West Kirby

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Coordinates: 53°22′23″N 3°11′02″W / 53.373°N 3.184°W / 53.373; -3.184

West Kirby
The Crescent, West Kirby.JPG
Shops on The Crescent
West Kirby is located in Merseyside
West Kirby
West Kirby
 West Kirby shown within Merseyside
Population 7,680 (2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SJ213869
Metropolitan borough Wirral
Metropolitan county Merseyside
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WIRRAL
Postcode district CH48
Dialling code 0151 625
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Wirral West
List of places
UK
England
Merseyside

West Kirby is a town on the north-west corner of the coast of the Wirral Peninsula, in the county of Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee across from the Point of Ayr in Flintshire, Wales. To the north-east of the town lies Hoylake, with the suburbs of Grange and Newton to the east, and the village of Caldy to the south-east. At the 2001 Census, the population of West Kirby was 7,680,[1] and as part of the West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward, its population in 2001 was 12,869.[2]

It is known for being one of the more affluent and prosperous areas of the Wirral.

History[edit]

The name West Kirby is of Viking origin, originally Kirkjubyr, meaning 'village with a church'.[3][4] The form with the modifier "West" exists to distinguish it from the other town of the same name in Wirral: Kirkby-in-Walea (now the modern town of Wallasey). The earliest usage given of this form is "West Kyrkeby in Wirhale" in 1285.[3]

The old village lay around St. Bridget's Church, but the town today is centred on West Kirby railway station, which is about 1 km away. The town has a Victorian promenade, flanked by the West Kirby Marine Lake that permits boats to sail even at low tide. The original wall was built to create the lake in 1899 but suffered a catastrophic leak in 1985.[5] A new lake was constructed on the site which is wider than previously and allows better sporting opportunities. The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial is a notable local landmark, designed in 1922 by the British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, who was responsible for a number of war memorials around the world, including the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.

Civic history[edit]

West Kirby was a township and parish within the Wirral Hundred. It became part of Hoylake West Kirby civil parish[6] and Hoylake Urban District in 1894. The population was 148 in 1801, 435 in 1851 and 4,542 in 1901.[6]

On 1 April 1974, West Kirby was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral as part of local government reorganisation in England and Wales. At that point, West Kirby ceased to be in Cheshire for administrative purposes and became part of the new administrative county of Merseyside.

In February 2008 plans were raised for a regeneration of the concourse sports and leisure center including new retail space and controversially a multi-storey car park. As of 2013 the project appears to have stalled with developers interest and funding wavering. Local resident's opposition is strong. [7]

Education[edit]

Secondary schools in the area are Calday Grange Grammar School on Caldy Hill, West Kirby Grammar School and Hilbre High School, which includes the WestWirralWorks City Learning Centre and West Kirby Residential School.[8]

Marine Lake[edit]

West Kirby contains a large man made coastal lake, the 'Marine Lake'. The structure is large enough to hold sailing events, sailboarding and many more water related activities including: canoeing; kayaking; and power-boating.[9] In early 2009 it was reported that the lake had undergone structural damage, most likely due to estuarine erosion. Since this report a £750K refurbishment[citation needed] has taken place to help restore the lake, and is now back to holding water sport activities[10]

Sport[edit]

Sunset over the Marine Lake

Sailboarding, sailing and kayaking popular home to the Village youth project kayaking club, are all popular local sports. In October 1991 the World Windsurfing Speed Record was set by Dave White on the West Kirby Marine Lake at 42.16 knots. It was held for two years until it was beaten in Australia.

Water sports fans are reminded to wear appropriate footwear while using the marine lake due to the presence of weaver fish with sharp poisonous barbs. There is also an RNLI Lifeboat Station near West Kirby Sailing Club.[11]

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a links course sited between West Kirby and Hoylake, has hosted 11 British Open Golf championships in the past 121 years, most recently in 2006[citation needed],and is scheduled to host the 2014 British Open.

Tennis tournaments have been held in Ashton Park. Here, players including John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras have played in competition.[12]

West Kirby FC is the town's senior football club which plays in the West Cheshire League and plays its games at Marine Park, Greenbank Road. The town has a junior football club, West Kirby Wasps, who also play on Greenbank Road. West Kirby Wasps play in the Eastham Junior Football League.

West Kirby is also home to Hoylake Amateur Swimming Club who train at West Kirby Concourse

Parkland and beach[edit]

The town itself contains Ashton Park and a starting point of the Wirral Way, which follows the trackbed of the former Birkenhead Railway branch line from Hooton.[13] Sandlea Park lies in the centre of the town, a short walk from the railway station. Coronation Gardens is located between the southern end of the promanade between South Parade and Banks Road. There are various other small parks and bowling greens situated around the town. Another popular activity is to walk out to the islands of Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island at low tide. The promenade and beach and the walk to the war memorial allow an excellent panoramic view of part of the North Wales coastline.

Transport[edit]

Rail[edit]

Station Operator Route Days of operation
West Kirby Merseyrail Wirral Line (West Kirby-Liverpool Central) Monday-Sunday

Bus[edit]

Services operating in the West Kirby area, as of December 2008:

Number Route Operator Days of operation
22/22A Caldy-Chester Avon Buses Monday-Saturday
N37 Hoylake-Liverpool Arriva North West Saturday night/Sunday morning
38 West Kirby-New Ferry Stagecoach Monday - Saturday
77

83/83A

West Kirby-Heswall-Birkenhead

West Kirby-Birkenhead

Avon Buses

Avon Buses

Monday- Saturday

Monday-Friday

138 Newton-Meols A1A Travel Monday-Saturday
86 Eastham Ferry-Leasowe Avon Buses Evenings and Sundays
293 West Kirby-Woodside Avon Buses Evenings and Sundays
420 West Kirby-Liverpool Arriva North West Monday-Friday mornings
437 West Kirby-Liverpool Arriva North West Monday-Sunday

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wirral 2001 Census: West Kirby, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, retrieved 28 January 2008 [dead link]
  2. ^ 2001 Census: West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 28 January 2008 
  3. ^ a b McNeal Dodgson, John (1972), The Place-Names of Cheshire Part IV ~ Broxton Hundred and Wirral Hundred, Cambridge University Press, pp. 294–295, ISBN 0-521-08247-1 
  4. ^ Ellison, Norman (1955), The Wirral Peninsula, London: Robert Hale, p. 44, ISBN 0-7091-1660-8 
  5. ^ WKSC History, West Kirby Sailing Club, retrieved 1 May 2008 
  6. ^ a b Cheshire Towns & Parishes: West Kirby, GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy, retrieved 28 January 2008 
  7. ^ http://www.westkirbyrenewal.org.uk/concourse.htm
  8. ^ WestWirralWorks website
  9. ^ Marine Lake west kirby, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, retrieved 18 November 2009 
  10. ^ West Kirby Marine Lake to reopen after £750k improvements, Wirral News, retrieved 18 November 2009 
  11. ^ West Kirby Lifeboat Station.
  12. ^ "Ashton Park tennis: 'Use them or lose them says coach'". Wirral Globe (Birkenhead). 13 September 2001. 
  13. ^ Christiansen, Rex (Autumn 1977). "On the track of a country park". The Countryman. pp. 75–79. 
  14. ^ http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2011/12/30/former-liverpool-fc-boss-rafa-benitez-gives-additional-financial-donation-to-support-hillsborough-familes-100252-30031817/