Willaston is probably where the Saxons first settled when they arrived in the seventh century. As is not uncommon, there are several theories for the origin of the name. One is that it derives from Wiglan's Tun where Wiglan is a Saxon chief but another theory suggests that it comes from the name Wirral Stone.

The Wirral Stone is a large stone marking the spot where Hadlow Road (the road leading to Willaston) meets the Chester High Road. It is believed that the Stone may have marked the meeting place of the Wilvaston Hundred -- a Hundred being a division of an English county which contained a hundred families. As each township had to send four of it's chief men to the periodic assembly of the Wilvaston Hundred, the Wirral Stone (and hence Willaston itself) were important landmarks. This system continued until the 13th century.

Willaston has had a windmill (in Mill Lane) since at least 1321 but the present one was erected in 1800 using materials from previous mills. [Photograph] At 80 feet it was the largest of Wirral's windmills. After about 1885 it was used primarily only to grind cattle food and, when the sails were damaged during a storm, they were replaced by those from the mill at Eastham - both being owned by the same landlord who elected to repair only one of them. The present mill was converted into a house during the late 1960's, early 1970's.

Willaston's first church was designed by Fulljames and Walker and building began on 5th July 1854. It was consecrated on 21st June 1855. The church hall wasn't built until 1927.

The railway station in Hadlow Road opened in 1866 but was closed to passengers in 1956 and finally closed to goods traffic in 1962. Part of the Wirral Way now occupies the old railway line and the station has been preserved in it's 1952 condition.


[ Back | Wirral Index | Main Homepage ]