220 years in the making

The roots of Duke & Parr go all the way back to the late 17th century when Liverpool’s maritime economy was growing so much the city constructed the world’s first commercial wet dock.

The dock symbolised the start of the new boom and Ropeworks was at the forefront of this boom due to its proximity.

A new street pattern was laid out following the line of the agricultural tracks, starting with Hanover Street, followed by Duke Street. Many of the supporting maritime industries occupied the area including the roperies from where the area’s name is derived.

Inspired by the story so far, the building has been refined to deliver for the businesses of tomorrow – taken the original features and enhancing it with 21st century technology bridging the two sides of the building together plus the basement discovery.

News & Nature

105 Duke Street was built in 1800 as the Union Newsroom, named after the Union of England and Ireland. When it was built the Union Newsroom stood in the centre of the aristocratic region of trade. The London morning papers arrived early the following morning and likewise the evening papers. It became  a daily routine for the select circle living in the nearby grand townhouses of Duke Street to stop off on their way in and out of town.

In 1852 the building was sold and then occupied by the recently established Free Public Library and Museum. The brick extension to the rear was built to house the magnificent natural history collections of the 13th Earl of Derby, which eventually became the basis of the Liverpool Museum on William Brown Street.

Hidden Layers

More recently, 105 Duke Street housed one of Liverpool’s oldest shipping companies, Bibby. Like many buildings of this era its interior was ‘modernised’ with partition walls and suspended ceilings masking the old architecture.

Our renovation strips back the extra layers to expose and celebrate its natural beauty. For the first time in years the building will share some of its hidden features with the world.

Liverpool's first public library

Crafted floor brace detail

Original arch and ionic columns

Cornice detail

In 2021 Duke & Parr will continue its story as a home for a new community of forward thinking businesses.

Join the story