|Thurstaston Beach during the 1950's
|The ancient Parish of Thurstaston sits on
the coast line of the Dee Estuary and was
recorded in the Domesday Book under the
name of 'Turstanetone'.
The name is believed to have originated
from the Norse translation of
'"Torstein's Tun" meaning "the farm of a man
Thurstaston is thought to be one of the first
places that the Vikings settled in Wirral and
its populace is believed to have lived in
peace with its neighbours. The location and
name of the area is strong evidence to
suggest this but in addition there are many
The Viking parliament of Thingwall is located
close by. We know that the Dee estuary
was used by Vikings to navigate and bring
trade, and a local land mark of a sandstone
outcrops is known locally as "Thors Stone".
A derivation 'Thor's Stone' for Thurstaston is
almost certain. Thor's Stone on Thurstaston
Common was once thought to be an ancient
man made feature but is now confirmed as a
glacial erratic, which is the result of
weathering of the bedrock of the hill or most
likely the site of a small quarry.
The ancient Parish of Thurstaston sits on the coast line of the Dee Estuary which made the area very
accessible for sea trade. We know that there has been much activity here by the vikings but its use
also stretches much further back in time than that. Flint arrow head have been found in the local area
and even flint tools possible from Neanderthal man. Thurstaston beach is a small unspoilt stretch of
coast line. The local buildings show a variety of age and elegance all in keeping with the local area.
The old cottages sit in a commanding location on the shore at Thurstaston, just above the waterline. A
close inspection of the shore line also reveals the remains of an old quay proving the existence of large
scale sea trade and confirming the areas importance in past times. In 1889 Philip Sulley tells us that
the boundaries between Thurstaston and Irby commenced at the old trench where formerly had stood
a leper hospital, proceeding from thence to a large fountain walled in with stones called "Lyndmere"
which was free to the tenants of both manors and from there to a hillock called "Knukyn".
|The Domesday Entry for Turstanetone or
Thurstaston reads as follows:
"The same Robert (Robert de Rodelent) holds
Turstanetone, and William holds in under him".
"There are two hides assessable; in desmesne is
one; and there are two herdsmen, four villagers,
and four borderers, who have one carucate and a
half. It was valued at thirty shillings and afterwards
at eight, and is now worth sixteen."
The village is centred on the church of St
Bartholomew, and Thurstaston Hall; parts of
which date back to atleast 1350ad. Most of the
current building dates from between 1680 and
1835 and is said to be haunted by a ghostly
white lady. The origin of Thurstaston Hall,
which stands next to the Church, can be traced
to A.D. 1070. In this year Hugh Lupus
presented the manor house which had formerly
belonged to Levenot, and other estates in
Wirral and North Wales to his relative Mr Robert
de Rodelent. Samuel Bagshaw writing in 1850
describes the Hall as:
"An ancient structure with gables and bay
windows, the seat of John B. Glegg Esq."
He also mentions that additions and alterations
were made to the Hall in 1836, creating the
East Wing of the house. The central part of the
Hall bears the date 1680 and the entrance
goes back even further to 1350 proving that
the origins of the Hall are mediaeval.
|St Bartholomew's is in a timeless
setting in the tiny hamlet of
Thurstaston. There have definitely
been two earlier churches here and
possibly a further one in Saxon
The first confirmed church was
Norman, dating from 1125 or earlier.
In 1724 this was described as
being: 'a mean building extremely
small, low and dark'.
It was demolished in 1820 and
nothing remains of it. The second
church of 1824, also an
undistinguished structure, was
pulled down except for the tower to
prepare for the current sandstone
church, completed 1886.
The tower of the second church is
still standing and the rest of the
stone was used to build the
churchyard wall. The church is still
standing in good health next to
Thurstaston Hal, the local manor
Thurstaston was also most likely the site of an old hall or castle, far older than Thurstaston Hall and
more likely near the shore of the Dee. In 1889 Philip Sulley confirmed the existence of a large stone
ruin which had regrettably been removed over time. Sadly today there is no evidence of this.
The clearance of Wirral's woodland during the Middle Ages provided the conditions for heathland to
develop on areas such as Thurstaston Common. Grazing and heathland management on the
common land helped maintain the heath and prevent the re invasion of woodland until the middle of
the nineteenth century. In 1879 Birkenhead Glegg of Thurstaston Manor together with the other
two major land owners of the parish T. H. Ismay of Dawpool Hall and the Rev. Thurland, petitioned
for an order to enclose the common. On 29th December that year Birkenhead Council objected to
the proposal and requested that "the highest and most attractive part of the common should remain
unenclosed as a place of recreation". The situation was finally resolved in 1883 when 45 acres
known as Thurstaston Common Recreation Ground and including Thurstaston Hill, were granted to
Birkenhead Council. The remainder of the Common was divided between the three original
petitioners in compensation for the loss of all rights of common. This land changed hands a number
of times until in 1916 27.5 acres were presented to the National Trust by its owner Sir Alfred Paton.
Further large donations were made to the Trust between 1916 and 1925. Since then the Common
has been used for informal recreation. Proof of the considerable growth of the population at
Thurstaston lies in the Thurstaston war memorial, which unusually has more names inscribed for the
Second World War than it does for the First World War.