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The Importance of Lord Street

The town was founded in 1792 when William Sutton opened a hotel. The hotel was built on a site, which is nowadays at the junction of Lord Street and Duke Street. It is this area that the first houses in Southport were built and from this time, groups of dwellings arose between Birkdale and Churchtown. One of the groups became known as 'South Hawes'.

The name 'South-port' first appeared in 1798. Records say that a small stream (nicknamed the 'River Nile') found its way onto the beach near Sutton's Hotel. The sea ran up some distance inland, forming an estuary. Tradition speaks of a 'fine bay of eleven fathoms of water within half a mile from the shore, where vessels occasionally lay securely at anchor.' To the local fishermen and farmers of that time, it was a port. It is not surprising that the new village lying South of the 'Domesday Book' village of Churchtown should have been re-named 'Southport' - a name which is retained, and as it is written at present, since 1826.
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Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte

It's a little known fact that Prince Louis Napoleon (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte) lived on Lord Street from May 1846 before becoming Emperor of France in 1851.

Just a year later, no doubt inspired by his stay in the town, he set his Prefect of the Seine, Baron George Haussman, to work redesigning the city of Paris.

Much of the medieval centre of Paris was replaced with broad tree-lined boulevards, covered walkways and arcades, just like Lord Street.

In 1848, a rail service became available from Liverpool to the town. Visitors travelled previously by canal and road. Then, from 1853, people could go by train to the resort from Manchester (via Wigan) and the lovely seaside town attracted thousands of workers from the Lancashire mill towns.

The Victorian era has left the town with a glorious legacy - the spaciousness of Southport, the parks and gardens and wide tree-lined streets. Lord Street, one of Britain's finest boulevards, is the main shopping thoroughfares - straight and wide for almost a mile. Along one side are shops with Victorian glass topped canopies and on the opposite sides are gardens, fountains and classical buildings.

Today, Southport has developed into a large town with smaller villages such as Birkdale, Ainsdale, Hillside and Churchtown. The town is in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. There are 5 local authorities, which together make the larger region of Merseyside in the North West of England.

Southport's significant dates
1792 Southport 'christened' by William (Duke) Sutton and Dr. Miles Barton of Ormskirk
Christ Church on Lord Street, consecrated
1825 Act of Parliament signed by King George IV by authority of which Lord Street was named
1840 The 'Old Duke' William Sutton dies on May 26th
1848 Railway opened between Southport (Portland Street Station) and Waterloo
1853 Town Hall opened, June 1st
1860 Pier opened
1867 First Municipal elections, Dr. Peter Wood, first Mayor
Hesketh Park opened (gift of Rev'd Charles.Hesketh)
1869 Marshside calamity when, in dense fog, seven fishermen were drowned
1886 Lifeboat disaster in which 27 men died after the barque "Mexico" ran aground, two lifeboats capsized in the storm
1898 Southport Centenary festivities
Rt.Hon. Lord Curzon, MP, appointed Viceroy of India
1904 Statue of Queen Victoria unveiled
1905 Southport created a County Borough
1992 Bi-Centenary celebrations



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