Herdman’s early 19thcentury painting of Everton ridge featuring the new St George’s.
First St George’s parishioners inhabit God’s little acre atop Everton ridge
Artist William Herdman provides an insight into the very first 1814 parish of St George’s Church, pictured here top left in its dominant position north of Everton’s hillside village. Herdman had set up his easel in pretty fields at the bottom of the hill that within 30 years would become one of the most densely populated concrete jungles in the world, inspired by a fast-growing town population swollen by tens of thousands of migrants fleeing the devastating Irish Potato Famine.
For now, though, St George’s and Everton was the go-to place for the great and the good of Liverpool whose merchants desperately wanted to leave behind narrow streets and pungent town smells inspired by myriad businesses associated with the fast growing port.
Everton, with its panoramic views, was an oasis of calm and fresh air that really did feel like heaven on earth for those lucky enough to occupy the mansions and villas that now dominated the ridge in the early to middle 19thcentury.
The church was built on the site of the former Everton Fire Beacon (1230-1803), erected by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, first baron of Liverpool during the reign of King Henry 111 (1207-1272). Fire Beacons occupied high ground right across the country to warn of imminent danger.
Everton Fire Beacon was severely damaged during an 1803 storm. Ten years later the site was cleared to make way for the new St. George’s, but Beacon Lane opposite the church reminds us of this famous landmark.
Everton Fire Beacon
The first ever artist’s impression of St George’s church tower