Mother Redcaps, Wallasey Promenade
Mother Redcaps was perhaps more infamous than famous. This quaint looking timber and daub building hid sinister secrets in the days when Wallasey was no more than a windswept outpost. It was built by the Mainwaring family in 1595, a red freestone building with walls nearly three feet thick. It was known by many names, the Halfway House, The White House, Seabank Nook and others. The name Mother Redcaps came about in the 1700s when a little old lady who always wore a red hood or cap ran it. It was frequented by sailors and smugglers that held Mother Redcap in their confidence as she hid their pay and prize money in various nooks and crannies around the house. The front door was of oak five inches thick, studded with square headed nails. There were indications of it having had several sliding bars across the inside. Immediately on the inside of the door was a trap door into the cellar under the north room. It would seem that forcing the front door would, by withdrawing the bolt to the trap door, let the intruder fall eight or nine feet to the cellar floor. This was an ideal arrangement should the customs men pay a surprise visit. Sadly like so many landmarks on the Wallasey shoreline Mother Redcaps has been demolished to make way, after many years of being a wasteland, for an old people's rest home bearing the name Mother Redcaps. The home still retains the stone arched gateway at the front but this is partly bricked up to defend against the tide.