Aerial View of the Old Tower
The plaque on the side of the Tudor tower reads as follows:
"There have been churches dedicated to St Hilary on this
site since at least 902 and it is possible that the earliest
church dates back to the fifth century. The tower, the
oldest building in Wallasey was built as part of the fourth St
Hillary's church in 1530.
The tower became part of the fifth church built in 1757-60.
It remained the only church in Wallasey till the nineteenth
century, and on the North side of the Tower was the first
school in Wallasey.
Legends speak of tunnel leading from below the tower floor
to other parts of Wallasey, and that these tunnels were
used to hide the goods collected by ship wreckers.
The fifth church was destroyed by a fire in 1857. The fire
was caused by the sexton stoking up the boiler too high
after complaints that the church was cold. The heat melted
fat on hams being unofficially smoked above the boiler and
this caught fire. It is recorded that Wallasey smelt of bacon
for days afterwards.
The fire destroyed the tower floors and the six bells crashed
down and were broken. They were re-cast to form the bells
used in the present St Hillary's.
In 1893 the tower roof was repaired and the ground floor
area became a mortuary chapel. The floor level was raised
and decorated with Minton tiles.
The tower was re-roofed and restored in 2003.
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