Heswall shown within Merseyside
|Population||7,750 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Wirral South|
Heswall is a town in Wirral, in the county of Merseyside, England. Administratively, it is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. At the time of the 2001 Census, the total population of the ward was 16,012 (male: 7,474; female: 8,538), which included the nearby villages of Barnston and Gayton. The population of the town of Heswall itself was 7,750.
Located on the eastern side of the Dee Estuary, with views across the river to North Wales, Heswall is about 20 minutes' drive from the Roman city of Chester and about 20 minutes' drive from Liverpool. The towers of Liverpool's cathedrals can be seen on the horizon from high ground.
Prior to the Norman conquest, the Heswall has been cited as a possible location for Dingesmere, mentioned with regard to the Battle of Brunanburh, in Egil's Saga. Heswall was recorded in the Domesday Book as Eswelle and owned by Robert de Rodelent, who also owned much of the land on the eastern side of the River Dee. In 1277, it became the property of Patrick de Haselwall, who was Sheriff of Cheshire.
In 1801, the population was recorded as 168. By the census in 1841, it had only grown to 398. Prior to 1897 it was known as Hestlewelle or Hesselwelle. Its growth was started by wealthy merchants from Liverpool who had originally chosen it as a retreat but the arrival of two railway connections allowed them to commute. One line is the Borderlands Line from Wrexham Central to Bidston which opened in 1896. This line is still active and has Heswall railway station on the eastern edge of the town. The station was formerly called Heswall Hills to distinguish it from the older, now demolished, Heswall Station . The old station was in Station Road in the Lower Village on another line from West Kirby to Hooton. This opened in 1886 but the line closed to passengers in 1956. The track of the old railway became a footpath, the Wirral Way.
The speedy development of Heswall has seen the once separate villages of Gayton, Heswall, Pensby and Thingwall become joined by continuous housing, although the (original) Lower Village has managed to retain much of its original character.
The oldest structure is the tower of the beautiful St.Peter’s Parish Church, which is about 500 years old. The present church building itself, the third to have been erected on the site, was built in 1879. The previous church had been destroyed by a violent thunderstorm on 19th.September 1875, during which the organist and the boy who pumped the bellows for the organ, were both killed.
The remains of Gayton’s windmill which stopped operating in 1860 and which is now converted into an attractive house, can be seen close to the Devon Doorway Restaurant on Gayton Roundabout, a short distance back up Telegraph Road towards Heswall.
The Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital originally opened in Heswall as Liverpool Country Hospital for Children in 1909. It stood on the opposite side of Telegraph Road from the 'Puddydale', it had a tall square clock tower and extensive grounds with views over the Dee estuary. The hospital closed in 1985 and the site is now occupied by a Tesco supermarket. The supermarket was extended in the early 2000s, then refurbished during 2011.
In 2001 Heswall was listed as being the 7th richest neighbourhood in the UK, with an average household income of £46 600
There are several areas of open space. The largest is the Dales, an area of dry, sandy heathland overlooking the River Dee. It has the status of both Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Within this SSSI lies 'the Dungeon', a small river valley cut into the hillside. A path connects the Dales to the Wirral Way and the coast. Other open areas also overlooking the Dee are the Beacons, and Poll Hill, which is the highest point on the Wirral Peninsula.
The large grass area near the centre of town is known as the 'Puddydale'. In former years, Heswall County Primary School was situated on the eastern edge of the field, but has since been demolished. The school was rebuilt on the corner of Whitfield lane and Downham Road North where it is still in use.
|Station||Operator||Route||Days of operation|
|Heswall||Arriva Trains Wales||Borderlands Line (Bidston-Wrexham Central)||Monday-Sunday|
Heswall has a bus station. Services operating in the Heswall area, as of January 2015:
|Number||Route||Operator||Days of operation|
|85||Clatterbridge Hospital-Heswall||Avon Buses||Monday-Saturday|
|86||Heswall-Mill Park||Avon Buses||Monday-Saturday|
|87||Heswall-Eastham Ferry||Avon Buses||Sunday|
|113||Heswall-New Ferry||A2B Travel||Monday-Saturday evenings|
|174||Heswall-Lower Village||A2B Travel||Monday-Saturday|
|175||Heswall-Irby||Arriva North West||Monday-Saturday|
|471/472||Heswall/Barnston-Liverpool||Arriva & Stagecoach||Monday-Sunday|
- Ian Astbury, vocalist for rock band The Cult.
- Ian Botham, retired English cricketer.
- Jim Bowen, comedian and former presenter of darts game show Bullseye.
- Paul Bracewell, football midfielder who played for Stoke City, Sunderland, Everton, Newcastle United, Fulham and England.
- Mike Dean, professional football referee who officiates primarily in the Premier League.
- Christian Furr, the youngest artist to have officially painted Queen Elizabeth II.
- Stephen Hough, classical pianist.
- Andy McCluskey, Lead singer of eighties pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and founder of Atomic Kitten.
- Scott Minto, retired footballer.
- Philly Morris, cancer survivor and founder of checkemlads.com testicular cancer charity.
- John Peel, the late BBC Radio 1 disc jockey, radio presenter and music journalist.
- Anne Thelwell, won Miss United Kingdom in 1959.
- John Williams, former Grand Prix motorcycle rider.
- Dougal Wilson (born 1971), director of commercials and music videos.
- Ian Woan, football winger best known for his playing years at Nottingham Forest.
- Fiona Bruce British journalist, former resident.
- Chris Eakin British journalist, former resident.
- In 1964, Paul McCartney bought "Rembrandt"; a detached mock-Tudor house in Baskervyle Road, Heswall, for his father, Jim McCartney, which cost £8,750. Jim later moved to a bungalow nearby, and lived there until his death on 18 March 1976.
- Ringo Starr spent two years in Heswall's Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital when he contracted chronic pleurisy as a child.
Notes and references
- Wirral 2001 Census: Heswall, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, archived from the original on 29 September 2007, retrieved 16 July 2007
- 2001 Census: Heswall, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 16 July 2007
- Children's Hospitals: Liverpool Infirmary for Children, E. Chambré Hardman Archive, retrieved 23 February 2008
- Dodd, Vikram (15 January 2001). "South's rich areas get richer". The Guardian (London).
- Brief Biographical Information, christianfurr.com, archived from the original on 8 June 2007, retrieved 12 August 2007
- Miles 1997 p210.
- Photo of Rembrandt, magicalbeatletours.com, retrieved 22 October 2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Heswall.|
- Town website
- Heswall Dales SSSI
- Wirral community magazine
- Heswall Magazine