Village history

Lea-By-Backford

 

Lea by Backford is one of the five Townships in the Parish of Backford.

The record in the Doomsday Book states that the “church itself held and holds Lea in Backford. There is one hide paying geld. There is land for three ploughs. In demesne is one plough and two slaves, and two villans and two bordars with one plough and one acre of meadow. TRE it was worth 10s, now as much” !

The church is dedicated to St Oswald, a King of Northumbria. The earliest documents about the church date from 1291 and the first vicar was appointed in 1305.

Today, Lea is bordered  by the parishes of Mollington and Backford  and all three continue to benefit from the use of St Oswald’s Church, the Village Hall and St Oswald’s School.

The Chester to Birkenhead railway (opened in 1840) still passes through Lea by Backford but no longer has the benefit of a station. There used to be a busy siding for fuel distribution from the local refinery and the handling of goods , particularly agricultural foodstuffs. The parish supports all aspects of agriculture including beef, sheep, dairy, arable and poultry farms.

Lea also boasts one of the first automatic telephone exchanges and now supports 519 residential premises and 59 non residential premises in the surrounding area.

In more recent times a commercial development (Chester Gates) has been constructed at the northern boundary of Lea Parish including amongst other facilities 2 wholesale outlets, a trampoline park and a driving test centre.

At present, there are  80   residential properties in the parish and approximately  207   residents