The picturesque village of Port Sunlight has been engulfed over the past century by the surrounding urban sprawl. The development of the village owed much to Victorian philosophies of philanthropy and in particular the work of William Hesketh Lever. Lever was a successful entrepreneur, with his wealth built on the soap industry. He believed strongly that providing his workers with better living conditions would make them more efficient at work.
Located on the banks of the River Mersey, the ‘model’ village was thus founded on pioneering philosophies of self-improvement and improved quality of life. Port Sunlight boasted great architectural diversity, with additional Flemish and Dutch influences adding to the development. With schools and various leisure facilities, Lever provided his workers with an almost utopian living environment, which they enjoyed with the payment of relatively small rents. As the industry grew, the village was no longer able to house all the workers, but has remained a haven from the surrounding industry, and a popular place to live and visit.