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Telegraph Road, Heswall - geograph.org.uk - 645655.jpg
Telegraph Road
Heswall is located in Merseyside
Heswall shown within Merseyside
Population13,401 (2011 Census.Ward)
OS grid referenceSJ269818
• London178 mi (286 km)[1] SE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWIRRAL
Postcode districtCH60
Dialling code0151
ISO 3166 codeGB-WRL
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
53°19′41″N 3°05′56″W / 53.328°N 3.099°W / 53.328; -3.099Coordinates: 53°19′41″N 3°05′56″W / 53.328°N 3.099°W / 53.328; -3.099

Heswall is a town on the 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),[2] which included the nearby villages of Barnston and Gayton. The population of the town of Heswall itself was 7,750.[3] By the time of the census 2011 population details for Heswall town were no longer maintained. However the ward's population had decreased to 13,401 (male: 6,400; female: 7,001).[4]

Before local government reorganisation on 1 April 1974 it was part of the county of Cheshire.


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.


Before the Norman conquest, Heswall has been cited as a possible location for Dingesmere, mentioned with regard to the Battle of Brunanburh, in Egil's Saga.[citation needed] 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. Before 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 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 19 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 a 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.[5] The hospital was situated on a 3.6 ha (9-acre) site purchased in 1900.[6] It stood on the opposite side of Telegraph Road from the 'Puddydale', and had a tall square clock tower and extensive grounds with views over the Dee estuary. The hospital closed in 1985[5][6] 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.[7]

Open spaces[edit]

Heswall Dales, looking over the Dee to Wales

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. Whitfield Common, off Whitfield Lane, contains natural land as well as playing fields and tennis courts; wildlife includes common lizards.[citation needed]

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 Transport for Wales Borderlands Line (Bidston-Wrexham Central) Monday-Sunday


Heswall bus station

Heswall Bus Station serves the town of Heswall is owned and managed by Merseytravel.

The bus station consists of four stands. The main bus operators at Heswall are Arriva North West, Avon Buses, A1A Travel, Stagecoach, Eazibus, A2B Travel and Helms Coaches.

Notable people[edit]

  • The singer Ian Astbury, most famous for fronting the rock band The Cult, was born in Heswall.[8]
  • Cricketer Sir Ian Botham was also born in Heswall.[9]
  • TV presenter Jim Bowen was also born in Heswall.[10]
  • TV presenter Fiona Bruce was educated at Gayton Primary School in Heswall on the Wirral.[11]
  • Christian Furr, the youngest artist to have officially painted Queen Elizabeth II, was born in Heswall.[12]
  • Pianist Stephen Hough CBE is from Heswall.[13]
  • Philip May, husband of Prime Minister Theresa May, was brought up in Heswall and was a pupil at Calday Grange Grammar School, in Caldy. The May family lived on Downham Road North for 16 years.
  • In 1964, Paul McCartney bought "Rembrandt", a detached mock-Tudor house in Baskervyle Road, Heswall, for his father, Jim McCartney at a cost of £8,750. McCartney Snr later moved to a bungalow nearby, and lived there until his death on 18 March 1976.[14]
  • Disc jockey and broadcaster John Peel was also born in Heswall.[15]
  • Bill Steer is a British guitar player, and co-founder of the extreme metal band Carcass. Steer spent his teenage years living in Heswall,[16] and went to Heswall Primary School on Whitfield Lane.
  • Phil Morris, former soldier, double cancer survivor and winner of a David Cameron award for services to cancer awareness and support.

Cultural references[edit]

Heswall Flower Club is mentioned in the song "This One's For Now" by the band Half Man Half Biscuit on their 2014 album Urge For Offal. Heswall Village Fete is the scene for Coldplay's "Life in Technicolor II" music video.[17] Heswall is the destination on the front of a bus in the 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert, 'Monty The Penguin'.[18]


Heswall F.C. competes in the West Cheshire Association Football League.

Heswall Lawn Tennis Club has been located on Quarry Road East for over 100 years, and competes in the Cheshire Lawn Tennis Association Inter Club League.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coordinate Distance Calculator". boulter.com. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ 2001 Census: Heswall, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 16 July 2007
  3. ^ Wirral 2001 Census: Heswall, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, archived from the original on 29 September 2007, retrieved 16 July 2007
  4. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b Children's Hospitals: Liverpool Infirmary for Children, E. Chambré Hardman Archive, archived from the original on 13 October 2007, retrieved 23 February 2008
  6. ^ a b "Hospitals in Heswall". Heswall Magazine. April 2010. p.24. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  7. ^ Dodd, Vikram (15 January 2001). "South's rich areas get richer". The Guardian. London.
  8. ^ "Interview: Ian Astbury – The Cult". Live4Ever. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  9. ^ Barratt, Nick (15 December 2007). "Family detective: Sir Ian Botham". Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Jim Bowen". British Classic Comedy. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  11. ^ King, Ray (5 November 2013). "Heswall - why we love this part of the Wirral". Cheshire Life. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  12. ^ Brief Biographical Information, christianfurr.com, archived from the original on 8 June 2007, retrieved 12 August 2007
  13. ^ Rigby, Emma (16 May 2014). "Wirral's most famous: You might be surprised who's on our list". Wirral Globe. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  14. ^ Miles, Barry (1997). Many Years From Now. Vintage-Random House. p. 210. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
  15. ^ Heatley, Michael (2004). John Peel: A Life in Music. Michael O'Mara Books Limited. ISBN 1-84317-151-1.
  16. ^ "The Hotseat – Bill Steer of Carcass". bombshellzine.com. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  17. ^ MacLeod, Duncan (26 January 2009). "Coldplay Life In Technicolor ii Puppet Show". The Inspiration Room. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  18. ^ Rigby, Emma. "Monty the Penguin takes a ride to Heswall in John Lewis advert". Wirral Globe. Retrieved 29 September 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]