A few notes on Thustaston
Thurstaston is mentioned in the Domesday Book, its entry reads:
“William holds from him [Robert of Rhuddlan] . Leofnoth held it; he was a free man. 2 hides paying tax. Land for 4 ploughs. In Lordship 1; 2 ploughmen; 4 villagers and 4 smallholders with 1½ ploughs. Value before 1066, 30s; later 8s; now 16s.”
There have been three churches in Thurstaston, the first was first mentioned in 1125,little is known of this church but it is recorded that it stood within the courtyard of Thurstaston Hall and it has been described as a small, low and dark building, consisting of a bell turret, the main body of the church and a semi-circular chancel. This first church was demolished in 1820, and a new church was built in 1824. The tower of this second church is still standing in the churchyard.
The present church was built in 1885, it was designed by J Loughborough-Pearson and paid for by the daughters of Joseph Hegan of Dawpool in his memory.
Thurstaston Hall is one of Wirral’s oldest houses and remained in the hands of one family for most of its existence. One small room has been identified by historians as Norman, and could have been built by Robert of Rhuddlan. The next oldest part of the house, the West Wing, dates from about 1350. The central section has a datestone marked 1680 and the ‘modern’ East Wing was completed in 1836.
Dawpool House was built in 1865 by James Hegan. In 1877 it was bought by Thomas Henry Ismay, founder of the White Star Line (owners of the Titanic).
Neither he nor his wife liked the house, but they did like its setting, so in 1882 they had it pulled down and a new house was built. This was designed by Norman Shaw, who later designed Scotland Yard in London.
Ismay insisted that only the finest possible materials be used; not a single nail was used, only the best brass screws. It was constructed of red sandstone from Heswall Hill and was based on an Elizabethan manor house.
Ismay didn’t like the main road running past his house, so he moved the road! He employed scores of workmen to cut a road through the solid sandstone about a mile from his house; this is now part of the main Chester to West Kirby road.
Thomas Ismay died on 23rd November 1899 and was buried in the family grave in Thurstaston churchyard, his wife continued to live at Dawpool until her death in April 1907.
Dawpool was put up for Sale
several times with no buyers, and eventually it was decided to demolish the house and sell the materials piecemeal.