West Kirby is a town on the north-west corner of the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee. To the north-east lies Hoylake, to the east Grange and Newton, to the south-east Caldy. At the 2011 Census, the population was 12,733; the town is on the opposite side of the River Dee to Mostyn in North Wales. The name West Kirby is of Viking origin Kirkjubyr, meaning'village with a church'; the form with the modifier "West" exists to distinguish it from the other town of the same name in Wirral: Kirkby-in-Walea. The earliest usage given of this form is West Kyrkeby in Wirhale in 1285; the old village lay around St. Bridget's Church, but the town today is centred on West Kirby railway station, about 1 km away; the town has a Victorian promenade, flanked by the West Kirby Marine Lake that permits boats to sail at low tide. The original wall was built to create the lake in 1899 but suffered a catastrophic leak in 1985. A new lake was constructed on the site, wider than and allows better sporting opportunities.
The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial is a notable local landmark, designed in 1922 by the British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, responsible for a number of war memorials around the world, including the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London. West Kirby was a parish within the Wirral Hundred, it became part of Hoylake West Kirby civil parish and Hoylake Urban District in 1894. The population was 148 in 1801, 435 in 1851 and 4,542 in 1901. On 1 April 1974, West Kirby was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral as part of local government reorganisation in England and Wales. At that point, West Kirby ceased to be in Cheshire for administrative purposes and became part of the new administrative county of Merseyside. In February 2008 plans were raised for a regeneration of the concourse sports and leisure centre including new retail space and controversially a multi-storey car park; as of 2013 the project appears to have stalled with developers' funding wavering.
Local residents' opposition is strong. West Kirby lies at the north-western corner of the Wirral Peninsula. West Kirby is on the eastern side of the mouth of the Dee Estuary, opposite North Wales and 8 miles west of Liverpool. Hilbre Island is 1 mile offshore from West Kirby, at the mouth of the Dee Estuary. Secondary schools in the area are Calday Grange Grammar School on Caldy Hill, West Kirby Grammar School and Hilbre High School, which includes the WestWirralWorks City Learning Centre and West Kirby Residential School. St Bridget's Church is West Kirby's Church of England parish church, the chancel of the present church dates from around 1320. St Andrew's Church is West Kirby's second Church of England church built as a chapel of ease for St Bridget's, gaining its own parish in 1920. St Agnes' Church is the local Roman Catholic church. West Kirby has a United Reformed church, which dates to 1890, a Methodist church dating from 1904. West Kirby Library is situated within West Kirby Concourse, operated by the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral.
The West Kirby Museum, founded in 1892, is located adjacent to St Bridget's Church. The town itself contains Ashton Park and a starting point of the Wirral Way, which follows the trackbed of the former Birkenhead Railway branch line from Hooton. Sandlea Park lies in the centre of a short walk from the railway station. Coronation Gardens is located between the southern end of the promenade between South Parade and Banks Road. There are bowling greens situated around the town. Another popular activity is to walk out to the islands of Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island at low tide; the promenade and the walk to the war memorial allow an excellent panoramic view of part of the North Wales coastline. Sailboarding and kayaking are all popular local sports. In October 1991 the World Windsurfing Speed Record was set by Dave White on the West Kirby Marine Lake at 42.16 knots. It was held for two years. Water sports fans are warned to wear appropriate footwear while using the marine lake because of the presence of weaver fish with sharp poisonous barbs.
There is an RNLI Lifeboat Station near West Kirby Sailing Club. The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a links course sited between West Kirby and Hoylake, has hosted 11 British Open Golf championships in the past 121 years, most the 2006 and 2014 British Opens. Tennis tournaments have been held in Ashton Park. Here, players including John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Monica Seles and Pete Sampras have played in competition. West Kirby FC is the town's senior football club, which plays in the West Cheshire League and plays its matches at Marine Park, Greenbank Road. West Kirby Ladies FC was established in 2017 and play their matches at Marine Park; the town has one of the largest junior football clubs in the North West, with over 90 teams and 1,000 players at West Kirby United. The Wasps section play on Greenbank Road and the Panthers section play at Calday Grammar School and Hilbre High School; the two sections were separate clubs until July 2017. The junior clubs play in the Eastham League with a youth section who play as West Kirby United in the North West under-21 League.
West Kirby is home to Hoylake Amateur Swimming Club who train at West Kirby Concourse. West Kirby has a large man-made coastal lake, the'Marine Lake'; the structure is large enough to hold sailing events, such as the Wilson Trophy and many more water-related activities including canoeing and power-boating. In early 2009 it was reported that the
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001; the Local Government Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities; these were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time — Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow — were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police and fire; when county councils were first created in 1889, it was decided that to let them have authority over large towns or cities would be impractical, so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, thus independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under.
Some cities and towns were independent counties corporate, most were to become county boroughs. Ten county boroughs were proposed; the Local Government Act 1888 as passed required a population of over 50,000 except in the case of existing counties corporate. This resulted in 61 county boroughs in two in Wales. Several exceptions were allowed for historic towns: Bath and Oxford were all under the 50,000 limit in the 1901 census; some of the smaller counties corporate—Berwick upon Tweed, Lincoln, Poole and Haverfordwest—did not become county boroughs, although Canterbury, with a population under 25,000, did. Various new county boroughs were constituted in the following decades as more boroughs reached the 50,000 minimum and promoted Acts to constitute them county boroughs; the granting of county borough status was the subject of much disagreement between the large municipal boroughs and the county councils. The population limit provided county councils with a disincentive to allow mergers or boundary amendments to districts that would create authorities with large populations, as this would allow them to seek county borough status and remove the tax base from the administrative county.
County boroughs to be constituted in this era were a mixed bag, including some towns that would continue to expand such as Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea. Other towns such as Burton upon Trent and Dewsbury were not to increase in population much past 50,000. 1913 saw the attempts of Luton and Cambridge to gain county borough status defeated in the House of Commons, despite the approval of the Local Government Board — the removal of Cambridge from Cambridgeshire would have reduced the income of Cambridgeshire County Council by over half. Upon recommendation of a commission chaired by the Earl of Onslow, the population threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, by the Local Government Act 1926, which made it much harder to expand boundaries; the threshold was raised to 100,000 by the Local Government Act 1958. The viability of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil came into question in the 1930s. Due to a decline in the heavy industries of the town, by 1932 more than half the male population was unemployed, resulting in high municipal rates in order to make public assistance payments.
At the same time the population of the borough was lower than when it had been created in 1908. A royal commission was appointed in May 1935 to "investigate whether the existing status of Merthyr Tydfil as a county borough should be continued, if not, what other arrangements should be made"; the commission reported the following November, recommended that Merthyr should revert to the status of a non-county borough, that public assistance should be taken over by central government. In the event county borough status was retained by the town, with the chairman of the Welsh Board of Health appointed as administrative adviser in 1936. After the Second World War the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was suspended, pending a local government review. A government white paper published in 1945 stated that "it is expected that there will be a number of Bills for extending or creating county boroughs" and proposed the creation of a boundary commission to bring coordination to local government reform.
The policy in the paper ruled out the creation of new county boroughs in Middlesex "owing to its special problems". The Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed on 26 October 1945, under the chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, delivering its report in 1947; the Commission recommended that towns with a population of 200,000 or more should become one-tier "new counties", with "new county boroughs" having a population of 60,000 - 200,000 being "most-purpose authorities", with the county council of the administrative county providing certain limited services. The report envisaged the creation of 47 two-tiered "new counties", 21 one-tiered "new counties" and 63 "new county boroughs"; the recommendations of the Commission extended to a review of the division of functions between different tiers of local government, thus fell outside its terms of reference, its report was not acted upon. The next attempt at reform was by the Local Government Act 1958, which established the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Government
The River Mersey is a river in the North West of England. Its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon language and translates as "boundary river"; the river may have been the border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and for centuries it formed part of the boundary between the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. The start of the Mersey is at the confluence of the River River Goyt in Stockport, it flows westwards through the suburban areas of south Manchester into the Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam, becoming a part of the canal and maintaining the canal's water levels. After 4 miles the river exits the canal, it narrows as it passes between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. From Runcorn the river widens into a large estuary, 3 miles across at its widest point near Ellesmere Port; the course of the river turns north as the estuary narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula to the west, empties into Liverpool Bay. In total the river flows 70.33 miles.
A railway tunnel between Birkenhead and Liverpool as part of the Mersey Railway opened in 1886. Two road tunnels pass under the estuary from Liverpool: the Queensway Tunnel opened in 1934 connecting the city to Birkenhead, the Kingsway Tunnel, opened in 1971, to Wallasey. A road bridge, completed in 1961 and named the Silver Jubilee Bridge, crosses between Runcorn and Widnes, adjacent to the Runcorn Railway Bridge which opened in 1868. A second road bridge, the Mersey Gateway, opened in October 2017, carrying a six-lane road connecting Runcorn's Central Expressway with Speke Road and Queensway in Widnes; the Mersey Ferry operates between Pier Head in Liverpool and Woodside in Birkenhead and Seacombe, has become a tourist attraction offering cruises that provide an overview of the river and surrounding areas. Water quality in the Mersey was affected by industrialisation, in 1985, the Mersey Basin Campaign was established to improve water quality and encourage waterside regeneration. In 2009 it was announced that the river is "cleaner than at any time since the industrial revolution" and is "now considered one of the cleanest in the UK".
The Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service manages local nature reserves such as Chorlton Ees and Sale Water Park. The river gave its name to Merseybeat, developed by bands from Liverpool, notably the Beatles. In 1965 it was the subject of the top-ten hit single "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon mǣres, "of a boundary" and ēa, "a river." The Mersey was the border river between Mercia and Northumbria. Its Welsh name is Afon Merswy, it has been given the alternative etymology of Celtic "môr-afon" meaning "sea river"; the Mersey is formed from three tributaries: the River Goyt and the River Tame. The modern accepted start of the Mersey is at the confluence of the Tame and Goyt, in central Stockport, Greater Manchester. However, older definitions, many older maps, place its start a few miles up the Goyt at Compstall; the 1784 John Stockdale map shows the River Mersey extending to Mottram, forming the boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire.
In the west of Stockport it flows at the base of a cliff below the road called Brinksway before reaching flat country. From Central Stockport the river flows through or past Heaton Mersey, Northenden, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Sale, Ashton on Mersey and Flixton at Irlam flows into the Manchester Ship Canal, the canalised section of the River Irwell at this point; the old course of the Mersey has been obliterated by the canal past Hollins Green to Rixton although the old river bed can be seen outside Irlam and at Warburton. At Rixton the River Bollin enters the canal from the south and the Mersey leaves the canal to the north, meandering through Woolston, where the ship canal company's dredgings have formed the Woolston Eyes nature reserve, on to Warrington; the river is tidal from Howley Weir in Warrington, although high spring tides top the weir. Before construction of the ship canal, work to improve navigation included Woolston New Cut, bypassing a meander, Howley Lock for craft to avoid the weir.
The island formed between the weir and the lock is known locally as "Monkey Island". West of Warrington the river widens, narrows as it passes through the Runcorn Gap between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes, in Halton; the Manchester Ship Canal passes through the gap to the south of the river. The gap is bridged by Runcorn Railway Bridge. Another crossing, the Mersey Gateway road bridge opened in October 2017. From the Runcorn Gap, the river widens into a large estuary, 3 miles wide at its widest point near Ellesmere Port; the course of the river heads north, with Liverpool to the east and the Wirral Peninsula to the west. The Manchester Ship Canal enters the river at Eastham Locks; the eastern part of the estuary is much affected by silting, part of it is marked on modern maps as dry land rather than tidal. The wetlands are of importance to wildlife, are listed as a Ramsar site. Most of the conurbation on both sides of the estuary is known as Merseyside; the estuary narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead, where it is constricted to a width of 0.7 miles, between Albert Dock in Liverpool and the Woodside ferry terminal in Birkenhead.
On the Liverpool side, Liverpool Docks stretch for over 7.5 miles, the largest enclosed interconnected do
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, or Wirral Council, is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England. It is a metropolitan district council, one of five in Merseyside and one of 36 in the metropolitan counties of England, provides the majority of local government services in Wirral, it is a constituent council of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral on 1 April 1974; the council gained borough status. 1973 First election. 1974 Metropolitan borough of Wirral established. 1975 Conservatives take control of council. 1986 Council falls under No Overall Control. 1991 Labour take control of the council for the first time. 1992 Council falls under No Overall Control. 1995 Labour take control of the council. 2002 Council falls under No Overall Control. 2005/06 Cllr Hilary Jones becomes UKIP's first representation on the council.
Elected as a Conservative. 2008 Last Liberal Democrat gain. 2011 Liberal Democrat leader, Deputy Leader of the council, Simon Holbrook loses his Prenton seat to Labour's Paul Doughty after 12 years as a councillor. 2012 Labour take control of the council. 2013 Last Conservative Gain in Leasowe and Moreton East by-election. 2014 Greens make first gain in Wirral with Pat Cleary ousting Labour's cabinet member for the environment, Brian Kenny in their traditionally safe seat of Birkenhead and Tranmere. 2015 Last Labour gain. The Mayor of Wirral is a ceremonial post elected annually, along with a deputy, by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council; the role of the mayor includes chairing council meetings, representing the Borough at civic functions, supporting local charities and conferring Honorary Freemen and Aldermen. The incumbent mayor and deputy mayor are Tony Smith; each ward is represented by three councillors. Only four parties have won seats to Council: Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat. All other political representation has come via changes in affiliation.
Since the first election to the council in 1973 political control of the council has been held by the following parties: Wirral Council Wirral Conservatives Wirral Green Party Wirral Labour Wirral Lib Dems
Mayor of Wirral
The Mayor of Wirral is a ceremonial post elected annually, along with a deputy, by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. The role of the mayor includes chairing council meetings, representing the Borough at civic functions, supporting local charities and conferring Honorary Freemen and Aldermen; the incumbent mayor and deputy mayor are Tony Smith. On 2 June 2014, 5 councillors voted against former leader of the council Steve Foulkes's nomination for mayor with a further 10 abstaining. Leader of the Council Phil Davies said afterwards “It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, it was just grandstanding by the Tories.” Green councillor Pat Clearly wrote in his blog ``. A routine vote where a long standing councillor is elected with cross party support…but, this year is different as the Mayor elect is Steve Foulkes, council leader when Wirral became publicly associated with incompetence, gagging clauses and bad financial management”
Hoylake is a seaside town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, England. The town is located at the north western corner of the Wirral Peninsula, near to the town of West Kirby and where the River Dee estuary meets the Irish Sea. Part of Cheshire, at the time of the Domesday it was within the Hundred of Wilaveston. At the 2001 census, the population of Hoylake was 5,710 of a total population of 13,042, as part of the Hoylake & Meols local government ward. By the time of the 2011 Census population figures for Hoylake were no longer maintained; however figures do exist for the ward of Meols. The total population at this Census was 13,348. In 1690, William III set sail from Hoylake known as Hyle or High-lake, 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 King's Gap. The previous year a large force under Marshal Schomberg had departed from Hoylake on 12 August, crossing to Ireland to capture Carrickfergus.
The present day township grew up in the 19th 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; the township of Hoose was part of Wirral Hundred. It became part of Hoylake and West Kirby civil parish in 1894; the population was 60 in 1801, 589 in 1851 and 2,701 in 1901. Hoylake was governed by an urban district council until 1 April 1974 when it was absorbed into the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wirral when local government reorganisation took place across the UK. At that point, Hoylake ceased to be in Cheshire, became part of the nascent county of Merseyside; the Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial is a notable local landmark, as it was designed in 1922 by the British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, responsible for a number of war memorials around the world, including the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.
The former Town Hall, on the corner of Albert Road and Market Street, is due to be converted to a new arts centre, known as The Beacon, with craft workshops and flats above. Kings Gap roundabout is home to a sculpture by Scottish sculptor David Annand. Called'Knots', it consists of seabirds looping around four poles, it was commissioned by the council as part of the regeneration of Hoylake and was installed in June 2006 in time for the 2006 Open Championship. To facilitate safe access into the Hoylake anchorage, two lighthouses were constructed in 1763, at the initiative of William Hutchinson; 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, a permanent brick building. By the start of the 19th century each lighthouse was equipped with a single 3ft-diameter reflector, built to Hutchinson's design. Both of these structures were rebuilt a century and in 1865 new lenses were designed and manufactured for the two towers by James Chance.
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-19th 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 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 closed in 1981. Hoylake is at the north-western corner of the Wirral Peninsula, is situated on the eastern side of the mouth of the Dee Estuary and adjacent to the Irish Sea. Hoylake is 11 km west-south-west of the River Mersey at New Brighton.
The centre of Hoylake is situated at an elevation of about 9 m above sea level. Hoylake is a residential area and there is an active nightlife in the town centre, located at the original village of Hoose; the town supports a permanent lifeboat station, manned by the RNLI. Founded in 1803 by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, it is one of the oldest in the country. In 2008, the RNLI began to raise £2 million for a new lifeboat station and new generation all-weather lifeboat, to facilitate a faster response time to emergencies and rescues in the Irish Sea and the rivers Dee and Mersey; the building was opened in 2009. Hoylake includes the independent Kingsmead School, which educates girls and boys from 2 to 16 years old. Hoylake Holy Trinity C of E Primary school is the town's main primary school, educating children from the ages of 3 to 11. Hoylake is the home of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, built in 1869 on the site of the Royal Hotel racecourse, it is the second oldest golf links in England, predated only by the Royal North Devon Golf Club, in Westward Ho!, Devon.
It has hosted many major tournaments such as the Walker Cup. The club is referred to as "Hoylake", it hosted the Open again in July 2006, after a gap of 40 years, with Tiger Woods earning the Claret Jug for the second year in a row. The 2014 Open Championship is the most recent of the event to be held at Hoylake; this was won by Rory McIlroy. The Open is due to return to the
Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 within the Liverpool City Council local authority in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region. Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire, it became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire, its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to North America.
Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary and RMS Olympic. The popularity of the Beatles and other music groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination. Liverpool is the home of two Premier League football clubs and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby; the Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007. In 2008, it was nominated as the annual European Capital of Culture together with Norway. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004; the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, William Brown Street. Liverpool's status as a port city has attracted a diverse population, drawn from a wide range of peoples and religions from Ireland and Wales.
The city is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew; the word "Scouse" has become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. The name comes from the Old English lifer, meaning thick or muddy water, pōl, meaning a pool or creek, is first recorded around 1190 as Liuerpul. According to the Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, "The original reference was to a pool or tidal creek now filled up into which two streams drained"; the adjective Liverpudlian is first recorded in 1833. Other origins of the name have been suggested, including "elverpool", a reference to the large number of eels in the Mersey; the name appeared in 1190 as "Liuerpul", the place appearing as Leyrpole, in a legal record of 1418, may refer to Liverpool. Another such suggestion is derivation from Welsh llyvr pwl meaning "expanse or confluence at the pool".
King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool. By the middle of the 16th century, the population was still around 500; the original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough. The original seven streets were laid out in an H shape: Bank Street, Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street, Moor Street and Whiteacre Street. In the 17th century there was slow progress in population growth. Battles for control of the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. Since Roman times, the nearby city of Chester on the River Dee had been the region's principal port on the Irish Sea. However, as the Dee began to silt up, maritime trade from Chester became difficult and shifted towards Liverpool on the neighbouring River Mersey.
As trade from the West Indies, including sugar, surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, as the River Dee continued to silt up, Liverpool began to grow with increasing rapidity. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade and tobacco helped the town to prosper and grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement. By the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool, the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; the population continued to rise especially during the 1840s when Irish migrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. In her poem "Liverpool", which celebrates the city's worldwide commerce, Letitia Elizabeth Landon refers to the Macgregor Laird expedition to the Niger River, at that time in progress.
Great Britain was a major market for cotton imported from the Deep South of the United States, which fed the textile industry in the country. Given the crucial place of both cotton and slavery in the city's economy, during the American Civil War Liverpool was, in the words of historian Sven Beckert, "the most pro-Confederate place in the world outside the Confederacy itself." For periods during the 19th century, the wealth of Liverpool