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tooltipDiscovering Britain walk

Explore the ‘model village’ of Port Sunlight on the Wirral

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In the late 19th century William Lever led the world’s most successful soap company. Unlike most other entrepreneurs however, Lever was a businessman who believed in sharing his profits.

Lever was determined that his workers should have a decent place to live and opportunities to better themselves.

He employed leading architects and craftsmen to design and build a beautiful new village - Port Sunlight. Workers in Port Sunlight paid a fair rent for their homes. They had access to education, healthcare and social facilities. When they retired they received a pension. All this was ground-breaking for its time.

This walk explores how the village developed. See over 900 Grade II listed buildings. Find out how the layout was carefully-planned but shaped by the natural landscape. Discover the legacy of Lever’s social experiment.

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See how Port Sunlight’s character has been protected and why it remains a very desirable place to live.

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Walk Info

Distance:

2 ½ miles

Level:
 A mostly flat route in a largely residential area

tooltip A mostly flat route in a largely residential area

Suitable for:
Plenty of sights for all ages, take care when crossing roads

tooltipPlenty of sights for all ages, take care when crossing roads

Two shallow sets of steps, alternate directions provided

tooltipTwo shallow sets of steps, alternate directions provided

Must be kept on a lead

tooltipMust be kept on a lead

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Region:
North West England
Setting:
Towns & Cities
Landscape:
People in the landscape Shaping the landscape Built landscapes
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Start:
Lever House
Finish:
Port Sunlight Village time capsule mosaic
Getting there:

tooltipNearest station Port Sunlight, via Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool Lime Street

tooltipServed by many local routes across the Wirral and Liverpool

tooltipAccess via the M53 junction 4 and Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel

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Port Sunlight

Hulme Hall
© Martin Haslett

Port Sunlight

Port Sunlight housing
© Rory Walsh

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Route map

Select pins on the map to find out more about each point of interest on the walk

Walk kit

Choose between an audio or written guide: download and enjoy!

Downloads

Written guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this PDF file. You can save it to your computer or open it now. The file is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Audio guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this ZIP file of the audio commentary (mp3 files) and accompanying booklet (PDF) which contains maps and directions. You can save the audio files to your computer then add them to your mp3 device. This will vary for each device but you can use any supplied software (such as iTunes, Windows Media Player) or drag and drop the files. The PDF is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Extras
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double click to download this GPX file and load it on to your GPS device.

Photo Gallery

Find out what you might see on the walk - click on an image to view full size

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Links

Find out more about the walk story and places of interest along the route

External links open in a new window


Christ Church, Port Sunlight

http://www.ccpsurc.info/

Port Sunlight Village Community Online

http://www.portsunlight.org.uk/

Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Village

http://www.portsunlightvillage.com/

Port Sunlight, the Model Village of England: A Collection of Photographs by Edward Beeson

Edward William Beeson (1911)

https://archive.org/stream/portsunlightmode00bees#page/n5/mode/2up

Labour and Housing at Port Sunlight

Walter Lionel George (1909)

https://archive.org/stream/labourandhousing00georrich#page/n5/mode/2up

Other model villages - Bournville, West Midlands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bournville

Other model villages - New Lanark, South Lanarkshire

http://www.newlanark.org/

Credits

The RGS-IBG would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance in producing this Discovering Britain walk

 

Martin Haslett for creating the walk, providing photographs and the audio commentary

 

Rory Walsh for compiling the walk materials, providing additional photographs and acting as narrator

 

Jenny Lunn for editing the walk resources

 

Caroline Millar for editing the audio files

 

The Port Sunlight Village Trust for their kind feedback and assistance

 

Britain From Above, Grace’s Guide, The National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library and The Victorian Web for kind permission to include archive images

 

Benkid77, David Dixon, Eirian Evans, Gerald Massey, Richard Hoare, Richard Slessor and Man Vyi for additional images

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