Kirkby Timeline


  • 870 A.D.

    Traditional date of first settlement and simple chapel.

  • 1086

    Domesday Survey - Kirkby cited as 'Cherchebi'.

    Kirkby, part of the 'West Derby Hundred' - population around 70.

  • 11-16th C.

    Little change to the rural farming community but frequent changes of land ownership.

  • 1596

    The Molyneux family complete the purchase of the entire Kirkby manor lands.

  • c.1703

    Whitefield House (KB168) and nearby Dovecote (KB34) erected.

  • 1766

    New Chapel (KB7) built on the site of former ancient building.

  • 1771

    Charles William Molyneux created 1st Earl of Sefton.

  • 1806

    New Village School (KB31) built.

  • 1848

    New Vicarage (KB73) built in Old Hall Lane.

    Kirkby Railway station (KB106DUP) opens, part of the Liverpool, Bolton and Bury line.

    Waterworks built by St. Helens Corporation completed.

  • 1861

    Birth of Robert Atherton (KB9) (Robin o' Bob's), ploughboy poet: known as the Lancashire 'Burns'.

  • 1871

    New Parish Church (KB55) of St. Chad consecrated. Ceremony performed by the Lord Bishop of Chester.

  • 1872

    Old Chapel taken down.

  • 1881

    St. Helens Waterworks (KB186) pumping station built.

  • 1913

    Strike by agricultural workers for better pay and shorter hours.

  • 1930

    Robert Atherton (Robin o' Bob's) buried at St. Chads.

  • 1935

    East Lancashire Road built: dual carriageway linking Liverpool with Manchester.

  • 1939-41

    Royal Ordnance Factory (KB98) built: employing at its peak 20,000 workers.

  • 1946

    ROF site bought by Liverpool Corporation with a view to develop a Trading Estate (WFN113).

  • 1947

    Kirkby land bought by Liverpool Corporation from Earl of Sefton for housing development.

  • 1949

    Liverpool City and Lancashire County officials meet to discuss Kirkby 'New Town'.

  • 1950's

    Development of new housing in Southdene, Westvale (KB147) and Northwood. The Kirkby Industrial Estate expands to become one of the largest in the country.

  • 1958

    Kirkby Urban District Council created.

  • 1960

    Kirkby Market (KB92/104) opened.

  • 1961

    Census shows population at 52,207. Opening of Westvale Community Centre, Webster's Park, College of Further Education, and the Police Headquarters.

  • 1964

    Kirkby Library (KB94/528) opened.

    Kirkby Stadium (KB92/166) opened by Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, M.P.

  • 1966

    Building work begins on new Civic Centre (KB334).

  • 1967

    Phase I of the Tower Hill Estate (KB242) completed, Phase II begun.

  • 1969

    Opening of the Civic Buildings by the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. J. Harold Wilson, O.B.E., M.P.

  • 1974

    Local government re-organisation - Kirkby becomes part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley (WFN176).

  • 1978

    Queen Elizabeth II (KB262) visits Kirkby as part of a tour of Merseyside.

(figures in brackets are reference numbers of photos in the main site)




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