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In 1907, the authors  William Farrer and J. Brownbill gave us the following description of Childwall:

The township of Childwall, containing 831 acres, is principally situated on the slope of a low hill, the highest point of which is 223 ft. above sea-level, commanding an extensive panorama of a wide, flat plain lying to the east. The district has an agreeable park-like appearance, with plantations and pastures, diversified with cultivated fields, where crops of corn, turnips, and potatoes are raised. There are but few dwellings, besides the hall and the houses which cluster about the church. Jeremiah Markland, a celebrated classical scholar, was born here in 1693, son of the vicar of Childwall.

In 1760 Samuel Derrick wrote, 'The roads from Liverpool 'are deep and sandy; consequently rather unpleasant; but the views are rather extensive, particularly from a summerhouse on Childwall Hill, about three miles distant, where you have a prospect of fifteen counties and a good view of the sea. In the skirts of this hill are several small villages with gentlemen's seats scattered about, well covered and for the most part delightfully situated.

The earliest recorded reference to Childwall was in the Domesday Book of 1086; Childwall, known as Cileuuelle in the 1086 Domesday Book meaning 'a stream where youngsters meet' from the Old English words cild and wella. Historically the name has been recorded as Childewalle (1212 and 1332), Chaldewall (1238), Childwall (1261), Childewelle (1291), Chaldewal (1305) and Childewall (1354). Childwall was traditionally part of the West Derby Hundred. It was an urban district from the Local Government Act 1894 until it was annexed to Liverpool in 1913.

In 1596 Childwall formed part of the lands settled on by Thomas Stanley, but reverted to the earl of Derby in 1614. During the Civil War the earl's estates were sequestered by Parliament. The manor was contracted for sale in 1653 to Henry Nevill and Arthur Samwell. Childwall House had been leased to Hugh Houghton, deceased, but the lease had expired. The succeeding earl of Derby was able to repurchase Childwall among other lands and in 1657 he obtained an Act of Parliament to enable him to sell several manors and chief rents at Childwall, Little Woolton, part of Dalton, and all Upholland. The manor house of Childwall, occupied by Isabel Houghton, was mortgaged to Dame Elizabeth Finch and Edward Bagnell in August, 1657.  A year later, on 14 October, 1658, the purchasers, in conjunction with the earl and countess of Derby, for £4,700 transferred to Peter Legay the younger and Isaac Legay, who are described as 'of London, Merchants,' their right to the manors of Much and Little Woolton and Childwall, with the lands and mansion house. In February the following year Peter Legay released his rights to Isaac. Isaac Legay, died in 1690, aged sixty-five, and was buried at West Stoke in Sussex the estates descended to his son Samuel, who appears to have resided at Childwall House, and died at Warrington in 1700, he was buried at Childwall on 23 July in that year. The heirs were his two sisters, one of whom, Hannah, was married to Thomas Hollis, and the other, Martha, to Nicholas Solly. In 1718, they sold off all three manors and the house known as the hall of Childwall or Childwall House, together with lands in Much and Little Woolton and Childwall to Isaac Greene of Prescot, an attorney practising in Liverpool. Isaac Green married Mary, surviving daughter and heir of Edward Aspinall of Hale, and thus became Lord of Hale as well as of the manors of Childwall, Wavertree, Much and Little Woolton, and West Derby. He built a new Childwall Hall, later demolished by his grandson, and replaced by a castellated building from the designs of John Nash. Isaac Greene had three daughters and as the eldest did not marry, the inheritance was divided between her sisters, Mary Frances, married the second marquis of Salisbury. Her grandson, became lord of Childwall and the other manors. In Edward III's reign a dispute resulted in Childwall remaining in the King's hands by reason of an appropriation made by the prior of Upholland'

All Saints' Church,  in Childwall, is designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and is the only medieval church remaining in the Metropolitan borough of Liverpool. The chancel dates from the 14th century, and the south aisle and porch are probably from the 15th century. Additions were made in the 18th century and the tower and spire date from 1810–11. The north aisle dates from 1833 and it was partly rebuilt between 1900 and 1905.There are two chapels; the Plumbs' Chapel on the north side is dated 1716 and on the south side the Salisbury pew (formerly Isaac Green's Chapel) dates from 1739–40. A restoration of the church was carried out by W. Raffles Brown in 1851–53. The rebuilding of the north aisle was by James F. Doyle and he added a vestry in 1905–06. Between 1987 and 1991 the external fabric of the church was restored and in 1994 the clock was also restored.

Early reference to Childwall  found in the Domesday Book, which was compiled by order of William I in 1086. A translation reads:-

“Four Radmans held Childwall as four manors. There is half a hide. It was worth eight shillings. There was a priest, having half a curucate of land in frank almoign.”
The presence of a priest indicates that there was probably a chapel here in the 11th century, though there are few, if any, remains left now.

In 1094, Childwall became attached to the priory of Lancaster, a cell of the Abbey of St. Martin at Seez, Normandy, and it remained so until the thirteenth century when the patronage passed to the Grelleys, barons of Manchester. Sir Robert de Holland in 1309 assigned Childwall to his college of secular canons at Upholland, near Wigan. Ten years later the endowments were assigned to the new priory of St. Thomas the Martyr at Upholland: Childwall was included among the endowments. The patronage of the church belonged to the monks of the order until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536; it then passed to the newly created See of Chester in 1557-8.
At present the patronage is vested in the See of Liverpool, as it has been since the creation of the See in 1880.

The dedication of the church is to All Saints, but there is no evidence of this beyond modern ascription. On the other hand a fourteenth century document contains a reference to St. Peter of Childwall; making it seem like that the ancient dedication was to the Apostle Peter.

Childwall fiveways at Queens Drive 1935
Childwall became an affluent suburb of Liverpool, it was Historically in Lancashire, and is located to the south of the city, bordered by Gateacre, Wavertree, Belle Vale, Broadgreen, Bowring Park and Mossley Hill. In 2008 the population was recorded as 14,085. Childwall is dominated by the "Childwall Fiveways", a roundabout that is one of the busiest in Liverpool and has developed into a hotspot for upmarket bars and restaurants. Former residents of Childwall include, Brian Epstine, Craig Charles and Ian St John.

 King David High School, (Liverpool Records Office).

Among the schools in Childwall are Childwall Academy, known as the Holt, King David High School, (Specialist Humanities College) and Childwall Academy or Childwall Sports & Science Academy which is a secondary school with academy status.

Much more can be learned about the area from the fantastic History of Childwall website, the link to which appears below.


British History Online
Liverpool Records Office
Liverpool Central Library

Robert F Edwards

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