During the years 1300 - 1400 Liverpool expanded very little. It remained a small fishing village and nothing more. Liverpool gained it’s first school in 1522, and in the early 1600’s Queen Elizabeth helped to set up a docking area for ships to unload from. These improvements helped Liverpool to overtake West Derby as the biggest area in the region.
The next significant event to change the area was the English Civil War between King Charles’ Royalists and Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians.
In 1643 the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) took Liverpool Castle over as a base, and a year later Prince Rupert of the Royalists (Cavaliers) attacked the Castle from his base at Everton, and lost 1500 men in a lengthy battle. The ownership of the Castle changed sides many times during the war until eventually the Parliamentarians decided to burn it down. Over the next few decades the Castle was gradually taken apart and the bricks used for other buildings. (The Queen Victoria Monument today sits where the Castle used to be).
The plague and fire that swept through London in 1666 forced many people (including merchants and tradesmen) to leave the capital, and many moved to Liverpool. During the early 1700’s the small fishing village of Liverpool began to grown into a town and buildings like the Bluecoat Chambers were built. The population by this time was 7000 people.
The construction of the world’s first docks system in 1715 meant that ships could now load and unload cargo much more safely and easily than ever before. It is this event that changes Liverpool more than any other, and changes the small fishing village into an area that would soon become one of the biggest shipping ports in the world.
See our collection of Liverpool Castle Paintings
Read more about The English Civil War
Mike Royden’s History of Liverpool Castle
Computer Recreation of Castle Area
Liverpool during the Civil War
BBC History - Civil War and Revolution