St George's Hall

"Elegant in design and sumptuous in decor. Experience the epitome of Victorian Crime & Punishment"

“You will be taken from here and held in custody from where you will be transported on the next available sailing.”

This was the sentence handed down to “Hary Legy” aged 7 years from Hornby Street, Liverpool in 1871. Such was the harsh reality of Victorian Crime and Punishment.

This sentence was handed down in the Crown Court at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. This is possibly the only building in the UK where you could be tried for murder, have a ball or listen to a concert all under one roof.

Elegant in design and sumptuous in decor, experience the epitome of Victorian elegance in the raw when you visit St. George’s Hall.

Your tour will be led by an ex police officer who will impart the historical facts surrounding the hall and the Victorian Criminal Courts as well as entertain you with amusing and sometime bone-chilling stories from Liverpool’s past and more recent times.

Before the hall was built the site was occupied by the first Liverpool Infirmary from 1749 to 1824. It also included a Seaman's Hospital, Medical Library and Lunatic Asylum. The seaman's hospital was mainly supported by a levy of sixpence a month, which was deducted from the pay of the seamen sailing on the ships registered in Liverpool.

The foundation stone of St George's Hall was laid in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria, but the actual building of the hall did not start until 1842.

The Great (entertainment) Hall is 169 feet long, 74 feet wide and the organ therein was the biggest in the country until a larger one was built in the Royal Albert hall in 1871. It has a total of 7,737 pipes.

The famous Milton Tiled floor contains over 30,000 tiles and is opened up on certain days of the year for inspection and public viewing.

For those interested in engineering, St George’s Hall housed the very first central heating system in the world which allowed such a vast building to be heated or cooled very quickly according to requirements.

Along the back of St George’s Hall there is a semi-covered passage way which was for the police vehicles to bring defendants into the cells. They entered at the North entrance, dropped the prisoners at the door and then drove the vehicles out by the South Entrance. The cells comprise a condemned cell - noticeable because it is the only cell with a fireplace - considered a necessary comfort to prisoners. A holding cell - for accused and sentenced just before or after their appearance in the Criminal court. Male & Female cells - along a very long and very dark corridor.

During your visit you will see the Victorian Crown Court – with the largest dock in the country built to hold multiple gang members at the same time, the Judge’s Chambers, the steps down to the cells, the cells themselves (as well as the condemned cell), graffiti from Victorian prisoners carved into the cell walls and some artefacts from Victorian policing. Following your visit to the court and cells you will then visit the great hall and experience the peak of Victorian wealth in all its opulence.

Victorian Court Room

Visit a Victorian Court Room where many famous trials have taken place - you can even sit in the judges seat.

Prison Cells

Visit the holding cells beneath the court - even the condemned cell which is the only one with a fire-place for heating.

"Take Him Down"

Find out where this expression originated and what it means. St George's Hall Court is the first place this was used.

Opulence in Abundance

After the court tour, explore the rest of the building and discover Victorian Opulence at its finest.

Further Information (For day of tour)

Most of this tour will be conducted indoors. There are steps to climb during the tour and all of the building is, unfortunately not accessible to wheelchair users. Travel light as large bags can be cumbersome and make it difficult to move through some areas.

  • 1

    Meeting Point

    The meeting point for the tour is on the steps of St George's Plateau in front of St George's Hall.

  • 2

    Guided Tour

    Tour begins of St George's Hall and Crown Court. The tour lasts for approximately two hours.

  • 1

    Meeting Point

    The meeting point for the tour is on the steps of St George's Plateau in front of St George's Hall.

  • 2

    Guided Tour

    Tour begins of St George's Hall and Crown Court. The tour lasts for approximately two hours.


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Get Directions

By Train/tube

Trains on the National Rail Network arrive at Liverpool Lime Street Station. There is also a local train network called Merseyrail that travels to / from Central Station. You would then be able to obtain detailed directions using the search facility above.

By bus

There are two main bus terminals in Liverpool. There is the Central Bus Station at Canning Place, Liverpool 1. There is also another terminus at Queens Square by St George's Hall. There is an extensive bus network throughout Liverpool and the 82 bus from the Central Bus Station will travel through the city centre.

By Taxi/cabs

Black cabs are available all over the city and can be flagged at the roadside. You can tell the taxi driver the name of your destination and they will be able to take you there. Their knowledge of streets and venues (especially in the city centre) is extensive and you should not have any difficulty.

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