Parkgate is a village on the Wirral Peninsula, in the part that lies in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, in the North West of England. It is situated on the coastline of the River Dee, adjoining 100 square kilometres of salt marsh, separated by a sandstone former sea wall. At the 2001 Census Parkgate had a population of 3,702.
Parkgate was part of the Neston-cum-Parkgate Urban District from 1894 until 1933 when the name of the urban district was changed to Neston Urban District. In the nationwide municipal reorganization of 1974, Neston Urban District joined with the Municipal Borough of Ellesmere Port and various other nearby municipalities to become Ellesmere Port and Neston district municipality. The Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority took over in 2009.
Parkgate was an important port from the start of the eighteenth century, in particular as an embarkation point for Ireland. The River Dee, which served as a shipping lane to the Roman city of Deva (Chester), had silted up, in part by 383 AD, creating a need for a port further downstream. Quays were built, first at Burton and later near the small town of Neston but further silting required yet another re-siting slightly further downstream near the gate of Neston's hunting park. Hence the settlement of Parkgate was born.
As the Dee silted up even further, Parkgate became unusable as a port and was superseded by the Port of Liverpool, on the nearby River Mersey. Towards the end of the eighteenth century Parkgate was popular as a seaside resort with baths. But this diminished as the sands of the estuary were consumed with grass. With no beach and no direct access to the sea, Parkgate could manage only small subsistence from fishing and shrimps. The silting of the Dee has been accelerated by the deliberate introduction of the invasive colonising grass Spartina anglica in Connah's Quay in 1928, resulting in the growth of extensive marshlands.
Mostyn House School, a striking black and white building, was opened in Parkgate in 1855. From 1862 until it closed in 2010, it was run by the Grenfell family, most recently as a co-educational day school. Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865–1940), famous medical missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador, was born in Parkgate and was a pupil at the school. The Duke of Westminster's children attended Mostyn House.
During the Second World War two of Parkgate's houses which both contained cellars were converted into shelters and used for public protection from the bombs. Small lights were placed on the marsh to trick the German bombers into thinking settlements were below.
After the war, Parkgate flourished as a highly desirable residential area. It became a conservation area in 1973.