Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, United Kingdom along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. It is the eighth most populous British city, in 2011 the population was 466,400 and is at the centre of a wider urban area, the Liverpool City Region.
Historically, Liverpool was a part of Lancashire. The city's urbanisation and expansion were largely brought about by the city's status as a major port. By the 18th century, trade from the West Indies, Ireland and mainland Europe, coupled with close links with the Atlantic slave trade, furthered the economic expansion of Liverpool. By the early 19th century, 40% of the World's trade passed through Liverpool's docks, contributing to Liverpool's rise as a major city. Liverpool is also well known for its inventions and innovations, particularly in terms of infrastructure, transportation, general construction, and in the fields of public health and social reform. Railways, ferries and the skyscraper were all pioneered in the city, together with the first societies for animal and child protection, the first schools for the blind, for working-men, and for girls.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, were drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly those from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
Liverpool experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. Historically, Bidston Observatory (actually located on the Wirral Peninsula) has provided the longest and most unbroken weather data for the Merseyside area. More recently, the Met Office has operated a weather station at Crosby.
Liverpool's history means that there are a considerable variety of architectural styles found within the city, ranging from 16th century Tudor buildings to modern-day contemporary architecture. The majority of buildings in the city date from the late-18th century onwards, the period during which the city grew into one of the foremost powers in the British Empire. There are over 2,500 listed buildings in Liverpool, of which 27 are Grade I listed and 85 are Grade II* listed. The city also has a greater number of public sculptures than any other location in the United Kingdom aside from Westminster and more Georgian houses than the city of Bath. This richness of architecture has subsequently seen Liverpool described by English Heritage, as England's finest Victorian city. The value of Liverpool's architecture and design was recognised in 2004, when several areas throughout the city were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the sites were added in recognition of the city's role in the development of international trade and docking technology.
Waterfront and Docks:
As a major British port, the docks in Liverpool have historically been central to the city's development. Several major docking firsts have occurred in the city including the construction of the world's first enclosed wet dock (the Old Dock) in 1715 and the first ever hydraulic lifting cranes. The best-known dock in Liverpool is the Albert Dock, which was constructed in 1846 and today comprises the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in Britain. Built under the guidance of Jesse Hartley, it was considered to be one of the most advanced docks anywhere in the world upon completion and is often attributed with helping the city to become one of the most important ports in the world. The Albert Dock houses restaurants, bars, shops, two hotels as well as the Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Tate Liverpool and The Beatles Story. North of the city centre is Stanley Dock, home to the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse, which was at the time of its construction in 1901, the world's largest building in terms of area and today stands as the world's largest brick-work building.