Churchtown Village in Southport dates back to the Vikings, with names and buildings from this period that still exist today.
We spoke to local historian, Gladys Armstrong, about Churchtown's fascinating history and Viking origins.
Gladys told the ECHO: “A man called Uhtred was given the North Meols area by the king [Richard I] for favours granted, battles won, things like that. We know the Vikings landed on the local shore because of the local names like Ormskirk, Formby, Crosby, they’re all Viking words.
“Uhtred was given the land but the ones who landed here supposedly came from Ireland, they had ruled Ireland for something like 200 years before that.
"Some of them had a bit of a fallout, so they set off in their long boats and they finished up on these shores. Ormskirk is ‘Orms-church’ and ‘Orm’ is a Viking word.”
The estimated date that the Vikings arrived on the shores of what is now Merseyside is 900 AD.
The thatched cottages that are dotted around Churchtown are the result of the Vikings' presence in the early formation of the village.
Builders would turn an old boat upside down, put it on stilts and then create the thatched roof in the shape of the upturned boat.
Gladys said: "On the sea side, they would make no wind holes or doors to make sure it was wind proof. Then there was a central fire in the middle, and the smoke would go up into the thatch and kills all the vermin and the bugs in the thatch.
"I remember staying at my uncles once. I shared a bed with his daughter, which was fine, and he had a thatched cottage. I turned to my cousin and asked 'what's that scraping noise?' and she said 'it's only the rats in the thatch.' I didn't sleep anymore!"
The Vikings' presence in the village can still be seen today, with thatched cottages still being maintained to this day.
SOURCE: Liverpool Echo
Roberts-Haslam, Benjamin. “Viking names and buildings that still remain in picturesque village”. Liverpool Echo. Liverpool. 23 may 2021. 25 may 2021. <https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/viking-names-buildings-still-remain-20652387.amp>.
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