Some local history

Sefton Travel Blog

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I would like to share with you some local history from the town in which I live. Maghull, on the edge of Sefton Village is situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton and is in the county of Merseyside (although formerly West Lancashire). The village of Sefton is shrouded in history and features in the Domesday Book of 1086. Further records date back to before the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Sefton is situated on the flood plain of the River Alt which starts on the outskirts of Liverpool, flows through towns historically located in Lancashire before emptying out into the Irish Sea.

St Helens Chruch
The name or my town and those surrounding all derive from Norse and Scandinavian origin and where named by the Vikings who settled here.

This leads me to my main focal point. St Helens Church (aka Sefton Church) is situated in the village of Lunt in Sefton. The village is ancient and because of it's small size and few inhabitants has managed to go unnoticed by historians and very much remains a compact community. The name Lunt, perhaps because of this isolation, and because it has retained all of its rural integrity has remained relatively unchanged throughout the centuries. Standing pride of place on the entrance to Lunt is St Helens Church; again steeped in history. The church has been described as the "Cathedral of the Fields" and the "Jewel of South West Lancashire".

The church is the only Grade I listed building in the whole of Merseyside (inclusive of Liverpool) which categorises it as "A building of exceptional interest". The church was founded in 1170 and was built for the Molyneux family who were the Earls of Sefton. The exterior of the building has remained primarily the same throughout the centuries however it has undergone restoration on several occasions. The interior is a majestic collaboration of Norman, Georgian, Gothic and Tudor additions; all leaving a mark from their respective periods. The church has also gained recognition for it's carved Tudor woodwork originating from the times of Henry VIII. Originally the coast line came closer to the church than is outlined today. The walls show evident scars from bearing and musket holes aquired in times of conflict.

The area and the church, due to it's age, has reputation for being haunted. Lunt is apparently one of the most haunted towns in Britain with a large number of paranormal sightings. This also goes for the public house directly next door. The "Punch Bowl" is said to be haunted by a man in nautical attire, described as a "blue nautical garb" who has been sighted on several occasions over the years. I believe this may tie in with situation of the coastline which I mentioned previously. A photograph taken of the altar within Sefton church in 1999 clearly shows a figure of a man dressed in black standing at the doorway. Brad Steiger's book,” Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places", where the image was found, states there was only one other photographer in the church beside the person who took the picture. Neither of which recalled seeing a "ghost", or human, standing in that position who could account for the image. Due to the nature of the clothing the figure is believed to be that of a priest or church minister.

Thanks for reading!

Gareth (Gulliver86)

lovely_lori88 says:
Very interesting!
Posted on: Aug 31, 2009
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St Helens Chruch
St Helens Chruch
Centuries old grave yard
Centuries old grave yard
Cathedral of the Fields from afar
"Cathedral of the Fields" from afar
The River Alt
The River Alt
Great War Memorial remembering vil…
Great War Memorial remembering vi…
The Punch Bowl public house. A gho…
The Punch Bowl public house. A gh…
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photo by: Gulliver86