The long coastline of Egremont was for hundreds of years, open fields with commons and
rocky outcrops running down to the waters edge. It had always provided a small natural
harbour and has had hundreds of years of Maritime activity. The catalyst which sent
Egremont from a quiet hilly harbour to a bustling borough of Wallasey came in the form of
Captain Askew. In 1823 Sir John Tobin of Liscard Hall agreed to trade some land with
Captain Askew who was at that time the Harbour Master of Liverpool Docks. Naturally Sir
John Tobin did not wish to give up any of his wealthier more productive lands, and it was
agreed that he would trade a small portion of the rather empty and hilly Northern coastline.
And so shortly after Captain Askew built his new house in this rather empty area having
previously lived in Seacombe. His new home stood out amongst the local populace which
was a scattering of farms, old crook cottages and outbuildings. As was tradition in those
days, it was correct to give the new house a name. Having though long and hard about it
Captain Askew decided to name it after his home town of "Egremont" in Cumberland.
It wasn't long before the friendship of Sir John Tobin and Captain turned into a business
proposition and would secure the future of Egremont. Sir John formed new plans for a new
ferry crossing using his wealth to fund the operation and drawing on Captain Askews
maritime knowledge for technical issues. Within a relatively quick time the operation was
underway and the partners named their service "The Egremont Steam Ferry", drawing on
the name of the Captains House at the time. In order to increase revenue the partners
opened up a large hotel in the area, it was named simply "The Egremont Hotel". The hotel
was a large well decorated building which stood at the end of Tobin Street near the waters
edge next to the grass of Askew Close. The hotel would have given its visitors great view
across the Mersey from its bedrooms or balcony's. The building itself was built at the turn of
the 19th century and had to be refurbished extensively in order to bring it up to standard.
The large grey hotel building was set in beautiful green gardens and drew visitors from
around the country for both maritime trade and holidays. After many years the Egremont
Hotel was renamed "The Egremont Institute and Assembly Rooms". Sadly, despite owing
much to the popularity of Egremont; the old building does not stand today having been
demolished in the 1950s.
It was from the actions of Sir John Tobin and Captain Askew that area saw a huge increase
in both residents and visitors. Within years the outlook of the area had changed
dramatically having been filled with superb villas and merchants housing. From this
population boom the area required a name as i did not come under Seacombe nor did it fall
under Liscard. It became known simply as Egremont, after the Large House and fine hotel
which the settlement had been built around.
It is no wonder that with such a fine selection of architecture and influx of wealthy residents
to the area that a picturesque and affluent village developed, and with it a promenade to
show off its prowess. Within no time Egremont boasted one of the most beautiful
promenades on the Wirral which stretched for miles skirting the river and allowing great
views across the River over to the Port City of Liverpool. Today Wirral still enjoys the record
of having the longest promenade in the United Kingdom, and much of this is down to the
village of Egremont.
The beaches of Egremont
were at one time, busy
enough to rival even its
neighbour; New Brighton.
Families would take to the
seaside for a day out and
enjoy the fresh air. Families
would gather for the small
side shows, the donkey rides
across the beach and the
fresh yellow sands to build
castles. It was not always
families that would head down
to the beach for rest and
please, the Victorian believed
that Sea Air was good for you,
as was the sea water. Infarct
during Victorian times it was
not uncommon to see elderly
men or sick people in their
rolled up pants wading
through the water. Of course
these days we are much more
aware and unfortunately for
the, the cold water most likely
caused more harm than good.
|Egremont Promenade Looking at New Brighton Tower
|The view looks out across the Mersey towards Bootle in Liverpool. The rock sits on the
round about in the middle of the promenade just in front of Egremont Ferry and denotes
that the area is designated for us of public speaking. The area just behind the Egremont
Ferry hotel is the site of the old House which John Askew owned and was named Egremont.
Also in this area is the a plaque showing a heritage trail for the Wallasey area which
includes the Mariners Home, Gibson House, Seabank House, Mother Red Caps and the
Wallasey Town Hall.