Today the Motorhome Monkey is in Hale Village Cheshire.
Hale is a village and civil parish in the Halton unitary authority of Cheshire, England. With it’s quaint thatched cottages, historical giant and it’s own lighthouse on the shore north of the river Mersey, this little village is remarkable close to the boundary with suburban Merseyside. It is east of Speke in Liverpool, and 4 miles south-west of Widnes.
The Childe of Hale
John Middleton, who became known as the “Childe of Hale” was born in the village in 1758. According to accounts and his epitaph, Middleton grew to the height of 9 feet 3 inches (2.82 m) and slept with his feet hanging out the window of his house. Because of his size the landlord and sheriff of Lancashire, Gilbert Ireland, hired him as a bodyguard. When King James I stopped by in 1617 to knight Ireland he heard about Middleton and invited both of them to the court, which they accepted in 1620.
Middleton beat the King’s champion in wrestling and in doing so broke the man’s thumb. He received £20, a large amount of money in those times. Unfortunately, jealous of his wealth, Middleton’s companions mugged him or swindled him out of his money while he was returning to Hale.
John Middleton died impoverished in 1623. He was buried in the cemetery of St Mary’s Church in Hale. The epitaph reads, “Here lyeth the bodie of John Middleton the Childe of Hale. Nine feet three. Borne 1578 Dyed 1623.”
The River Mersey at Hale Point can be perilous with changing conditions where formerly dry land can become deep channels or sandbanks appearing with the differing tides. Hale lighthouse helped shipping navigate these dangers of the Mersey. The current lighthouse, which is around 45 feet tall, was built in 1906 and still stands today replacing an earlier, shorter, structure that stood from 1838.
In 1958 the lighthouse was decommissioned due to the silting up of the river and the lower volumes of shipping traffic as trade in the Mersey declined. Those that did used the Manchester ship canal on the opposite bank.
The walk to the lighthouse is pleasant and popular with some splendid coastal scenery to enjoy. The walk starts in the village of Hale where you can follow footpaths down to the River Mersey. Here you’ll find the lighthouse which sits on a sandstone cliff overlooking the beaches and saltmarsh of the river.