Tossed by the tides, feted by the fashionable, murdered by the marshes... Who could have guessed that a huddle of shacks outside the gates of a deer park would become a premier port and modish resort traversed by world-famous prodigies like Handel and Turner? Picturesque Parkgate, on the Wirral peninsula, is the perfect place to explore the dramatic and dynamic way in which landscapes evolve when man collides with nature.
From its slender red-brick tower (built by a pharmacist) to its converted corn mill and very own Carnegie library, neighbouring Neston is a market town of stunning architectural surprises. Cholera, coal mining and commerce have all played a part in its history, but most striking of all is the extraordinary number of benevolent entrepreneurs whose philanthropy continues to enrich its environs and community spirit today.
Vanessa Greatorex is a freelance writer, editor and local historian who has lived in Cheshire for over thirty years and grew up in the vicinity of Wilmslow. She spent sixteen years working for publishing companies before going solo. Her back catalogue includes a long-running series on place-names in Cheshire Life, a couple of historical short stories in fiction anthologies, and an article on Robin Hood in Medieval History Magazine. A member of the English Place-Name Society and the Chester Society for Landscape History, she has degrees in English, Medieval Studies, and Landscape, Heritage and Society, and is currently conducting doctoral research into medieval Chester. She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and a mischievous rabbit.