From Hoole History and Heritage Society
Illustration from 'Bradshaw's Guide'

In 1841, the small village of Hoole (see: "What/where is Hoole") was part of a world where the parish boundary of St. Peter's Church, Plemstall (or Plemondstall as it was called in the tithe records) and the city parishes of St. Oswald's and St. John's still shaped the identity of the community and an appreciation of what was lawful. The rigid social hierarchy was based on aristocratic landowners with shared certainties in their religious and political principles and matters of taste. Major landowners included the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Hamilton and Brittain families.

Bagshaw’s 1850 Directory described Hoole township in 1841, with its ‘gentile houses’, as “47 Houses and 294 inhabitants” with "743 acres of sandy soil”.

However, between 1841 and 1861, on the same acreage, the population rose from 294 to 1,596. By 1881 just under 3000 people were living in Hoole - an increase of 900%!

It was the growth of the railways from the 1840s onward which brought people to Hoole from all over the country. For a genaral introduction see Hoole and the Railways, and for more specific articles see the others listed below. These articles include a detailed look at the local role of the railways in WW1 and some observations on a petition from 1889 relating to a pedestrian entrance to the General Railway Station from Hoole: many Hoole residents were commuters, and of the 74 householders in Hoole Road at the time, only 4 of them made their living in Chester.