In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Southport like this:
SOUTHPORT, a town and three chapelries in North Meols township and parish, Lancashire. The town stands on the coast, at the termini of railways from Liverpool, Preston, and Manchester, 18½ miles N by W of Liverpool; was, in the early years of the present century, a poor hamlet, called South Hawes; came into notice, about 1830, as an attractive watering-place; grew rapidly, from that time, into a handsome town, with spacious streets and promenades; occupies a quondam sandy waste, absorbent of moisture, and now well embellished; enjoys a salubrious climate; includes a chief street 270 feet wide, perfectly straight, and nearly a mile long; publishes two newspapers; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. ...
station with telegraph, seventeen hotels, a pier, baths, an extensive bathing-beach, a park of 30 acres, a well constructed market house, a fish-market, a town hall, three churches, eleven dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a cemetery with three handsome chapels, four public day schools, a convalescent hospitaland sea-bathing infirmary, a hydropathic hospital, and a dispensary. The pier was erected in 1860, at a cost of £10,000; and extended since, at an additional cost of £15,000; and is 4,395 feet long. The town hall was built in 1853, at a cost of about £4,500; is in the Grecian style, with a portico; and contains assembly and sessions rooms, and police court-rooms, offices, and cells. Christ Church was built in 1820, and has been much enlarged; is in the early English style, and nearly square; and has a fine tower and spire 180 feet high. Trinity church was built in 1837, and has been enlarged. St. Paul's church was built in 1864, at a cost of about £ 4,500: is in the decorated English style; and has a tower and spire 132 feet high. The Chapel-street Independent chapel is in the classic style, with Corinthian portico. The Lord-street Independent chapel is in the pointed style, with a fine spire. The Mornington-road Wesleyan chapel also is in the pointed style, with a lofty spire. The Trinity Wesleyan chapel was built in 1864, at a cost of about £9,000; is in the early English style, and cruciform; and has gables surmounted with carved crosses, and a lofty tower with brooch spire. Pop. of the town in 1868, about 16,500.-The three chapelries are Christ-church, St. Paul, and Trinity. Pop., 5,490, 3,500, and 4,025. The livings are p. curacies in the diocese of Chester. Value of C., £678; of St. P., £300; of Trinity, £550.* Patron of C., the Rev.Hesketh; of St. Paul and T., Trustees.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Southport has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Sefton. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Southport and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Southport, in Sefton and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 20th May 2013
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