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West Derby is a suburb in the north of Liverpoolmarker, Merseyside, Englandmarker. It is also a Liverpool City Council ward. At the 2001 Census, the population of the ward was 14,801 (7,182 males, 7,619 females).

History

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, West Derby achieved significance far earlier than Liverpool itself. The name West Derby comes from a Old Norse word meaning "place of the wild beasts" and named an administrative area called the West Derby hundred, or West Derbyshire, which covered south west Lancashiremarker.

It was home to the Earls of Sefton (family name Molyneux), whose house, Croxteth Hall, and the surrounding countryside estate now forms Croxteth Parkmarker, an attractive public space.

West Derby once had a castle, now completely disappeared, but still retains a courthouse built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I: the first (Wapentake) court in West Derby was established around 1,000 years ago. The West Derby Courthouse, built in 1586, was restored and conserved in 2005 and is the only freestanding post-medieval courthouse in Britain. The tiny Grade II* listed building is open to the public between 2 pm and 4 pm every Sunday except Easter from April to October inclusive, admission free.

Opposite the Courthouse is a set of Victorian cast iron stocks once used as a public restraint punishment for offenders the villages used fruit and rotten vegetables to throw at the offenders. The stocks were placed in their current position to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. Temporarily removed in 2008 whilst the site was renovated, the stocks have since been put back in place.

There is also some suggestion of a Roman site on a street called Castlesite (nicknamed "The Rosies" by some locals). The site is now a small public park, the shape and dimensions of which are similar to that of a Roman barracks or castra. The remnants of a wooden castle were unearthed on this plot during excavations in the mid 1930s.

Organisations

The world famous Alder Hey Children's Hospital is on the south side of West Derby, on Eaton Road.

The West Derby Society was founded in 1977 and holds regular monthly meetings and outings. It also lobbies on planning and environmental issues.

The West Derby Community Association, a registered charity, owns Grade II-listed 'Lowlands' in West Derby. This 1846 mansion underwent restoration and renovation with the help of a £1 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

West Derby has been the home for the training grounds of two English Football League teams: Everton F.C., at Bellefieldmarker, and Liverpool F.C., at Melwoodmarker. However, in 2007 Everton moved to their new complex in south Liverpool called Finch Farmmarker.

West Derby Hockey Club, consisting of two men's teams, play at St. Edwards College on Saturdays.

Education

West Derby is home to a number of schools that have produced famous students: West Derby Schoolmarker, one of whose alumni is actor Craig Charles. St. Edward's Collegemarker produced Sir Terry Leahy, former England rugby union player Mike Slemen and actor Michael Williams. Cardinal Heenan Catholic High Schoolmarker includes footballer Steven Gerrard and musician Mike di Scala as former students. Previously called Cardinal Allen Grammar School, it was attended by Everton footballer Colin Harvey and actor Paul McGann.

Other schools in the area include Broughton Hall High Schoolmarker and Holly Lodge Girls' College.

Notable residents

Well known residents of West Derby have been; Shakespearian actor Leslie Banks, The Beatles' first drummer Pete Best, who lived in Haymans Green - the home of the Casbah Club where the group first practised; Bill Shankly the iconic Liverpool FC football manager, whose house overlooked Bellefield; Carla Lane the scriptwriter lived close by, as did Eddie Braben, the scriptwriter for Morecambe and Wise, Bessie Braddock the famous Liverpool Exchange Division MP.

Transport

West Derby railway stationmarker was located on the North Liverpool Extension Line. The station building has since become a shop and the access ramps to the former platforms remain, although one of the passages have been closed off to the public. The track has been lifted and the trackbed now forms part of National Cycle Network Route 62 and a public footpath between Liverpool and Southportmarker.

Filmography

The former Channel 4 soap opera Brookside was filmed on a housing development built on part of Lord Sefton's estate.

References



External links




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