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Brief description of site

The site at Port Sunlight comprises three landscaped areas within a garden village laid out in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, to house workers in the soap factory inaugurated in 1888. There is the Dell created in a former tidal channel, and two formal intersecting areas known as The Causeway and The Diamond. All these public open spaces are surrounded by housing with open-plan gardens.

Brief history of site

In 1884 William Hesketh Lever began to specialise in marketing soap sold under the name 'Sunlight'. The rapid success of the business made new premises necessary and Lever conceived the idea of building a new factory with an adjoining model village for his workers. Initially 22.5 hectares of land was purchased on the west bank of the River Mersey and bounded by the Chester and Birkenhead Railway and New Chester Road. Port Sunlight was inaugurated on 3 March 1888 and soap production commenced in June 1889. Housing and a number of public buildings in the south-west corner of the site were completed in the period 1889 to 1897 to designs by the architect of the factory, William Owen.

Location information:

Address: Port Sunlight, Wirral, Merseyside, CH62 5EE

Locality: Merseyside

Local Authorities:

Merseyside; Wirral; Bebington

Historical County: Cheshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 108 Grid Ref: SJ337845
Latitude: 53.3532 Longitude: -2.99752

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The museum is open daily. Please see:

Key information:

Form of site: designed urban space

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: garden village

Site first created: 1888 to 1897

Main period of development: Late 19th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 53

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