The leafy enclosed quadrangle at Bluecoat has been different things over the last three centuries, including a forecourt opening onto College Lane, a herb garden, a school playground and, in the early 20th century, an outdoor extension for the parties held by the Sandon Studios Society, the arts group at the centre of Bluecoat's artistic and social life. For one of their parties, they constructed a makeshift pond there. The space also housed air raid shelters during the Second World War and was a yard for the sculptors who worked in studios surrounding it. Its history as a garden starts when one of the artists in the building, the sculptor Herbert Tyson Smith, started to landscape it, earning him the nickname 'Capability Smith'.

This collection offers a selection of images, mainly from the 1980s and 90s, showing how the garden has changed and how it has been used - as a place to meet and relax, for music and other performances, for workshops and as a site for outdoor sculpture exhibitions.

Do you have memories of the garden, or images that you'd like to share with us? If so, go to the My Bluecoat Stories page

1958

Curved wall of Bluecoat's central block from the quadrangle

1990

Aerial view of Bluecoat garden

1975

Liverpool Polytechnic students' sculpture exhibition, Bluecoat garden

1980

Artist's studio overlooking the Bluecoat garden

1982

The Bluecoat caretaker's flat, from the garden

1983

Bluecoat garden, with caretaker's flat in background

1984

Sculpture in a Garden exhibition

1984

Bluecoat gardener, Brenda Evans, in the garden

1984

Sculpture in a Garden exhibition

1984

Sculpture in a Garden exhibition

1985

Keir Smith at work in the Bluecoat garden

1985

Sculpture in a Garden

1985

Bluecoat garden, winter

1988

Sculpture in a Garden

1988

Nigel Prince, Bluecoat garden exhibition

1988

Rod Bugg installation in the Bluecoat garden

2004

Bluecoat Garden, a film by Andrew Small

1930

Artist in the Bluecoat yard, holding a maquette for a traffic pylon sculpture

1977

Bluecoat Society of Arts 50th anniversary ceramic plaque

2000

Amy May Caswell working in the Bluecoat garden

2000

Evening in the Bluecoat garden

1990

Asian Voices Asian Lives performance in the Bluecoat garden

1997

Wagogo in the Bluecoat garden

1996

Wagogo performance in the Bluecoat garden, Africa Oyé

1995

Juginder Lamba sculpture in the Bluecoat garden

1994

The Bluecoat garden

1994

Summer in the City

1992

Juginder Lamba's The Cry in the Bluecoat garden, Trophies of Empire exhibition

1991

Eilis O'Connell, sculpture in the Bluecoat garden

1991

Jill Randall sculpture, Bluecoat garden

1990

Andrew McDonald, Arch

1989

Robin Blackledge, performance in the garden

1989

Gary Perkins' installation on the Bluecoat roof

1987

Princess Margaret visiting Bluecoat

1988

Diane Gorvin's sculpture in the Bluecoat garden

1989

Chris Jensen's installation in the Bluecoat garden

1940

Bluecoat garden, with stone sculptures

2008

The re-landscaped Bluecoat garden

2008

The re-landscaped Bluecoat garden

1990

Bluecoat's 'secret garden'

2011

Light Night in the Bluecoat garden

2015

Above the Beaten Track in the Bluecoat garden