Whiston, Merseyside

Coordinates: 53°24′47″N 2°47′53″W / 53.413°N 2.798°W / 53.413; -2.798
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Nicholas' Church
Whiston is located in Merseyside
Location within Merseyside
Population14,263 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSJ4791
Civil parish
  • Whiston
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPRESCOT
Postcode districtL35
Dialling code0151
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°24′47″N 2°47′53″W / 53.413°N 2.798°W / 53.413; -2.798

Whiston is a town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in Merseyside, England. Previously recorded within the historic county of Lancashire, it is located eight miles (ten kilometres) east of Liverpool and 3/4 mile east of Huyton Quarry. The population was 13,629 at the 2001 Census,[1] increasing to 14,263 at the 2011 Census.[2][3]

A new village, Halsnead Garden Village, was approved with government support in 2017 and will be located in the Halsnead area of the town.[4] The new village will contain over 1,500 houses, a primary school, a country park, and various community and leisure facilities. Construction is estimated to cost around £270 million.[5]


The first record of Whiston comes in 1245, being rendered as "Quistan" and being within the West Derby Hundred in Lancashire.[6] Archeological evidence such as a neolithic polished hand-axe and mesolithic tool fragments suggest that the region was host to pre-historic settlement up to 12,000 years, ago while other archaeological finds include remnants of a Roman tile workshop in nearby Tarbock and a medieval shovel head.[7][8][9][10][11]

The main industry of Whiston's earlier documented history is agriculture, with the first recorded mill in the area being held by local lord Henry Travers from 1190.[12][13] By 1521, the first documentation of coal mining is made, which would in time become Whiston's primary industry.[11][14] By 1700, the coalfields of Whiston, Prescot, and Sutton were producing 25,000-50,000 tonnes of coal annually, and this would only increase as the Industrial Revolution progressed and the Whiston area became host to tens of collieries over the 18th and 19th Centuries.[15] By 1901, the population of Whiston was 3,430.[16]

The Church of St. Nicholas on Windy Arbor Road was consecrated on 30 July 1868, replacing a chapel dating from 1846.[16] It hosts a war memorial, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, which was struck by lightning in 1928. The memorial was replaced in 1932.[17] The stone-built Methodist Church on the High Street dates from the 19th century.[16]

Whiston had a sanatorium, an isolation hospital, and a workhouse, part of the Prescot Union workhouses.[16]

Whiston was previously host to Halsnead Hall, a neoclassical manor that housed the Willis family, chief landholders in Whiston from 1684 until the auctioning of their estate in 1929.[11] Halsnead Hall, demolished in 1932 and now the site of Halsnead static caravan park, was designed by the renowned architect Sir John Soane.[18] Before its demolition, it was the sole example of Soane's work in either Lancashire or Cheshire.[18]


Prior to boundary changes in 2016,[19] Whiston consisted of the Whiston North and Whiston South wards of the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley. The North and South wards were separated by the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, which runs directly through the town. The former borough wards of North and South are still used in the form of Town Council wards,[20] but for the purposes of Borough representation, Whiston elects three councillors via the combined ward of Whiston and Cronton.[21]

Whiston lent its name to and was formerly the headquarters of the Whiston Rural District within the County of Lancashire before the Local Government Act 1972. Today, Whiston Town Council oversees parish level administration.


Whiston is crossed by the historic Liverpool to Manchester Railway,[16] and is served by Whiston railway station with services to Liverpool and Manchester, operated by Northern. Local bus routes to Runcorn, Liverpool, St Helens and Huyton also serve the town. These are operated by, among other smaller local providers, Stagecoach and Arriva.


St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust operates Whiston Hospital. The hospital supports the primary maternity department for the Knowsley and St Helens boroughs, alongside a regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit serving North West England, North Wales and the Isle of Man.[22] The Trust is a member organisation of the teaching hospital system partnered with the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Edge Hill University.


Local industry includes Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, producing kitchen appliances and employing approximately 1,000 people.


Primary education[edit]

  • St Luke's Catholic Primary School
  • Halsnead Primary School
  • Whiston Willis Primary School
  • St Leo's & Southmead Catholic Primary School

Secondary education[edit]

In 2010, two of Whiston's secondary schools were closed and redeveloped under the Labour Party governments 'Building Schools for the Future' scheme. This £150 million programme created seven new 'Centres for Learning' to replace the ten existing secondary schools within the Knowsley borough.[23]

  • Knowsley Higher Side Comprehensive School, Cumber Lane.

Constructed in 1964, Knowsley Higher Side Comprehensive School was one of the first comprehensive schools in the local area, purpose built under the Labour Party's education reforms to formally abolish the tripartite system of education; to amalgamate grammar, technical and secondary modern schools into one appropriately named Comprehensive System. In March 2010, after serving the local area for 46 years, Higher Side Comprehensive School was permanently closed and subsequently demolished to make way for the new St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning which was constructed on vacant land behind Higher Side's main buildings. The land on which Higher Side once stood now serves as a car park and recreational area for staff and pupils of the new St Edmund Arrowsmith.

The only remaining building of the former Higher Side School site is the former Whiston & Prescot City Learning Centre (CLC), now St Edmund Arrowsmith Science Hub. The building was originally constructed and opened in 2000. Pupils of the school who were still enrolled at Higher Side at the time its closure were transferred to its replacement Knowsley Park Centre for Learning (now The Prescot School) based on Knowsley Park Lane, Prescot.

Closed, relocated and rebuilt behind the former Knowsley Higher Side Comprehensive School on Cumber Lane. Renamed as 'St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning' for a while. The original St Edmund Arrowsmith Building on Scotchbarn Lane was retained for several years and redeveloped as a youth training academy, but has also since been demolished.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2001 Census: Whiston, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 22 February 2009
  2. ^ "Knowsley Ward population/Whiston South population 2011". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Knowsley Ward/Whiston North population 2011". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  4. ^ "First ever garden villages named with government support". GOV.UK. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  5. ^ 15:40, 2 JAN 2017Updated15:55, 2 JAN 2017 (2 January 2017). "'One of the biggest residential developments on Merseyside' - plans for Whiston development revealed". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 4 May 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Blinkhorn, William (2004). A History of Whiston: From the Stone Age to the Plastic Age. Hartford: Léonie Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-901253-38-2.
  7. ^ Bailey, F.A (1941). "Neolithic Axe Found at Whiston, 1941". Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. 93: 124–125.
  8. ^ Cowell, Ron (2012). A Journey Into the Past: Archaeology at Junction 6, Tarbock Roundabout. Manchester: Highways Agency Media Services.
  9. ^ Cowell, R. W (1982). Knowsley Rural Fringes Survey Report. Liverpool: Merseyside County Museums; Merseyside County Council. pp. 6–8.
  10. ^ Swann, Vivien; Philpott, Robert (2000). "Legio XX VV and Tile Production at Tarbock, Merseyside". Britannia. 31: 55–67. doi:10.2307/526919. JSTOR 526919. S2CID 162376870.
  11. ^ a b c "History of Whiston". Knowsley Council. 20 January 2018. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  12. ^ Farrier, William; Brownbill, J (1907). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. pp. 348–352.
  13. ^ Blinkhorn, 129
  14. ^ Blinkhorn, 140-141
  15. ^ Blinkhorn, 140-148
  16. ^ a b c d e "Townships: Whiston Pages 348-352 A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3". British History Online. Victoria County History, 1907. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  17. ^ Whiston Origins and History, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, retrieved 21 January 2008
  18. ^ a b Harris, Stanley (1954). "Sir John Soane (1753-1837), architect, and Halsnead Hall, Whiston" (PDF). Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire. 106: 153–158.
  19. ^ "Knowsley Boundaries Change for 2016 Local Elections". Prescot Online. Archived from the original on 4 April 2023.
  20. ^ "Whiston Town Councillors". Whiston Town Council. 2019. Archived from the original on 4 April 2023.
  21. ^ "Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Election Results 2018" (PDF). May 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Whiston Hospital Clinical Departments: Maternity & Gynaecology Services". St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals.
  23. ^ Future schooling in Knowsley, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, retrieved 15 August 2007

External links[edit]