One of Britain’s most beautiful hidden gems is set to go on public display in Liverpool in August.
St George’s Hall’s exquisite Minton floor will be uncovered for one month in the Grade I listed venue – considered one of Europe’s greatest neo-classical buildings.
Opening to the public from Thursday 1 until Monday 26 August, the 30,000 beautifully hand-crafted tiles will be uncovered for the only time this year.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Hall to see the immaculately preserved surface which depicts the city’s coat of arms, sea nymphs, dolphins and tritons, in what was the largest Minton floor in the world when first constructed.
This year, the floor is set to make matrimonial history in August as the first-ever marriage will take place on the tiles on Monday 19 August. There are also extra opportunities for visitors to get close to the floor with two special tours – Walk the Floor and Night on the Tiles. Music on the Mintons will also take place on Sunday 4 August which will see city organist Professor Ian Tracey perform with Mezzo Soprano Danielle Louise Thomas.
This will be the ninth time the floor has been unveiled since the Hall reopened in 2007 to celebrate the city’s 800th birthday.
Entry costs £5 per person on the door, £2 for those 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Ticket Quarter for £3 plus booking fee.
It will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm most days (times may vary so please check the website before visiting). For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.stgeorgeshallliverpool.co.uk
• At around 30,000 individual tiles, the Minton floor is among the largest of its kind in the world.
• The original cost of £3,000 (the equivalent of around £250,000 today), although the true cost of recreating it today would be in its millions.
• The sunken floors design is inspired by the ancient Roman baths of Caracalla.
• The floor includes maritime images of Neptune, dolphins, tritons, Nereids, triton centaurs and tridents, reflecting the importance of the sea to Liverpool’s 19th century prosperity.
• The theme of the design of the floor is the unity of the three kingdoms of the UK, with England represented by roses, Scotland by thistles and Ireland by shamrocks. These are linked up by a chain design stressing unity. At the centre is the city seal: the Liver Bird confirming Liverpool’s centrality to the British Empire.
• The mosaic was covered in the 1860s to provide a more hard-wearing surface for dancing
Also at the Hall
Visitors to St George’s Hall will also be able to view the John Lennon Peace statue located near the visitor entrance (St John’s Lane). The statue is an independent project by artist, Laura Lian, and will be on display from Thursday 1 August to Monday 30 September, having made its inaugural appearance at Glastonbury Festival in June.