Merseyside History

Merseyside History

Merseyside is located in North West England. It is made up of five boroughs as well as the city of Liverpool, and according to a 2016 census has a population of over 1 million people.

This metropolitan county has an interesting and varied history, with many changes made to its definition and makeup by various government institutions.

World War One

Before Merseyside was founded, the area it now compromises was made up of many different cities and towns bordering the Mersey river.

Liverpool, one area now in the county of Merseyside, held a now-famous meeting after Lord Kitchener called for recruits at the start of World War One. Over 1,000 men were recruited following his call. In fact, so many joined up that a halt was implemented.

By 1918, upon the conclusion of the war, there was a total of 13, 726 men listed as dead from what would become the Merseyside area.

World War Two and the Liverpool Blitz

The Liverpool Blitz was a tragic event in Liverpool throughout the Second World War.

Liverpool and surrounding areas were constantly bombed by the Germans because of their importance to the British war effort. Around 4,000 people were killed. St Luke’s Church also known as the Bombed Out Church, stands as a reminder and memorial to the lives lost.  Here is a closer look.

Initial Foundation

Merseyside was named after the River Mersey, a nearby river. The county was officially founded in 1974. It was formed as part of a local government reformation called the ‘Local Government Act 1972’. This act trimmed down the towns included in the county, removing the town of Skelmersdale, and creating the boroughs of St Helens and Knowsley. When Mersleyside was officially created, the boroughs of Birkenhead, Wallasey, Liverpool, and Bootle were added to its definition.

Changes to Government

In terms of government, there was, initially, a two-tier system. The five established boroughs had power, but so did the Mereyside City Council.

However, when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1986, her government got rid of county councils. This meant that Mereyside was run exclusively by the metropolitan boroughs. It still runs like this today.

Improvements and Developments

Merseyside underwent many changes and developments following its foundation. In 1981, the Merseyside Development Corporation was started. They focused on restoring over 800 acres of docklands in efforts to improve business. Two years later there was a push to establish a more natural system in the sand dunes. This meant that Fort Crosby, an old anti-aircraft defense, was destroyed.


Merseyside now stands as a beautiful, flourishing city. It is home to many happy people and is most famous for its museum dedicated to The Beatles and its many successful football clubs.