First, let us clear some confusion. Tate Hall (after Sir Henry Tate, the sugar baron) is a part of the Victoria Gallery and Museum which is in the main admin. building of the University of Liverpool. In 1882 University College,Liverpool opened its doors to 45 students. Based initially in the disused lunatic asylum on Ashton Street, the College rapidly grew and it was not long before the inadequacies of the building became apparent. In 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the College launched a fundraising appeal for the erection of a purpose-built headquarters. The College’s Council asked Liverpool-born architect Alfred Waterhouse, to draw up plans. With the building costed at £35,000, the fundraising appeal relied heavily on the generosity of the people of the city. By 1888 the College had received £16,000. The Liverpool Jubilee Memorial Committee donated a further £4,300 for a commemorative clock tower, Mr (later Sir) William Hartley, the jam manufacturer, funded the clock and bells and Mr (later Sir) Henry Tate, the sugar refiner of Liverpool and London offered to fund the entire library block of the building, amounting to £20,000. Ordinary bricks and terracotta dressings were selected for the Gothic exterior, which led to the coining of the phrase ‘red brick university’ by Bruce Truscot, the pseudonym adopted by Edgar Allison Peers.
There is a very special feel to the museum area making it one of the top things to see in Liverpool. With its natural light purposefully kept to an atmospheric minimum to preserve the precious items on display, it is home to some of the more curious objects at the Victoria Gallery & Museum. This includes a selection of dentures from the Dental School collection - which is one of the most important of its kind anywhere in the world and the spine tingling ‘Nightmares in a bottle’. You can also discover early x-rays, antique calculators, fossils, skeletons and a whole host of incredible pieces from the University of Liverpool’s 130-year history. There are a series of permanent exhibitions of an eclectic nature: Calculators, Fossils, the Hittite World, Nasty Gnashers (dentures and dentistry) and the Wet Collection (Zoology).
The National Pipe Archive provided the materials and designed a display dedicated to pipe studies in the Tate Hall Museum. The exhibition is in two parts: The first asks the question ‘Why are clay pipes important?’ and explains how archaeologists collect and study pipes from excavations and the second looks at ‘Pipe research in Liverpool’. The discarded remains of clay tobacco pipes help archaeologists to date and interpret archaeological deposits from the Tudor period onwards and they provide an important class of artefact that provides important insights into the artistic, commercial and social aspirations of individuals and communities around the world during the post-medieval period. Liverpool has been at the forefront of the archaeological study of pipes, both nationally and internationally, for almost 40 years. The display highlights research themes such as local studies, recording makers’ stamps, collaborative projects and publication. There is also an attractive display of other kinds of pipe and smoking paraphernalia. The Victoria Gallery & Museum is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Please advise staff when booking if you have requirements and they will be happy to offer you assistance. Lighting in the Tate hall and in some of the Galleries is dim to preserve exhibits. The lift to all floors has Braille labelled controls.
Location : Ashton St, Liverpool L69 3DR
Transport: Lime Street (National Rail) - 12 min. Bus routes 6, 7, 7A, 14, 14A, 14B, 61, 79, 79C, 79D, 173, and 76 stop nearby. Merseylink Service.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00
Tel: 0151 794 2348