Oxton History


Oxton at the turn of the 19th century was an inhospitable place, a sandstone hill with poor soil, covered in bracken. We can read the descriptions of early chroniclers revealing that it was indeed a place of solitude and desolation. Of course there are no photographs to prove this but by the 1850s the recording of images using cameras had established and grew as a hobby and as a business over the next decades. And as it happened this was the time when Oxton turned from an agricultural area into a prosperous, bustling, interesting and beautiful place, with inns, churches, parks, mansions, businesses, shops and people. Happily many images of the Oxton area as it was are still available for us to enjoy in the photographs and post cards of the time.

On this site we have a small part of our collection of photographs. There are more kept in the Oxton History Group Archive held at the Oxton Bookshop in the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum. The Archive is a collection of historical materials, written articles, pictures, postcards and maps of Oxton.  See the Williamson’s website for opening times if you would like to look at the Archive collection.

We are of course always grateful to receive new photographs.  If you have any images, pictures or photos of Oxton or the people from Oxton in times past, we will gladly copy them and return them to you. They don’t have to be old, things have even changed in Oxton over the last 10 years! Contact us on history@theoxtonsociety.org.uk


The contents of the Oxton Community History Archive are gradually being transferred online and will be available through this website. Items that have been downloaded so far can be viewed below.

A brief history of Oxton, by John Green

A history of Oxton: a compilation outlining the events of two millennia by John Green.

19th-century Oxton: a history by Ray Johnson.

Oxton road names: their origins.

Anecdotes of Poplar Road by Peter Urquhart.

Shops and shopkeepers: reminiscences of Oxton shops and their owners.

Slow and quiet: a view of the Village by David Charters.

Henderson’s Nursery: a former Village business by Ray Johnson.

The Oxton Society has a History Group which meets regularly to discuss local history and plan a range of activities, including Heritage Walks of the Oxton area.



This site is an archive of photos of Birkenhead, including Oxton, taken during 2020.  It is intended to act as a useful record for future generations.

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