The Boathouse

The Boathouse Inn is one of many inns that have stood on that spot.  The earliest dates back to 1620
and was recorded simply as the
Beer House.  A century or so later the name had changed to the Ferry
house or Boat House.  The name may have derived from the ferry service which ran between Parkgate
and Flint in North Wales.  In 1864 the inn is recorded as being named the
Pengwern Arms and the
Landlord of the inn had drowned when his ferry overturned in rough seas on the Dee during the
crossing.  Not long after in 1885 the inn was pulled down after severe storm damage to the building.  
The site lay empty for 41 years until in 1926 a large café was built on the grounds.  The building was
extended heavily during the 1970's to become a restaurant which is the building that we see today.  

When
Harold Edgar Young explored Wirral in 1909 the building had been pulled down many years
previous.  He records his visit to Parkgate with the following words:

"At the end of the end is the site of the famous old boathouse inn which was taken down many years ago,
and whose fine old oak beams and fittings sold at good prices.  Now only a large barn or two remain, on one of
which can be faintly traced "Livery Stables".  The proprietors of this inn used to run a four in hand coach daily
to and from Birkenhead, as well as special coaches to Hooton.  In front used to be the bathing vans,
numbering thirteen or fourteen, and a stand of thirty or more donkeys.  A pair of grey donkeys used to excite
special admiration, for they were neatly harnessed in a smart little carriage, which held four ladies, besides
the driver, and the bloods would invariably hire this carriage and drive about as though they had bought the
freehold".

On the ground just to the side of the Boathouse Inn there used to be a large boat builders yard which
sat in the area just back from then shore line.  The boat builders yard was at its peak in the 18th century
having built many famous vessels including "The Duke" slave ship, and the Packet ships "Brigs King, Brigs
Queen and Princess Royal"  Sadly with the decline of maritime activity in the area the business began to
fail and so in 1790 the shipwright closed down the business, sold off his assets leaving eight staff out of
work.
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