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.