Checkmate Books

Alfred Waterhouse, Scouse Architect

The Victoria Building

The original red-brick building, Waterhouse's 116- year-old Victoria Building (A) is now open to the public as a museum after an £8.6m restoration.

It will now house art and heritage collections acquired over the years by the university. There are works by Turner, Jacob Epstein, Lucien Freud and Elizabeth Frink. The first temporary exhibition will include work by early Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, which will be succeeded by photographs from the Edward Chambre Hardman collection. Audubon fans will be pleased to know this building will house the biggest collection of his bird paintings outside America. A Liverpool Poets archive will include notebooks, drafts etc from Messrs McGough, Henri and Patten.

The Tate Hall Museum on level 2, with its lampreys bottled in formaldehide and a yawning hippo's skull, has something of the best of an old-fashioned museum about it. It celebrates some of the innovations and discoveries of which Liverpool can be justly proud.

Manifesto at the Victoria Building Gallery and Museum

Manifesto at the Victoria Building Gallery and Museum

Highlights include, the skeletons of a python, a horse - Grand National winner Manifesto (left) - and of an owl who looks like Marty Feldman. There is also a copy of George Stubbs' groundbreaking The Anatomy of the Horse (1766) and a reconstruction of an early dentist's surgery.

There is also a spacious and peaceful cafe (left) in which to relax and admire the tiled arches of Waterhouse's interior.

The museum and cafe are open from 10am to 5pm
Tuesday - Saturday.
Admission is free.

More about Alfred Waterhouse in John Minnion's book
Pool of Life: The Story of Liverpool in Caricatures


The book includes mini-biographies and caricatures of other architects such as Herbert Rowse, Federick Gibberd and Giles Gilbert Scott.
More information here...
Order your copy here...

"John Minnion's wonderful flowing pen and ink drawings cause these larger-than-life personalities to breathe again in the most beguiling manner" - Peter Elson, Liverpool Daily Post

The highest earning architect of the Victorian period. He had a preference for spiky gothic towers and red brick. He was born to a wealthy Quaker family in Aigburth, Liverpool; but it was Manchester where he set up his office and where he first made his reputation.

The Waterhouse Trail

Alfred Waterhouse has stamped his mark on a number of English towns and cities. The map below shows a selection of his more celebrated and interesting buildings. Click the markers on the map to find out more about each building.

Use these buttons to zoom in to specific towns and cities:

Dinosaur Hall in the Natural History Museum

Waterhouse's masterpiece, the Dinosaur Hall in the Natural History Museum

Dinosaur Hall in the Natural History Museum

Memorial to Alfred Waterhouse in Yattendon, Berkshire, where he died in 1905

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