Merseyside famous for The Beatles and the Merseybeat Sound. Other famous sons and daughters are Cilla Black Ken Dodd and Jimmy Tarbuck. Merseyside is a county in the north west of England, covering just under 300 square miles with a population of just over 1.5 Million. The metropolitan county of Merseyside was created by the British government in 1974 from the area of Lancashire centered around the city of Liverpool and parts of Cheshire. Liverpool is the best-known and most important city in the area - separated from the town of Birkenhead by the River Mersey itself, as immortalized in the song Ferry across the Mersey. Liverpool is one of the few cities in the world that can boast two cathedrals. One is of traditional design the other, the roman catholic cathedral, is of post-war modern design. Liverpools original claim to fame came from the sea and many Liverpudlians have Irish ancestry due to the influx of Lancashires near neighbours in the 19th century.