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Things to do in Rock Ferry, Merseyside

Population c. 11000. Rock Ferry used to be one of the smartest addresses in the North West; this is not quite the case any more. Rock Ferry was first developed in the 1830s as a retreat from Liverpool, for wealthy industrialists, merchants, judges and ship owners. Many of the grand villas of that period still exist, and indeed the houses of Rock Park were the first Victorian houses to be listed, in the 1970s. Sadly many houses, including that lived in by US writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, were pulled down to make way for the A41 bypass in 1978.

Architecturally, several fine grade II listed 1830s/40s buildings around the waterfront area and the Rock Lanes; one decent Catholic church by Pugin (1975); a fairly original Art Deco swimming baths; Rockville Street (1837), possibly by Scott, reputed to be one of the first Gothic Revival developments in Britain; the portion of Bedford Road running parallel is good later Gothic. Egerton Park (1870s) pleasant though of little historic significance. Recently there has been significant demolition and redevelopment, especially towards Tranmere. The view from the (sadly down-at-heel) Esplanade towards Liverpool is exceptional.

Little shopping available except for the usual supermarkets and Rock Retail Park by Green Lane station; Edge & Son Butchers down the A41 in New Ferry is consistently rated one of the best in England and the NW. A few decent old-fashioned pubs though many have shut down of late. One hotel, the Yew Tree, on Rock Lane West - currently under refurbishment. A few isolated examples apart, there is not much to suggest the area's former grandeur, although Rock Ferry's reputation has improved considerably since the 1980s. Good transport links by train(Liverpool and Chester every 15 minutes) and road (A41 connecting to Liverpool and M53/56).

Description by wirralian

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