Bidston and Bidston Hill

Bidston is a little village of sixteenth and seventeenth century sandstone. The present church dates from 1856 but there has been one on the same site since at least the 12th century.

Bidston Hill is steeped in history. The Windmill, which is the last of many on the same site, was built in the early days of the last century and was still grinding corn until 1875 when it fell into disuse and dis-repair. It was restored by Mr. R. Hudson in 1894. [Photograph]

The first lighthouse was erected on Bidston Hill in 1771 as a replacement for one a quater of a mile out to sea at Leasowe which was washed away in a storm in 1769. The one on Bidston Hill was rebuilt in 1867 when the Observatory was built. The light was extinguished during the First World War and has never shone since. [Photograph]

To mark the new Millennium, the lighthouse will be restored this year (2000). Part ofthe refurbishment will include a display and exhibition about the history of the site. Theproject, costing 60,000 UKP, is to be financed equally from National Lottery Funding andNew Opportunities Wirral.

The Observatory was built by The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board - originally for astronomical and meteorological observations to assist shipping. In 1929 its work was merged with the Liverpool University Tidal Institute and until 2004 was the location for the World's leading tidal authority - The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory which re-located to Liverpool in that year.[Photograph]