Backford, Mollington & Lea Villages

Lea-by-Backford

This is an area of farms and open land, which includes a smithy. Parish Reminiscences recalls the residents' memories of children walking to school, playing in the fields, sailing sticks in the brook, playing in the hay in the barns, chasing rabbits with dogs, and fishing for roach in local pits and the canal. Older residents who remember these glorious days regret the recent decline in the bird population. Unfortunately, there are now few moorhens, because ponds have been filled in; few lapwings because they can't nest on the ground, and for the same reason no skylarks. Yellowhammers are no longer to be seen in the hedgerows, and swifts no longer shriek overhead.


The Smithy

Apart from the working farms and some cottages, the most important if modest building was the smithy, which catered for the local demand for shoeing riding and transport horses, and carrying out repairs to agricultural machinery such as ploughs and harrows. 

The smithy was founded in 1733 and kept going until 1956-7. The 1914/18 War brought additional activity with two forges, smiths and strikers turning out thousands of horseshoes for the army.

Caughall

This is the smallest of our parish townships, and the only one lying outside Wirral. After about 1600 and until recently, it consisted of two farms only, each subordinate to an owner elsewhere, and therefore without a large house or social centre. Now, however, Caughall contains part of Chester Zoo (The North of England Zoological Society), which, in order to control movement of animals after the 1967 Foot and Mouth scare, bought all land around it in Caughall