Kirkdale was recorded in the Domesday book as Chirchedale, then Kirkedale by 1185. Origins of the name: from Norse kirk (church), and dale (valley / ‘road to’); perhaps “road to the church [at Walton-on-the-Hill]”, and predates the founding of Liverpool.

Kirkdale was still mostly rural at the beginning of the 19th century, and was still only half-developed by around 1850. Infamous for it’s rowdy public houses and Gaol, it also had an Industrial School for 400 children.

The building of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to bring coal to the docks, the rapid expansion of the docks and the building of the rail lines north of Liverpool cut through Kirkdale, bringing noise, pollution and cheap housing built by unscrupulous landlords.

The docks were heavily bombed during the 2nd world war and post war slum clearance brought better quality housing and the passing of the steam ship reduced pollution. The canal is now used for pleasure boats and the railways are electrified commuter routes.

More historical information can be found at Martin Greaney’s excellent website History of Kirkdale

Kirkdale is split into two council wards:

Summary of Ward statistics provided by Liverpool Council and based on 2020 data:

Kirkdale WestKirkdale EastCombined
Number of Properties3,4392,3065,745
Band A (lowest tax)74 %90 %80 %
Social housing41 %47 %43 %
Private rented24 %24 %24%
Owned34 %27 %31 %
Social care :
Free school meals41 %52 %46 %
Special needs22 %26 %24 %
English 2nd language31 %25 %28 %
Universal Credit25 %27 %26 %
Fuel Poverty19 %19 %19 %
Non white population16 %13 %15 %
Registered Disabled9767201,696
Care home beds4285127

The statistics show that the population of Kirkdale has relatively high levels of poverty, illness, poor quality housing and a relatively high proportion of children for whom English is their second language.

It’s difficult to determine cause and effect, the poor quality housing is relatively low rent which pulls in low income residents but also contributes to ill health and fuel poverty.

Air quality in Kirkdale is much better now than it used to be but there is still some pollution from the businesses at the docks, especially the scrap yards, and that makes the air quality in Kirkdale the worse in Liverpool. There may be opportunities to install citizen run air pollution monitoring stations.

Land and buildings are relatively low cost which creates opportunities for redevelopment.

The primary schools are excellent but students have to travel out of the area for secondary education. There may be opportunities to create educational opportunities and activities to keep young residents in the area after primary school age.

Kirkdale has excellent communications, by road and rail, with regular train and bus services into Liverpool. More could also be made of the Leeds to Liverpool canal as a recreation area as well as a green route.

The development of the new Everton Football ground at Bramley Moore docks at the south end of the neighbourhood could provide additional employment opportunities and inward investment.