West Kirby

West Kirby and Thurstaston

Shops on The Crescent
West Kirby and Thurstaston
 West Kirby and Thurstaston shown within Merseyside
Population 12,733 (2011 CensusWard)
OS grid referenceSJ213869
    London  182 mi (293 km)[1] SE
Metropolitan boroughWirral
Metropolitan county Merseyside
RegionNorth West
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town WIRRAL
Postcode district CH48
Dialling code 0151
ISO 3166 code GB-WRL
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK ParliamentWirral West
List of places

Coordinates: 53°22′23″N 3°11′02″W / 53.373°N 3.184°W / 53.373; -3.184

West Kirby is a town on the north-west corner of the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee. To the north-east lies Hoylake, to the east Grange and Newton, and to the south-east Caldy. At the 2001 Census, the population was 7,680.[2][3][4]

West Kirby is one of the more affluent areas of the Wirral.


The name West Kirby is of Viking origin, originally Kirkjubyr, meaning 'village with a church'.[5][6] 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 is "West Kyrkeby in Wirhale" in 1285.[5]

The old village lay around St. Bridget's Church, but the town today is centred on West Kirby railway station, which is about 1 km 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 wall was built to create the lake in 1899 but suffered a catastrophic leak in 1985.[7] A new lake was constructed on the site which is wider than previously and allows better sporting opportunities. The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial is a notable local landmark, 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 West Kirby civil parish[8] and Hoylake Urban District in 1894. The population was 148 in 1801, 435 in 1851 and 4,542 in 1901.[8]

On 1 April 1974, West Kirby was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral as part 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 new administrative county of Merseyside.

In February 2008 plans were raised for a regeneration of the concourse sports and leisure centre including new retail space and controversially a multi-storey car park. As of 2013 the project appears to have stalled with developers interest and funding wavering. Local residents' opposition is strong.[9]


West Kirby lies at the north-western corner of the Wirral Peninsula. West Kirby is situated on the eastern side of the mouth of the Dee Estuary, and approximately 8 mi (13 km) west of Liverpool. Hilbre Island is approximately 1 mi (1.6 km) offshore from West Kirby, at the mouth of the Dee Estuary.



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 and West Kirby Residential School.[10]


St Andrew's Church, at the junction of Graham Road and Meols Drive

St Bridget's Church is West Kirby's Church of England parish church, and the chancel of the present church dates from around 1320. St Andrew's Church is West Kirby's second Church of England church, originally built as a chapel of ease for St Bridget's, gaining its own parish in 1920.

St Agnes' Church is the local Roman Catholic church.[11] West Kirby also has a United Reformed church, which dates to 1890,[12] and a Methodist church which dates to 1904.[13]


West Kirby Library is situated within West Kirby Concourse, and operated by the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. The West Kirby Museum, founded in 1892,[14] is located adjacent to St Bridget's Church.

Parks, gardens and beach

Hilbre Island, approximately 1 mi (1.6 km) offshore from West Kirby

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.[15] Sandlea Park lies in the centre of the town, a short walk from the railway station. Coronation Gardens is located between the southern end of the promenade between South Parade and Banks Road. There are various other small parks and bowling greens situated around the town. Another popular activity is to walk out to the islands of Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island at low tide. The promenade, beach and the walk to the war memorial allow an excellent panoramic view of part of the North Wales coastline.


Sunset over the Marine Lake

Sailboarding, sailing and kayaking popular home to the Village youth project kayaking club, are all popular local sports. In October 1991 the World Windsurfing Speed Record was set by Dave White on the West Kirby Marine Lake at 42.16 knots. It was held for two years until it was beaten in Australia.

Water sports fans are reminded to wear appropriate footwear while using the marine lake due to the presence of weaver fish with sharp poisonous barbs. There is also an RNLI Lifeboat Station near West Kirby Sailing Club.[16]

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a links course sited between West Kirby and Hoylake, has hosted 11 British Open Golf championships in the past 121 years, most recently the 2006 and 2014 British Opens.

Tennis tournaments have been held in Ashton Park. Here, players including John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras have played in competition.[17]

West Kirby FC is the town's senior football club which plays in the West Cheshire League and plays its games at Marine Park, Greenbank Road. The town has two junior football clubs, West Kirby Wasps, who also play on Greenbank Road and West Kirby Panthers who play at Calday Grammar School and Hilbre High School. Both clubs play predominantly in the Eastham Junior Football League.

West Kirby is also home to Hoylake Amateur Swimming Club who train at West Kirby Concourse.

Marine Lake

West Kirby contains a large man-made coastal lake, the 'Marine Lake'. The structure is large enough to hold sailing events, such as the Wilson Trophy, sailboarding and many more water related activities including: canoeing, kayaking, and power-boating.[18] In early 2009 it was reported that the lake had undergone structural damage, most likely due to estuarine erosion. Since this report a £750K refurbishment has taken place to help restore the lake, and is now back to holding water sport activities[19]



Grange Road, the main thoroughfare of West Kirby, is situated on the A540 road. The B5141, starting at the Dee Lane junction with Grange Road, joins West Kirby with Caldy via Banks Road, Sandy Lane and Caldy Road.


Station Operator Route Days of operation
West Kirby Merseyrail Wirral Line (West Kirby-Liverpool Central) Monday-Sunday


Services operating in the West Kirby area, as of 2014:

Number Route Operator Days of operation
38/38A Heswall or West Kirby-Bromborough Stagecoach Monday – Saturday
38A West Kirby-Bromborough Stagecoach Sunday
80 West Kirby-Newton Avon Buses Monday-Saturday
82/82A West Kirby-Heswall Avon Buses Monday-Saturday
88 West Kirby-Heswall Avon Buses Monday-Sunday
293 West Kirby-Woodside Avon Buses Monday-Saturday evenings and Sunday
420 West Kirby-Liverpool Arriva North West Monday-Friday mornings
437 West Kirby-Liverpool Arriva North West Monday-Sunday

Notable people

See also


  1. "Coordinate Distance Calculator". boulter.com. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  2. new online wirral app directory, Whats up Smartmedia, retrieved 16 June 2012
  3. 2001 Census: West Kirby and Thurstaston Ward, Office for National Statistics, retrieved 28 January 2008
  4. "West Kirby and Thurstaston ward 2011". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  5. 1 2 McNeal Dodgson, John (1972), The Place-Names of Cheshire Part IV ~ Broxton Hundred and Wirral Hundred, Cambridge University Press, pp. 294–295, ISBN 0-521-08247-1
  6. Ellison, Norman (1955), The Wirral Peninsula, London: Robert Hale, p. 44, ISBN 0-7091-1660-8
  7. WKSC History, West Kirby Sailing Club, retrieved 1 May 2008
  8. 1 2 Cheshire Towns & Parishes: West Kirby, GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy, retrieved 28 January 2008
  9. "Wirral Council's Concourse Plans". West Kirby Renewal. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  10. WestWirralWorks website
  11. "Home". St Agnes RC Church, West Kirby. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  12. "These five and twenty years" (PDF). West Kirby United Reformed Church. p. 10. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  13. "History". West Kirby Methodist Church. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  14. "History of the Museum". West Kirby Museum. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  15. Christiansen, Rex (Autumn 1977). "On the track of a country park". The Countryman. pp. 75–79.
  16. West Kirby Lifeboat Station.
  17. "Ashton Park tennis: 'Use them or lose them says coach'". Wirral Globe. Birkenhead. 13 September 2001. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  18. Marine Lake west kirby, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, retrieved 18 November 2009
  19. West Kirby Marine Lake to reopen after £750k improvements, Wirral News, retrieved 18 November 2009
  20. "BBC's Getting on creators take lead with new series Puppy Love". The Guardian. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  21. Johnson, Mark (30 December 2011). "Former Liverpool FC boss Rafa Benitez gives additional financial donation to support Hillsborough families". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 October 2015.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Kirby.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for West Kirby.
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