Welcome to the World of Wirral History

Wallasey Village Photos

The village has a mixture of popular mostly 20th century semi-detached and detached housing, a pleasant shopping street, with a floral roundabout in the centre. It’s considered the wealthiest area of Wallasey. St Hilary’s church is an ancient foundation; the old tower is all that remains of a 1530 church building which burned down in 1857. At the north end of Wallasey Village, the main street leads to the promenade and coastal park, and two golf courses. The promenade passes here, running from the 'Gun site' around to Seacombe a total of over seven miles. 


Wallasey Village is the oldest inhabited part of the three townships - Wallasey, Poulton-cum-Seacombe and Liscard - which were amalgamated in 1910 to form the Borough (later County Borough) of Wallasey. In 1898 the Village consisted of a long straggling main street with cottages and small farmsteads, stretching from the parish church to the corner of the present Grove Road, with small crofts and closes on either side of the street. Apart from various brick fields and quarries Wallasey Village was mainly agricultural.
Wallasey had at one time a well known race course and was probably established in the 1500s. It ran from Wallasey Village out towards Leasowe Castle and back again, finishing near Wallasey (Grove Road) Station. In 1682 the Duke of Monmouth won the main race of the meeting and gave his prize money to his god-daughter, Henrietta. About 1732 the more important events were discontinued though racing still took place for many years. The racing stables stood in Wallasey Village in Sandiways Road. The stables have long since gone and even Jockey Lane has been renamed Sandcliffe Road.
Today Wallasey is a town in the Borough of Wirral, on the River Mersey, in Merseyside catering for a population in excess of 58.000. Yet it was in the late 1500’s that the town gained fame as being the first racecourse laid out specifically for the purpose of horse racing. The course opened in 1590 and stretched from Wallasey Village to the sands of Leasowe, and such was the extent of the interest in racing that Ferdinando, The Fifth Earl of Derby, built a grandstand (an Octagonal viewing tower with windows on each of the eight sides) in 1593 as much for viewing as to keep the gentry away from the lesser mortals. Racing stables were built close to the racecourse in what is Sandiways Road today, but back in the time of the Stables it was called Jockey Road.
The Duke of Monmouth, a keen racing enthusiast, visited Wallasey in September 1682. His name was James Scott and he was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress Lucy Walter. Later he made a fateful, unsuccessful attempt to depose his uncle, King James II in what was known as the ‘Monmouth Rebellion’ As a result of this he was executed at Tower Hill on 15th July 1685.

The Cheshire Cheese

The original Inn was a thatched building running north and south along the village and it had tiny windows , worn steps and an old sign attached to the chimney. It had a later addition facing up Church Hill, which gave it an L-shape. The old building was demolished in 1885 and the present one built in its place. According to tradition, King William III is said to have visited the Cheshire Cheese while his army was encamped on the Leasowe's waiting for a fair wind to take them to Ireland. How much is true and how much is legend is uncertain, though the King and his army did cross to Ireland from Kings Gap, Hoylake, a few miles along the coast.
On the right-hand side of Wallasey Village when travelling from Poulton, we have the 'Cheshire Cheese' public house which, although rebuilt, dates back to the 1600's. The present building was erected in 1885 and, not long after this date, Ted Bryant was the landlord. During the First World War, Robert Davies was the licensee and Bill Bryan was there in the 1920's. Years ago they served home-brewed ale and one could get bread, dairy and milk cheese there.

The Cheshire Cheese is a proper, old-fashioned local pub in the oldest part of Wallasey, The Cheshire Cheese is well known locally for the strong characters that stand on either side of its bar In the 17th century, it was the regular stopover place of William of Orange (later King William III) as he sought reparation from the House of Stuart and launched attacks on Ireland from the Wirral. 
 
The Cheshire Cheese is said to be Wallasey's oldest recorded inn. The present day building does not date back more than 80 years but there are records of the name existing as far back as the 1500, at which time Wallasey would have looked much different. The previous building stood near old Folly lane in a row of cottages but was demolished in 1885 for the purpose of road widening.

Nowadays, it’s a lovely – and deceptively large – neighbourhood pub with a pleasant beer garden and a dedication to hand- pulled real ales. It even hosts an annual beer festival.

The Phoenix Cinema - Wallasey Village 
In June 1951 a new cinema. the 'Phoenix' was opened on the former site of the 'Coliseum'. The 'Phoenix' cost £40,000 to build and could seat 930. The opening film was 'Rio Grande' staring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

The design of the building, though one of simplicity, was not without striking features. These included a pink neon Phoenix on the otherwise plain slate and rustic brick front exterior. Inside, at the extremities of the 40ft wide foyer, where the manager's office and a small buffet. All the doors were in mahogany and the woodwork in the buffet was in bird's eye maple. The auditorium, devoid of the elaborate carvings, plaster work and decoration associated with the picture palaces of a bygone age, was nevertheless memorable for several reasons. The expanse of the side walls was broken by a series of plain pilasters, whilst across the ceiling were six fibrous plaster trough sound-breakers stepped down towards the proscenium to conceal the main house lighting which was supplemented by ceiling-mounted glass fittings adjacent to the small stage, itself equipped with two colour floodlights. The seating capacity of the single storey auditorium was 930, the extra capacity is achieved by utilisation of the stage area of the former theatre. The auditorium was tastefully decorated in pale pink to harmonise with the soft furnishings chosen personally by the proprietor's wife; the seating being in blue crushed velvet whilst the stage curtains was in dark blue with silver relief.

In July 1953, The Phoenix became the first picture house in Wallasey to be fitted with a wide screen, said to be "twice bigger than normal wide screen". The Phoenix became one of Wallasey's most popular cinemas of the time and despite the introduction of television, it continued to enjoy relatively good business during a period when box-office takings at many other picture houses in the region were depressed and many cinemas were being 




forced to close down. However, by the 1970's, The Phoenix auditorium was sub-divided into two small 250 seater cinemas and provided a new entrance to the front section for bingo patrons. Bingo however, was not a success but films continued for awhile to be profitable until 1983 when, with audience figures dwindled, the cinema closed in the July. The cinema was demolished in 1988.


The Lighthouse Pub - Wallasey Village

The old Lighthouse Inn in the village was built between 1827/1830. Originally the inn was two cottages dating back to the 18th Century and was first licensed in c1860. The inn, which was later knocked into one building, together with three adjoining cottages and one acre of land to the rear was purchased by Birkenhead Brewery in 1900, for £3,340. The old building was replaced with a modern public house, being built in 1966.
School Lane Wallasey


School Lane Fields


The Twenty Row - Leasowe Road