|Site of Special Scientific Interest|
|Area of Search||Merseyside|
|Interest||Biological and Geological|
|Area||70.8 hectares, 174.9 acres (708,000 m2)|
|Notification||1954 / 1983|
|Natural England website|
Royden Park and Thurstaston Common comprise an area of almost 250 acres (100 ha) of parklands, wood and heath at Frankby and Thurstaston respectively, within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, England.
The Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve. From the top of the 298 ft (91 m) Thurstaston Hill, on the Wirral Peninsula, are views of the Dee Estuary (itself an SSSI) and over the River Dee to the Clwydian Hills of Wales. The area is popular with walkers and families.
Thurstaston Hill is the location of Thor's Stone, a large sandstone outcrop and a place of romantic legend. In the 19th century it was supposed that early Viking settlers may have held religious ceremonies here. A visit to the site by members of the British Archaeological Association in 1888 heard an account by Rev. A. E. P. Gray, rector of Wallasey, that the 'Thor Stone' was also known in the locality as 'Fair Maiden's Hall' and that children were "in the habit of coming once a year to dance around the stone". This part of Wirral was certainly part of a Norse colony centred on Thingwall in the 10th and 11th centuries. However, geologists and historians now think that the rock is a natural formation similar to a tor, arising from periglacial weathering of the sandstone, which was later exploited by quarrymen in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The view to Point of Ayr.
- "Thurstaston Common citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Map of Thurstaston Common". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Thurstaston Common". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Map of Thurstaston Common". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Thurstaston Common Nature Reserve". Wirral Council. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 1888
- Stephen J. Roberts, A History of Wirral, 2002, ISBN 978-1-86077-512-3
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