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Kitty Wilkinson: Statue for Liverpool's 'saint of the slums'

image captionKitty Wilkinson took in homeless children and set up a school

A marble statue has been unveiled in Liverpool, in memory of a woman known as the saint of the slums.

Kitty Wilkinson opened Britain's first public washhouse on Upper Frederick Street in 1842.

Hers will be the only female statue in St George's Hall and will join 12 statues surrounding the Great Hall depicting Victorian and Edwardian men.

The unveiling will be performed by the Reverend Elizabeth Storey - Ms Wilkinson's great, great, great niece.

Mrs Storey said it was "a great privilege" to be asked to unveil the statue.

Homeless children

"Kitty Wilkinson has always been part of my life. We were brought up as children learning about her and her work and it is right that she should be honoured," she said.

Ms Wilkinson allowed her home to be used as a washhouse during the cholera epidemics of the 1830s.

She also took in homeless children and taught that cleanliness was the main weapon against disease.

London-based sculptor Simon Smith made the statue from Italian marble, and took two years to create at a cost of £100,000.

More on this story

  • First public bathing facilities