The Garden Suburb Movement in Merseyside

Last updated 25th March 2016
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The garden suburb had its origins in England in the late 18th century, when garden villages were built by landed gentry to provide decent, architect designed housing and environments for workers on their estates. The earliest manifestations of the true garden suburb were geared towards the more prosperous merchant class, with up-market villas integrated with landscaped public spaces and roads. Merseyside has a number of fine examples, some very early: Rock Park Estate, Birkenhead Park, Prince's Park and Sefton Park. By the middle of the 19th century, philanthropic factory owners embraced socialist principles and the belief that the working class deserved better and more affordable housing near to their workplace. Price's Village, Port Sunlight Village and Hartley's Village are notable examples in Merseyside. Finally it was up to local authorities to take the initiative, resulting in examples such as Wavertree Garden Suburb.   By the 1920s an opposing, modernist view of urban design was emerging, spearheaded by Le Corbusier with his vision of regular arrays of tower blocks and rectangular green spaces criss-crossed by mechanised transport lanes. The garden suburb concept waned after World War II, when modernism, especially the concrete 'brutalism', was in the ascendancy. Nowadays we see the error of so much of this kind of mass development, which became unloved by the general public and was eventually widely demolished. We now see the spirit of the garden village emerging again in modern housing developments and larger scale planning around the world.
Site Contents
1   Rock Park and Birkenhead Park
2   Prince's Park and Sefton Park
3   Price's Village and Port Sunlight
4   Hartley's Village and Wavertree Garden Suburb
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Port Sunlight