Mike Royden's Local History Pages

Local History of Liverpool, articles, photos, maps, bulletin board, record office information, University courses, useful links, plus much more. Essential for Local Historians!
Royden History.Co.Uk

Web Sites designed and maintained by Mike Royden - Various Local History Sites - including aspects of Merseyside History, World War One Battlefields and local men who fought, and a History of Ellesmere Port/South Wirral
Halewood War Memorial Project

Launched in 2014 for the centenary of the start of the First World War. Research is ongoing and will be feature biographies of those who were involved in the war and a history of the Home Front.
Hale Village Online

The official community website for our neighbours, local history is included in this site dedicated to all aspects of present Hale Village life.
Childwall History Pages

Childwall history pages (and other local history sites) by Jonathan Wild
The Gateacre Society

The local amenity society for Gateacre Village and the surrounding area. They research local history, issue newsletters, hold meetings, outings, and illustrated talks, as well as monitoring local planning and environment. An interesting site by Mike Chitty.
The Wavertree Society

They aim to improve local amenities, protect the environment and conserve the architectural heritage of the Wavertree district of Liverpool They research local history, issue newsletters, hold meetings, outings, and illustrated talks, as well as monitoring local planning and environment. An interesting site by Mike Chitty.
Speke History Pages

Interesting local history site created by Lynne Moneypenny, divided into four sections; the Church, From Village to Estate, local information, and photographs.

Farndon Parish History


Farndon is a village in the county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Dee, 8 miles south of Chester, and close to the border with Wales. John Speed (1542-1629), the famous cartographer was born in Farndon, and King Edward the Elder died here in 924. There are several buildings of historical interest, including the Grade I listed medieval bridge and at least sixteen Grade II structures.

Halewood Local History Pages

St. Nicholas, Halewood Parish Church

Halewood is a parish now reduced in size, located 8 miles south-east of Liverpool. During the medieval period it was originally part of the wood of Hale and it is difficult to discover when they separated, but by the 15th Century, Halewood was definitely a separate township within the West Derby Hundred.

The township of Halewood lies between the old course of the Ditton Brook in the north and Rams Brook in the south, both running into the Mersey. Disputes over the manor lands of Halewood between the Ireland and Holland families began in the 13th Century and continued through the medieval period. The Ireland family held Hale, most of Halebank and part of North End, while the Holland family who were the superior lords, controlled most of North End and a portion of Halebank. However, the Hollands were based in Halebank, while the Irelands' main residence was the 'Hutt' within Halewood. This confusing state of affairs continued for centuries.

Throughout the post medieval period, the township was mainly agricultural which continued until the 1960s when the suburban sprawl of Liverpool began to envelope the west end of Halewood. Today, Halewood is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley. Though not officially part of Liverpool, it marks the southern edge of the city's urban area, being bordered by the southern suburbs of Hunts Cross, Woolton and Speke. However, people from Halewood still regard themselves as from Liverpool, as many of them were moved there from the city anyway. Halewood is home to a massive Ford Motor Company production facility which today produces the Jaguar X-Type and the Land Rover Freelander. Everton Football Club have recently opened their extensive modern training facilities and youth academy on Finch Lane Farm site.

Parts of Halewood village still retains some of its former Victorian character with its open aspects, green areas and well spaced buildings. Halewood Park still reflects this countryside atmosphere, providing a welcoming environment for the whole family to enjoy. The Trans-Pennine Trail is an idyllic cycle route that runs through the site, passing a number of ponds. There are many fine houses and farms to see in Halewood, including The Hayes - the main house of which has a builder's stone dated 1867. Other historic houses include Foxhill House and farm, Wellcroft Cottages, Brook House, Harefield/Ashton Hey, and Irelands Farm. St Nicholas Church is a Gothic style, Grade II listed building and displays pew boxes and stained glass designed by William Morris. The old rectory has an attractive late Georgian frontage and retains the original pattern of windows.

This is not a complete website by any means, as there is still a wealth of material in hand yet to be uploaded. Contributions to the site in any form from reminices, photographs, documents to prepared articles are most welcome.

@HalewoodHistory Twitter account - don't forget to follow!

Tales from the 'Pool
- A Collection of Liverpool Stories

by Mike Royden    


Click here to order signed copies

From the most detailed study of Liverpool Castle yet to appear in print, to the most up to date account of the Liverpool Hitlers, Mike Royden has produced a fascinating collection of stories about the Merseyside area, including grim accounts of the workhouse and two stories of gruesome murders. Two chapters look at aspects of Liverpoolís role in the First World War, while the story of Titanic survivor Ruth Bowker, unknown until now, appears for the first time. Fully illustrated with over 90 images, this fantastic collection will delight those interested in delving into detailed historical accounts of Merseyside heritage.

Signed copies available if ordered through eBay (link above).

Freddie Mercury & the Wade Deacon/Halewood Connection

Before Freddie Bulsara hit the big time, he spent some of his early career in Liverpool, where he had hooked up with local band Ibex, which later morphed into Wreckage. He also played at Wade Deacon Grammar School, and stayed in Halewood at the home of lead guitarist Mike Bersin.

Blackie the War Horse - Grave receives Grade II Listed Status

In December 2017, the grave of 'Blackie' the war horse at Halewood Horse's Rest was granted Grade II Listed Status to protect the site. This came after a local campaign and application to Historic England after fears it may have been removed by developers. This is the only site of its kind in the country with such status. Read about how Blackie came to be in Halewood and the story of his master Lieutenant Leonard Comer Wall.

Halewood War Memorial Project

New website launched for the centenary of the First World War. War had a devastating effect on the small population of Halewood and the First World War took the lives of many well known young men of the neighbourhood. The most tragic story affected the Rector, Reverend Francis Plummer, who lost three of his seven sons.

The Parochial Church Council decided in February, 1921, that a simple stone memorial should be erected in front of the Church, bearing the names of the 19 men of the parish who had lost their lives in the War. The war memorial was erected in front of the church door in 1921. A further twenty eight names were added of those who were killed in the Second World War. Click here for this ongoing study of the men recorded on the memorial and those interred in the churchyard.

Tracing Liverpool Ancestors - a Guide for Local and Family Historians
by Mike Royden     [second edition 2014]

Mike Royden, who grew up in Halewood, is well known on Merseyside as a historian and lecturer, who has appeared on local and national radio, plus several history TV programmes. He has several books to his credit and has now had his latest book published by one of the UK's bggest publishers of History books, Pen & Sword.

Tracing Your Liverpool Ancestors provides a fascinating insight into everyday life in the Liverpool area over the past four centuries. Mike Royden introduces readers to the wealth of material available on the cityís history and itís people. In a series of informative chapters he describes Liverpoolís history through shipping, manufacturing and trade from the original fishing village to the present cosmopolitan metropolis of today. He includes the living conditions of people, including poverty and the labouring poor, health and the ravages of disease, the influence of religion and migration, education and the traumatic experience of war. He also shows how the lives of Liverpudlians changed over the centuries and how this is reflected in the records that have survived.

According to the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are magazine;
"Among Liverpool's contemporary local historians Mike Royden holds an honoured place, having taught, researched and written extensively on aspects of the city's history and the lives of its people over the past 25 years. There are few people better qualified to write a practical guide to researching family and local history on the city and surrounding area, and Royden has done a great job in this excellent new book.
It has all sorts of strengths: for a start, I don't think I've seen a guide on this sort of subject that has a better range of topics...
It's immediately apparent that a great deal of hard work and a very systematic approach lie behind this book. It's a model of its kind and one I know I will refer to often".
Alan Crosby, Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

Click cover for more information, reviews and how to order.

Click here to order from Waterstones.

Click here to order from Amazon.

Liverpool Then and Now by Mike Royden    

According to publishers Batsford Books;

Liverpool Then and Now takes the reader on a journey through a city once considered the 'second city of empire'. So great was the volume of commerce flowing through the port of Liverpool in the nineteenth century that it sometimes eclipsed London. This wealth produced many fine buildings, giving rise to a second Bank of England building, the classical architecture of St George's Hall- today the Walker Art Gallery-and Liverpool's 'three graces'; the Liver, the Cunard and the Port of Liverpool buildings. Some 70 historic photographs of Liverpool's past are paired with specially commissioned contemporary views taken from the same vantage point. You can see the same streets and buildings as they were 'then' and as they are 'now'. It includes Lord Street, Albert Dock, Speke Airport, Goodison, Aintree, Lime Street Station, the Mersey Tunnel, plus the ferry across the Mersey and the place where it was famously celebrated in song, The Cavern.

There are also some of Liverpool's closest neighbours, Birkenhead, New Brighton, Port Sunlight and the glorious Victorian promenades of Southport. Part of the bestselling 'Then and Now' series, this charming contrast of old and new photographs highlights the stunning changes - and the equally amazing similarities - of one of the most loved cities in Britain, its well-known places but also some of its hidden gems.

Published in April 2012

Halewood - Then and Now

Here is a selection of archive photographs of the village, set up to view the same scene today as you roll the mouse over the picture - an interesting look at the village through its changes.

If you have a photograph you would like to contribute it will be gratefully received.

Halewood History - Downloads

Books and source material on Halewood are rare - hence one of the reasons for this website.
Click here for downloads of village history.

If you have any source material you would like to contribute it will be gratefully received.

Halewood Photographic Archive

This is intended to be as full a collection of archive photographs to found anywhere on the internet or in local record offices. They have been collected from a variety of sources over the last 40 years.

If you have a photograph you would like to contribute it will be gratefully received.

Graveyard Survey Project - St Nicholas Parish Church Halewood

Co-ordinated by Pam Beesley. Halewood graveyard has been systematically surveyed and recorded by volunteers co-ordinated by Pam Beesley. This has been a mammoth task and reflects a great deal of hard work. Pam has also produced a guide leaflet and booklet (now available on this site) which highlight many of the intruiging internments, such as Sir Thomas Brocklebank (of the Cunard-Brocklebank shipping line) and John Hays Wilson of Lee Park Hall. (Pam has also written articles about the church and the William Morris windows).

William Morris Windows

Out of the 21 stained glass windows in St.Nicholas' Church, 17 were designed and produced by William Morris and his Company. They are a rare example of Morris' work and have recently undergone restoration. Click picture for more.


Visit the Royden History Index Page listing web sites designed and maintained by Mike Royden
No pages may be reproduced without permission
copyright Mike Royden
All rights reserved