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The Wirral Stone

The Wirral Stone

Source: A Perambulation of the Wirral Hundred

First Edition, October 1909

Second Impression, October 1909

Third Impression, November 1909



The so-called 'Wirral Stone', at the junction of Hadlow Road and the Chester High Road, resembles an old mounting block of three steps. It has variously been described as part of a Roman survey of Wirral or the very meeting place of the Hundred Court. Its former purpose is quite clear, according to the tithe plan of 1848 where the stone is clearly marked as 'The Pissing Stone'. Leaving the village of Willaston, and crossing the line by Hadlow Road railway station, the road leads through a rural district towards Burton ; but just before it joins the Chester road a stone will be noticed on the left, looking exactly like a stone placed for mounting horses. On examining it carefully it is perceived that the stone has been broken in three pieces, and that its present form is a matter of convenience. A learned man might give it a learned name, but the name the villagers give it men, women, and children is not to be written here. In Ormerod's "History of Cheshire" is the following note, quoting a letter from the late Mr. Black: "The Hundred of Wirral was in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries called Wilaston, Wylaston, or Willaston . . . there is, or was, or ought to be, a stone in or near the village of Willaston necessarily (by measures) forming part of the geometrical system of Roman topographical engineering in Cheshire. That stone being situate almost in the midst of the Forest of Wirral might easily have obtained the name of Wirral-stone, whence might have been derived the name of the townships, and of the whole Hundred, until the simple name of the Forest attached itself to the Hundred in the fourteenth century." Is it possible that this is the stone to which Mr. Black refers, and the one that gave the name not only to Willaston, but to the whole of Wirral? That it is an ancient worked stone is undoubted, and it is pleasant to think that in this stone is perhaps seen the labour of the Roman soldiers ; in any case, if only to change its present name, and until a better reason is given for its position and history, it has been christened the " Wirral-stone,"