WikiWirral values you and your opinion.
Forum Stats
12184 Members
65 Forums
72606 Topics
978376 Posts
64 posts in the last 24hrs
Max Online: 7831 @ 8th Apr 2013 4:18pm
Who's Online - Click Me
91 registered (11kendo, 18 invisible), 1493 Guests and 194 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Social Media : Follow Us


(Views 7days)This Weeks Most Read
Secretive mega shake-up of NHS could cost 15 mil 633
Found a mobile phone 14/01/2017 WALLASEY 391
Asbestos shed removal 373
Paypal help 369
Sometimes You Could Strangle Someone 357
When we live to be a 100 yrs old 313
Best Price for Scarpping my car 291
Spy in the wild 285
Lost Mobile Phone 284
RAC ,AA v Breakdown Recovery 282
New General Forums
Jets
by cools
Today at 12:14 PM
The Scouse Accent
by palemoon
18th Jan 2017 7:49pm
birthday wishes
by sunnyside
18th Jan 2017 12:48pm
The Green Eyed Girl
by granny
17th Jan 2017 10:33pm
New Wirral History
753 Sea Horse, Unit 9, Wallasey Waterfront
by Norton
18th Jan 2017 9:07pm
What was County Hall, Abbey Street, Birkenhead?
by yoller
15th Jan 2017 1:28pm
752 The Old Manor Club, Withens Lane, Liscard
by Norton
13th Jan 2017 2:20pm
751 Plough Inn, Mount Pleasant Rd, New Brighton
by Norton
13th Jan 2017 1:38pm
351 Prince Alfred 30 Tunnel Road 30 30 to 32
by yoller
8th Jan 2017 7:18pm
Forum Tips
Photo Gallery Forums
fireworks on the Mersey last night
Hadlow train station
Topic Replies
RAC ,AA v Breakdown Recovery
by fish5133
11 minutes 10 seconds ago
Taylors Villas 1874 any info?
by Norton
12 minutes 45 seconds ago
Parking Charges
by Beethoven
15 minutes 59 seconds ago
Nuns Abused Children in Care Homes.
by fish5133
22 minutes 13 seconds ago
Question Time
by fish5133
45 minutes 12 seconds ago
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry
by granny
Today at 12:00 PM
Melamine faced chipboard ( Walnut or Oak )
by Reno37
Today at 11:36 AM
Sanctuary awaits 5 bears
by venice
Today at 10:19 AM
Musicals
by casper
Today at 07:21 AM
January
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Recent Posts : What's On ?
Indian/Jazz fusion music Liverpool
by buddy
17th Jan 2017 9:46am
Chinese New Year Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:08am
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#424441 - 10th Aug 2010 3:54pm Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special
PaulWirral
Unregistered


Fighting & Fortifications on the Wirral

Invaders and Defenders

The History of the British Isles has not been a peaceful one. From the earliest times, when the first settlers came to these shores, wars have been waged on British soil., sometimes between opposing religions or political factions, sometimes between the British and invaders from overseas. The Wirral Peninsula has not escaped the tide of war and the evidence for this can be seen today.

To discuss how the Wirral was involved in Britain's turmoil we have to look beyond the Peninsula. At the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, Cheshire and North Wales were occupied by a tribe known as the Cornovii and Chester was probably even then an important settlement. In 71 AD the Romans began a major campaign in Cheshire, constructing a legionary fortress in Chester, a site of obvious strategic significance. The town was close to the ever rebellious territory of Wales, convenient for campaigns further north and situated on the River Dee, which gave access to the Irish Sea. The fortress was completed circa 80 AD and consisted of a turf mound, with a ditch at the base and a wooden palisade equipped with towers. Some time after 100 AD the fortress was largely rebuilt in stone, becoming in effect a self-supporting town and and covering roughly the same area as the later medieval city - much roman masonry is still in evidence. The fort of Chester was, of course, an excellent base for the Romans' conquest of the Wirral and traces of their occupation have been found in several parts of the Peninsula. Roman coins have been unearthed at Oxton, Caldy, Neston and Hooton, and many coins and artifacts have been discovered at Meols suggesting that it was a large Roman settlement. Romans are thought to have quarried stone at Storeton, and a tombstone commemorating a centurion, almost certainly made of Storeton stone, can be seen, with other Roman artifacts. at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. Traces of what seems to be roman roads have been discovered at Greaseby and at Street Hey near Williaston, and in 1850, when Wallasey Docks were being built, the remains of an ancient bridge, thought to be Roman construction, was found. The bridge was, apparently, 100 feet long and consisted of oak beams supported by stone piers.

The Romans withdrew from Britain in about 410 AD, but further invaders soon appeared. The Romano-Britons were harried by raiding Picts and Scots, who descended from the North, and later by the Anglo-Saxons, invaders from Denmark and Germany. The circumstances surrounding the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons were not clear. It being possible that some groups were actually invited by the British as mercenaries to fight the picts and scots. Be that as it may, the British and Anglo-Saxons were soon fighting each other, the invaders eventually gaining the upper hand, and in 604 AD Aethelfirth, the Saxon King of Northumbria took the city of Chester. Place names ending in ton and ham are a legacy of the Anglo-Saxons.

The Anglo-Saxons eventually dominated life in the southern half of mainland Britain, their distinctive culture forming the basis of our modern society, but England was shaken to its heart by the coming, in the late 8th Century, of the Norsemen. These ferocious fighters and expert seamen were natives of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and a violent raid in Northumbria island of Lindisfarne, an event described with horror and outrage by contemporary writers, marked their arrival. The Norsemen were soon firmly established in the British Isles and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 893 AD records the taking of Chester by the invaders who then made repeated incursions into Wirral, settling along the Dee coast. Their presence is commemorated to place names ending in "by" and "wall", the name Thingwall deriving from the Vikings parliament or "thing". The actual site of this meeting place is thought to have been at nearby Cross Hill by the A551.

Warfare between Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians continued, the depredations of the invaders only being halted by King Alfred and his descendants, notably his son Edward The Elder, and his daughter Aethelflaed who, with her husband Athelred, drove the Vikings out of Chester and transformed Cheshire into an Anglo-Saxon stronghold. Alfred's battle against the Norsemen was also carried on by his grandson Athelstan who united the English and defeated an army of Scots, Picts,Welsh and Norsemen in a tremendous battle in 937 AD at a place known as Brunanburgh. Surprising , the site of this hard-fought and bloody battle, one of the most important in British History, is not known, but among the locations, which have been suggested, is that of Bromborough. Certainly the site would appear to have strategic significance: it is close to the Mersey and the Irish Sea, and the Norsemen and their allies, had they won the battle, could then have advanced on Chester, from there penetrating deep into Anglo-Saxon England.

Britain was only to know another hundred years or so of relative peace before the arrival of another force of invaders - the Normans. These ruthless and determined warriors from Northern France were in fact descendants of the Vikings, one of William the Conquerors's forbears being the Norwegian King Rolf Ganger. Following the defeat of King Harold's army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William's forces soon took control of England, a task dependent on the rapid construction of castles. The first Norman castles were of earth and timber, but once the invaders established their hold on the country they began to build castles of stone, one being at Shotwick.

Shotwick Castle



Today Shotwick is one of the quietest villages on the Wirral Peninsula, but this was once an important settlement with a ford across the River Dee to Wales - still in use in the late 18th Century - and a castle, which was the base for many English military operations against the Welsh. The castle is thought to have been built some time before 1093 by the first Norman Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus - 'Hugh The Wolf' - William the Conqueror's nephew who, as his name suggests, was a typical Norman - ruthless, bold and cunning. As a young man he was active and powerful, but as he grew older he became, like his uncle, enormously corpulent, the Welsh referring to him as Hugh the Gross. No trace of the Norman castle remains above ground, but it was undoubtedly a formidable building having, it is thought, an outer wall with several circular towers and a central square keep. It was almost certainly built on the site of an earlier defensive structure, probably Saxon/ The castle's earthworks can still be seen about a mile south of the village, the spot being reached by a footpath which connects Shotwick with Great Saughall. Henry II stayed at Shotwick in 1156 when he led his army against the Welsh, as did Henry III in 1245, and Edward I in 1278. Peace was finally made with the Welsh after 1281, following the death of Prince Llewlyn, and the castle seems to have gradually fallen into decay from this time on. The ruins were still standing in the 17th Century but, as they were regarded as a ready source of building material they eventually disappeared.

Shotwick, like other Wirral villages, was noted for the archers, the longbow playing a vital role in medieval warfare. As late as 1541, in Henry VII's reign, an act was passed enforcing the construction and maintenance of butts for archery practice and an old tithe map of 1843 the fields just below the church are marked with The Butts. A further reminder of unsettled times can be seen in the porch of Shotwick Church. Here, in one of the sandstone walls, are grooves, probably dating from the 16th Century, where arrows were sharpened.

The Tower At Brimstage



At the centre of the Wirral Peninsula sits the pleasant village of Brimstage which has an intriguing oddity that is found here. The village is overlooked by Brimstage Hall, attached to which is a tower of obvious antiquity, It is not known when the tower was built, the first reference to it being in 1398 when Sir Hugh de Hulse and his wife Margery were granted a licence to build an oratory - a small chapel - at their residence here. it is thought that oratory was in the base of this tower, which gives every impression of having been used earlier as a defensive structure. It is set upon a slight rise and anyone on the roof could have seen for miles - as far, in fact, as the mountains of Moel Fammau in Wales. The thick walls are pierced by arrow slits and the summit is machicolated, to allow missiles or unpleasant substances to be dropped on attackers. The roof, consisting of thick stone slabs is supported by massive corbels and reached by a winding, much worn, stone staircase. And there may of been a moat around the structure at one time. In the Cheshire volume Buildings of England (1971) by Nikolaus Pevsner and E. Hubbert assert that ''the building has every appearance of been a tower house ie. a compactly planned fortified dwelling of the peel-tower type'.

Leasowe Castle



It has been said that there has been a building on the site now occupied by Leasowe Castle for hundreds of years. Originally, it consisted of a tower, which was built in 1593 by Ferdinando Stanley, the 5th Earl of Derby. Ferdinando was born in 1559 and at the age of 14 was called to Windsor by Elizabeth I. He held no senior office in court, but between 1585-86 he was Mayor of Liverpool. He took, it is said, the Manor of Wallasey in 1594 and died not long after in the same year.

Though the structure does not seem to have any strategic significance, but it was obviously capable of withstanding the attacks of casual marauders in times when the Wirral Peninsula was a wild lawless place. The walls of the tower are three feet thick, and it was originally surrounded by a deep ditch. Furthermore, the doorway, which can be seen in the ground floor room of a later turret, was over five feet from the ground, probably being entered by means of a ramp and drawbridge which could be drawn up from inside. Over the years there have been many additions to the castle, which has had a chequered career, opening in 1970 as a restaurant and hotel, a role it still fills today.

The Perch Rock Battery



The Perch Rock Battery, often referred to locally as Fort Perch Rock, is situated near Wallasey on the northern corner of the Wirral Peninsula. It was one of many defence's erected around the English coast in case Napoleon should try to invade the country or plunder coastal towns and was completed in 1829 from plans made by Captain Kitson. Red sandstone used in the construction of the fort came largely from the Runcorn Quarries, and was floated down the river in sort of flats and unloaded when the tide was out. Other stone came from Claughton Quarries. The stone was so soft and had to be left to be weathered. The Battery covers about 4.000 yards. Accommodation was provided for one hundred men, and the fort was equipped with eighteen guns, these being positioned to cover Rock Channel, the entrance to the Mersey from the Irish Sea. The fort has never been involved in any fighting and in 1958 the War Office put it up for auction. It now contains a museum, one of the exhibits being the remains of a Heinkel bomber which was shot down near Chester in August 14th, 1940 after a battle with three Spitfires training instructors from RAF Hawarden.

The Magazines



In the 1750's the Corporation of Liverpool decided to move the Powder Magazines, used to store explosive and shot from ships in port, from their site in Clarence Street and find a more isolated site for them on the Cheshire side of the River Mersey. Accordingly, a suitable plot was purchased on the south bank of the Mersey at Wallasey and the new magazine constructed. They were renovated and enlarged in 1838-39, and were still in use until 1851, when it was decided that in future explosives would be stored in hulks further up the river at the Bight of Sloyne. The move was probably prompted by safety concerns, the land around the Magazines having become much more built up.

In 1858 a battery was built on the site, and the imposing gateway with its crenulated towers, survives to this day as does the perimeter wall which now encircles several houses. Facing the south wall of the battery, on the other side of the road (Magazine Brow) are several cottages, perhaps dating from the 17th Century. These were probably first inhabited by fishermen, but it is thought that they were later occupied by offices from the battery. The Magazines were often referred to as Liscard Magazines and the fort as Liscard Battery, but the name Liscard later became attached to an area about a mile away where Wallasey's main shopping area is situated. A quaint circular dwelling may be seen about fifty yards from the fort's gateway, this being known as the Round House.

Now forming part of a private residence, this was once occupied by the battery's watchman. Further along Magazine Brow are situated two public houses, the Pilot Boat and The Magazines, the latter having been built in 1759 and once used by sailors who were having their outward bound ships reloaded with munitions at the Liscard Magazines.


Top
Wirral History Advertising
Click me for more Information......


Looking for a Service / Tradesman? Look in our Local Business Directory. Click Me
#424445 - 10th Aug 2010 4:04pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: ]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Thanks for that Paul. Just the usual - First Class !!!!!

Top
#424449 - 10th Aug 2010 4:08pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: ]
Capt_America Online   content
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1499
Loc: Wallasey
That was a great read. Many thanks for taking the time and effort.
_________________________
See you in cyberspace!

Top
#424455 - 10th Aug 2010 5:24pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: Capt_America]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
thumbsup
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

Top
#424476 - 10th Aug 2010 6:58pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: bert1]
TRANCENTRAL Offline

Green Meanie
Wiki Master

Registered: 10th Apr 2008
Posts: 13454
Loc: Underground
Thanks mate very interesting read as always thumbsup
_________________________
Please do not adjust your mind, there is a slight problem with reality. #backscovered

Top
#424480 - 10th Aug 2010 7:58pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: TRANCENTRAL]
PeteC Offline
Member

Registered: 14th Jul 2009
Posts: 80
Loc: Birkenhead
Very good article, thanks for that smile

I personally feel the Vikings got a bad press 1) because we only have written testimony from the Anglo-Saxons and 2) they were renowned traders, so they couldn't have been all bad.

Top
#424502 - 10th Aug 2010 9:37pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: PeteC]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 678
Loc: Isle of Wight
Excellent concise read. thumbsup

Top
#424535 - 11th Aug 2010 12:33am Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: bri445]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15985
Loc: New Brighton
Thankyou for sharing happy
_________________________


http://www.youtube.com/user/stetopop

Top
#424677 - 11th Aug 2010 11:44pm Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: _Ste_]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
Very interesting. I read that the tower at Leasowe Castle was originally built as a hunting lodge/tower, as wirral was abudant with deer and boar at the time. Dont forget that back then it would have been further inland!
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

Top
#424680 - 12th Aug 2010 12:13am Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: hoseman]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9668
Loc: Birkenhead
I looked into the purpose of Leasowe Castle when I was looking at fortified structures a couple of years ago.

In 1593, the land around the castle was still subject to tidal storms, the tidal marshes extended as far as Bidston.

The hunting on Wirral died out from about 1350 when the Wirral was deforested.

The race course was a little too far away from the castle to make it a viewing point.

The only remaining theory is the Ferdinando Stanley was a bit paranoid and wanted a semi-fortified building to protect himself and that it was built heavy enough to survive tidal storms. It is also suspected that he had a love of the sea.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

Top
#424682 - 12th Aug 2010 12:29am Re: Fighting & Fortifications :Wiki Special [Re: diggingdeeper]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
Thanks DD, just what i read in reference books i have. Also a prisoner of war camp in WW1
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

Top

Moderator:  Mark 
Random Wirral Images

Click to View Topic.
Newest Topics
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry
by granny
Today at 12:00 PM
Question Time
by derekdwc
Yesterday at 11:27 PM
Sanctuary awaits 5 bears
by venice
Yesterday at 06:25 PM
Parking Charges
by diggingdeeper
Yesterday at 03:01 PM
Kitten found Arrowe park car park
by Greenwood
Yesterday at 02:42 PM
For Sale & Free
Melamine faced chipboard ( Walnut or Oak )
by Reno37
Today at 11:36 AM
Wanted freezer kit
by dodie
18th Jan 2017 9:58pm
2pioneer speakers Free
by dodie
18th Jan 2017 9:54pm
Looking to swap an xbox one for a ps4
by surykata
18th Jan 2017 8:10pm
Wanted old cars spares or repairs
by vw_kyle
17th Jan 2017 1:08pm
Featured Member
Registered: 8th Oct 2016
Posts: 13
Newest Members
Branco, Smudge22, Collette63, shellylou, sgjrob
12184 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
New Wirral Info
Paper Recycling. ?
by fish5133
Yesterday at 11:16 AM
Paypal help
by venice
17th Jan 2017 8:59pm
Brown Bin Collections Restarting Today 17th Jan
by fish5133
17th Jan 2017 9:04am
Indian/Jazz fusion music Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:19am
Chinese New Year Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:08am
News : New Topics
Nuns Abused Children in Care Homes.
by granny
Today at 12:13 PM
Parking Charges
by diggingdeeper
Yesterday at 03:01 PM
Spectacles found.
by Beethoven
18th Jan 2017 1:02pm
When we live to be a 100 yrs old
by granny
18th Jan 2017 11:46am
Secretive mega shake-up of NHS could cost 15 mil
by RUDEBOX
16th Jan 2017 5:58pm
New Enthusiast Forums
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry
by granny
Today at 12:00 PM
Question Time
by derekdwc
Yesterday at 11:27 PM
Sanctuary awaits 5 bears
by venice
Yesterday at 06:25 PM
Kitten found Arrowe park car park
by Greenwood
Yesterday at 02:42 PM
Puppy wanted good careing home offered
by chris7777
Yesterday at 09:07 AM
(Views 24hrs)Trending Newest Topics
Parking Charges 169
Question Time 148
Sanctuary awaits 5 bears 133
Kitten found Arrowe park car park 61
Nuns Abused Children in Care Homes. 32
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry 27
Melamine faced chipboard ( Walnut or Oak ) 26
Jets 5
Wirral Sunrise Sunset
Sunrise Fri 8:13am
Sunset Fri 4:33pm
Local Time Fri 1:48pm
WikiWirral Can . . . .