Tuesday, 22 June 2010

ABC Wednesday - Willaston

Willaston in the Wirral. Here we are on the village green. the sign resting on local sandstone. This has been a settlement for at least 1000 years.  The house in the background is modern but much of the village
still retains its old houses. This looks 16th century but with a modern roof. 

The whole area of Wirral in 1120 was officially made into a forest, an area set aside for hunting by the ruling class, but in 1376 in response to a petition by the nearby citizens of Chester complaining about the activities of criminals who had taken refuge in the forest, it was dis-afforested.

It retains the medieval pattern of farmhouses being located within the village core. The farmland would have been dispersed in small strips in the surrounding communal fields.  The enclosing of communal fields and then later the Enclosures Act meant that farms eventually became separate and self contained units.
Most of the houses that make up the historic part of Willaston are 17th or 18th century. This one is easy to date because the plaque says 1731 and looks very much the farmhouse.
And a similar style but with more symmetry. 

Willaston was owned by a series of landowners but was eventually bought by Sir William Hatton, later to be Lord Chancellor, and one of Queen Elizabeth I's favourites.  His heirs in the early 17th century sold Willaston to a number of freeholders.  These men, and their successors, who numbered anywhere between 18 and 33 at any one time exercised the lordship of the manor in rotation.  This most unusual arrangement lasted until 1907 by which time the manor court was an anachronism.
I wonder if they met here. The 1735 Nags Head, still serving beer, but much altered in the early 20th Century.
Or more likely in the Red Lion, built in 1631 but significantly enlarged from an earlier construction.  This remained a pub until 1928 (nearly 300 years of steady drinking) and is now a private residence.
Would they have had a "luxury shave" as advertised in this window?  Whatever that is.  Probably not it is a modern shop with period wooden detail.
For things are not always what they seem. The Willaston Memorial Hall is Edwardian (1900-10) but built in the vernacular revival style using local sandstone and black and white timber framing.  Pretty enough to take a photograph.
Not so pretty, but ever so useful. The Welsh Water, or Dwr Cymru, Sewage Pumping Station. A no nonsense Victorian brick building and a small reminder of the municipal sanitation programmes that transformed cities and towns.  We are not in Wales but this water company also serves parts of western England

Time to walk round the corner of the Pollard Inn, originally a farmhouse built in 1637, but now another pub located in this commuter village.  If I had thought I was going to do an ABC post, on this, my only visit to Willaston, I would have probably have taken a picture of the front, or the old photographs in the hall, the beams, the beer pumps but

I was taking my ease in the Beer Garden admiring the perfectly formed copper beach. 

Wander over to the ABC Wednesday and see the other participants and their words beginning with W


Sylvia K said...

What a wonderful place and such great history! Marvelous post for the day! Living in such a young country in comparison, I'm always fascinated by the beauty and history of places like this. It was one of the things I loved best about living in Europe for several years! Have a great week!


Manang Kim said...

What a great place to visit. My favorite one is the second photo, it does still look the old house before. If you didn't say about the roof I thought it was the original. Thanks for sharing!

ABC Wednesday~W

Roger Owen Green said...

a WONDEROUS collection of photos!

Tumblewords: said...

How lovely and peaceful. They built places to last, didn't they! No instant obsolesence there!

photowannabe said...

I love the old homes and building. the area has so much character. A beautiful series.

Anonymous said...

What a charming place and that old cottage is just gorgeous. :)

Gattina said...

I love these old houses and the pub's names, they are often the same wherever you go in the UK.
Gattina from ABC Team

Anonymous said...

Such rich history in that area. And such a variety of architectural styles too! Who could fault you for enjoying a beer in such a lovely place?

Gayle said...

What a perfectly charming place. Each building has such character. Your last picture shows the perfect sort of day to kick back in the beer garden and sip a few.

Jay said...

Now I want to come up and visit Willaston for myself! It looks like a lovely part of the world and Willaston itself looks like a 'proper' village. This was, when we moved here, but it now has two modern housing estates and two of its three pubs are now closed. *Sigh* Time for a move, perhaps.

I love your photos, by the way. Never mind the fronts of the buildings or the beer pumps, the ones you have are perfect!

Paula Scott said...

Whoa! What a wonderful collection of w's! Really interesting names too of the towns and pubs there. Well, to me anyway since we don't have names like that here!

Anonymous said...