The Liverpool Lyver Burial Society was founded by a group of working men from Liverpool in the Lyver Inn in 1850. By the end of the 1890s a decision was taken to build what would become the Royal Liver Building.

Building begins

At their Annual Meeting in Dublin, Royal Liver agree to build a new headquarters on the George’s Dock site at the Pier Head purchasing the freehold for £75,000.

Did you know?

The famous Liver Birds have never actually existed in nature, having taken on a mythical history similar to a Griffin or Phoenix.

First Stone

The foundation stone is laid for the new building by Lord Stanley of Alderley on the 11th May 1908


Opened in 1911 as the headquarters to the Royal Liver Group, the Royal Liver Building holds significant historical and cultural importance to the city of Liverpool, not least as adorning its towers are the mythical Liver Birds, said to protect both the city and sailors coming in to port.

World War I

During World War I more than 1200 members of the society joined the war effort. In their absence the society continued to pay their salaries and commissions as well as keeping their jobs open for their return.


Electronic chimes were installed in the clock towers to serve as a memorial to the members of the Royal Liver Friendly Society who died during two World Wars. During hours of darkness, the clock dials are illuminated.



The building remained the head office for Royal Liver Assurance until its merger with Royal London Group in 2011, the year which marks the building’s Centenary celebrations with a visit from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on December 1st.


Did you know?

The Royal Liver Building is perfectly symmetrical with entrances at all four sides, akin to the early tall American skyscrapers.

Opening up the Landmark

For the first time in its 100+ year history visitors can climb to the top of the iconic building to enjoy breathtaking views across Liverpool and beyond.

Did you know?

Throughout history the Liver Birds have been affectionately named Bella and Bertie. Legend says that if they were ever to fly away the city would cease to exist.