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Neston Town Centre - - 180564.jpg
Grid reference: SJ285775
Location: 53°17’20"N, 3°4’26"W
Population: 15,162  (2001)
Post town: Neston
Postcode: CH64
Dialling code: 0151
Local Government
Council: Cheshire West & Chester
Ellesmere Port and Neston

Neston is a small residential town on the southern part of the Wirral Peninsula of Cheshire. The villages of Little Neston and Ness are found to the south of the town.


The name of the town is claimed to be Old Norse in origin, from the Old Norse Nes meaning "headland", though it could as easily be the Old English næs, of the same meaning. The "-ton" suffix is Old English for "village" or "estate".

The town appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Nestone and belonged to William Fitznigel.[1]

A Royal Charter was granted to Neston in 1728 enabling it to be a market town.[2]

Historically, the current town was known as Great Neston, in order to be distinct from the smaller nearby hamlet of Little Neston. Before the rise of Birkenhead in the 1820s, it was the largest town in the Wirral Hundred. To Great Neston were accounted the hamlets of Clayhill, Hinderton, Moorside and part of Parkgate. The population of Great Neston was 1,486 in 1801 and 1,524 in 1851.


Neston was a major port before the River Dee silted up. The port was then shifted further downstream to the nearby town of Parkgate,[3] although by early nineteenth century, most traffic had ultimately transferred to Liverpool.


Neston is also a former mining town, with a colliery located at the nearby hamlet of Denhall. Opened in 1760 by Sir John Stanley, the coal mine consisted of numerous shafts, some of which were dug out underneath the river. Due to the silting up of the River Dee, coal shipments to Ireland and North Wales ended. Alternative custom was secured from the railways, brought about by the building of a link to the recently constructed Chester and Birkenhead Railway's branch to Parkgate.[4]

The Wirral Colliery at Neston was taken over by the British government during the First World War. The pit subsequently returned to private ownership after the war, but increasing competition from larger mines precipitated in its closure in 1928.[4]


Neston railway station

Neston railway station is on the Borderlands Line, providing direct services southbound to Wrexham in Denbighshire and northbound to Bidston in Birkenhead, Cheshire, with connecting services to the Merseyrail network.[3]

Big Sociiety

One of the main local attractions is Ness Botanic Gardens, opened in 1898 and administered by the University of Liverpool.[5]

On the first Thursday of June, Neston annually celebrates Ladies Day. This is a unique marching day that has links to the Neston Female Friendly Society during the Napoleonic War.[3]

Neston has a Cricket Club located in Parkgate that plays in the Cheshire County Cricket ECB Premier League.[6] Members of Neston Cricket Club can also play bowls, hockey,[7] squash, racketball and tennis.[8]

Neston Market Town Initiative

Recently, Neston has undergone an assessment to attract more income and tourists, in the form of the Neston Market Town Initiative (NMTI).[9] The project also included the launch of a new town website. The NMTI involved improving the 'look' of the town centre (which included new shop fronts) and controversial plans regarding a new supermarket[10] on the site of Brook Street car park. Work for the new supermarket began in March 2009 with a full archaeological dig being carried out on the car park site before construction work began. Work to excavate the site began in August 2009, a total of 28,000 cubic meters of earth was removed to allow for the construction of a multi story car park. The new Sainsbury's store was opened on 1st December 2010.

On 31 March 2008 the Market Town Initiative project was officially completed. The community regeneration work will be continued by a new local community association, ch64inc, and by the establishment of a Town Council in 2009.[9]

Outside links


  1. Cheshire L-Z, Domesday Book Online,, retrieved 4 January 2008 
  2. Neston website: History, The Neston Market Town Initiative,, retrieved 4 January 2008 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wirral 360: Neston,,, retrieved 26 July 2007 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Young, Derek and Marian, Pictures From The Past: Book 3 
  5. Ness Botanic Gardens, University of Liverpool,, retrieved 26 July 2007 
  6. Neston Cricket Club,, retrieved 31 May 2009 
  7. Neston South Wirral Hockey Club, Neston Cricket Club,, retrieved 26 July 2007 
  8. Tennis section, Neston Cricket Club,, retrieved 16 October 2007 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Neston Market Town Initiative, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council,, retrieved 28 March 2008 
  10. Planning Application for Neston Supermarket and Town Square, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council,, retrieved 28 March 2008