There is no precise definition of the area of Parkgate because it is not a historic parish, and the ward boundary changes at each revision of the voting list. However, Parkgate is generally considered to consist of the area enclosed by Moorside Lane and its adjoining roads, Buggen Lane, and Wood Lane, including its adjoining roads, continuing beyond Boathouse Lane as far as the boundary with Gayton, which is the stream which flows through the Backwood Hall estate and into the Dee estuary adjacent to Heswall Golf Club. There are over 50 roads with the Parkgate address, including the new roads within the Mostyn Place development, and it is these road names that indicate the history and nature of Parkgate.
The list below is based on an article that Anne Williamson originally wrote for the Society's newsletter in 2005 with the assistance of our former Chairman, Geoffrey Place, and the committee. It appeared in the Society's newsletters in 2005 and 2006. Anne has kindly updated this list (Dec.2015) with further information and the new additional street names. No doubt the contents will be updated as more information comes to light.
Also see GRENFELL. The Rev Algernon Grenfell was a housemaster at Rugby School, who died aged 41 in 1845. He had six children of whom Algernon Sidney Grenfell, the eldest, became the first of a succession of four headmasters of Mostyn House School with the first name Algernon.
On the Mostyn estates map of 1732, there was a field named Barn Acre situated adjacent to Boathouse Lane, between what is now Wood Lane and the north end of Leighton Road. Also see THE LOOMS.
Is named after the daughter, born 1925, of A.G.Grenfell of Mostyn House, who built the first houses here. Dr Bevyl Cowan lived locally.
At the foot of this road where the Boathouse Restaurant stands, there used to be an inn known as The Ferry House or the Boat House. From this point until 1860, a ferry operated to Flint. See also GREENWAY.
This area, off Moorside Lane, is considered to be the boundary between Neston and Parkgate. The name also brings to mind Neston Cricket Club, situated nearby in Parkgate, and founded in 1895 by Dr Henry Speechly.
Named after Emma Bowring who owned a field here in the 1920/30s.
Is behind Brooke House (The Parade), and on land that used to belong to that house. Brooke House is not named after a Parkgate brook, but was a name imported by John Nicholson, Chairman of the Ocean Steamship Company (who lived here after the war) because he had always lived in a Brooke House.
Off WOOD LANE, has a brook that flows down to the river.
Named after brooks or streams. The brook, now piped beneath Brookland Road flowing down to the marsh, once formed the boundary between Great Neston and Leighton townships. BROOKLANDS GARDENS is off this road.
A Buggen is a ghost. It has been suggested that this was a smugglers’ route, so named to keep people away in the dark. See article in Parkgate Society Newsletter Issue 51 Autumn 1996 Page 6.
The Coastguard Cottages were built in 1858. Four coastguards lived here until 1875.
(The Parade) built in the late 1980s on the edge of the Dee and on the former site of Bowman’s Garage. This large building was sympathetically designed to blend in with Parkgate’s buildings.
Named after Nicholas Albert Earle who bought the land for development in 1902. ALBERT DRIVE (off Parkgate Road) is also named after him.
EDWARD PRICE CLOSE
Also see Grenfell. The Rev Edward Price was founder of Mostyn House School and headmaster from 1854-1862. In 1854 Edward Price co-owned the junior department of Tarvin Hall School, Nr. Chester. In 1855 he moved to Parkgate with his school to rent hotel premises known as the Mostyn Arms Hotel, which had formerly been The George Hotel.
Also see Grenfell. Mostyn House School began on the historic site of the George Hotel, a former coaching Inn and terminal point for the coach from Chester, with stabling for 24 horses. The history of the George Inn is rather limited. It is believed to date as far back as 1720's but has been quoted as ' first recorded' (ie mentioned) in 1779. In 1818, landlady Esther Briscoe refurbished the inn and reopened it as The Mostyn Arms Hotel. She died in 1855 aged 72years. The Mostyn Arms was leased to Edward Price who founded Mostyn House School there.
Is sited on the car park and gardens of the former Parkgate Hotel, which was developed as Greenway in 2000. Parkgate House is formed from the original hotel. The name Greenway was suggested by the Parkgate Society, as on the 1732 Mostyn Estates map the lower section of Boathouse Lane was marked GREEN WAIE. The upper part of Boathouse Lane from its junction with Leighton Road up to The Chester High Road was marked on the map as Leighton Lane as it lead to the hamlet of Leighton.
GRENFELL CLOSE, GRENFELL COURT and GRENFELL PARK
Named after the Grenfell family of Mostyn House School. A famous member of the Grenfell family was the pioneering missionary doctor, Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940), who was born at Mostyn House. The Grenfell family owned and ran the school. They built the open air swimming baths (now the Old Baths Wirral Country Park car park) at the north end of Parkgate, laid out part of Bevyl Road and built and owned many houses in Parkgate. They sold the land for Grenfell Park and Grenfell Close in 1985 and for Grenfell Court in 2003.
Mostyn House School closed in 2010 due to falling pupil numbers, and the Grenfell family sold it and its playing fields in 2013 to the specialist builders PJ Livesey of Manchester. The grade II* listed Chapel of St. Nicholas remains, as does the whole estuary-facing façade of the school buildings. Most parts of the school buildings were listed and are preserved and converted to apartments, also the groundsman’s cottage remains, refurbished. The more modern parts of the school were demolished. New roads and houses were built on the playing fields and demolished areas, namely, GEORGE DRIVE , EDWARD PRICE CLOSE, ALGERNON CLOSE and PHOENIX COURT. These street names were put forward by the developers and agreed by the Parkgate Society.
There were six Heads of school during the history of the school, 1854-1862: Rev Edward Price, 1862-1889: Algernon Sidney Grenfell (his nephew), 1889-1934: Algernon George Grenfell (son), 1934-1964: Algernon Daryl Grenfell (son), 1964-2002: Algernon Julian Grenfell (son), 2002-2010: Suzi Grenfell (daughter).
An air raid shelter was built in the grounds of the school during the Second World War, and in the last few years was used as a rifle range by the gun club, Phoenix Shooters.
Named after Emma, Lady Hamilton, born in Ness, who stayed in Parkgate for its curative sea bathing. She was the famous mistress of Nelson.
Presumably named after hawthorn bushes.
The Parkgate salt marsh is famous for its RSPB reserve. Grey herons are common on the marsh.
The town of Holywell is roughly opposite Parkgate, on the Welsh side of the estuary.
Presumably named after wildfowlers who hunt on the nearby marshes for geese and ducks at certain seasons of the year.
LEIGHTON COURT and LEIGHTON PARK
See THE LEIGHTONS.
Created from a short entry in 1849.
Built on the site of an 18 century house called Manor House, probably on the site of the hunting lodge attached to the historic Neston Park.
This follows the route of a footpath that led to the Manor House. (See above)
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.
Moor refers to the marshy ground typical of the clay soils in this area.
Was once the garden of the house on the Parade called The Moorings, that was built in the late 1790s.
Off MOORSIDE LANE.
Marks the old boundary of Neston deer park and the southern boundary of Parkgate, which ran from Neston down to the marshy ground – Moor.
See MOSTYN SQUARE.
MOSTYN HOUSE SCHOOL
The Mostyn family of North Wales owned Parkgate (and much of Neston) from 1672 (when Sir Thomas Mostyn married the heiress of Leighton) until 1849 when it was sold in a great auction.
OLD QUAY CLOSE
Near the site of the old quay on the estuary.
OLD QUAY LANE
Leads to the site of Chester’s New Haven (built from 1541) later called New Quay or Neston Quay, then Old Quay.
Probably the site of the paddocks for the race course, when Parks Fields, adjacent to Wood Lane, was used for horse racing meetings.
The road from Neston to Parkgate. Also the name of part of the A540, Chester High Road, nearer to Chester.
See GRENFELL. Regenerated or reborn from the old Mostyn House School playing fields. Also, the name of the shooting club which occupied the old Air Raid Shelter under the playing fields.
Originally called Playground Place because it was built on part of the sports ground of Mostyn House School. A hey was an enclosure.
The Old Schoolhouse was an infants’ school from 1860-1968. Mostyn Cottage was a boys’ boarding school, called Parkgate Academy, in the 1860s, and Brockleigh was a girls’ boarding school for at least 50 years until about 1860. The road also leads to the modern day Parkgate Primary School.
Remained undeveloped for a long time because its springs made the ground too wet.
Formerly the Turnpike Road from 1787. Now named after the railway stations, one built on the south side of the road in 1866 (to Hooton), and the other built in 1886 when the line was extended to West Kirby. The station areas are now part of the Wirral Country Park (opened in 1973), and form part of the Sustrans cycle route from Liverpool to Chester.
The Swift family can be traced back in Parkgate to the late 1700s. They were sheep farmers and butchers with their own abattoir. They bought a block of three houses, Teal Cottage, Seven Steps and the Butchers Shop in the Mostyn sale of 1849. They ran the former butchers shop, on the corner of Swift Weint until the 1980s, and also had the sheep abbattoir and paddocks up the weint until 2014, where new houses are now sited.
There were several anchorages along this section of coast for vessels too large to reach Chester. Parkgate originated because of the anchorage by the Neston Deer Park gates.
Built on the site of the large house and country club, Leighton Court. It fronted Leighton Road which led from Neston to the hamlet and township of Leighton. LEIGHTON COURT and LEIGHTON PARK are named for the same reason.
A local field name. In a lease of 1751, Sir Thomas Mostyn leased to Edward Edwards of Raby, Leighton Hall and various named parcels of land, including Ban Acre (could be Barn Acre) and Shepherds Loones. Also, historically, there was a field to the south side of The Runnel called Nine Looms. The name Loom historically meant a strip of land on the site of a medieval open field.
THE PARADE, NORTH and SOUTH PARADE
In the 18th century sea-bathing visitors paraded along the sea front. Now ice cream and fish & chip eaters do the same!
Made in about 1815, originally called, Cheltenham Walk. Its original purpose was to provide a sheltered walk for sea-bathing visitors when the wind was too strong on the Parade. It was reported in the late 19th century that there was still some derelict rope making machinery beside the walk.
A spinney is a small copse of trees, usually sheltering game birds.
There was no tithebarn in Parkgate, but a small barn attached to Leighton Cottage was made into a house called The Barn. See BARNACRE & THE LOOMS. The tithebarn for the Parish of Neston was at Ness.
Named after John Wesley, the Methodist Preacher, who came through Parkgate nine times on his way to and from Ireland. There is a tablet to Wesley in the wall on Parkgate Road.
Leads from Neston to the historic woods of Leighton. It was a boundary of the ancient Neston Deer Park (approx. 1250-1600) to a point where a track leads down to Brookland Road. Beyond this point it enters the Township of Leighton. Leighton had extensive woodlands around and beyond Boathouse Lane and many people of Leighton were employed as woodsmen.
WOODLANDS ROAD and WOODLANDS CLOSE
Built on land owned by Woodlands, a large house off WOOD LANE, Neston end. This house was formerly The Vicarage until 1903.