Port Sunlight is about more than just buildings. When the village was founded the vision was not only to build quality houses but also to offer a clean, safe and healthy environment for workers by providing large open spaces, gardens and allotments.
The village is set in 130 acres of beautifully-maintained parkland and gardens, with the wonderful trees forming an integral part of the landscape. Port Sunlight became a Designated Conservation Area in 1978, and two sections of the landscape are included in English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
Building Port Sunlight
The early developments in the village occurred at the south end of Bolton Road with Greendale Road and the end of Wood Street close to the factory, along with the area surrounding the Dell. Then the perimeter blocks along New Chester Road, Bebington Road and the main frontage of Greendale Road west of Bolton Road were formed.
The central part of the village comprised a massive tidal inlet covering more than 25 acres, with ‘fingers’ of water extending into the village. These ‘fingers’ were originally a significant part of the landscape, but the formality of ‘The Diamond’ (a classically laid out public space) has all but obliterated the earlier irregularity around the tidal inlet.
Most of the houses in Port Sunlight were constructed for factory workers, although there were some larger houses built for managers. The density of development was very low – about nine houses per acre – but this was probably as much due to the ground conditions as it was to Lever’s passion for employee welfare.