West Kirby

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West Kirby
The Crescent, West Kirby.JPG
Shops on The Crescent
Grid reference: SJ213869
Location: 53°22’23"N, 3°11’2"W
Population: 7,680  (2001)
Post town: Wirral
Postcode: CH48
Dialling code: 0151 625
Local Government
Council: Wirral
Wirral West

West Kirby is a town on the northwest corner of the coast of the Wirral Peninsula in Cheshire. It is at the mouth of the River Dee, across from the Point of Ayr in Flintshire.

To the northeast of the town lies Hoylake, with the suburbs of Grange and Newton to the east, and the village of Caldy to the southeast. At the 2001, West Kirby had a population of 7,680.

This is known for being one of the more affluent and prosperous areas of the Wirral.


The name West Kirby is of Norse origin, originally Kirkjubyr, meaning 'Church village'.[1][2] 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.[1]

The old village lay around St Bridget's Church, but the town today is centred on West Kirby railway station, which is less than a mile 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.[3] 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.

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.[4] In early 2009 it was reported that the lake had undergone structural damage, most likely due to estuarine erosion. Since this report a refurbishment helped to restore the lake, and is now back to holding water sport activities[5]


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.[6]

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a links course sited between West Kirby and Hoylake, has hosted 11 British Open Golf championships.

Tennis tournaments have been held in Ashton Park. Here, players including top class world tennis players have played in competition.[7]

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 a junior football club, West Kirby Wasps, who also play on Greenbank Road. West Kirby Wasps play in the Eastham Junior Football League.

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

Parkland and beach

Hilbre Island

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.[8] 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 Flintshire and Denbighshire coastlines.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about West Kirby)


  1. 1.0 1.1 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 
  2. Ellison, Norman (1955), The Wirral Peninsula, London: Robert Hale, p. 44, ISBN 0-7091-1660-8 
  3. WKSC History, West Kirby Sailing Club, http://www.wksc.net/aboutWKSC/history.asp, retrieved 1 May 2008 
  4. Marine Lake west kirby, Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, http://www.wirral.gov.uk/LGCL/100009/200087/1081/content_0000948.html, retrieved 18 November 2009 
  5. West Kirby Marine Lake to reopen after £750k improvements, Wirral News, http://www.wirralnews.co.uk/wirral-news/local-wirral-news/hoylake-west-kirby-news/2009/07/27/west-kirby-marine-lake-to-reopen-after-750k-improvements-92534-24246119/, retrieved 18 November 2009 
  6. West Kirby Lifeboat Station.
  7. "Ashton Park tennis: 'Use them or lose them says coach'". Wirral Globe (Birkenhead). 13 September 2001. http://archive.thisiswirral.co.uk/2001/9/13/7978.html. 
  8. Christiansen, Rex (Autumn 1977). "On the track of a country park". The Countryman: pp. 75–79.