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Friday, 19 May 2017

We now have more than one tree

I was born in Aintree but sad to say it is not recorded in Domesday Book—Aintree, not my birth. Domesday recorded virtually everything so it really must have been insignificant. The fact that it was largely marsh and bog land may have something to do with it. The name itself is Saxon with various spellings: Ayntre, Eyntre, Ayntree and Ayntrie and denotes the fact that the only significant thing about the place was that a tree grew there. Just one. The place possessed just one bloody tree. Even in 1892 the grand population of Aintree was just 300 people. But then the Keytons and Parrys hadn’t arrived.

Its close neighbour, Walton – extending from Walton on the Hill to Walton Vale and its surrounds had a more distinguished history. It, too, was named by Saxons, a most presumptuous people who called the original occupants of this land ‘foreigners’ or ‘Wealas’ – hence modern Wales and Walton or ‘Wealastun or Foreign Town. 

St Marys Church dominates Walton on the Hill and is mentioned in the Domesday book, was rebuilt in the C14th, and restored again in the C20th following the May Blitz of 1940

Walton on the hill in fact predated Liverpool, the future second city in the empire being then a few fishermen’s cottages. It was Good King John, who needed a second base for his invasion of Ireland that made it a town and gave it its first charter. 

Liverpool even acquired a castle. It was then Walton and Aintree knew the game was up.


In time Liverpool swallowed up both Walton and Aintree – which now has more than one tree, and a race course


Maria Zannini said...

At least Aintree now has a favorite son along with a tree. :)

Sorry about not getting a castle though.

Mike Keyton said...

We have a racecourse, and a canal. Can't be greedy. Ref Aintree's favourite son, should you ever take to fiction again - I hope you do - you could always have a fantasy town call Ainmic.