WHAT LIES BENEATH
Apparently over a thousand tickets have already been sold for the evening tours of the St George’s Hall Catacombs taking place from 17th – 23rd February. This comes as no surprise as the tours are a rare opportunity to explore and learn about an area of Liverpool’s most celebrated building that’s rarely open to the public.
The tour takes visitors on an atmospheric walk around the building’s underbelly. Our guides are a troupe of actors from the Lovehistory company, who give excellent performances all round, doubling up as informative guides and assorted characters including a hangman, a warder, a suffragette and assorted male and female prisoners.
As we’re shown round we hear about the prisoners who once occupied the basement cells, how police were billeted here during the 1911 transport strike and how the catacombs served as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. We see the ventilation system – St George’s Hall was the first building in the world to have air conditioning – and learn of the terrible working conditions endured by those who constructed it. We’re also given an overview of the many different ways in which St George’s Hall has played a central role in the life of Liverpool, alongside a potted social history of the city, taking in Irish immigration, political unrest and much else besides. In one cell the walls are lined with haunting photographs of male and female prisoners who were held here – people of all ages, some of whom spent their last days in the Hall before being taken to be hung in Walton Prison.
The tour lasts approximately an hour and offers a truly memorable experience. Note though that it’s advisable to wrap up warm – otherwise it won’t only be the riveting tales you’ll hear that send a cold shiver down your spine.
Tours take place from Mon 17 – Sun 23 Feb, from 6pm to 9.40pm. They start every 20 minutes and last approximately an hour. Tickets are £15 and can be bought at TicketQuarter, Queens Square, Liverpool, online at www.ticketquarter.co.uk, or by telephoning 0844 800 0410. For more information on the tours, click HERE.