West Kirby

West Kirby

infobox UK place
country= England
official_name= West Kirby
latitude= 53.373
longitude= -3.184
population= 7,680 (2001 Census)citeweb|url=http://www.wirral.gov.uk/factsandfigures/census2001/oneward2recset.asp?ref=TS47|title=Wirral 2001 Census: West Kirby|work=Metropolitan Borough of Wirral|accessdate=28 January|accessyear=2008]
metropolitan_borough= Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
metropolitan_county= Merseyside
region= North West England
constituency_westminster=Wirral West
post_town= WIRRAL
postcode_district= CH48
postcode_area= CH
dial_code= 0151 625
os_grid_reference= SJ213869
map_type= Merseyside

static_image_caption= West Kirby, viewed from across the marine lake.

West Kirby is a town located on the north west corner of the coast of the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee across from the Point of Ayr in North Wales. To the north east of the town is Hoylake, with the suburb of Grange to the east and the village of Caldy to the south east. As of the 2001 Census, the population of West Kirby was 7,680,and as part of the West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward, its population in 2001 was 12,869. [citeweb|url=http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=5941371&c=west+kirby&d=14&e=16&g=361691&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1201527933992&enc=1|title=2001 Census: West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward|work=Office for National Statistics|accessdate=28 January|accessyear=2008]


The name West Kirby is of Viking origin, originally "Kirkjubyr", meaning 'village with a church'.citebook|first=John|last=McNeal Dodgson|title=The Place-Names of Cheshire Part IV ~ Broxton Hundred and Wirral Hundred|pages=pp294-295|publisher=Cambridge University Press|date=1972|isbn=0-521-08247-1] [citebook|first=Norman|last=Ellison|title=The Wirral Peninsula|publisher=Robert Hale & Company|date=1955|page=p44|isbn=0-7091-1660-8] The form with the modifier "West" exists to distinguish it from the other town of the same name in Wirral: Kirkby-in-Walea (now the modern town of Wallasey). The earliest usage given of this form being "West Kyrkeby in Wirhale" in 1285.

The old village was located around St. Bridget's Church, but the town as it is today is centred on West Kirby railway station, which is about 1km away. The town has a Victorian promenade, flanked by the West Kirby Marine Lake that permits boats to sail even at low tide. The original marine lake was opened in 1905 but suffered a catastrophic leak in 1985.citeweb|url=http://www.wksc.net/aboutWKSC/history.asp|title=WKSC History|work=West Kirby Sailing Club|accessdate=1 May|accessyear=2008] A new lake was constructed on the site which is wider than previous and allows better sporting opportunities. 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.

Civic history

West Kirby was a township and parish within the Wirral Hundred. It became part of Hoylake cum West Kirby civil parishciteweb|url=http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/chs/westkirby.html|title=Cheshire Towns & Parishes: West Kirby|work=GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy|accessdate=28 January|accessyear=2008] and Hoylake Urban District in 1894. The population was 148 in 1801, 435 in 1851 and 4,542 in 1901.

On 1 April 1974, West Kirby was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, at a time of local government reorganisation in England and Wales. At that point, West Kirby ceased to be in Cheshire for administrative purposes and became part of the nascent county of Merseyside.


Secondary schools in the area are Calday Grange Grammar School on Caldy Hill, West Kirby Grammar School and Hilbre High School, which includes the WestWirralWorks City Learning Centre.


Windsurfing, sailing and kayaking are all popular local sports. In October 1991, the [http://ukwindsurfing.com/information/speed World Windsurfing Speed Record] was set on the West Kirby Marine Lake at 42.16 knots. It was held for 2 years until it was beaten in Australia.

Water sports fans are reminded to wear appropriate footwear whilst using the marine lake due to the presence of weaver fish with sharp poisonous barbs. There is also an [http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/north/stations/WestKirbyMerseyside/ RNLI Lifeboat Station] near West Kirby Sailing Club.

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a links course sited between West Kirby and Hoylake, hosted the 2006 British Open.

Tennis tournaments have been held in Ashton Park. Here, players including John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras have played in competition. [citeweb|url=http://archive.thisiswirral.co.uk/2001/9/13/7978.html|title=Ashton Park tennis: 'Use them or lose them says coach'|work=Wirral Globe|date=13 September 2001|accessdate=22 February|accessyear=2007]

Parkland & Beach

The town itself contains Ashton Park and a starting point of the Wirral Way, which follows the trackbed of the former Birkenhead Railway branch line from Hooton. [citejournal|title=The Countryman: 'On the track of a country park'|first=Rex|last=Christiansen|date=Autumn 1977|pages=pp75–79] Sandlea Park is situated in the centre of the town, a short walk from the railway station. Another popular activity is to walk out to the islands of Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island at low tide. The promenade and beach allow an excellent panoramic view of part of the North Wales coastline.

Notable people

*Andy Baddeley, English middle distance runner (1500m), brought up in West Kirby and attended Calday Grange Grammar School.
*Daniel Craig, actor who played James Bond in the 2006 version of "Casino Royale", attended Hilbre High School and Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby.
*Cyril Edward Gourley, recipient of the Victoria Cross, was a pupil at Calday Grange Grammar School and is buried in Grange Cemetery.
*Shirley Hughes, writer and illustrator, was brought up in West Kirby.
*Glenda Jackson, actress and politician, attended West Kirby Grammar School.
*Selwyn Lloyd, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Speaker of the House of Commons, lived in West Kirby.
*George Mallory, mountaineer, was schooled in West Kirby.
*Denys Rayner, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, was brought up in West Kirby.
*David Sheppard, cricketer and Bishop of Liverpool, retired to West Kirby.
*Philip Sheppard and Sir Cyril Clarke, lepidopterists, worked in West Kirby.
*Olaf Stapledon, science fiction author and philosopher, is a former resident.
*The Seal Cub Clubbing Club (rock band).

ee also

*Kirby Park railway station
*St Andrew's Church, West Kirby


External links

* [http://fieldofview.com/flickr/?page=photos/redvers/2271644955/ Panoramic view of West Kirby from the marine lake] "(Requires Adobe Flash)"
* [http://www.west-kirby.net Links and Forum about West Kirby]

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