Oxton, Merseyside

Coordinates: 53°22′51″N 3°02′54″W / 53.3807°N 3.0483°W / 53.3807; -3.0483
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St. Saviour's Church, Bidston Road
Oxton is located in Merseyside
Location within Merseyside
Population14,232 (2011 Census.Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceSJ303876
• London178 mi (286 km)[2] SE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCH42
Post townPRENTON
Postcode districtCH43
Dialling code0151
ISO 3166 codeGB-WRL
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°22′51″N 3°02′54″W / 53.3807°N 3.0483°W / 53.3807; -3.0483

Oxton is a suburb of Birkenhead, Merseyside, England. Administratively it is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. Originally a village in its own right, it became part of the Municipal Borough of Birkenhead upon its creation in 1877. Before local government reorganisation on 1 April 1974, it was part of the County Borough of Birkenhead, within the county of Cheshire.


The name Oxa-tún derives from Old Norse, meaning "a farm or enclosure where oxen are kept". By 1278, the name had been adapted into Old English as Oxeton and was recorded as Oxon in 1549.[3]

Oxton was once one of the most affluent areas in England mainly due to its proximity to Liverpool and the fact that along with various other Wirral locations, it was a favourite residential area for wealthy Liverpool merchants and tradesmen of the time. Oxton Village is a mainly early Victorian era settlement with fine sandstone and brick built houses, many of which now form part of a conservation area designated in April 1979 and administered by the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral.[4] Some of these buildings have been designated by English Heritage as Grade II listed.

A significant part of the land on which Oxton is situated was part of the Estate of the Earl of Shrewsbury. This has been commemorated over the years in many of the road names, which bear the family names and titles of the various Earls: Alton Road, Beresford Road, Chetwynd Road, Ingestre Road, Shrewsbury Road, Talbot Road, Waterford Road and Wexford Road. The oldest pub in Oxton Village is called the Shrewsbury Arms and the bar which is now known as the Oxton Bar and Kitchen was formerly the Talbot Hotel.

Christ Church opened in 1849[5] and has a Father Willis organ,[6] installed in 1888.



The Wirral peninsula is formed of Triassic Keuper and Bunter sandstones covered by glacially deposited boulder clay. The historic settlement of Oxon-hill laid to the north-eastern side of the peninsula on the sandstone ridge near to current location of St Saviours Church and the Caernarfon Castle public house[7]

Oxton Village pre-dates the conurbation that developed around Birkenhead, of which it now forms part. It is bordered to the north by Claughton and to the south by Prenton. Birkenhead town centre lies to the east.[8]

Originally an agricultural community, Oxton became a desirable residential location for the middle classes and bourgeoisie[9] as the economy of 19th century Birkenhead and Liverpool grew.[8] The north east of the conservation area, at the junction of Victoria Mount, Rose Mount, Village Road and Claughton Firs developed as a commercial centre with restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops.[10][11]

Conservation Area and Oxton Village[edit]

Oxton Village Conservation Area was established in 1979 by Wirral Borough Council in order to "preserve and enhance the village's distinctive character".[12] Soon afterwards, a registered charity was founded to promote the Conservation Area; this was named The Oxton Society.[13] This objective of this charity is to work in partnership with the council, local businesses and the community to pursue this objective.

The approximate boundary is bounded by Shrewsbury Road to the north, Fairview Road to the east, Arno Road to the south and Talbot Road to the west. Irregular in places, the boundary has a number of ‘pockets' encompassing small groups of properties or parts of streets. In 2010 Wirral Council commissioned an appraisal for Oxton Village Conservation Areas that evaluated and analysed various features which gives the conservation area its special architectural and historic interest.[7] The appraisal made recommendations to extend the Conservation Area boundaries of Normanston Road & Derwent Road, Birch Road, Village Road & Wellington Road and Talbot Road, Mill Hill and Ingestre Road. The consultation period for the boundary extensions has now closed and the extensions are in the process of being adopted.[12]

Post town controversy[edit]

Owing to a redefining of post towns by the Royal Mail in 2003, Oxton is partially identified as being within Prenton. However, whilst this was only a postal address, in its 22 May 2003 edition, the Liverpool Echo[14] reported that "Jeremy Watson, of the Oxton Society, has called on the Royal Mail to have a ballot"; however, the code at that time did not allow a request to ballot. A similar complaint was made on behalf of Prenton residents when the Royal Mail defined part of Prenton to be within Oxton.[15]


Independent and selective Birkenhead School was exclusively a boys' school from its founding in 1860 until 2000, when its Sixth Form became co-educational. It became fully co-educational in 2008. Birkenhead High School was formerly an independent selective school for girls but became a state-funded all-ability Academy school in 2009.[16] Both changes were driven by falling numbers of pupils in the schools as a result of the abolition of the Assisted Places Scheme. Despite this, both schools maintain their place around the top of the Wirral A Level results.

In addition Prenton Preparatory School lies in the heart of the Conservation Area and Oxton St Saviour's is the local primary school. A number of other schools lie just outside the boundary of Oxton, including St. Anselm's College (boys, RC) and Townfield Primary School.


Oxton Cricket & Sports Club is also located here. Founded in 1875 as Oxton Cricket Club,[17] other sports played at the club include tennis, lacrosse, squash and bowls.


At the 2001 Census, the population of Oxton was 14,066, consisting of 6,680 males and 7,386 females.[18]

Some 2005 demographic statistics of area CH43, which encompasses the geographical area of Oxton, Claughton and parts of Bidston and Noctorum, (total CH43 population (2005): 36,443) are:

Median Age 39
% Retirees 21.9%
% Unemployed 4.4%
Total Migrants 3,497
% Total Migrants 9.6%
Average distance travelled to fixed place of work 12 km


Oxton is part of the Birkenhead parliamentary constituency.

Local Councillors[edit]

After reorganisation in 2004, Oxton forms an electoral ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, which had an electorate of 11,237 on 6 May 2010.[19]

Metropolitan Borough of Wirral: Oxton Ward
Councillor Party
Stuart Kelly Liberal Democrat
Allan Brame Liberal Democrat
Andy Corkhill Liberal Democrat

2019 local elections[edit]

The results of the Local Election Result for Oxton ward on 2 May 2019 were:


Administrative history[edit]

Oxton was historically a township in the ancient parish of Woodchurch in the Wirral Hundred of Cheshire.[20] Part of the township was administratively absorbed into Birkenhead in 1843 when it was added to the improvement commissioners' district which covered the town.[21]

The rest of the township was made a local government district in 1863, governed by a local board.[22] The local government district was abolished in 1877 and its area was incorporated into the new municipal borough of Birkenhead.[23] Oxton continued to be a civil parish within the borough until 1898 when all the parishes within the borough were merged into a single parish.[20] The borough of Birkenhead was abolished in 1974, becoming part of the metropolitan borough of Wirral in the new county of Merseyside.

Notable connections[edit]

Ron Gittins [edit]

In January 2020 the former rented ground-floor flat of local eccentric Ron Gittins was found to contain a treasure trove of Outsider Art produced by Gittins, never previously seen.[25][26][27] A crowdfunding appeal was launched to save the work.[28][29] The property was auctioned on 1 March 2023 and was bought by a mystery benefactor to preserve the artworks.[30][31] Writing in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Lisa Slominski says that "Oscillating between an idiosyncratic subjectivity and universal offering, the power held in Ron's Place is undeniable."[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Coordinate Distance Calculator". boulter.com. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  3. ^ Oxton, National Museums Liverpool, retrieved 11 July 2010
  4. ^ Conservation Areas, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, retrieved 11 July 2010
  5. ^ Christ Church, Oxton, Birkenhead, Church of England, retrieved 11 September 2009
  6. ^ 'Father Willis' organ, Christ Church, retrieved 11 September 2009
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "History". Williamson Art Gallery & Museum. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Oxton Village 'A Voyage of Discovery'". The Birkenhead History Society. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Oxton Village Wirral Merseyside Drive". Youtube. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Oxton Village Conservation Area | WIRRAL Borough Council". Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  13. ^ "About the Oxton Society". The Oxton Society. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Residents in address battle.(News)". Liverpool Echo. 22 May 2003. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Responses to Postcomm's Review of Royal Mail's Licence – Condition 20 Postcode Address File Code of Practice" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  16. ^ School prepares to make historic move, Wirral Globe, 8 November 2007, retrieved 14 January 2008
  17. ^ Club History, Oxton Cricket & Sports Club, retrieved 11 July 2010
  18. ^ 2001 Census: Oxton, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 2 July 2007
  19. ^ Election Result for Oxton Ward, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, 6 May 2010, retrieved 11 July 2010
  20. ^ a b "Oxton Township / Civil Parish". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  21. ^ "Birkenhead Extension Act 1843". legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Birkenhead County Borough Council and predecessors". Discovery Catalogue. The National Archives. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  23. ^ "The incorporation of Birkenhead". Manchester Courier. 22 August 1877. p. 5. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  24. ^ "Olympic Arts Competition 1932 Page 23".
  25. ^ Davies, Laura (24 January 2020). "The extraordinary home of late Oxton artist Ron Gittins". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  26. ^ Davis, Laura (25 January 2020). "No one knew what eccentric relative did to his home until he died". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  27. ^ Davis, Laura (26 January 2020). "The incredible hidden artwork that sits behind the doors of this ordinary house". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  28. ^ The Caravan Gallery. "Saving Ron's Place". Crowdfunder. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  29. ^ "Ron's Place – #savingronsplace". Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  30. ^ "'Ron's Place' saved by mystery benefactor", Birkenhead News, Wirral, 1 March 2023, retrieved 1 March 2023
  31. ^ Brown, Mark (1 March 2023). "Ron's Place: cash loan saves palace of outsider art at last minute". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  32. ^ Slominski, Lisa (2022). "Ron's Place: the theatre of (personal) power". Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 31: e31. doi:10.1017/S2045796022000105. PMC 9069576.

Further reading[edit]

  • Beazley, F.C. (1930). The Parish Church of S. Saviour, Oxton. Willmer Bros. OCLC 12829561.
  • Boumphrey, Ian (2007). Yesterday's Birkenhead: A Pictorial History 1860 to 1960 including Prenton, Oxton, Bidston, Upton, Woodchurch, Tranmere, Bebington, New Ferry and Rock Ferry. The Author. ISBN 9781899241262.
  • Boumphrey, Ian; Boumphrey, Marilyn (1981). Yesterday's Wirral: Birkenhead, Prenton and Oxton. Ian & Marilyn Boumphrey. ISBN 9780950725512. OCLC 16599808.
  • Boumphrey, Ian; Boumphrey, Marilyn (1992). Yesterday's Wirral No. 7: More of Birkenhead, Oxton and Prenton Including Bidston and Upton. Ian & Marilyn Boumphrey. ISBN 9780950725574. OCLC 315929082.
  • Mortimer, William Williams (1847). The History of the Hundred of Wirral. London: Whittaker & Co. pp287-288.

External links[edit]