Saturday, 31 January 2009

The Wirral (Part 1)

Where do I live?

I thought some of my readers from other countries might be interested to see whereabouts in the UK I can be found.

Firstly, a map showing where the Wirral Peninsula is in relation to the rest of the United Kingdom. Wirral or The Wirral is a peninsula in North West England. It is bounded to the west by the River Dee, which forms the boundary with Wales, and to the east by the River Mersey. The terms "Wirral" and "The Wirral" are used interchangeably, the merits of each forming the subject of local debate. I prefer the Wirral and 'on The Wirral' to Wirral and 'in Wirral'.

This is the Wirral showing how close it is to Liverpool, sandwiched between the Rivers Dee and Mersey. There are two road tunnels and a rail tunnel under the Mersey connecting The Wirral Peninsula to Liverpool. There is a bridge over the Mersey at Runcorn and two over the Dee at Queensferry.

The roughly rectangular peninsula is about 10 miles (16.1 km) long and 7 miles (11.3 km) wide. At one time it was all in Cheshire and was a Hundred of Cheshire. A hundred was the division of a shire for administrative, military and judicial purposes under the common law. Originally, when introduced by the Saxons between 613 and 1017, a hundred had enough land to sustain approximately one hundred households headed by a hundred-man or hundred eolder. Wirral's boundary with the rest of Cheshire was officially 'Two arrow falls from Chester City Walls', as mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Since 1974 the northern part of The Wirral is a Metropolitan Borough in Merseyside whilst the southern part is still in Cheshire.

The main town on The Wirral is the ship-building port of Birkenhead. Once a powerhouse of the Industrial age, it's skyline is peppered with grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Little of the its industry remains nowadays.

I live in Pensby which is a really uninspiring part of The Wirral. Most of it was built up in the twentieth century. Unlike it’s larger neighbour, Heswall, it has no interesting or inspiring history. Apart from a couple of old cottages it has no interesting architecture and its woodland consists of about forty Sycamore and Beech trees on a little triangle next to a playing field.

However, on a good day, I can walk from Pensby to next door Arrowe Park which is a very pleasant woodland and parkland or down the lanes to Barnston Dale which is a piece of ancient woodland. Unfortunately Barnston Dale is private so there is no access to the woods themselves.

Next time I do a posting about the Wirral I shall show some of its tourist attractions.


  1. What a fascinating post! I do hope you'll take pictures next time.
    Gerry & the Pacemakers came to mind when I saw the Mersey River.
    Thanks for the geography lesson, loved it!

  2. Thanks, John; the history of places and landscapes in Britain is fascinating. I don't know the northwest at all, but in a London office in 1970 I worked on some projects to bring water from the Lake District to Manchester. Unfortunately I wasn't senior enough to go there, just scrutinised and checked 100's of drawings, and photos! I did however get to Ullswater, on a day visit from Newcastle, where I had relatives. On various other visits I spent a lot of my time in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley: one's visits are so often governed by where your friends live.

  3. Description about Wirral well done.
    greeting from Belgium.


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