Port Sunlight’s founder William Lever believed that art and architecture had the power to improve and enrich people’s lives.
Port Sunlight village is testament to William Lever’s vision and strong-held beliefs and is considered to be the finest example of an industrial workers’ village in the UK. Your group will explore all Port Sunlight has to offer, from the idyllic workers’ cottages to the fine public buildings and elegant monuments. With the help of an experienced guide you will become acquainted with the architects and sculptors Lever collaborated with to create Port Sunlight, the different periods of architectural history represented in the village and the true design and craftsmanship on display.
The tour will include a visit to Bridge Cottage, once the home of William and Elizabeth Lever, and now a thriving community hub and a showcase for many local artists and makers. You will also visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a beautiful building dedicated to the memory of Lever’s wife, which houses one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art, including internationally renowned collections of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and Wedgwood pottery. These significant works were amassed by Lever in his lifetime and are powerful examples of his belief in art’s power to educate and inspire. Lever was also an early pioneer of modern advertising, and several of the paintings on display were used to advertise his products, most notably Sunlight Soap!
Following lunch in Port Sunlight’s atmospheric old school room, the trip will conclude with a curator-led tour of the nearby Williamson Art Gallery. Your group will discover a stunning collection of art representing regional and national artists, as well as The Della Robbia Collection – ceramics from a significant pottery established in Birkenhead in 1894, which was part of the Arts and Crafts movement.