Barnston’s history

Barnston village

The quaint village of Barnston sits on the outskirts of Heswall on the Wirral peninsular as part of the county of Merseyside, however this was not always the case.   For the majority of its life the Wirral formed the western most and the only coastal part of the county of Cheshire. Then in 1974 a reorganisation of local government created the county of Merseyside and the northern and western part of the Wirral became Merseyside.

Wirral and Barnston obviously date back to long before local council meddling, the geography dates back to the triassic period when it was much closer to the equator, hence the sandstone that much of the peninsular sit upon.  However movement of plates over thousands of years has brought us further afield.

The village like many other Wirral villages was set on an outcrop of sandstone with access to a good water supply, the stream in the bottom of the Dale (the Dip). Horse and cart would have been used to transport the water from the bottom of the dip up to the village.  Barnston along with Pensby, Thingwall, Landican, Arrowe, Woodchurch, Irby, Prenton, Noctorum, Oxton, made up the ‘Ten Townships’  as they were known of Woodchurch Parish.  Most of them were in existence and mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.

The ‘Hundred of Wirral’ is the ancient administrative area for the Wirral Peninsula. Its name is believed to have originated from the Hundred of Wilaveston, the historic name for Willaston, which was an important assembly point in the Wirral Hundred during the Middle Ages.  The ton suffix in a place name normally indicates a previous use as a meeting location for officials. During its existence, the hundred was one of the Hundreds of Cheshire.

Conservation area

The village is a conservation area of historical interest meaning that the law protects it from undesirable changes.  The local conservation society work hard to protect the heritage of the village. Very few buildings were constructed in Barnston after 1900 and with little in the way of industry and modern construction the village retains its historic layout which will have been unchanged for hundreds of years.

Barnston is also a hub for walkers with many paths that run across the Wirral running through Barnston.
Nature lovers are also drawn to the village for its unique flora and fauna, due to it undisturbed surrounding
countryside.

Contributions from www.barnstonvillage.info.  More information can be found on their website.