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The village of Upton was originally founded as a small farming hamlet around the Anglo-Saxon period
(410 - 706ad).  After 1066 In Norman times, Upton was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as
"Optone" and was listed as being owned by "William Mallbank".  The entry for Upton in the Doomsday
Book reads as follows:

"Upton. Colbert who also held it as a free man, holds from him Mallbank, 3 hides paying tax, land for 5
ploughs, In lordship 1; 4 slaves; 2 villagers, 1 rider and 4 small holders with 1 plough. Meadows consist of
2 acres."

Upton was the primary economic centre of northern Wirral until the industrial development of
Birkenhead during the mid 19th century, being second on the whole peninsula only beaten by Neston.
 This is a bizarre fact when we compare the population of the villages.  In 1801 Nestons populations
was approximately 2350, whilst Uptons was a meagre 150.  The main cross roads in the village was
also the place of a weekly market where goods where bought and sold in high demand.  The fairs
were the largest and best stocked in the whole of the Hundred and drew crowds from all over the
peninsula during the 17th and 18th century.  Large fairs were also held in the village centre at
Michaelmas and Easter.  

In 1847 whilst exploring Wirral, William Mortimer wrote:

"Though now only a small village, Upton was formerly considered the metropolis of the lower mediety of
Wirral, and had two annual fairs of considerable importance, and also a weekly market that was
discontinued in 1620, the village having been recently almost entirely rebuilt, contains several good
houses, among which may be particularly mentioned Upton Hall.  Upton's early importance was due to the
fact that it was at the junction of roads from five neighbouring villages - Woodchurch, Greasby, Saughall
Massie, Moreton and Claughton.  In 1889, records show that the township extended to 943 acres with a
valuation of £4,068 and a population of 622.  There were 116 dwelling houses, 2 fully licensed inns and a
beer house"

As the population of the village grew so too did the infrastructure.  A major contributor to the village
was William Inman, owner of the famous "Inman Line", who donated money for the construction of St
Mary's Church.  

Records show that at the beginning of the twentieth century, there were eight large houses within
the township of Upton:

"Brookside, The Salacres, The Priory, The Elms, Greenbank, Overchurch, Upton Hall & Upton Manor."

Greenbank House was a large dwelling which was located behind the site of Hall Hill Church.  The
owners of the house were Mr and Mrs Hannay.  Both of the owners played a part in the community of
Upton village over the years, most notably Mr Hannay founded Upton Cricket Club in 1901, and Mrs
Hannay set up a reading room in the Arches.  Following the death of Mr Hannay in 1917 Greenbank
House was sold the following years by his widow.  In 1936 Greenbank was used to house Basque
refugee children from the Spanish Civil War.  Shortly after the second world war  Greenbank House
was demolished.  Its memory was kept alive with its name being used as the name of the
undertaker's offices which were built on the old cemetery of Hall Hill Church.  Brookside House was
another large dwelling with 3 floors standing on Ford Road between Manor Drive and the Fender
Brook.  The house survived until Ford Road was realigned when the M53 motorway was built.  Isaac
Fletcher who owned the house also owned most of the land fronting onto Ford Road and back as far
as Mount Road, he was known locally as an extremely wealthy man.  Next to the Victory Hall is a lane
called "Salacre Lane".  It is named so after the large house which was built there by Thomas Chilton
circa 1865.  By the outbreak of WW2 the house had been converted into 8 small flats which at that
period was rather unusual but most likely done to make some quick money because of the lack of
affordable housing.  The Priory was also large dwelling with large a interior and seven bedrooms.  
Built circa 1830s, it was the first Parsonage in Upton at that time.  However in 1911 the Priory was
sold by the church as it was too big a property for them to manage.  Overchurch House was built in
1859 by Thomas Webster, the younger brother of William Webster of Upton Hall).  It was located next
to the old churchyard at Overchurch.  The house and grounds were huge and incorporated a lodge, a
coach house and stables.  The Webster family remained in Overchurch House until 1915 when it was
demolished.  Holmleigh was a small plush dwelling built by the famous William Inman in 1869.  The
house was built next to the old church in Church road for his Estate Bailiff.  At the turn of the year
2000 only 3 of these houses remained, Holmleigh, Upton Hall and Upton Manor.  The last 2 are both of
these magnificent buildings are grade II listed,.  One is used as a school and the other as a nursing
home.  The Elms was another large dwelling built circa 1860 which stands on the corner of Salacre
Lane.  In 1920 it was bought by public subscription as a memorial to the men of Upton who were
killed during the Great War.  The house was quickly renamed Victory Hall and their names were
engraved on a large granite Celtic Cross placed in front of the house.  Two years after the end of
WW2 another plinth was added listing the names of those who died in the second world war.














Uptons population boom began in the 1930s when housing became short as did land.  The
Prefabricated house was devised as temporary housing solution.  They were small, ugly and quickly
thrown together.  After the end of WW2 the need for housing was even greater and many prefabs
houses shot up around Wirral, particularly in Moreton and Upton.  The main location of the prefabs in
Upton was Molyneux road, off Greasby Road (now Old Greasby Road)  which was used as a temporary
measure to rehouse people who had been bombed out of their home.   These jumble of houses stood
for nearly 30 years but where eventually pulled down and replaced with modern houses which now
occupy the site of Molyneux and Greystoke Close.

Another interesting fact of Upton Village was "The stone man", also known locally as "John Willey".  It
was cumbersome rough statue made out of stone.  The stone man stood at the junction of Manor
Drive and Meadway on a vacant triangle of land.  The stone man was put up by a local stone mason
as an advert in an attempt to draw in more business.  The stone man was notably dressed up and
frequently decorated by local children.  As time passed by the stone man was removed and a
bungalow was built on the land, it is believed that the stone from John Wiley was used to create a
rockery in the bungalows garden.
Upton Village 1905
Upton Village 1940
Upton Village 1955
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