1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Southport
SOUTHPORT, a municipal and county borough and seaside resort in the Southport parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, immediately S. of the embouchure of the Ribble into the Irish Sea, 185 m. N. by W. of Liverpool. It is served by the Lancashire & Yorkshire and London & North-Western railways, and by the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension system. Pop. (1001), 48,083. Its foreshore consists of a great expanse of firm, bright sands, and the mildness of its winter climate is attributed to the radiation of heat from them. Its proximity to Liverpool and Manchester has drawn to it a large resident population, and its visitors number many thousands annually. The promenade along the shore is 2 m. in length; in its centre is the pier, 1 m. long, down which tramcars are drawn by a stationary steam-engine. Other facilities for outdoor enjoyment are provided in Hesketh Park (presented to the town by the Rev. Charles Hesketh, formerly rector of North Meols, and one of the lords of the manor), the Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens, South Marine Park, and the Winter Gardens. The last, laid out at a cost of £130,000, include a large conservatory, a fine enclosed promenade, a theatre and an aquarium. The principal public buildings are the town hall, the Cambridge Hall (used for concerts, &c.), and an extensive range of markets. There are several infirmaries and hospitals, and a sanatorium for children. Southport has also a free library and art gallery, a literary and philosophical institute, and a college (Trinity Hall) for the daughters of Wesleyan ministers; and a museum and schools of science and art. An extensive service of electric tramways is maintained. The first considerable house in Southport (an inn for the reception of sea-bathers) was built in 1701, and soon after other houses were erected on the site row known as Lord Street, but the population in 1809 was only 100. Birkdale is a residential district adjacent to Southport on the south. In 1867 Southport received a charter of incorporation. It became a county borough in 1905. The corporation consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen and 30 councillors. Area, 5144 acres.