Holt Hill is part of the Tranmere Ridge, it rises to about 130 feet above sea level and is about 600 yards from the River Mersey.
In 1769, Charles Eye produced a drawing of the view from Holt Hill, it shows an almost empty Woodside peninsula, with Tranmere Pool in the foreground and Liverpool, with the Everton ridge behind, in the distance.
Holt Hill was accessible from both Tranmere Ferry and from Whetstone Lane, so it was one of the first areas to start being developed.
The Reverend William Shewell, vicar at Bidston from 1793 to 1819, lived in a large house at the Eastern end of Shewell Road (later to be renamed Chestnut Grove).
By 1841, the solicitor Henry Bushel Walker and his family lived in Shewell's house. The Walkers developed the grounds around the house into gardens. By 1951 Henry's wife, Eliza, is listed as the head of the household.
The FCJ Sisters bought Shewell's house in 1856, probably from Eliza Walker or her estate. In the Spring of 1857 the Community and about 40 pupils moved from Hamilton Square to Holt Hill. After moving to Holt Hill the sisters started a day school in addition to the boarding school and by 1858 there were 50 in the boarding school and 25 in the day school.