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History students follow criminal history of Liverpool

Final year History students took a tour of the cells and courts in St George's Hall, Liverpool, learning about the history of those convicted - sometimes wrongly - of capital offences.

Organised by Head of the History and Politics Department Associate Professor Sonja Tiernan, led them through the justice system as experienced by people of Liverpool up until the 1980s.

Professor Tiernan said: “The experience helps animate their Advanced Studies in History seminar on Executing History, which traces the history of capital punishment in Britain from the 1800s up until its abolition in 1965.”    

Louise Culley, one of the student who took part in the field trip, explained how the tour took in the impressive sites of St George’s Hall, and was brought to life by the impressive knowledge of the guide.

She said: “I enjoyed hearing about the cases that happened in the court. The guide’s knowledge was brilliant, he even remembered key names involved in the cases. I also enjoyed seeing the mug shots placed round one of the cells and went back for more time in there after the tour. It’s great being able to actually see the faces from the past and knowing they had all had experiences in the building.

“I also found it very interesting and sad when the guide informed us that St John’s Gardens is landscaped over an old burial site with at least 80,000 bodies and there is no recognition of these bodies found in the gardens. I would maybe like to be involved in a future study to uncover the identities of the many people who were laid to rest underneath the beautiful green space in the city.”

Published on 15/11/2018