Hoylake: Hyle Lake (1687). The name of a roadstead now silted up, off the north-west coast of Wirral, east of Hillbre, inside Hoyle Bank.
Hylake 1709; Hoyle Lake 1796.

approx 200 years ago


In 1690, William III set sail from Hoylake with a 10,000-strong army to Ireland, 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 Island 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 Chester.

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 Wales 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. It seems everything councils touch turns to dust!

Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, is built on the old racecourse site. It has hosted a recent Open and was a major success. not only the British Open has been held here but so has the Walker Cup. The sands are ideal for sand yacht racing, indeed, the European Championships were held here in 2007.

Daniel Craig, Glenda Jackson, Mike Rutherford (Genesis), Stephen Hough, Chris Boardman all grew up in Hoylake.


approx 1907


Lighthouse Pavilion 1911. Became cinema 1931

Trinity Road, formerly Church Road


Market Street (Closed 1960)

Interior Kingsway Cinema

Market St early 60s (image: john)

Market St early 60s (image: John)

Market St early 60s (Image: John)

Market St early 60s with some friends (from John) 

Hoylake Church 1906

Fire Brigade 1920s with Aster Merryweather Pump

Hoylake Lifeboat and Hoylake signal box

Taken from West Kirby

The former lifeboat station

closed down conveniences, required as cafe last I heard

New Lifeboat station and below, some images of the inside

The inscription says  "For the Children of Hoylake & Meols"

Market St

I think this was Rudd St or the one behind it?

Brosters, a well known Hoylake baker, had one of these, but the van version

Hoylake Lighthouse

The following are a few images of Hoylake Station

Market St

Market St

Market St

Formerly well known 60s cafe, The Lantern - this has got to be 70s!!!

Three images of the famous Spitfire on Market Street

thanks to George Girven for a correction

May 2022


Andrew Barr, like me, is fascinated by any old images of North Wirral. He runs a few Facebook Groups and produced photographs that are magnificent and rarely, if ever, seen online.

Opposite are links. You will need to ask to join the groups but it does not take long and are well worth visiting and staying in. Thoroughly recommended.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/235781049850134/?fref=nf  Birkenhead

https://www.facebook.com/groups/148748861937742/  Wirral Military

https://www.facebook.com/groups/199495886824527/ Hoylake, Meols & West Kirby