Pottering Around Port Sunlight
The Port Sunlight village, part of the UK’s heritage needs support! Originally conceived and built by the Lever brothers, it is a model village that no longer has a benefactor.
We visited on Mothers Day and spent a little bit of money there! The trust that was originally set up is no longer providing finance to run the village and the residents are having to do more for themselves.
We started with a tour of the Port Sunlight museum. There is a modest entrance fee which includes a brief tour of one of the worker’s cottages.
Like all the best museums, it was set up with children very much in mind. First we watched a 20 minute film which gave us some context. It helped us understand how and why Port Sunlight came about. A tour of the exhibits was interesting.
There are lots of hands on activities from colouring to puzzles to dressing up. It is housed in what was the Girls Club.
Then it was time for coffee!
Lady Lever Art Gallery
Next we headed over to the art gallery. We were blown away by the quantity and quality of the art. Part of the Liverpool Museums group, entry is free but the village gets no revenue from it.
Lord Leverhulme was a prolific collector of fine art, sculptures, snuff boxes, Chinese artefacts, Wedgwood and lots more! There are beautiful exhibits and it is incredible to think it was a private collection.
I loved that some of the paintings he collected were because he thought they would look good with his advertising slogans across them!
Trail and Guidebook
Apart from the revenue from the guidebooks there isn’t much else. The owners of houses in the village bought the freeholds and there are now only a small number of houses that are rented out. We did speak to one tenant who said he paid less than £800 for a month’s rent on a three bedroom house.
Lunch in the gallery’s coffee shop was a delicious bowl of the local delicacy Scouse with ice creams all round.
We didn’t have time to do the Port Sunlight walking trail but it looked like a pleasant wander around the open spaces of the village. Maybe one day there will be a Treasure Trail there. Meantime the nearest are in Liverpool.