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Neston Town Centre - - 180564.jpg
Neston is located in Cheshire
Location within Cheshire
Population15,221 (2011)
OS grid referenceSJ285775
• London175 mi (282 km)[1] SE
Civil parish
  • Neston
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNESTON
Postcode districtCH64
Dialling code0151
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°17′20″N 3°04′26″W / 53.289°N 3.074°W / 53.289; -3.074Coordinates: 53°17′20″N 3°04′26″W / 53.289°N 3.074°W / 53.289; -3.074

Neston is a small residential village and civil parish in the borough of Cheshire West and Chester. It is situated on the part of the Wirral Peninsula that remains in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England.[2] Parkgate is located to the north west and the villages of Little Neston and Ness to the south of the town. At the 2001 Census the population of Neston ward was recorded as 3,521,[3] increasing to 4,329 at the 2011 Census.[4] The town and civil parish also includes Little Neston; Parkgate; and Riverside wards; along with part of Burton and Ness ward, and has a population of 15,162,[5][6] increasing to 15,221 in the 2011 Census.[7]


The name is of Viking origin, deriving from the Old Norse Nes-tún, meaning 'farmstead at/near the promontory'.[8] Another Nesttun town can be found near Bergen, Norway. It is also mentioned in the Domesday Book as Nestone under the ownership of a William Fitznigel.[9]

A royal charter was granted to Neston in 1728 in support of its status as a market town.[10]

Historically, the current town was known as Great Neston, in order to be distinct from the smaller nearby hamlet of Little Neston. Before the rise of Birkenhead in the 1820s, it was the largest town in the Wirral Hundred. Great Neston included the hamlets of Clayhill, Hinderton, Moorside and part of Parkgate. The population of Great Neston was 1,486 in 1801 and 1,524 in 1851. In 1894, both Great Neston and Little Neston were combined to create Neston-cum-Parkgate and by 1901, the population had risen to 2,201.[11]


Neston was a major port before the River Dee silted up. The port was then shifted further downstream to the nearby town of Parkgate,[12] although by early nineteenth century, most traffic had ultimately transferred to Liverpool.


Neston is also a former mining town. There were two periods of mining.

Between 1759 and 1855 Ness Colliery worked using shafts largely clustered around the Harp Inn in today's Little Neston.[13] It was opened by John Stanley Massey, a member of the leading Stanley family of Hooton, in partnership with four others.[14] Because of the local geology most working was carried out under the Dee Estuary.[15] The mine was remarkable in using canals deep underground for boats to haul coal.[16] It was also remarkable for blatant acts of sabotage committed by the Stanleys against a rival, neighbouring mine established in about 1820 by the Cottingham family; their mine went out of business in the 1840s.[17] Due to exhaustion of many of the coal seams, and difficulty in transporting coal, Ness Colliery was closed in 1855.[18]

The later period of mining started in 1875 with the establishment of Neston Colliery (later becoming Wirral Colliery).[19] By this time the Chester and Birkenhead Railway had come to nearby Parkgate; a branch line to the colliery enabled coal to be shifted in bulk. The mine worked seams further north than those worked by Ness Colliery.[20] Wirral colliery was taken over by the British government during the First World War. The pit subsequently returned to private ownership after the war, but increasing competition from larger mines brought about its closure in 1927 with a loss of 180 jobs.[21]


Suburban localities of Neston are:

Previous suburbs of Neston:

  • Leighton (former suburb)
  • Nessholt (former suburb)


The A540 road links Neston to Heswall and West Kirby to the north, and Cheshire, Chester and North Wales to the south. Neston is also close to the M53 and M56 motorways, giving it access to Liverpool, Manchester, and the larger M6 motorway.

Neston railway station

Neston railway station is situated on the Borderlands Line, providing direct services southbound to Flintshire and Wrexham, and northbound to Bidston in Birkenhead, with connecting services to the Merseyrail network.[12] Recently, Merseytravel have been investigating the possibility of linking up the Bidston - Wrexham line to the electrified Merseyrail system.[22]


One of the main local attractions is Ness Botanic Gardens, opened in 1898 and administered by the University of Liverpool.[23]

On the first Thursday of June, Neston annually celebrates Ladies (Club) Day. This is a unique marching day that has links to the Neston Female Friendly Society during the Napoleonic War.[12]

Neston has a Cricket Club located in Parkgate that plays in the Cheshire County Cricket ECB Premier League.[24] Members of Neston Cricket Club can also play bowls, hockey,[25] squash, racketball and tennis.[26]

Neston High School serves the local secondary age students.[27]


Ethnic Group Percentage[28]
White British 98.5%
White Irish 0.1%
White Other 0.5%
Mixed 0.2%
Asian 0.1%
Black 0.1%
Chinese 0.3%
Other 0.2%


Christianity: 82.6%

No Religion: 10.7%

Non Specified: 6.1%

Muslim: 0.2%

Jewish: 0.1%

Buddhism: 0.2%

Sikh: 0.1%

Other: 0.1%


Neston Market Town Initiative[edit]

Recently, Neston has undergone an assessment to attract more income and tourists, in the form of the Neston Market Town Initiative (NMTI).[30] The project also included the launch of a new town website.[31] the NMTI involved improving the 'look' of the town centre (which included new shop fronts) and controversial plans regarding a new supermarket[32] on the site of Brook Street car park. Work for the new supermarket began in March 2009 with a full archaeological dig being carried out on the car park site before construction work began. Work to excavate the site began in August 2009, a total of 28,000 cubic meters of earth was removed to allow for the construction of a multi story car park. The new Sainsbury's store was opened on 1 December 2010.

On 31 March 2008 the Market Town Initiative project was officially completed. The community regeneration work will be continued by a new local community association, ch64inc, and by the establishment of a Town Council in 2009.[30]

Notable people[edit]

Lady Hamilton by George Romney, 1782
  • Thomas Wilson (1663 in Burton and Ness – 1755) Bishop of Sodor and Man between 1697 and 1755.
  • Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765 in Swan Cottage, Ness - 1815) an English model and actress, mistress of Lord Nelson and muse of the portrait artist, George Romney
  • Sir Wilfred Grenfell KCMG (1865 in Neston – 1940) a medical missionary to Newfoundland
  • Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell VC DSO (1888 in Neston – 1918 in Morlancourt, France) an English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Billy Congreve VC, DSO, MC (1891 in Neston – 1916 in Longueval, France) an English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Rosalind Hill (1908-1997), historian
  • George Ward Gunn VC MC (1912 in Neston - 1941 in Sidi Rezegh, Libya) an English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Ralph Millington (1930 in Neston – 1999) an English footballer who played 357 games for Tranmere Rovers F.C.
  • Sir Tim Hunt FRS FMedSci FRSE MAE (born 1943 in Neston) a British biochemist and molecular physiologist, jointly awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries about protein molecules
  • Patrick Wormald (1947 in Neston – 2004) a British historian and academic
  • Jim Johnson (born 1971 in Neston) an English theatre maker and musician and formerly Associate Director at the Gateway Theatre in Chester

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coordinate Distance Calculator". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ Neston website, The Neston Market Village Initiative, archived from the original on 6 March 2016, retrieved 26 July 2007
  3. ^ 2001 Census: Neston, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 26 July 2007
  4. ^ "Ward population 2011". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey : Election Maps : Cheshire West and Chester Retrieved 2009-12-09
  6. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Boundary Viewer : Wards 2003 : Neston Retrieved 2009-12-09
  7. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  8. ^ Sulley, Philip (1889), The Hundred Of Wirral
  9. ^ Cheshire L-Z, Domesday Book Online, retrieved 4 January 2008
  10. ^ Neston website: History of the Villages, The Neston Market Town Initiative, retrieved 12 April 2020
  11. ^ Cheshire Towns & Parishes: Great Neston, GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy, retrieved 26 July 2007
  12. ^ a b c Wirral 360: Neston,, retrieved 26 July 2007
  13. ^ A. Annakin-Smith, The Neston Collieries 1759-1855: An Industrial Revolution in Rural Cheshire (University of Chester Press, 2019), p.51
  14. ^ Annakin-Smith, p.18
  15. ^ Annakin-Smith, p.6
  16. ^ Annakin-Smith, pp.70-72.
  17. ^ Annakin-Smith, pp.37-46
  18. ^ Annakin-Smith, p.35
  19. ^ G. Place (Ed.), Neston 1840-1940 (Burton and Neston History Society, 1996), p.65
  20. ^ Annakin-Smith, p.248
  21. ^ Collieries Closed, Berks and Oxon Advertiser, 18 March 1927, p6
  22. ^ Down, Richard (6 March 2008). "Merseytravel bosses pledge a further £600k to investigate electrification of rail line on Wrexham-Wirral-Liverpool route". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  23. ^ Ness Botanic Gardens, University of Liverpool, retrieved 26 July 2007
  24. ^ Neston Cricket Club, retrieved 31 May 2009
  25. ^ Neston South Wirral Hockey Club, Neston Cricket Club, archived from the original on 29 February 2012, retrieved 26 July 2007
  26. ^ Tennis section, Neston Cricket Club, retrieved 16 October 2007
  27. ^ "Home | Neston High". Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Table KS06 Ethnic group". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Table KS07 Religion". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  30. ^ a b Neston Market Town Initiative, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council, retrieved 28 March 2008
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ Planning Application for Neston Supermarket and Town Square, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council, retrieved 28 March 2008

External links[edit]