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: History of Liverpool A map of Liverpool from 1947 A map of Liverpool from 1947 A map of Liverpool's original 7 streets A map of Liverpool's original 7 streets King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool, but by the middle of the 16th century the population was still only around 500. The original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough.The original seven streets were laid out in a H shape: Bank Street (now Water Street) Castle Street Chapel Street Dale Street Juggler Street (now High Street) Moor Street (now Tithebarn Street) Whiteacre Street (now Oldhall Street) In the 17th century there was slow progress in trade and population growth. Battles for the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. As trade from the West Indies surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, and as the River Dee silted up, Liverpool began to grow. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade helped the town to prosper and rapidly grow. By the close of the century Liverpool controlled over 41% of Europe's and 80% of Britain's slave commerce. Liverpool Castle in the 13th century Liverpool Castle in the 13th century By the start of the 19th century, 40% of the world's trade was passing through Liverpool and the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The population continued to rise rapidly, especially during the 1840s when Irish migrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. By 1851, approximately 25% of the city's population was Irish-born. During the first part of the 20th century, Liverpool was drawing immigrants from across Europe. Inaugural journey of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the first ever commercial railway line Inaugural journey of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the first ever commercial railway line The Housing Act 1919 resulted in mass council housing building across Liverpool during the 1920s and 1930s. Thousands of families were rehoused from decrepit inner-city slums to well-equipped new homes on suburban housing estates which offered a far higher standard of living. A great deal of private houses were also built during this era. The process continued after the Second World War, with many more new housing estates being built in suburban areas, while some of the older inner city areas where also redeveloped for new homes. The population of Liverpool peaked in the 1931 census, which reported 855,688 inhabitants. This had declined to 610,114 by 1961, and decreased further to 439,476 in the 2001 census. During World War II there were 80 air-raids on Merseyside, killing 2500 people and causing damage to almost half the homes in the metropolitan area. Since 1952 Liverpool has been twinned with Cologne, Germany, a city which also shared the horrific experience of excessive aerial bombing. Significant rebuilding followed the war, including massive housing estates and the Seaforth Dock, the largest dock project in Britain. In the 1960s Liverpool became a centre of youth culture. The "Merseybeat" sound which became synonymous with The Beatles and fellow Liverpudlian rock bands of the era catapulted the city to the front of the popular music scene. From the mid-1970s onwards Liverpool's docks and traditional manufacturing industries went into sharp decline. The advent of containerization meant that the city's docks became largely obsolete. In the early 1980s unemployment rates in Liverpool were among the highest in the UK. In recent years, Liverpool's economy has recovered and has experienced growth rates higher than the national average since the mid-nineties. 20 Forthlin Road is one of many Tourist attractions related to The Beatles. 20 Forthlin Road is one of many Tourist attractions related to The Beatles. Previously part of Lancashire, and a county borough from 1889, Liverpool became in 1974 a metropolitan borough within the newly created metropolitan county of Merseyside. At the end of the 20th century Liverpool was concentrating on regeneration, a process which still continues today, with the city winning the accolade of European Capital of Culture for 2008. To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, the conservation charity Plantlife organised a competition to choose county flowers, the sea-holly was Liverpool's final choice Capitalising on the popularity of the 1960s pop group The Beatles and other groups of the Merseybeat era, tourism has also become a significant factor in Liverpool's economy. In 2004, property developer Grosvenor started the Paradise Project, a £920 m development centered on Paradise Street, which involved the most significant changes to Liverpool's city centre since the post-war reconstruction. Now known as Liverpool one, opened in May 2008. 2007 was the anniversary of the foundation of the city (1207), for which a number of events were planned.Plasterwork is one of the most ancient of building techniques. Evidence shows that the dwellings of primitive man were erected in a simple fashion with sticks and plastered with mud. The pyramids in Egypt contain plasterwork executed at least four thousand years ago, probably much earlier, and yet hard and durable, at the present time. From recent discoveries it has been ascertained that the tools of the plasterer of that time were practically identical in design, shape and purpose with those used today. For their finest work, the Egyptians used a plaster made from calcined gypsum just like plaster of Paris of the present time, and their methods of plastering on reeds resemble in every way our lath, plaster, float and set work. Hair was introduced to strengthen the material, and the whole finished somewhat under an inch thick.