The Oratory

The Oratory was originally designed as the mortuary chapel for the nearby St James Cemetery. It currently houses an art and sculpture collection, which is in part dedicated to historic funerary monuments. The museum is part of the National Museums Liverpool body and is closely associated with the Walker Art Gallery. Many appropriate pieces have been transferred to this museum from the aforementioned gallery.

The Grade I listed building is considered by many historic architect specialists to be one of the finest examples of the Greek Revivalist movement in England. The top-light building contains no windows, which helps to give the inside of the building a very sombre feel.

Many of the monuments which are on show in The Oratory are Neoclassical reliefs. These reliefs have been rescued from buildings which were in the process of being demolished. Many of the reliefs that are on show date back to the Victorian period. Victorian burial customs and the class structure of the time period led to a lot of grand artistic memorials being created for the deceased. Despite the potentially morbid subject matter, The Oratory provides visitors with an excellent opportunity to explore different ideas about death, grief and memory.

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