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about fifty years,) the parish of Wallasey was a very different place from the present mixture of town and country :—The Hose,5 the whole of the country north of a line drawn from, say, the Magazines to the north end of Wallasey Village (“townesend”), being sandhill and rough, common land, of which a few patches still remain, covered with gorse and heather, and the home of innumerable rabbits, as also of the “ foulmartes," “ foxis,” “headghoggs,” and kites, for the slaying of which the churchwardens gave numerous rewards ; The Leasowes, 6 all the land west of Wallasey town, as far as Leasowe Castle, and lying between the Moss and the Sandhills, soft, springy turf on a sandy soil, on which the races were held—" where lie those fair sands or plains “ upon the shore of the sea, which, for the “ fitness for such a purpose, allure the gentlemen " and others oft to appoint great matches, and "venture no small sums in trying the swiftness of "their horses” (Webb's Itinerary of Wirral; quoted by Ormerod); The Breck, rough, rocky ground, lying along the west slope of Wallasey Hill, from the church to Poolton, the Little Breck being to the north of the church; these, together with some other smaller patches of common near Liscard, at Seacombe, and near the Pool, all open and unenclosed, occupied a large portion of the parish; the remainder being under cultivation.
The " town” of Wallasey, as it is now called, or, as it used to be, Kirkby-Walley, (both names being spelt in many different ways,) a long, straggling village, at the foot of Wallasey Hill, was, until a few years ago, less changed than the
5“ Liscard Hoes." See Appendix E. Liscard Common is stated to have contained 416 acres in 1809, the date of the Enclosure Act.
6 This name is still used in Cheshire as a common noun, meaning pasture or meadow.
WALLASEY CHURCH, AS IT STOOD BEFORE THE FIRE. rest of the parish. Many old buildings still exist, and some of the thatched cottages must be of a great age. The old “ post and pan” house, at the foot of the church hill, opposite to the “ Cheshire Cheese," has been spoilt by injudicious painting, and by a portion of the old-fashioned garden having been cut off. Above the “ Cheshire Cheese,” on the side of the hill, is the Rectory house; and above that stood the Old Hall, a stone building, of a type common in Wirral, with square mullioned windows and stone copings to the gables. A stone originally over the door, now in the Rectory garden, bears this inscription, WILLIAM MEOLESQ 1604 1.B. The Hall was pulled down by Rector Haggitt in 1862-3, the materials being used to enlarge the Rectory. The old Church, of which the tower alone now exists, stood about fifty yards or so south of the present church.7
Tradition says that a part of the old “ Cheshire Cheese,” now pulled down, was honoured by a visit from King William, of “pious” memory, on the occasion of his departure for Ireland, when his army was encamped on the Leasowes, and his “ Charles " galleys' men broke the Weeping Cross into three pieces. The Village Cross8 probably stood near this corner, where the main street meets "the Gutter" (now School Lane), and in front of the old “ post and pan” cottage.
The “ Black Horse" Inn is dated WM. 1722; evidently being built for the accommodation of “the gentlemen and others " who wished to try their horses on the Leasowes, and named perhaps after some noted winner.9
7 The illustration of Wallasey Church in Mason and Hunt's Birkenhead Priory shows the position of these buildings very well, as also does Mr. Edward W. Cox's drawing, which forms one of the illustrations to this paper.
8“ Rich: Hill p. Cross" is mentioned in the church wardens'accounts, 1692.
9 An old house with a modern sace, standing on the opposite side of the village street, bears the modern inscription, in Old English lettering
Stone bouse Erected H.D. 1693.
At the far end of the town, and rather away from the road, stands an almost ruined house, sans doors, sans windows, sans everything, now called Sandfield Hall, but popularly known as “The King's House," and supposed to have been a racing stable. An old plate, of early Staffordshire ware, was found here a few years ago, bearing the following arms in blue :- A chevron between three fishes haurient; the shield being surmounted by an esquire's helmet, with wreath and mantling but no crest. The lines on the chevron may represent gules, but that is doubtful. The arms do not belong to any local family.
Liscard Village, until fifty or sixty years ago, consisted of a cluster of farmhouses, some of the older ones still remaining, several being dated. One stone house, with mullioned windows, and with a barn adjoining, stands flush with the street at the point where Manor Road branches from Rake Lane, “the Great Lane leading from the town to the Hose," and is dated July 1729 ; the U probably standing for Urmston. Liscard Terrace, on the opposite side of the road, was built by the Deans, and is dated EM 1732. At the point where the two roads divide was the village horsepond, with trees overhanging, and with the village smithy by its side. On the road to Wallasey, near the “ Boot " Inn, there was a toll-bar; and on the road to Seacombe, and opposite to the end of Mill Lane, stood an old house, belonging to the John Hough against whom the “ Rabbit Deed” (Appendix E) was framed.
Mill Lane leads from Liscard to Poolton, then a little hamlet on the banks of the Pool, the port of in Wallasey, and containing the oldest dated house in the parish, that of the Birds, w BM 1627. Poolton Manor house is now of no interest. Robinson calls it “ Wally's lately Litherlands, but now Mr. Main
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