World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Bootle is located in Merseyside
 Bootle shown within Merseyside
Population 77,640 
(2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference
Metropolitan borough Sefton
Metropolitan county Merseyside
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BOOTLE
Postcode district L20, L30
Dialling code 0151
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Bootle
List of places

Bootle (pronounced ) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside. The town was formerly known as Bootle-cum-Linacre and has a total resident population of 77,640.[1] By the time of the 2011 Census population figures for Bootle were no longer maintained. The appropriate statistics can be found under the ward involved.

Historically in Lancashire, Bootle's economy has been centred on the docks and their associated industries for decades.


  • Geography and administration 1
  • History 2
    • Toponymy 2.1
    • Resort 2.2
    • Development 2.3
    • Second World War 2.4
    • Post war 2.5
    • Decline 2.6
    • Regeneration 2.7
    • Unemployment 2.8
  • Education 3
  • Transport 4
  • Amenities 5
  • Politics 6
  • Notable people 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Geography and administration

Bootle, along with Southport, is one of the two main administrative headquarters for the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. Among Bootle's neighbouring districts are Kirkdale to the south, Walton to the east, with Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton to the north. To the west the Port of Liverpool flanks the River Mersey.

The old civic centre of Bootle contains large Victorian buildings such as the town hall and the municipal baths. East of this centre is a sizable area of large office blocks, to the west is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and large areas of docks lining the River Mersey. To the north lies the New Strand Shopping Centre, which gained notoriety after the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in 1993.



Etymologically Bootle derives from the Anglo Saxon Bold or Botle meaning a dwelling.[2] It was recorded as Boltelai in the Domesday Book in 1086. By 1212 the spelling had been recorded as Botle. The spellings Botull, Bothull and Bothell are recorded in the 14th century.[3]


Bootle was originally a small hamlet built near the 'sand hills' or dunes of the river estuary. The settlement began to grow as a bathing resort for wealthy residents of Liverpool in the early 19th century. Some remaining large villas which housed well-to-do commuters to Liverpool are located in the area known locally as 'Bootle Village'.


Bootle Town Hall
Bootle-cum-Linacre inscription on the town hall's external stonework

The Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway arrived in the 1840s and Bootle experienced rapid growth. By the end of the 19th century[4] the docks had been constructed along the whole of the river front as far as Seaforth Sands to the north. The town became heavily industrialised. Bootle was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1868[5] under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and was granted the status of a county borough by the Local Government Act 1888 in 1889, becoming independent from the administrative county of Lancashire. During this time period it was sometimes formally known as Bootle-cum-Linacre. Orrell was added to the borough in 1905. There are still large areas of Victorian terraced houses in Bootle, formerly occupied by dock workers. These are built in distinctive pressed red brick.

Bootle's town hall and other municipal buildings were erected in the last quarter of the 19th century. The population of the town swelled during this period, boosted by Irish immigration and the attraction of plentiful work on the docks.[6] The wealth to pay for the splendour of the town hall and the gentrified 'Bootle Village' area was generated by these docks. The skilled workers lived in terraced houses in the east of the town, while the casual dock labourers lived in cramped, dwellings near the dockside. Stories about three streets in particular caused great alarm. They were Raleigh Street, Dundas Street and Lyons Street. The last was the scene of a crime dubbed 'The Teapot Murder' by local press. Lyons Street was so notorious that it metaphorically 'died of shame' and was renamed Beresford Street shortly before the Great War.

Bootle was remarkable in other, more positive ways. It was the first borough to elect its own school board, following the passage of Forster's Education Act of 1870. In 1872 Dr R.J. Sprakeling was appointed the first Medical Officer of Health, and was instrumental in improving sanitary conditions in the town. The Metropole Theatre on Stanley Road played host to stars such as music hall singer Marie Lloyd. The emporia in the Stanley Road and Strand Road areas of the town were filled with goods from all over the British Empire. Tree lined streets surrounded magnificent open spaces, such as Derby Park, North Park and South Park. Beautiful Roman Catholic and Anglican churches sprang up all over the town, and Welsh immigration brought with it Nonconformist chapels and the temperance movement. Local societies thrived, including sports teams, scouts and musical groups. The Bootle May Day carnival and the crowning of the 'May Queen' were real highlights of the social year. The town successfully fought against absorption by neighbouring Liverpool in 1903. This was a matter of some civic pride to the people of Bootle and the Latin motto of the town, 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice,' (look to the past, the present, the future) was emblazoned on school buildings, stationery, the local press, police uniforms and all manner of other places. The development of the area can be seen by looking back at one of the earliest old Ordnance Survey maps of the area published by Alan Godfrey Maps (ISBN 9780850542455)[7] and what it looks like now on Multimap.

Second World War

The docks made Bootle a target for Nazi German Luftwaffe bombers during the Liverpool Blitz of the Second World War, with approximately 90% of the houses in the town damaged.[8] Situated immediately adjoining the city of Liverpool, and the site of numerous docks, Bootle had the distinction of being the most heavily-bombed borough in the UK.[9][10] Bootle played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic.[11] The famous u-boat hunter the Royal Navy's Captain Frederic John 'Johnny' Walker, would rest in the Mayor's Parlour of Bootle Town Hall and his ship, HMS Starling, sailed out of Bootle and the ship's bell and flags signalling the General Chase can still be seen in Bootle Town Hall's council chamber today.

Post war

After the Second World War large council housing estates were built inland from the town centre, including the area of Netherton, which was built on new town principles. The Liverpool Overhead Railway and Liverpool Tramways Company closure in the 1950s reduced Bootle's connection to Liverpool.

Bootle did share in the postwar boom. The centre of the town was redeveloped and the 'Bootle New Strand' shopping centre was opened in the late 1960s. At the same time, new offices were built in the town centre. The town lost its access to the beach when neighbouring Seaforth Sands was redeveloped in the early 1970s, but the Seaforth Container Port brought new jobs into the area. The local authority, and other 'social' landlords, saw to it that new housing was built and older stock renovated. Bootle did not go down the route of massive housing clearance, and many local communities remained intact.

The borough celebrated its centenary in 1968 and civic pride was much in evidence.


The docks declined in importance in the 1960s and 1970s,[12] and Bootle suffered high

  • Bootle Today
  • Liverpool Street Gallery - Liverpool 20
  • Bootle History website
  • Bootle Past photos
  • Genuki website on Bootle
  • : photos of Bootle and surrounding area

External links

  1. ^ a b Young, R.; Cracknell, R.; Hardacre, J.; Tetteh, E. (30 January 2004). 2001 Census of Population: Statistics for Parliamentary Constituencies (PDF). House of Commons Library. p. 58. 
  2. ^ "Bootle History: Bootle Past". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  3. ^ Farrer, W.; Brownbill, J. (1907). 'Townships: Bootle', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. pp. 31–35. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Merseyside History, Seaforth Dock". Mersey Reporter. 
  5. ^ Google Books
  6. ^ "Merseyside History, Irish Immigration in Liverpool". Mersey Reporter. 
  7. ^ Map
  8. ^ "Liverpool Blitz: Buildings damaged in the May Blitz". Liverpool Museums. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "People's War: Bombed Out in Bootle and Evacuated". BBC. 
  12. ^ "Bootle tourist information". Tour UK. 
  13. ^ "Seaforth River terminal harbour revision order". Department for Transport. 
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Bootle career statistics at Soccerbase
  16. ^ "Steve McManaman". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  17. ^ "Roy Evans". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Alvin Martin". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  19. ^ "The Legendary Tom O'Connor". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  21. ^ "08 City signs up George". 23 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 


See also

The 2011 X Factor hopeful, Marcus Collins was brought up in Bootle. He finished runner-up in 2011.

Alex Smith (2 April 1902 – 29 November 1963) was a British professional ice hockey defenceman who played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League for Ottawa Senators, Detroit Falcons, Boston Bruins and New York Americans, winning the Stanley Cup in 1927 with Ottawa. He was born in Bootle.

Psychic medium Derek Acorah, perhaps best known for starring as the medium at the beginning of the paranormal documentary reality television series Most Haunted, was born in Bootle in 1950.

The linguist John C. Wells was born in Bootle and attended school in Wigan, but has lived the majority of his life in London.

[21] In the arts, Bootle has produced the actor

Many notable footballers were born in Bootle. Jamie Carragher,[15] Steve McManaman[16] and Roy Evans[17] came to prominence playing for Liverpool (with Evans later going on to become the club's manager) whilst Alvin Martin[18] is regarded as one of West Ham United's greatest ever players. Former Evertonian Jose Baxter of Sheffield United was born in Bootle.

Notable people

For elections to Sefton Council the town of Bootle is split between the electoral wards of Netherton and Orrell, whose three representatives, who are all members of the Labour Party, are Susan Ellen Bradshaw, Robert John Brennan, and Ian Ralph Maher. Derby, whose three representatives are Linda Cluskey and Carol Gustafson, who are members of the Labour Party, and Paul Larkin who is a member of the Liberal Democrats, and finally Linacre whose three representatives, who are all members of the Labour Party, are John Fairclough, Gordon Friel, and Doreen Kerrigan. Overall there are nine councillors representing the Bootle area, all of them are members of the Labour Party. Overall the electoral wards of Sefton Council in and around Bootle and the parliamentary constituency itself are extremely safe seats for the Labour Party, sometimes standing uncontested by the other parties. This strong support for the Labour Party is mainly due to the town's working class population, whose mentality is very politically Left-wing, and active both from within the area and from outside. The population generally feel that they suffered badly from the Thatcherite political reforms of the Conservative Party and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period the area developed a reputation as a stronghold of the Militant group and later epitomised with Bootle's enthusiastic support of the Liverpool dockers' strike of 1995–1998. As a result of this strong Left-wing identification, Conservative Party support in Bootle is minimal with the party struggling to retain its deposit at elections. However, most local politicians today are relatively moderate Centre-left.

Originally a Conservative seat, Bootle elected early MPs such as Andrew Bonar Law, a future Tory Prime Minister. The seat was briefly Liberal in the early 1920s. Labour first captured the seat in 1929, in the personage of local hairdresser John Kinley, but lost it in 1931. Although Kinley recaptured it in 1945 it did not become safely Labour until the long tenure of Simon Mahon. It is now impregnable, politically, and since 1997 the Bootle constituency has been the safest Labour Party seat in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area was represented in parliament by Joe Benton until he stood down in 2015.


The town has a leisure centre located in the North Park area, which includes a modern gym, swimming pool, and various indoor sports halls. The Bootle New Strand shopping centre contains many of the regular high street stores, combined with a smaller collection of local businesses. For entertainment there is a wide variety of public houses, snooker clubs and late night bars. There are also a number of restaurants.


Bootle Docks used to host passenger ships to Belfast and Dublin however now it is used solely for freight services, and is somewhat less important to the port of Liverpool

The bus station is underneath the New Strand Shopping Centre, and provides services to Liverpool City Centre, Penny Lane, Allerton, Tuebrook and Crosby.

There are two railway stations served by frequent electric services from Liverpool to Southport. These are Oriel Road near the Victorian era civic centre, and New Strand, serving the shopping centre. A goods line, the Bootle Branch, is still in use, this however used to be a passenger line which had a station at Bootle Balliol Road railway station and served the areas of Clubmoor, Tuebrook and Childwall among other places, it closed during the 1960s called the Canada Dock Branch, a second route, the North Mersey Branch could still be opened.

Bootle bus station


In January 2014, a multi-million pound facility called the L20 Building located on Stanley Road was opened. This houses a dedicated University Centre with open-plan study areas for students studying University level courses.

The town has one further education college, Hugh Baird College, located on Balliol Road. The college delivers over 300 courses to more than 7,000 students with course levels from Entry Level to Level 3, A Levels, apprenticeships and university level courses and degrees.

Hugh Baird College


The economic recovery on Merseyside since the 1980s has meant that Bootle is ranked as only the tenth worst area for unemployment in Britain, and all other parts of the region have lower unemployment—a stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s when areas of Merseyside dominated the list of Britain's least economically active areas. As of 2009, in the depth of a recession, unemployment stands at 12%.[14]


A number of other significant development projects completed include the refurbishment of Oriel Road Station, promoted by Merseytravel, the creation of a new block of flats on the site of the Stella Maris building and a Lidl store on Stanley Road. Walmart stores inc, owners of Asda superstores have invested in building a new superstore on Strand Road. It is perhaps in this new spirit of optimism, that banners have appeared, adorning the town centre with the Latin motto of the former borough: 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice.' In 2008, the town centre management programme was introduced, via the Stepclever initiative, to support SME businesses and drive the regeneration of Bootle as a retail destination. The programme has delivered a new brand image, and a website, [].

Bootle is undergoing massive regeneration, which has included the creation of the HSE buildings and the new-look Strand Road. Many old houses are being demolished to make way for new housing projects and lots of regeneration projects for existing properties and council buildings are ongoing.



This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.