anglican church built within the confines, although Roman Catholic services were not allowed until 1844 and did not become a regular occurrence until 1856. Father Joseph Kelly celebrated Mass for the Catholic congregation from 1907 to 1927. His police identity certificate is available to view along with the monstrance used in services.
 
There are workhouse architectural plans, paintings, maps, photographs, apprentice indentures, Christmas invitations and many more related records of interest. The exhibition remains open until 29 September.