Thursday, 13 September 2012
Heswall was recorded in the Domesday Book as Eswelle and owned by Robert de Rodelent, who also owned much of the land on the eastern side of the River Dee. In 1277, it became the property of Patrick de Haselwall, who was Sheriff of Cheshire.
In 1801, the population was recorded as 168. By the census in 1841, it had only grown to 398. Prior to 1897 it was known as Hestlewelle or Hesselwelle. Its growth was started by wealthy merchants from Liverpool who had originally chosen it as a retreat but the arrival of two railway connections allowed them to commute. Read more on Wikipedia
Lowry refers to Heswall in a letter to Carol Brown dated April 1926; "I climbed out of the window, on to the balcony, let myself down on our unused tennis lawn, and walked to Heswall. At Heswall I smoked three* (this * on second thoughts is an exaggeration - I smoked only two) pipes: then walked back again in time for breakfast." (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 7). Lowry is describing walking from his home Ingelwood in Caldy to Heswall a distance of 5 miles round trip probably on the footpath that still runs from the edge of Caldy Golf Course through Thurstaston to Heswall.
Heswall is the most scattered village in the whole peninsular. It is splendidly situated and commands extensive views of the mouth of the Deee and the sea beyond. It has become deservedly popular as a health resort and as a residential place for Liverpool merchants. In the environs of the village there are extensive open spaces of heather-covered hillside, where the public are free to wander at will. Andrew Blair Across The Fields of Wirral 1922
From Heswall it is a very pleasant short walk over the fields to Thurstaston, pausing on the way to see the old hall at Oldfield, now two farm-houses, and of little interest except as being the house to which Sir Rowland Stanley of Hooton retired in his extreme old age, and where he died in 1614. Below the pathway the land slopes pleasantly to the Dee, the hedgerows being interesting to the botanist, and whilst you have the land birds about you in the fields and hedges, you may look over the sands of Dee, and watch the interesting sea-birds slowly retreating as they feed before the incoming tide. Harold Edgar Young A perambulation of the Hundred of Wirral in the county of Chester, with an account of the principal highways and byways, old halls, ancient churches, and interesting villages situated between the rivers Mersey and Dee .. (1909)