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#259486 - 23rd Sep 2008 10:47pm Dr Stoop's Stone
MissGuided Offline

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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
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Have you ever noticed a sandstone pillar on Upton Road just as you are going past the top of Thermopylae Pass? Just on the right, going towards Upton.

OK - here's a photo:


Still no idea what I am talking about?
Well I had never seen this stone until I found a very brief description on the Friends of Bidston Hill website.
So next time you're driving along Upton Rd keep your eye out:


In the latter part of the 18th Century, Wirral was a very wild and desolate place. When dusk descended it was also a dangerous place and strangers would soon get lost.

A medical man, Dr Haughton, had patients in the parishes of West Kirby, Woodchurch, Tranmere, Wallasey, Birkenhead and Bidston. He had to make numerous journeys by night and day, often getting lost especially during night-time or when it was misty. For guidance he erected a stone gatepost, called in country dialect a “stoop” and thus originated a nickname for himself “Dr Stoop”.

The stone can still be found today on Upton Road nearly opposite “Thermopylae Pass”.

Does anyone have any idea why it is called Thermopylae Pass?
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#259511 - 24th Sep 2008 7:39am Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: MissGuided]
jonno40 Offline
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Good stuff thumbsup
One of the reasons the wirral used to be popular with smugglers was the fact that the mist used to be quite dense and decsended on a fairly regular basis and with out the aid of street lights and road signs you can see why the good doctor needed a marker of some sort
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#259515 - 24th Sep 2008 8:10am Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: jonno40]
Mark Offline


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I remember you telling me about this one jonno,
but we were closer to the light at the cross roads.
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#259516 - 24th Sep 2008 8:29am Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: Mark]
jonno40 Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
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think it was when we were driving back from caldy remember when we looked like burglars casing the place lol ,i just knew it was on upton road in that area. smile


Edited by jonno40 (24th Sep 2008 8:30am)
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#259518 - 24th Sep 2008 8:57am Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: MissGuided]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: MissGuided


Does anyone have any idea why it is called Thermopylae Pass?


The pass of Thermopylae, in Greece, was the site of a famous battle during the Persian wars (about 480 B.C.). The Greeks, led by Leonidas, held off the Persians, led by Xerxes, for several days, but were eventually all killed.

So I guess some local Greek scholar decided to name the pass after the battle. I do know it was one of my Gran's favourite places.

Cheers, Chris.
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#259554 - 24th Sep 2008 12:32pm Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: chriskay]
MissGuided Offline

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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
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Originally Posted By: chriskay
Originally Posted By: MissGuided


Does anyone have any idea why it is called Thermopylae Pass?


The pass of Thermopylae, in Greece, was the site of a famous battle during the Persian wars (about 480 B.C.). The Greeks, led by Leonidas, held off the Persians, led by Xerxes, for several days, but were eventually all killed.

So I guess some local Greek scholar decided to name the pass after the battle. I do know it was one of my Gran's favourite places.

Cheers, Chris.


Maybe it was Mr Robert Vyner who owned most of the land in that area. The 1842 Tithe map shows the pass as Old Road, so it was actually a thoroughfare at that time and ownership of it was Mr Vyner's. There is no Vyner Rd South at this point.
1882 shows no name given to it and it looks more like a track than a main road.
1936 no record of the name
2000 no record of the name
Live Search maps shows nothing for it now
No mention on Google maps

So the name must be a local one.
Have found some links where people refer to it as The Mopps.

Maybe the name sprang up during WWII:
World War II
Main article: Battle of Thermopylae (1941)
In 1941 during World War II the ANZAC forces delayed the invading German forces in the area enough to allow the evacuation of the British expeditionary force to Crete. This conflict also became known as the Battle of Thermopylae. Such was the fame of Thermopylae that the sabotage of the Gorgopotamos bridge in 1942 was referred in German documents of the era as "the recent sabotage near Thermopylae".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermopylae
Thanks Mum smile

Then again if Chris's Gran was calling it that when she played there who knows?
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#259623 - 24th Sep 2008 4:00pm Re: Dr Stoop's Stone [Re: MissGuided]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: MissGuided

Then again if Chris's Gran was calling it that when she played there who knows?


Yes, the name definitely dates from before WW2. When she talked to me about it & took me there often, this was during the war. The way the name rolled off her tongue gave me the impression that it was not new to her.
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