Early Days

Originally known as Hoyle Lake, the name Hoylake is less than two hundred years old. In the seventeenth century, Hoyle Lake was a deep-water anchorage for vessels on passage to Chester and the River Dee ports and, later, to Liverpool.

By the 1830's, with the silting of the Lake and the development of the New Channel to Liverpool, the traffic had ceased. By the end of the nineteenth century the Lake had disappeared altogether and the name Hoylake had been adopted to refer to the village which had formerly been known as Hoose. Hoose nestled in the sandhills between Little Meols to the West and Great Meols to the East.


In 1861, the population of Hoylake was only 924 but the opening of the Hoylake railway station on the Wirral Railway Line on 2nd July 1866 had a big effect on the growth of Hoylake. In 1876 the line was extended to West Kirby and, in 1888, it was directly connected to Liverpool via the Mersey Railway Tunnel. In 1898, the Town Hall was opened and by 1901, the population had grown to 6,352.


The Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine and Martina was built for Hoylake worshippers who previously had travelled to St. Agnes' in West Kirby. The site cost 1,000 UK Pounds and the foundation stone was laid on 4th January 1926. It was opened in 1928.

The Hoylake Trinity Church was consecrated on 1st November 1833. In 1860 it became the Parish Church of Hoose, Little Hoose and Great Hoose. It was demolished in 1976 when it was found to be structurally unsound.

Coastguard and Lifeboat Stations

The coastguard station moved from Parkgate to Hoylake in 1859 because of silting of the River Dee and was moved to Formby in 1959. Subsequently, the Hoylake coastguard station was re-established in the early 1990's although it is actually located at Meols [Photograph].

The first lifeboat station was established in 1803 by The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (who also maintained stations at Formby, Hilbre, New Brighton and the Point of Air) and, in 1894, the station was taken over by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Work constructing the Hoylake Promenade began in September 1897 and was completed in the spring of 1899. The original lifeboat station was demolished to make room for the promenade and a new building erected at a cost of 1,000 UK Pounds.

[Select this link for more details of the early Hoylake lifeboats.]

A census in 1841 lists the following details of Hoylake's Inns.. The Punch Bowl, The Ship Inn, The Forester's Arms and the Lake Inn.

The Liverpool Golf Club started with a nine-hole course in 1869 and became Royal when Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught accepted the Presidency in 1871. That year the course was extended to eighteen holes. The present club house was opened in 1895.

The Hoylake and West Kirby Cottage Hospital was opened in 1910 with just six beds - increasing to sixteen by the following year. An extension was built in 1928 adding a further twelve beds. The hospital was closed by the Health Authority in 1983 but is now run under an independent trust.

The Hoylake swimming baths were opened in Jun 1913. Towards the end of the 1920's it was decided to rebuild the baths at a cost of 25,000 UK Pounds. The new baths were opened in 1931. In 1976, the Hoylake Pool and Community Trust took over the running of the baths after Wirral Council had closed them down. Unfortunately, the venture failed and the buildings have since been pulled down.


Hoylake Parade School
Hoylake Coastguard Station

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