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The History of West Kirby

West Kirby is a small seaside town on the enchanting Wirral peninsula. It is known more affectionately as “The Paradise Peninsula” by the local community because of its pretty villages, open countryside and beautiful sea views. It is also soon to be home to The Sail; a stunning new landmark scheme from Blueoak Estates which has been inspired by the marine Art Deco homes of the 1930s and each of the eight apartments inside exceeds luxury.

The Sail sits on West Kirby’s pretty promenade at the opening of the River Dee and the immaculate development boasts dazzling panoramic views of the tumultuous Irish sea and snowy Welsh mountaintops.West Kirby is renowned for its natural beauty but the town centre is also picture-perfect, from the ornate Victorian shops with their black and white panelling to the quaint and quirky café’s where you can enjoy a delicious brunch or afternoon tea.

The Wirral peninsula has a magnificent history and heritage. At every turn, you can find a magical reminder of its ancient past. In fact, many historians regard Wirral as “The Birthplace of England”. It was the Battle of Brunanburh in 937AD that united England under one king for the first time. The once divided kingdoms fought together against the armies of Scotland and Norway. The battle which defined today’s Britain took place in none other than Bromborough; a town in south-east Wirral.

West Kirby itself has a history which predates the Roman invasion circa 2000 AD. It is one of the oldest settlements in Wirral. Historical artefacts suggest that the story of West Kirby began four thousand years ago when Bronze Age settlers used Black Horse Hill as a vantage point of the Dee Estuary.

Thousands of years later, Vikings arrived on the shores of West Kirby after being expelled from Ireland. During the Viking era, West Kirby was known as vestri Kirkjubyr which translates to “West Village of the Church”.

Today, a railway station sits at the centre of West Kirby but at the old heart of the town was St Bridget’s; a village church with a history dating back to the first millennium. Thousands of years later, St Bridget’s is a West Kirby landmark and is still used as a place of worship. It is one of only a handful of churches dedicated to St Bridget the Virgin, the patroness of Ireland, and confirms a link from West Kirby to Ireland and the Celtic Church in the West.

Three miles from West Kirby is Thurstaston and at the heart of Thurstaston Common, a 250-acre nature reserve, is Thor’s Rock. As a 25-ft. high sandstone rock, Thor’s Rock has captured the imaginations of generations of people. Victorian legends told tales of primitive human and animal sacrifices undertaken by Vikings to worship Thor, the hammer-wielding God of Norse mythology. They believed that the blood of the sacrifices turned the enormous rock red. Modern theories suggest Thor’s Rock is the result of 230 million years of erosion.

West Kirby Marine Lake was opened two years prior to the death of Queen Victoria in 1899. It was and remains to this day, a popular place for people to enjoy a wide variety of water sports. In October 1991, West Kirby Marine Lake was even the site of a world record.  Dave White set the World Windsurfing Speed Record at 42.16 knots (78kmh). It was held for two years before it was beaten in Australia.

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