The name West Kirby is of Viking origin.  The Kirby word was originally pronounced “Kirkjubyr” and means “village
with a church”.  However at that time there was already a place called “Kirkjubyr”, and that place was Wallasey.  
In order to differentiate the villages the Norse added the “West”,  as it was West of Wallasey.  The old village
was located around St. Bridget's Church which played a large role in the expansion of West Kirby, however todays
town is today is centred around West Kirby railway station, which is about half a mile away.  At the time of the
Doomsday Survey West Kirby was originally owned by Robert De Rodelent (Rhuddlan in Wales).  The survey
shows 5 tenements and a Frenchman with a Sergeant and 2 Ploughs.  The settlement was in an ideal position it
has good farm land, an abundance of fresh water and wildlife, woods, scrubs and marshes, hills that looked
across the surrounding lands and rivers and complete access to the River Dee.  Many people do not know that
centuries ago, West Kirby was an island just like Wallasey.  Given its strategic location at the mouth of the Dee
just across from Point of Ayr in North Wales it is little wonder why maritime history is so prevalent in the West
Kirby area.  The Dee today is much different to the River of a 1000 years ago.  Back then large vessels could go
into the Dee until they reached the marsh land of Thingwall or Dingsmere, however today much of the Dee
Estuary is silting up and needs constant maintenance.  West Kirby is also famous for its Victorian promenade,
flanked by the  Marine Lake that permits boats to sail even at low tide.  In the Victorian days West Kirby was a
great sea side town, much like New Brighton.  It had fine sandy beaches, many shops and a large variety of
hotels and entertainment including children's and adults activities.  Many early photographs shows the beaches
packed with families cladded in large pants and shirts, the woman well covered with large hats and the children
with long pants building sand castles.  Donkey rides were great entertainment and many were available to pace
up and down the beach front.  A short walk whilst the tide was out to Hilbre Island was always a hit for the more
curious day tripper.  The beaches were also  packed with entertainers, hawkers and punch and Judy shows for
the kids.  
The plaque on the bottom of the
Mariners Beacon Column reads as

"This column was erected by the trustees of
the Liverpool Docks, by permission of John
Shaw Leigh Esq, owner of the land, who also
gave the stone for its erection AD 1841 as a
beacon for mariners frequenting the River
Mersey and its Vicinity".   
The West Kirby marine lake was opened in 1899 at 1000 meters long and 140 meters wide, it was a great place to
try out ever more popular water activities.  In the 1980s the lake suffered a catastrophic leak and as a result a new
lake was constructed on the site which is wider than previous and allows for more sporting activities.  The lake still
exists today and after the creation of West Kirby Sailing Club in 1901 it has proved a huge increase to the villages
revenue and ensures that West Kirby has the largest amount of members in Merseyside.  In October 1991 the
World Wind surfing Speed Record was set on the Marine Lake at 42.16 knots.  It was held for 2 years until it was
beaten in Australia.  Grange Hill commands great views of the River Dee.  The outstanding position of the hill was
noticed at an early time by mariners and as such a sandstone column with a ball on top was placed on the summit
of the hill as a beacon for mariners.  The had originally been home to a large windmill which had also been used as
a land mark by passing mariners.  The column was erected as a beacon only after the windmill was blow down on
the 6th January 1839, which saw sailors struggle to navigate.  
The Beach 1925
The Beach 1908
The Beach 1921
Click to view names of the fallen
The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial is a notable local landmark, as it
was designed in 1922 by the British sculptor “Charles Sargeant Jagger”,
who was responsible for a number of war memorials around the world,
including the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.  
Charles Sargeant Jagger MC (1885-1934) was a British sculptor who,
following active service in the First World War, sculpted many works on the
theme of war. He is best known for his war memorials and his memories
and experience during WW1 is said to show in his prolific sculptures which
he designs.  The memorial at West Kirby stands at the summit of Grange
Hill over looking the surrounding area, its huge shaft rising high into the air
above the town.  It is a large imposing stone obelisk which was built to
show those lost during the Great War that they have not given their life in
vain.  On two sides of the obelisk stand bronze figures symbolising war
and peace. On the west face is a figure of a robed woman holding a baby,
a wreath of poppies and broken manacles. On the east face stands a
British infantry soldier dressed for winter and standing guard with
standard issue .303 rifle, bayonet fixed, a gas mask, water bottle, putties
and his helmet pushed off the back of his head, and a German helmet at
his feet

For further information on this please click
Mariners Beacon - Grange Hill
War Memorial - Grange Hill
Behind West Kirby Marine Lake used to stand a large imposing hotel, built in circa 1890 and extended in 1896, it
was named "The Hydropathic Hotel", but known locally as 'The Hydro' for short.  The hotel was first lit by candles
The Promenade by Night - Picture By Sandy Smith of West Kirby