Port Sunlight village has secured a place on Historic England’s prestigious campaign Irreplaceable – a History of England in 100 Places.
The campaign aims to create, with the public’s help, a list of 100 places, buildings and historical sites that tell the remarkable story of England and its impact on the world.
The campaign is divided into ten different categories including Homes and Gardens, Science and Discovery and Faith and Belief, which are all judged by an expert, from Mary Beard to Professor Robert Winston.
Port Sunlight was nominated by the public in Historic England’s Homes and Gardens category.
The Wirral village was included in the shortlist provided to expert judge, architect, TV presenter, lecturer and writer George Clark who then selected it to be one of the final ten places in his category.
All ten places picked by George will be explored in new episodes of Historic England’s recently launched podcast series.
Historic England says the sites chosen are ‘hotbeds of invention and creativity.’ With a spread across the country, they have helped shape both our nation and the world beyond.
Paul Harris, Chief Executive of Port Sunlight Village Trust, said: “To be included in Historic England’s History of England in 100 Places is a tremendous honour as it recognises the important role Port Sunlight has played in the social, culture and architectural shaping of our nation and the wider world.
“It is also testament to the people past and present who have worked hard to maintain the delicate balance between preserving the rich heritage of the village and making it a great place to visit, while ensuring it continues to be a vibrant place in which to live.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The history of our homes and gardens is the story of how we and our ancestors lived and George Clarke has chosen ten fascinating places in this category.
“Port Sunlight fully deserves to be in the top ten because it marks a time when providing better living conditions for workers was considered paramount. Alongside the other sites, from the earliest form of social housing, to the home of our monarch and even to Brutalist streets in the sky which took people away from the degradation of the slums, these ten places play an important role in telling the social history of England.”
Founded by soap entrepreneur William Hesketh Lever in 1888, Port Sunlight was built to house Sunlight soap factory workers. Today it is home to an award-winning Arts Council-accredited museum, shop, café, world renowned art gallery, parklands and a successful events and education programme.
Visitors can also get a glimpse of life as a soap factory worker following the restoration of a worker’s cottage, using original architects’ plans and period artefacts. The cottage has been restored to look how it would have done when home to its first residents in 1913.