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Wirral Local Area Guide by WRB Auctions

Known as ‘The Wirral’, this area is a peninsula of land in England about

15 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is a rectangular shape and bordered by

water on three sides, the River Dee to the west which forms a boundary with

Wales, the River Mersey to the east and the Irish Sea to the north

side. It is also known as the Paradise Peninsula and is reputed to be one

of the best places to live in Britain.

Modern Wirral is a mix of urban and industrial areas with pretty

villages and sandy beaches and spectacular views over the Irish Sea. The

award-winning Ness Botanical Gardens which are part of the University of

Liverpool can be found on the Wirral, and there is an RSPB nature reserve at

Burton Mere Wetlands on the Dee Estuary.

Historically, the Wirral’s border was described as ‘two arrow falls from

Chester city wall’ and so it used to be wholly within the county of

Cheshire. However, since 1972 and the Local Government Act, only the

southern part has been in Cheshire with the remainder forming the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral which falls within the modern county of Merseyside.

The unusual name, 'Wirral', means 'myrtle corner' taken from the old

English for myrtle tree which is 'wir’. The name is thought to derive from

the distinct probability that the area was covered in bog myrtle centuries


The Wirral has been a prominent location since ancient times when the

historic city of Chester was founded by the Romans who also occupied the

Wirral. It was a great trading location in the 16th, 17th

and 18th centuries due to its proximity to the Port of Chester, then

later on due to the development of Liverpool which was home to the first wet

dock in England and built in 1715.

Parts of the Wirral suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second

World War as the docks and the anti-aircraft sites to protect them were a clear

target for the Luftwaffe; Birkenhead was severely affected.

The views of Liverpool’s Pier Head from the Mersey Ferry are famous,

crossing from Birkenhead towards the city.

The Wirral has given the world some famous sons and daughters including

Chris Boardman MBE, the gold medal-winning cyclist, the television presenter

and newsreader, Fiona Bruce and Paul Hollywood, Great British Bake Off judge

and celebrity baker. Birkenhead is also famously the home of the fictional

screen star, Lily Savage, created by comedy genius, Paul O’Grady.

Read our full guide below.

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