Liverpool History Animation
1207 - 2007

Celebrating Liverpool's 800 Year History through Animation


NEW: Check out the new comicbook history of Liverpool at Fun Liverpool history facts with quizzes and games galore!

To understand the History of Liverpool you have to imagine our city not as it is now, but as one huge forest, with only a handful of small wooden and stone huts dotted about here and there.

Whereas Liverpool is now a big city that contains many other smaller areas – such as Allerton, Old Swan or Walton.  Hundreds of years ago it was the opposite – Liverpool was just one tiny fishing village next to the River Mersey.  It was the other areas like West Derby and Toxteth that were much more important.

No one really knows exactly where the name Liverpool comes from, but theories suggest that it could have meant “Muddy Pool” or "place on the pool" because there was a small stream or pool or water running from the Mersey across most what is now the city centre. The clay in the area may have turned the water a red colour like liver, and perhaps this is where the name comes from.

Cormorant Liver Bird
A Cormorant - The Liver Bird

Liver Pool of Water
'Pool' of water flowing from the Mersey into the town


Another theory is that seaweed known as Laver was found in the area, and that the name Liverpool means ‘Pool of Laver’ – there were also birds that ate the seaweed and this could be where the Liver bird image comes from?  Because very few people could write and record things, the spellings of the area changed all of the time, with the area being recorded as Liuerpul, Litherpoole, Liderpole, Liferpole or Lithepool for example.

Like the name 'Liverpool', the origins of the Liver Bird symbol have similarly been lost in time. It is believed that the the bird was originally an eagle - based on the symbol used by King John (Liverpool's founder), but at some point the eagle was replaced by a Cormorant - a bird still seen on the banks of the River Mersey today.


Read more about the origins of the Liverpool Name:

Scott Wheeler’s Liverpool History

Dorothy Wane’s Brief History of Liverpool

Liverpool – A Vision of History Through Time

A Third Lyver Bird for Liverpool