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The Pier Head Piazza
The Pier Head Piazza has continuously evolved since it was reclaimed from the river to form George's Dock, completed in 1771.
It was altered slightly by John Foster between 1810 and 1815 and partly rebuilt in 1822-1825 when a transit shed was erected. It was altered again in 1871, but it hindered access to the Mersey ferries and was eventually closed in 1900 and filled in to create the Pier Head.
It has since served as a point of embarkation and arrival for passenger vessels. The most frequent of those vessels have been ferries crossing the Mersey, but it has also been a terminal for ferries to the Isle of Man and Ireland and the point of emigration for millions of Europeans on their way to the New World.
It thus has a special place in the hearts of those emigrants, as possibly the last time they and their ancestors stood on European soil. Of the 5.5 million emigrants who crossed the Atlantic between 1860 and 1900, 4.75 million sailed from Liverpool.
The Pier Head is one of the few public open spaces in the city centre and serves as a communal focal point for the people of Liverpool, providing a link between the river and the city.
It provides a venue for major public gatherings, such as the commemoration of The Battle of the Atlantic and the Mormon celebration of emigration from Europe.
The cultural significance of the Pier Head partly explains why it is such a popular location for the erection of a diverse collection of monuments and statuary.