Built on Sand - Coronation Walk

The corner of Coronation Walk and Lord Street in around 1980. These buildings are typical of Lord Street - rebuilt in the early 1900s with shops below and offices or flats above.
Sefton Libraries
This is a detail from an illustration promoting the 'New Marine Park' - or first Marine lake - in the late 1880s. The Royal Hotel is on the left of Coronation Walk, and to the right is the Winter Gardens and its Promenade entrance.
The Atkinson, Southport
An aerial view of Coronation Walk in 1930 shows the Winter Gardens complex being gradually dismantled on the right. The Pavilion had already been replaced by the Empire Theatre, whose curved roof is attempting to echo the original. On Coronation Walk itself, the 1920s Pavilion Hotel (The Phoenix in 2022) is setting a trend for bright modernity. Soon afterwards, the small two storey Crown Hotel will be raised and re-fronted.
This intriguingly fishy postcard from around 1900 shows Coronation Walk built up only on its north side. The trees and railings mark the edge of the Winter Gardens complex. The Crown Inn is already dwarfed by later Victorian shops and cafes.
Sefton Libraries
This photo captures an unposed moment at the junction of West Street with Coronation Walk in the early 1920s. You'll find more photos from the same time in other parts of Built on Sand.
Sefton Libraries
This is the beach from Coronation Walk in 1848, painted by WG Herdman. The stone building on the right is the Lodge where you paid your admission to walk along the Promenade to Nevill Street. On the left are Seabank Cottages, and ahead the sandy walk on to the beach with its bathing huts for hire.
The Atkinson, Southport
Southport at just the time when WG Herdman painted his view from Coronation Walk to the beach.
Reproduced under a CC-BY-NC-SA licence with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
The Winter Gardens in its early glory of the late 1870s. The salty sea air ate away at the ironwork of the large conservatory, which was demolished in 1933. The theatre pavilion was demolished in 1962.
The Atkinson, Southport

Stroll up Coronation Walk today and it’s lined with buildings. But 130 years ago there was just a wall on the south side, enclosing the vast Winter Gardens entertainment complex.

The first stretch of Promenade started at the top of Coronation Walk, with the stone lodge where you paid one penny to walk along it. The Royal Hotel was built on the corner in the 1850s.

Coronation Walk is unusual for Southport – many buildings are neo-classical in style, rebuilt or refronted in the 1920s and 30s. The former Crown Hotel has an Art Deco front.

This text and images – with added captions – are from the exhibition held at The Atkinson, Southport, 18 June – 17 September 2022.

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