Kirkdale St Mary, Lancashire Genealogy

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Chapelry History

Kirkdale St Mary was created a chapelry in 1836 from, and lying within the boundaries of Walton on the Hill St Mary, Lancashire ancient parish.

The first stone for the church was laid by his worship the Mayor, James ASPINALL, Esq, April 13 1835 the extended church was consecrated 14 November 1846. The church closed in 1973 and was demolished in 1979

Although it had a graveyard this should not be confused with the St Mary cemetery Kirkdale with which it had no connection. (see Church Records section)

"KIRKDALE, a township, in the parish of Waltonon-the-Hill, union and hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 2 miles (N. by E.) from the Exchange of Liverpool; containing in 1846, 9322 inhabitants. The township derived its name from its position midway between the town of Liverpool and the parish church of Walton-on-the-Hill, which, previously to 1700, was the parish church of Liverpool: as the road from the town to the church lay through a hollow part or gentle vale across this township, the place was called Chirkdele, now Kirkdale. Of the families which held lands here soon after the Conquest, was one of the local name. The Waltons were connected with the township in the reign of Henry III.; and the family of More, or de la More, established themselves here in 1280, and built a seat near Liverpool, called More Hall, which, with Bank Hall, was in their possession for upwards of twenty generations. The latter mansion was situated near the sea; it was a curious model of the style of architecture that prevailed five centuries ago, and was then esteemed a very grand structure. Among the distinguished persons from Lancashire who, in the reign of Edward III., accompanied the Black Prince in the royal expedition against France, was William de la More, of Bank Hall, who, for his valour and prowess at the battle of Poitiers, in 1356, was created by the prince a knight banneret; and when Liverpool was besieged in 1644 by the army of Charles I. under Prince Rupert, it was defended by a strong garrison of the parliamentary forces under Colonel More, also of this family. Bank Hall was totally demolished in 1778, and a neat farmhouse was built on its site: the house and farm are now the property of the Earl of Derby. The township comprises 652 acres of land. Immediately beneath the surface is a deep layer of the finest clay for bricks; and below the clay, in most parts, are rocks of red sandstone. The vicinity of Kirkdale to Liverpool, with which town it is now joined, has greatly and rapidly increased the population, and the value of the land, on which several hundred houses have been erected within the last fifty years. The new docks of Liverpool extend the whole breadth of the township, northward, along the shore of the Mersey; and the township is also intersected from south to north by the Liverpool and Leeds canal, the great road leading to Ormskirk, Preston, &c., and by the Liverpool and Bury, and the Liverpool, Ormskirk, and Preston railways. The only cotton-mill of which Liverpool can boast, is in Kirkdale; it was built in 1838, and employs 950 hands: the operations are confined to spinning. On an elevated spot here, opposite the mouth of the Mersey, and distant from it about half a mile, stands the County Gaol and House of Correction, covering an area of five acres, and surrounded by a wall 27 feet high, the western portion of which was blown inwards by the hurricane of January 6th, 1840, but immediately restored. The governor's house is on the north side, and a handsome sessions-house built of stone in the Ionic order faces the south: the adjourned quarter-sessions for the county, and the petty-sessions for the hundred of West Derby, are held here. The whole of the prison is in course of being rebuilt on the plan of the model prison at Pentonville, London, from designs by Arthur Hill Holme, Esq., architect, of Liverpool. The new building consists of four wings projecting at right angles from a great central hall, each wing having accommodation for 120 prisoners in separate cells, besides workrooms, baths, &c., on the basement. The chapel stands between two of the wings, near the hall, and the interior, arranged as the segment of a circle, affords space for 400 prisoners, each in a separate stall, so as to prevent them from seeing each other, while all are visible to the chaplain and the officers of the gaol, in front. To this chapel is a tower, containing a vestry, a clock, and bell-turret surmounted by a spire, the apex of which is 100 feet from the ground. St. Mary's Church, here, is a brick edifice on the west side of the great road, built principally through the exertions of Thomas Dover, Esq., who, at the time of its erection, resided in the district. It was opened for divine service on the first Sunday in August, 1836; and the Rev. D. James, F.S.A., was appointed first incumbent. In 1844 it was deemed expedient to enlarge the building by extending it at both ends, which has greatly improved the proportions of the whole. The east end, facing the road, has two entrances with decorated canopies, a four-light window with rich tracery and bold mouldings, and above it, resting on a highly-decorated corbel supported by a carved head of Wycliffe, a beautiful open bell-turret, though too small for so large a church. The communion end, which in this instance is towards the west, now has windows filled with stained glass of brilliant colours; also a fine screen. The original flat ceiling was removed at the time of the enlargement, and the roof thrown open; the old framing was cased and ornamented with shafts, arches, tracery, and pendants, and the new coved ceiling divided into square compartments by ribs which intersect each other and are covered at the joints with handsome bosses. The roof is admitted to be unequalled for beauty and elegance in Liverpool. The architect already named designed and executed the alterations. The original number of sittings was 960; the present number is 1372, of which 525 are free. The cost of the original building, including the organ and fittings up, was £4000; the cost of the enlargement and improvements, exclusively of the stained glass windows, which were presented, was £2050. The patronage is vested for forty years in five Trustees; it will afterwards be in the patron of Walton-on-the-Hill. The tithes of the township have been commuted for £85. On the same high ground whereon the prison is built, are the Industrial Schools, built by the parish of Liverpool, for the purpose of carrying out the government plan of instructing the children of the poor in the various arts of industry: the buildings are on a magnificent scale, and entirely occupied. St. Mary's Cemetery, one of the public cemeteries of Liverpool, occupies nearly three acres; the front is exceedingly beautiful, and has a fine arched entrance gateway."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 697-701. URL: Date accessed: 01 July 2010.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

St Mary's churchyard can be confused with nearby and unconnected St Mary's Cemetery Kirkdale.

St. Mary's Cemetery, Walton Road, Kirkdale, was a proprietary cemetery, opened in 1837. It was vested in a body of Trustees, pursuant to a deed of settlement dated 11 February, 1837 and was named after the nearby church of St. Mary's, Walton Road, Kirkdale (consecrated 1836) with which it had no connection whatever.

J A Picton in Memorials of Liverpool, 1875, vol. 2, p.408 (ref. H942.721PIC) describes the cemetery and states that "? though small (it) is rather prettily laid out". A description of the Cemetery in 1896 is given in a report of the Medical Officer of Health On Intramural Interments, 30 Jan 1896, available in the Health Committee's Burial Grounds (Special) Sub-Committee Minutes Book, 1896-1902, (see 352MIN/HEA II 5/1, pp.8, 16 and minutes relating to its proposed closure are given in the same volume, pp. 21-77.

Under the terms of the Liverpool Corporation Act, 1898 (see An Act for authorising the Corporation of the City of Liverpool ? to acquire ? as open spaces certain burial grounds within the city ? 12 Aug. 1898, 61 and 62 Vic.) St. Mary's Cemetery was closed and acquired by Liverpool Corporation in November 1898, the Cemetery having been for some time "? overcrowded, neglected and an eyesore ? (see Town Clerk's Newscutting, 1904-1906, 352CLE/CUT 1/28, p. 207). The site was taken over by the Corporation's Parks and Gardens Department and on 10 Jul. 1905 was opened as an ornamental garden known as Lester Gardens, in memory of Canon Major Lester (1829-1903) for over 50 years vicar of St. Mary's Church, Kirkdale.

The records of the Cemetery appear to have been indifferently kept and according to the Burial Grounds (Special) Sub-Committee Minute Book op. cit., p.8 "...the records have been lost". None of the Burial Registers is indexed, but gravestone inscriptions, with an index of names, are given in the St Mary's Cemetery, Kirkdale, Inscription Books (see 352CEM 1/12/1-1/12/3 above) and also in James Gibson Epitaphs and inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Liverpool Churches ? cemeteries, vols. 9 and 10 (RO microfilm 7/27, 3 reels). Source : Liverpool Record office RefNo 352 CEM/4

Parish registers for St. Mary's Church, Kirkdale Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1948 Microfilm of original records at the Kirkdale Record Office.

Burial registers, 1837-1863. FHL BRITISH Film 93752
Burial registers, 1863-1898. FHL BRITISH Film 93753
Day book of burials accounts, 1837-1860. FHL BRITISH Film 93754
Monumental inscriptions, 1837-1898. FHL BRITISH Film 93755
Monumental inscriptions, 1837-1898; Index to monumental inscriptions, 1837-1898. FHL BRITISH Film 93756
Bishop's transcripts for St. Aidan's Church, St. Mary's Church, Kirkdale; St. Barnabas' Church, St. Paul's Church, Liverpool; and St. Clement's Church, Toxteth Park Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston. North Shore's Church later called St. Paul.
Kirkdale is a parochial-chapelry in the parish of Walton-on-the-Hill.

Baptisms 1869-1876 (St. Aidan, Kirkdale); baptisms 1836-1843, 1855-1859 (St. Mary, Kirkdale); baptisms 1856-1858 (North Shore, Liverpool); baptisms 1855-1856 (St. Barnabas, Liverpool); baptisms 1841-1856 (St. Clement, Toxteth Park, Liverpool). FHL BRITISH Film 1468979 Item 3

Census records

Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection. for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

West Derby, Lancashire Poor Law Union

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

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Web sites

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