Place:Eastham, Cheshire, England

Watchers
NameEastham
TypeTown or village
Coordinates53.317°N 2.967°W
Located inCheshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inMerseyside, England     (1974 - )
See alsoWirral Rural, Cheshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1933
Bebington, Cheshire, Englandurban district in which it was located 1933-1937
Bebington, Cheshire, Englandmunicipal borough in which it was situated 1937-1974
Wirral (metropolitan borough), Merseyside, Englandmetropolitan borough of which it has been a part since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


Eastham was a township in the ancient parish of the same name in the Wirral hundred in Cheshire, England. It became a civil parish in 1866. It included the hamlets of Carlett Park and Plymyard.

From 1894 until 1933 it was part of Wirral Rural District. In 1933 it gained a substantial part of Hooton parish and became part of Bebington Urban District. (Bebington became a Municipal Borough in 1937.) In 1974 Bebington became part of the Metropolitan Borough of the Wirral in Merseyside.

The population was 348 in 1801, 419 in 1851, 913 in 1901, and 5598 in 1951. At the 2001 Census, it had a population of 12,250.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Eastham is cited as one of the oldest villages on the Wirral Peninsula and has been inhabited since Anglo Saxon times. The name derives from its location: ham ("home") situated to the east of Willaston, which was then the principal settlement. The original village is clustered around St. Mary's Church, whose churchyard contains an ancient yew tree. Much of the surrounding land was once owned by the powerful Stanley family.

Since the Middle Ages, a ferry service operated across the River Mersey between Eastham and Liverpool, the early ferries being run by monks from the Abbey of St. Werburgh. By the late 1700s, up to 40 coaches each day arrived at a newly built pier, carrying passengers and goods for the ferry. Paddle steamers were introduced in 1816 to replace the sailing boats, but the demand for a service declined in the 1840s with the opening of a railway link between Chester and Birkenhead Woodside Ferry. In 1846, the owner of the ferry, Thomas Stanley, built the Eastham Ferry Hotel and shortly after, the Pleasure Gardens were added to attract more visitors. The gardens were landscaped with rhododendrons, azaleas, ornamental trees and fountains. Attractions included a zoo, with bears, lions, monkeys and antelope, an open air stage, tea rooms, bandstand, ballroom, boating lake, water chute.

Entertainers performed in the gardens during summer, and included Blondin, the famous tight-rope walker who once wheeled a local boy across a high wire in a wheelbarrow. In 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal was opened by Queen Victoria, bringing added prosperity to the area and a Jubilee Arch was built at the entrance to the Pleasure Gardens in 1897 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.


In 1854 the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, whilst in the position of United States consul in Liverpool, visited Eastham and declared it to be: "the finest old English village I have seen, with many antique houses, and with altogether a rural and picturesque aspect, unlike anything in America, and yet possessing a familiar look, as if it were something I had dreamed about."

In its heyday Eastham Ferry was known as the 'Richmond of the Mersey', but its popularity declined during the 1920s and the last paddle steamer crossing took place in 1929. The Pleasure Gardens fell into disrepair during the 1930s and the iron pier and Jubilee Arch were later dismantled.[1] In 1970, to commemorate European Conservation Year, the area was designated a Woodland & Country Park and today, it is once more a popular place of recreation.

Research Tips

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Eastham, Merseyside. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.