Custom House, Liverpool

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Custom House
Pigot and Co (1842) p2.139 - New Custom House, Liverpool.jpg
General information
Town or city Liverpool
Country  England
Coordinates 53°24′09″N 2°59′19″W / 53.4024068°N 2.9885602°W / 53.4024068; -2.9885602Coordinates: 53°24′09″N 2°59′19″W / 53.4024068°N 2.9885602°W / 53.4024068; -2.9885602
Construction started 1828
Completed 1839
Demolished 1948
Cost £230,000

The Custom House was a 19th-century neo-classical building located in Liverpool, England that housed a post office, dock office, and offices for Customs and Excise. It was built on the site of the historic Old Dock in 1839 and operated up to World War II when it was partly destroyed during the Liverpool Blitz, then finally demolished in 1948. Today the area which formed the base of the building makes up part of the Liverpool One shopping complex.


Following the closure of the Old Dock on 31 August 1826, plans were made for the construction of what was to be Liverpool's fifth Custom house on the site which was filled in with concrete prior to construction. The town's surveyor John Foster who would later go on to design The Oratory and St James Cemetery was charged with designing the H shape building located parallel to the shoreline. On 12 August 1828 the first stone was laid by Liverpool's mayor Thomas Colley Porter to mark the start of construction which took 11 year with the building opening in 1839.[1][2]

In 1941 during World War II the Custom House was hit with a bomb, partly destroying the building but ultimately leaving its structure intact. After the war had ended, the council refused to repair the building despite protests and it was subsequently demolished in 1948.[3][4] Notably the building was a subject of a painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw.[5]


  1. ^ Muir 1913, p. 90
  2. ^ Picton 1975, p. 143
  3. ^ "The Custom House". Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Customs House". Liverpool John Moores University. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "£397,000 for Grimshaw's 'Dock'". Scarborough Evening News. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Rideout, Eric Hardwicke (1928). The Custom House, Liverpool. Liverpool: William C. Elly. 

External links[edit]