|The Greasby iron cross was erected in 1862 at the cost of John Ralph Shaw, the lord of the manor. That date, 1862, and his Latinised initials, IRS, are cast onto the cross. [See footnote] .
The original location of the iron cross was Cross Gardens (see images F, G and H), near to where the stone cross had stood. Sulley (see Sources) described this new location as "....the ancient watering place of the township...." (this was most likely a well).
The iron cross was removed (Brack - see Sources - states that the cross was removed by Hoylake UDC in "the early years" of the 20th century). Shops were built on the land of Cross Gardens. Today the businesses at numbers 84 and 86 Greasby Road occupy that land. The cross was kept in the care of the council until it was placed in its present location (SJ25338716 in Mill Lane, facing Home Farm, see images I and J) in late 1945.
In 1970 a plaque was fitted to the base of the cross in memory of the late Councillor Victor Pickering. The plaque states that the iron cross is a replica of the stone cross. Comparing the iron cross with the stone pieces, believed to be from the stone cross, found in the boundary wall of the Old Hall outbuildings shows some similarities and some differences. The inner dimension of the circle is the same, but the arms of the stone cross end where they meet the circle, whereas the arms of the iron cross extend beyond the circle by 13cm (6½ in.).
John Ralph Shaw was born with the name John Ralph Nicholson, but changed his surname as a condition of inheriting his uncle's fortune in 1829. (Much of this fortune had been created by the export of slaves from Africa to America and the West Indies by his uncle John Shaw, Mayor of Liverpool. Slavery, and the
transport of slaves, was banned by various pieces of British legislation between 1772 and 1811.) John Ralph Shaw was the owner and lord of Greasby and some other areas locally. He built Arrowe Hall in 1835 and in 1843 he bought the land which later formed Arrowe Park.
O'Neil J.T. - Greasby Village Crosses, Journal of the Merseyside Archaeology Society, vol 10, 2000
Sulley, Philip - Hundred of Wirral, 1889
Brownbill, John - West Kirby and Hilbre, 1928
Brack, Alan - The Wirral, 1980
Key to Iron Cross images : -
F - photo c1925 showing (left) Cross Gardens and (right) the Coach & Horses public house
G - 2005 view of scene shown in image F
H - the iron cross inside Cross Gardens (the view is of the rear of the cross)
I - photo c1950 showing the iron cross in its present location in Mill Lane
J - 2005 view of the iron cross
K - the wording on the plaque is : -
"This plaque was affixed on 27th June 1970 by the people of Greasby in memory of Cllr. Victor Watson Pickerell J.P. who died 1st January 1969. A zealous friend of Greasby and Councillor for 27 years at whose instance this 19th century replica of Greasby's ancient hiring cross was re-erected."