The earliest known human settlement in the county of Merseyside can be found at Greasby.  Scientists
have confirmed that the evidence dates from approximately 7000 BC.  The Liverpool Museum has
investigated these findings and has written much about the area.  Experts believe that the area was
being used as a camp belonging to a large family, or several families of hunter-gatherers during the
Mesolithic period.  These people lived by hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants, nuts and

Before the Roman occupation of Wirral in 74ad, the lands were occupied by ancient Britons known as
Cornavii tribe.  These bands of would look very out of place today and most likely from straight
out of a movie set.  They wore very little clothes, choosing instead to paint their bodies blue & green,
and decorating themselves with large ornate jewellery and decorations.  When Julius Cesear landed
in Britain in 55bc his troops were said to have been scared by the shadowing painted figures in the
woods, and that their fought with great aggression; their coloured skin adding to their demeanor.  

Much of Wirral appears to have been occupied by the Romans, as scattered names appear around the
peninsula indicating their presence; none more so than
'Roman Road' found in several villages.  
Excavations which took place in Greasby in 1965 proved that Barker Lane was also of Roman origin.   
After the departure of the Romans the Wirral the Britons were safe once more and many of the local
families had actually integrated into roman occupied life.  

The invading army of the Angles of Northumbria had attacked in 613A.D.  The Anglo
Saxons were
better equipped for warfare, especially against simple peasant folk.  They smashed down churches
and set fire to farm buildings and houses.  The Saxons continued across the peninsula driving the
Britons out of the villages including Greasby, only to find that the Britons were to make their final
stand at Wallasey having crossed over the marsh to the high land.  Once the peninsula was captured
the Saxons began large building projects and founded many hamlets.  The evidence in their
occupation is found in todays place names across the Wirral.  Words such as "Ton" which means a
village or settlement and "mere" meaning pool of water.  The next occupation of the peninsula and of
course Greasby was by the Norse or
Vikings.  The "by" in the latter half of the word Greasby was
given by the Norse which meant house or farmstead.  This is further proof that Greasby was occupied
by the Norse for a long period of time.  The local villages next to Greasby also support this by means
of their names which also contain the 'by'.  i.e. Frankby, West Kirby, Irby and Pensby.  The Norse
eventually settled many of the local lands and there is evidence that they actually integrated into
society living side by side with Saxon villagers.  

When the
Normans invaded in 1066 the Saxons were still in control of the Wirral, and the village of
Greasby was  owned by a man called Dunning.  He was an official bailiff for the earls of Mercia of which
Wirral was part.  Upon the conquest the lands were given to may of the people who support William
the Conquerer, from which Cheshire was given to Hugh Lupus.  The titles to the lands were then
passed onto Nigel de Burcey who is recorded as the owner in the Domesday Book of 1086.  At this
time the population of the hamlet was very small and only a few names were mentioned in the
Doomsday book.   The de Brucey family eventually passed the tithes which was a type of tax, to the
Church.  The ownership of the village and lands was given to the monks of Basingwerk and Chester
between in 1153 with whom it remained until the dissolution of the monasteries.  

Records exist of the population of Greasby in 1431.  In those days villagers were still called by their
Christian names, although Surnames had come into use.  The usual way of giving a Surname to
someone was either to add the word "son" to his fathers Christian name.  Another alternative was to
call them by the name of where they came from or by the name of his profession.  All of these
examples can be seen in the population roll shown below.

Tenants in Greasby 1431

Robert Page                        Richard Page                                   John de Kynaston
Robert Bruet                        David Walshemon                           Ridchard de Moston
Robert de Moston                Madoc the Walshemon                   Geoffrey the Tailor
John Teliot                           John Cort                                        Benet de Northope
Madoc the Herdsman

In 1538 following the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII gave ownership of the village to
Chester Cathedral.  At this time Greasby was still a very small village, with a recorded content of one
small manor house, ten farms, 5 cottages and a population of less than 100 people.  Over the next
few centuries the village changed owners several times shown below:

  • Sir Richard Cotton - 1556

  • Richard Harpur - date unknown

  • John Harpur - 1579

  • William Arrowesmith - 1583

  • Thomas Leighe of Irby - 1602

  • William Rathbone - 1627

  • Edward Glegg of Irby - 1656, later to his son, also named Edward

  • John Glegg of Neston - 1801

  • Robert Peacock of Upton - 1816

  • John Ralph Shaw - date around 1844

  • Birkenhead Glegg - last lord of the manor at the start of the 20th century

The first recorded shops in Greasby were listed in the 1860 directory and are as follows:

The first school was opened in Greasby in 1866 and extended in 1873 by Mr Ledward.  The school
initially consisted of a large school room with room for the infants.  The classes inside of the school
were generally separated by curtains.  The school like many in the areas suffered a shortage of
teachers and pupils as young as 15 were being fast tracked to become teachers to fill the skills gap.  
The First World War had a devastating effect on the village.  Before the war there were around fifty
young men living there;  twenty-seven of them did not return from the fighting.  It was not until the
1930 when the age of the motorcar came into use that Greasby and many other rural villages became
more accessible.  Greasby still remains a small village within the Wirral peninsula but its old buildings
and history can still be found.  

The name of the village like most on the peninsula, has to different variations over the centuries.  
They are recorded as changing from : Grausberie, Gravesberie, Greavesberi, Grauesbyri, Grausby,
Grauesbi, Greseby, Greisbie, Gresbie, to todays Greasby.
Name of Tenant    
Michael McCaffrey    
Beer House
Alexander Thompson  
Shoe Maker
Joseph WIlksinson
Thomas Woodfine    
Publican of Coach & Horses Inn
Josph Broster  
Publican of The New Inn
Jospeh Barker
Joseph Barker Junior  
Thomas Bennet    
Penelope Bythells  
Thomas Cookson  
Henry Derry    
George Mason
Edward Realey  
Samuel Realey    
William Realey
John Waring   
Catherine Barker  
Shoe Maker
George Hockenhull  
Shoe Maker