Arrowe is a small village and a large area of parkland, wood, heath and leisure facilities on the Wirral
Peninsula. The park is also known as Arrowe Country Park and comprises approximately 425 acres of land
although originally it was 725 acres. The area is a mass of greenbelt land which stops the amalgamation
of 4 townships becoming 1. The name "Arrowe", is thought like many on Wirral to be of Norse origin. The
name can be translated to "Summer Pastures with a cottage".
The first recorded owner of the land was an Anglo Saxon chief called "Aescwulf" who claimed the land of
Arrowe, Landican and Woodchurch. In 1070 Norman troops conquered the Wirral Peninsula burning the
villages of Landican, Barnston, Meols, Noctorum, Storeton, Spital, Neston, Willaston, Puddington and
Mollington forcing the Anglo Saxons to relinquish control. Landican may not be populated today but at the
time of the Domesday survey it is recorded as being second most important only beaten by Eastham.
History shows that gradually the areas of Woodchurch, Arrowe and Landican which at the time were all
amalgamated, became separate manors all of which had several changes in the spelling of the name.
Arrowe is thought to have been spelt over 10 different ways since 1066.
After the land changed hands many times in 1240 it was the property of the Baron of Montalt, in 1278 it
was sold to Roger de Soterlegh. In 1315 approximately half of the land was sold to Gilbert de Lymme.
The De Lymme family passed their lands onto the Tildesleigh family whilst the Soterlegh family passed their
land onto the le Roter family of Thornton. By the mid 15th century all of the land was again under one
family which were the powerful Dutton family of Cheshire gentry. We know that the family have a firm
seat of power as they were declared Lords of Arrowe and in 1934 a member of the Dutton family paid his
way out of trouble after killing the Mayor of Chester during an argument. He paid a total of £100 for the
incident. The land stayed with the Duttons up until the mid 17th century where it passed to Bromleys,
then the Fleetwoods and onto the trustees of the Free Warrington Grammar School. Over the next
century many farms sprung up around the area, some of which are still in existence today. Others have
been demolished or built over. .
In the early 18th century the village of Arrowe along with its neighbours Prenton, Pensby, Oxton,
Noctorum, Barnston and Thingwall all fell under the Parish of Woodchurch. None of the surrounding
villages had a church at this time which meant that all of these local communities had to use the facilities
The original borders of the old township stretched from Upton police station to Thingwall corner. An old
boundary hedge can still be seen cutting the corner slightly of Thingwall corner where it passed in front of
what used to be an oiled farm and smithy called Greystones. The hedge followed what was once an old
boundary ditch which was not unfamiliar for the time. What little exists of the old Hawthorne hedge can
still be seen on both sides of Whaley Lane. One the first side of the Lane you can see the hedge running
in between the electrical sub station and a privately owned garden, and on the other side between house
No 2 Oaklea Road and the bungalows on Thingwall Road.
Possibly the most well documented person who lived at Arrowe was John Shaw. Mr Shaw was a wealthy
merchant ship owner who made his fortune transporting slaves from the West Indies to America. Mr
Shaw spend over 6 years in the position of Mayor of Liverpool running from 1794 to 1800. After this he
went on to retire in Wirral after purchasing Arrowe House Farm which has sadly been demolished but
would have stood where Champion Spark Plugs is today. John Shaw continued to spend his wealth on
and around the Arrowe area purchasing more and more land. In 1829 John Shaw died leaving his wealth
and lands to his Nephew who under the conditions sets, had to change his name in order to inherit the
wealth. Thus in 1835 John Ralph Nicholson changed his name to John Ralph Shaw. After a few years
Ralph set about building his legacy during which he built the impressive Arrowe Hall in an Elizabethan
style. In addition to this he laid out set areas of the land and began building gardens and plantations,
hence the name today of the
In 1840 John Wright esquire purchased the land owned by Warrington Grammar School for the sum of
£12,00 and subsequently sold it onto Ralph Straw who then 748 of the 752 acres of the Arrowe township.
With the new additions of his land Ralph Straw increased the sized of the gardens planting further
bushes and trees and even creating a lake to increase the beauty of the woodland. The creation of the
lake was not as easy as he first thought, in order to increase the flow of water the engineers had to divert
water from the Arrowe Brook on Limbo Lane and dig a channel across fields into his newly created lake. In
1844 Arrowe Hall was extended by Ralph Shaw to accommodate his ever growing family of 12 Children.
Over the next few decades Arrowe grew in population, mainly as farm hands, gardeners, and labourers.
Mr Shaw introduced many variety's of animals to his woods as he was a keen hunter. He hand rear
pheasants for shoots on his land. There are numerous recordings of poachers at Arrowe Park and just as
many recordings of Mr Shaw's hatred for these men. There is also documentation to show that Mr Shaw
placed traps around his land to catch the poachers, some of which included spring activated shot guns !
In 1867 Mr Shaw put up his estate of 2000 acres for sales at the price of £50,000 but was withdrawn
l;last minute for reasons unknown. In 1884 Mr Shaw died and left his wealth to his heir William Otto
Nicholson Shaw who lived in Hereford shire and subsequently rented the Hall out to a Wallasey ship
owner Frederick Harrison of Harrison Line Liverpool. In 1894 the Harrison family moved out and the
Dennis family move din. Seven years later in 1901 Arrowe Hall passed to the hands of Lieutenant Colonel
Henry Leslie McAlmont.
A year later he died leaving his lands to his heir Major Dermot McAlmont who subsequently leased the land
to Thomas Williamson. In 1917 the Estate and Hall was sold to Baron Leverhulme who again rented it out,
this time to William Stewart Johnson. The Johnson's family were noted to be well loved and much
appreciated by the local community. There are instances of Mrs Johnson allowing local families onto their
estate to burn the guy during Guy Fawkes night, and occasions when she would take local children around
the estate on a pony and trap. A couple of years later Mrs Johnson did and the estate was leased to an
equestrian enthusiast "Mr Rimmer". In 1923 the second Baron of Leverhulme sold off 425 of the 752 acres
of land to the Birkenhead Corporation and with it a legacy that will never be forgotten.
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