It hasn’t always been called the Jug & Bottle nor has it always been a pub. Hill House, the original name of the building was built in the 1870s, although parts of the cellar suggest an earlier building on the site.
In 1901 Meadows Arnold Frost, his wife Rosalie and their family lived at Hill House, a Cotton Merchant based in Liverpool originally from Chester. He and his family moved over to the Wirral as connections were made easier by the opening of the rail tunnel under the Mersey in 1886. In 1921 a Major Pooley bought the house and extended and improved it considerably to become quite a grand family home (see images below)
Prior to 1894 local services for the majority of the Wirral peninsula were under the control of the Wirral Urban Sanitary District prior to 1894. Then the Local Government Act of 1894 created Wirral as a Rural District of Cheshire so local services were then centralised at county level. Then in 1933 this idea was abandoned and under the County Review Order the Wirral was split between the Bebington urban district, the county borough of Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port urban district, Hoylake urban district, Neston urban district, Wallasey county borough and the new Wirral Urban District.
The new Wirral Urban District required offices and set its sights on Heswall. It was looking at two sites; Hill House a private residence and ‘Heswall Castle’ a girls orphanage originally built as a house by Mr Tytherington in 1865 for his wife who disliked it and never lived there and so became known as the ‘Tytherington Folly’. He sold it in the 1890s and it was turned into a girls orphanage. By the 1930s it had fallen into disrepair and the Council decided it would have cost too much to put into use as offices. Heswall Castle was eventually demolished and this made way for Castle Drive and Castle Buildings on Telegraph Road.
So the council decided on Hill House. Who took about quite extensive improvements but not quite the sprawling local government metropolis they had hoped for, take a look at plans the council had drawn up below.
In 1972 the powers that be decided to reorganise local government again, under the Local Government Act 1972, ‘plus ca change’. The Wirral Borough Council was created from a merger of the county boroughs of Wallasey and Birkenhead, the municipal borough of Bebington and the urban districts of Hoylake and Wirral. The 1972 Act also created the much maligned move for parts of the Wirral from the historic county of Cheshire to the new Metropolitan County of Merseyside. So Hill House became surplus to requirements, as council offices were centralised at Wallasey and Birkenhead and so was eventually placed on the market.
Hill House Hotel
In July 1985 Hill House was sold by the council to a local developer J.L.Wilkinson Developments Ltd. Cheshire Hotels operated it for a number of years as the Hill House hotel before selling it to Bernie Inns, who we then bought it from in October 1992 and renamed it the Jug & Bottle. We’d like to think we’ve made some ‘improvements’ to the old girl since then!
A couple of old restaurant photos!