Thornton Hough

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 53.3226
longitude= -3.0475
map_type= Merseyside
official_name= Thornton Hough
shire_county= Merseyside
population= 770 (2001 Census)citeweb|url=|title=Wirral 2001 Census: Thornton Hough|work=Metropolitan Borough of Wirral|accessdate=17 May|accessyear=2007]
shire_district= Wirral
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Wirral South
post_town= WIRRAL
postcode_district= CH63
postcode_area= CH
dial_code= 0151
os_grid_reference= SJ303811
Thornton Hough is a Victorian-era village on the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England. Located near Neston, Cheshire, it is roughly five miles from Liverpool and ten miles from Chester. It is part of the Clatterbridge Ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral and is situated in the parliamentary constituency of Wirral South. At the 2001 Census, Thornton Hough had 770 inhabitants of a total of 16,906 people living within the ward. [citeweb|url=|title=2001 Census: Clatterbridge (Ward)|work=Office for National Statistics|accessdate=17 May|accessyear=2007]


Mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Torintone", the present name of the village was established when the daughter of local landowner Roger de Thorneton, married Richard de Hoghe during the reign of Edward II.citeweb|url=|title=Thornton Hough history||work=Gavin Hunter|accessdate=17 May|accessyear=2007]

By the beginning of the 19th century, Thornton Hough formed part of the Neston Estate owned by Baron Mostyn of Mostyn, Flintshire and was a township in Neston Parish of the Wirral Hundred. The population was 165 in 1801, 164 in 1851, 547 in 1901 and 506 in 1951. [citeweb|url=|work=GENUKI UK & Ireland Genealogy|title=Cheshire Towns & Parishes: Thornton Hough|accessdate=17 May|accessyear=2007]

Ownership of a large part of the village passed to Joseph Hirst, who added a church, the first school in the area and built 'Wilshaw Terrace' cottages in the 1860s. The village was largely rebuilt and expanded in the 1880s by the third Lord Leverhulme, of the then Lever Brothers soap company, now the Unilever corporation. His aim was to create as a clean and safe environment for the farm and Manor workers to live in. A similar village was built in nearby Port Sunlight, next to the Lever soapworks, for the Soapworks workers.

Thornton Hough was part of the Wirral Rural District from 1894 until it was superseded in 1933 by the Wirral Urban District. Further changes occurred on 1 April 1974, when local government reorganisation resulted in most of Wirral, including Thornton Hough, transfer from the county of Cheshire to Merseyside as part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral.


Thornton Hough, along with the neighbouring villages of Brimstage and Raby, are within an Area of Special Landscape Value, a protective designation to preserve the character and appearance of the area. This is part of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. [citeweb|url=|title=Brimstage, Raby & Thornton Hough: A Strategy for Change Management|page=28|work=Thornton Hough Community Trust|accessdate=29 August|accessyear=2007]

Key features

Thornton Hough's central feature is the village green, a patch of common ground that includes a cricket pitch and pavilion, tennis courts, and a children's play area.

Thornton Hough has two churches: All Saints, built in 1867 by Joseph Hirst, has a spire and tower displaying five clock faces; St George's was built by William Lever in 1906 as part of his reconstruction of the village.The local primary school is Thornton Hough Primary School located on St George's way. This school building was originally built to serve as a military building, but was turned over for school usage after the Second World War. The original playground has been reduced in size due to the building extensions of decking and garden areas.

The Parish Hall, originally the village school until closure in 1953, is small and has a Victorian exterior, although its interior was recently redesigned to look more modern.

The Village Hall is a large extension to the original wooden structure hall belonging to St George's Church and was built in the 1970s by Collins Construction. It is also referred to as the 'New' Village Hall to set it apart from the Parish Hall which is used for the fortnightly youth club. Since it first opened, the hall has been used for a variety of local events and as a venue for parties. The hall is utilised by the local badminton club, the village play-school and provides a meeting place for the Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.

Thornton Manor, dating from the 1840s, was occupied by Lord Leverhulme from 1893. The building was rebuilt over the next twenty years in an Elizabethan style. Today, the manor is used as a wedding venue and provides facilities for corporate functions. [citeweb|url=|title=Thornton Manor website|accessdate=1 May|accessyear=2008]

hops and pubs

The village has a number of shops, including a small and very traditional post office. The counter used to run across the length of the shop, but the interior was redesigned some years ago to maximize space and security.

Next-door to the post office is the British Legion also known as "the mens Club" due to the fact that women used to be barred with the exception of 2 days per year; and further up the road are the old Village Stores, which once acted as a key centre for provision for the village. The Village Stores struggled to compete with the bigger and cheaper local supermarkets, and were renamed the Tower Tearooms, before it's closure in 2007.

'The Seven Stars', is a traditional pub popular with villagers and outsiders alike. Established in the 1840s, it is situated on what was once a busy turnpike route between Birkenhead and Neston.

The village smithy, relocated from its original site in 1905 into a building of half timbered construction, remains in existence (as of 2008).

Other features

Just outside the village is The Westwood Grange Country Club, a restaurant/nightclub facility on the border of Thornton Hough and Neston. Also on the outskirts of the village is Thornton Hall Hotel, occasionally used by visiting football teams.

Events and festivals

The Thornton Hough Scarecrow Festival was held annually between 1999 and 2006. Residents participating made scarecrows of varying designs and quality, which were judged at the end of a week-long open season which attracted visitors from local areas. The festival also included a fete on the village green. The festival was not held in 2007 or 2008 and it is not yet known whether the festival will return in 2009. [citeweb|url= |title=Thornton Hough Scarecrow Festival website|accessdate=17 March|accessyear=2008] .


External links

* [ Map of Thornton Hough, Wirral]
* [ All Saints Church, Thornton Hough]
* [ Department for Education & Skills: Thornton Hough Primary School statistics (2005)]

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