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Hoylake is a seaside town on the Wirral Peninsulamarker, Merseyside, Englandmarker. It is located at the north western corner of the peninsula, near to the town of West Kirbymarker and where the River Dee estuary meets the Irish Seamarker. As of the 2001 Census, the population of Hoylake was 5,710 of a total population of 13,042, as part of the Hoylake & Meolsmarker local government ward.


In 1690, William III set sail from Hoylake with a 10,000-strong army to Irelandmarker, where his army was to take part in the Battle of the Boyne. The location of departure remains known as Kings Gap.

The present day township grew up in the nineteenth century around the small fishing village of Hoose.The name Hoylake was derived from Hoyle Lake, a channel of water between Hilbre Islandmarker and Dove Point. Protected by a wide sandbank known as Hoyle Bank and with a water depth of about 20 feet, it provided a safe anchorage for ships too large to sail up the Dee to Chestermarker.

To facilitate safe access into the Hoylake anchorage, two lighthouses were constructed in the 1760s. The lower light was a wooden structure that could be moved according to differing tides and shifting sands to remain aligned to the upper light, which was a permanent brick building. Both of these structures were rebuilt a century later.The upper lighthouse, consisting of an octagonal brick tower, last shone on 14 May 1886 and is now part of a private residence in Valentia Road.The lower lighthouse, closer to the shore in Alderley Road, was deactivated in 1908 and demolished in 1922.

The Royal Hotel was built by Sir John Stanley in 1792, with the intention of developing the area as a holiday resort. The numerous steam packet vessels sailing between Liverpool and North Walesmarker which called at the hotel provided valuable patronage. By the mid-nineteenth century a racecourse was laid out in the grounds of the hotel. The hotel building was demolished in the 1950s.

Hoylake's lido, located on the promenade, was opened in June 1913 and rebuilt in the late 1920s. In 1976, the Hoylake Pool and Community Trust took over the running of the facility from Wirral Borough Council.The baths finally closed in 1981.

The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorialmarker is a notable local landmark, as it was designed in 1922 by the British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger who was responsible for a number of war memorials around the world, including the Royal Artillery Memorialmarker at Hyde Park Corner in London.

Civic history

The township of Hoose was part of the West Kirby Parish, Wirral Hundredmarker. It became part of Hoylake cum West Kirby civil parish in 1894. The population was 60 in 1801, 589 in 1851 and 2,701 in 1901.

Hoylake had its own urban district council and mayor, until 1 April 1974 when it was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral when local government reorganisation took place across the UK. At that point, Hoylake ceased to be in Cheshiremarker, and became part of the nascent county of Merseyside. This did not please some Wirral residents who have since campaigned unsuccessfully for a return to Cheshire, although some have been mollified by the more recent change in postcode district from L47 to CH47.


Hoylake is a largely residential area and there is an active nightlife in the town centre, which is located at the original village of Hoose.

The town supports a permanent lifeboat station, manned by the RNLI. Initially founded in 1803 by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, it is one of the oldest in the country.In 2008, the RNLI began to raise £2 million for a new lifeboat station and new generation all-weather lifeboat, to facilitate a faster response time to emergencies and rescues in the Irish Sea and the rivers Dee and Mersey.The building was finally opened in 2009.

There are also sailing and sand yachting clubs.


Hoylake includes the independent Kingsmead Schoolmarker, which educates girls and boys from 2 to 16 years old. Hoylake Holy Trinity C of E Primary schoolmarker is the towns main primary school, educating children from the years of 3 to 12.



Hoylake is the home of the Royal Liverpool Golf Clubmarker, built in 1869 on the site of the Royal Hotel racecourse. It is the second oldest golf links in England, predated only by the Royal North Devon Golf Clubmarker, in Westward Ho!marker, Devonmarker. It has hosted many major tournaments such as The Open Championship and the Walker Cup. The club is often referred to as "Hoylake". It hosted the Open again in July 2006, after a gap of almost 40 years, with Tiger Woods earning the Claret Jug for the second year in a row.
European Sand Yacht Championships at Hoylake in 2007
Hoylake-born amateur golfer John Ball Jnr. won the Open in 1890, becoming the first Englishman to do so. Another local amateur, Harold Hilton became Open champion two years later. He won again in 1897 at his home club of Royal Liverpool.

Rugby Union

Hoylake RFC rugby club was founded in 1922. Its predecessor, connected with the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, had been founded in the 1890s. British Open golf champion Harold Hilton was also captain of the rugby team for the 1890/91 season.

Sand Yachting

Hoylake is one of the premier sites for Sand Yachting in Britain, with banks around a quarter of a mile offshore. The town's beach was the venue for the European Sand Yacht Championships, which ran from the 16th to the 23rd of September 2007.


The Merseyrail stations Hoylakemarker and Manor Roadmarker serve the town. Both are on the West Kirbymarker-Liverpool Centralmarker part of the Wirral Line. Buses run through Hoylake on routes including West Kirbymarker to New Ferrymarker, West Kirby to Birkenheadmarker, Newtonmarker to Meolsmarker, and Eastham Ferrymarker to Leasowemarker. A night bus from central Liverpool terminates in Hoylake.

Notable people

Julian Budden, Italian opera scholar and BBC radio producer (1924–2007) was born in Hoylake.The former Olympic Games cyclist Chris Boardman (1968- ) was born in Hoylake.Helen Forrester (1919- ), author of Twopence to Cross the Mersey was also born in the town.

Former actress and current (as of 2007) Labour MP Glenda Jackson (1936- ), James Bond actor Daniel Craig (1968- ) and pianist Stephen Hough (1961- ) grew up in Hoylake. James Skelly, Ian Skelly, Bill Ryder-Jones, Nick Power, Lee Southall, Paul Duffy, and John Duffy, from the band The Coral, were also raised there.

John Lennon's first wife Cynthia moved from Liverpool to Hoylake after their divorce in 1968. Cynthia had also grown up in Hoylake as a child. Their son Julian Lennon (1963- ) spent much of his early life in Hoylake.

In 1939, comedian Eric Morecambe won a local amateur talent contest, held at Hoylake's Kingsway Cinema. His prize was an audition before impresario Jack Hylton and subsequently where he first met his future comedy partner Ernie Wise.

Mike Rutherford (1950- ) of Genesis was a boarder at The Leas School, formerly on Meols Drive, influenced heavily in his Genesis progression by Joseph Roberts, also from Hoylake.

Curtis Warren (1963- ), well-known Merseyside figure and formerly featured in the Sunday Times Rich List, owns a house on Meols Drive.

Indie rock bands The Rascals and The Little Flames are from Hoylake.

See also


External links

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