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About Parkgate > Parkgate Heritage Trail > Mostyn Square
St Thomas' Church
Known as ‘the fishermen’s church’ this building was erected in 1843 as a Congregational chapel, funded by wealthy visitors from Yorkshire. It was the first church to be built in Parkgate.
By 1858 the financial support from the Congregational visitors had dried up, and the building was bought and converted into a Presbyterian chapel.
The building of a new Presbyterian church on Parkgate Road in 1884 to serve both Neston and Parkgate reduced attendances here and the church was barely used until the Church of England took it over in 1910, following which it was dedicated to St Thomas the Apostle.
It closed again in the 1990s, when the building was declared unsafe, but after 16 years out of use it was re-opened in 2010 as a church and a community centre following a successful local fundraising project.
Parkgate Infants School
Behind the church is the former Parkgate Infant School, opened for 60 pupils in 1860, thanks to the generosity of local Neston benefactor Christopher Bushell of Hinderton Hall, a Liverpool wine importer.
The building was converted into a private dwelling after a new primary school was opened in Brooklands Road in the 1960s
This picture, taken about 1932, shows a group of Parkgate fishermen repairing their nets in the square in front of the church. The fisherman on the left with bare feet was Bill Smith, also known as “6ft!!” He worked on the boats with his brother, Dick Smith, and lived in Teal Cottage, next door to Seven Steps, on The Parade. In those days this was probably the only place where there was sufficient space for this work to be undertaken. The blocked-off gateway in the wall has since been re-opened as part of the 2010 refurbishment.
She sells sea shells!
In this posed photograph, taken about 1930, a local shopkeeper on The Parade, close to Mostyn Square, sells locally caught shellfish to a customer.
The lady serving the shrimps from the door was Mary Mealor, wife of Jack Mealor, a Parkgate fisherman. The produce will have been caught by her husband and processed on the premises. Parkgate prawns were a delicacy and not only sold locally, but shipped by train to other towns and cities in the region.
In 1853 the Mealor family built Mealors Weint in the orchard that they owned, and built cottages there. The present Mealor family are the 8th & 9th generation of fishermen in Parkgate. It was Jack Mealor who opened the shrimp shop on the Parade in 1918; his grandson is now semi-retired, and the business is now run by his great grandson.
The corner of Mostyn Square - Ancient and Modern
These old houses on the corner of Mostyn Square were demolished in the last decade of the 19th century after being declared insanitary and unfit for human habitation by the local medical officer of health; the corner property is believed to have been a boarding house run by a Mrs Bushell.
This photograph, believed to have been taken in 1898 from roughly the same position, shows the ‘modern’ houses built as replacements for those demolished.
Last Updated February 2019