OXTON, a township, in the parish of Woodchurch, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Birkenhead; containing about 2000 inhabitants. The manor was part of the possessions of Matthew de Domville, a person of high consideration among the more ancient families of the county; and after passing by various female heirs through different families, it became, by the marriage of a Talbot with the heiress of the Troutbecks, the property of the earls of Shrewsbury. The estates of the present earl are probably the most extensive in the hundred. The township is situated on a bold eminence, commanding views of the river Mersey, Liverpool, and the high lands of Lancashire; and comprises 650 acres, partly a sand and partly a clay soil, with a substratum of sandstone, of which there are some good quarries. In 1821, Oxton is described as being a dreary and barren waste. It has since been inclosed, and is now studded with residences, which are yearly increasing in number, owing to the liberal grant of building-leases for a fixed term by the Earl of Shrewsbury; of this circumstance, numerous respectable persons from Liverpool have availed themselves, and the commanding position of Oxton, which can hardly be exceeded, and its proximity to Birkenhead and the ferries, seem likely to insure a continuance of prosperity. The approach from Birkenhead is by roads kept in excellent condition, and regularly lighted and watched at the expense of the commissioners of that town. By the recent act of parliament authorising the formation of a park in Birkenhead, a portion of Oxton was included for police purposes in the limits of that township; and the park, being immediately adjacent to Oxton, affords the inhabitants a delightful resort. Considerable purchases of land have been made by William Potter, Esq., of Liverpool, who has a seat here, called Malvern Villa: Lingdale House is the seat of Marcus Freeman Brownrigg, Esq.; and Oxton Hall that of Thomas Alfred Yarrow, Esq. These are among the many handsome residences recently built at this place, whose population has trebled within the last few years. A chapel was erected in 1848, at an expense of £1500, of which the rector of Woodchurch, the Rev. Joshua King, contributed £1000, also appropriating the Easter dues towards its permanent endowment; it is dedicated to St. John, is in the early English style of architecture, and being situated at the extremity of Oxton, is visible many miles out at sea, from distant parts of Cheshire, and from part of Wales. There is also a Roman Catholic place of worship. The great tithes of the township have been commuted for £110.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.