A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
ORRELL AND FORD
This township is formed of two detached portions, Orrell to the south and Ford to the north; their combined area is 727 acres. (fn. 1) The population in 1901 was 2,104.
It has not been ascertained when Orrell and Ford were separated from Litherland to form a distinct township; they are not recognized in the county lay, which was settled in 1624. (fn. 2)
ORRELL lies on the border of Walton. It contains the highest land in the parish of Sefton, about 125 ft. above the sea. Its area is 370 acres. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway from Liverpool to Ormskirk runs along the southern border, the tunnel being now almost completely opened, and the Mersey and Fazakerley branch passes through Orrell. A pedestal of an ancient cross still exists, and there is a sundial at Springwell House. (fn. 3)
Orrell occurs comparatively early as a well-defined part of Litherland, as may be seen from the numerous references already given in the account of the manor of Litherland; it is, for example, called a 'vill' as early as 1310, (fn. 4) and its 'fields' are mentioned; (fn. 5) but there is nothing to show that it was ever a distinct manor. It is described as a hamlet of Litherland in 1345. (fn. 6)
One branch of the Demand family appears to have taken the surname of Fox, and John son of Richard Fox of Orrell occurs. (fn. 7) Another family of which there is some mention took its surname from the place. (fn. 8)
FORD occupies a corner between Litherland, Great Crosby, and Sefton. It touches upon the open country and shares the refreshing sea-breezes which come from the west. The road from Litherland to Sefton passes through it, as also the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The separate area is 357 acres. The ford from which the place takes its name was perhaps one over the Rimrose Brook, which divides it from Great Crosby. (fn. 9)
Ford is mentioned only casually in mediaeval deeds, but appears to have given a surname to a resident family. (fn. 10)
Early in the eighteenth century Thomas Syers of the Ford appears to have been the principal resident. (fn. 11)
A Roman Catholic cemetery of 21 acres was opened in 1855, and has the church of the Holy Sepulchre adjoining it, built in 1861. There is also a convent of nuns of the Good Shepherd who have an asylum for penitent women, established in Everton in 1858 and removed to Ford in 1867; their church of the Sacred Heart, built in 1887, is open to the public. (fn. 12)