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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Sport
Chris Beesley

Everton work on new-look tower to provide 'jaw-dropping entrance' to new stadium

The iconic Everton Lock-Up has been synonymous with Everton Football Club for many decades.

But as the Blues prepare for a future by the banks of the Mersey, they are restoring a different tower by the site of their new stadium.

The Everton Lock-Up on Everton Brow, also known as Prince Rupert’s Tower, after King Charles I’s nephew, whose Royalist Army camped in the area during the English Civil War Siege of Liverpool in 1644 – even though it wasn’t erected until 143 years later – has been associated with the club ever since secretary and future manager Theo Kelly designed what is still the basis for the Blues’ crest used today back in 1938.

Although historical fact decrees that it was not standing when Prince Rupert is said to have gazed down from Everton Brow and declared of the Parliamentarian garrison holding Liverpool Castle (built in 1237 and demolished in 1726), “It’s a crow’s nest that any party of schoolboys could take!”, given that it opened in 1787, it still predates the formation of Everton FC by 91 years and is one of only two Georgian lock-ups that survive in Liverpool with the other in Wavertree.

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As Everton prepare to make the move on from Goodison Park, their home since 1892, scheduled for the 2024/25 season, another Grade II-listed building is in their thoughts, though, with renovation works on the Historic Hydraulic Tower and Engine room complementing the progress being made at their new stadium.

The tower, built in 1883 and the only above-ground structure from Bramley-Moore Dock to remain, was an integral part of daily life during the dock’s heyday. It has been clad in scaffolding since early into the build process, to protect it from vibrations caused by the compacting of the sand used to infill the former dock and provide the foundations for the stadium.

In the interim, work has been ongoing to restore it to its former glory, brick by brick, with internal works also moving at pace to transform the building for future use. A new zinc roof was recently installed on the engine house chimney, with a timber roof also a new addition to the tower itself.

The former station master’s office has also been painstakingly rebuilt using existing or carefully sourced bricks that help to replicate the original look. Soon, the scaffolding will be stripped back to reveal the renovated structure, which will form an integral part of the fan plaza that the club say will eventually provide a jaw-dropping entrance to the stadium site for fans.

Meanwhile, steelwork now runs the length of the west stand at the stadium, with the concrete terracing units inching along the length of the stand as the bowl continues to take shape.

That steelwork will also support the roof structure along the west stand, to connect to the north and south stands. ‘A frame’ sections, which continue to be prepared on the ground on the western terrace, will eventually be fixed to the west stand roof slab to connect to the barrel section of roof steel, which creates the curved profile while work is also set to commence on installing the three individual roof sections in the south stand, which will complete the third full-span truss.

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