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Sandstone Signpost, Thingwall - - 96991.jpg
Signpost in Thingwall
Grid reference: SJ270850
Location: 53°21’11"N, 3°5’31"W
Population: 3,140  (2001)
Post town: Wirral
Postcode: CH61
Dialling code: 0151
Local Government
Council: Wirral
Wirral West

Thingwall is a village on the Wirral peninsula of Cheshire. The village is found to the southwest of the Wirral's greatest town, Birkenhead and northeast of Heswall. As at the 2001 Census, Thingwall had 3,140 inhabitants. While much of the Wirral has become a swathe of contiguous towns, Thingwall has become attached only to Heswall and less so to Irby, with precious green space around it. Thingwall, Heswall and Irby are all names from the Old Norse language, reflecting their common tenth century origin.

Traditional buildings and walls in the village and about are built of locally quarried yellow sandstone. Several small sandstone quarries once existed in the area including one at the top of the appropriately named Quarry Lane. Little evidence of these quarries now exists as the land has been redeveloped for housing or for the construction of a second above ground fresh water reservoir.

A prominent sandstone signpost stands in Thingwall at the junction of Thomas Lane and Thingwall Lane. It is dated 1776 and inscribed with the initials of James Clemens, then Lord Mayor of Liverpool, whose house, Ashfield, stood behind it. (The house has since burned down but the entrance remains.)

Thingwall is part of the Parish of Barnston, served be two Church of England churches (neither actually in Thingwall)

  • St Michael and All Angels, Pensby
  • St Chad's Church, Irby


The village's name is from the Old Norse þing vollr, meaning 'assembly plains'.[1] The name indicates that it was once the site of a Norse "thing"; an assembly. Several similarly derived place-names are found in the British Isles where the Norse once prevailed, including Dingwall (Ross-shire, Tingwall in Orkney and in Shetland, and Tynwald Hill on the Isle of Man, where once sat the Tynwald - the island's parliament. The most famous of these Plains of Assembly is Þingvellir in Iceland, where the island's ancient parliament, the Alþing met. There is also a Tingvoll in the ancient homeland, Norway.

A Norwegian settlement and petty kingdom was permitted to subsist on the Wirral from 902 (after Ingimund was expelled from Dublin) and Thingwall might have been the site of its assembly. This would therefore predate Iceland's Þingvellir.

Thingwall is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tuigvelle,[2] and has been variously known as Fingwalle (1180); Thingale (circa 1250); Thynghwall (1426).[1]

The village was a township in Woodchurch Parish of the Wirral Hundred until industrialisation and was a tiny village: the population was 52 in 1801, 96 in 1851 and 156 in 1901.[3]. It was added administratively to Birkenhead in 1933 but has not grown to be one with it.

Thingwall Mill was built in the eighteenth century on the site of a much older mediæval mill. Damaged in a storm in 1897 and subsequently disused, the mill was demolished in 1900.[1] However, remnants of the building, including the original mill stone, can still be found on Mill Road.

Thingwall Hall was built in 1849 for a Liverpool merchant and demolished in 1960.[1] It was part of the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital from 1917, providing care for long-term patients.[4]

Outside links


  • Cavill, Paul; Stephen Harding; Judith Jesch (2000) Wirral and Its Viking Heritage (English Place-Name Society) ISBN 978-0-904889-59-8
  • Harding, Stephen; Mark Jobling, Turi King (2011) Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project (Nottingham University Press) ISBN 978-1-907284-94-6