Townships: Orrell and Ford

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.


'Townships: Orrell and Ford', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 99. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Orrell and Ford", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 99. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Orrell and Ford", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 99. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Orhull, 1280, 1360; Orrell, or Orell, 1350 onwards.

Ford, 1300 onwards; Forde and Forth occur.

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)

From 1894 the township had a parish council, but Orrell was in 1905 taken into the borough of Bootle.


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)


  • 1. The census of 1901 gives 727 acres; this includes 8 of inland water.
  • 2. Gregson, Fragments, 16.
  • 3. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 185.
  • 4. Croxteth D. G. ii, 2, quoted above. There is no date, but the grantor was Adam the Judge, son of William. An earlier deed is that by which William de Scaifreschage released to William de Molyneux all his brother Hugh's lands in Orrell; ibid. G. i, 1. In 1366 Margery, daughter of Robert Knot, gave her husband, Matthew del Plat, all her lands in the vill of Orrell; ibid. G. ii, 26. These lands descended to Margery's son John del Plat, who in 1430 sold them to John de Bawdon; Kuerden fol. MS. 315, n. 458–60.
  • 5. Croxteth D. G. ii, 5, quoted above; and G. ii, 11, the 'field' of Orrell.
  • 6. Ibid. G. i, 13. In the inquisition after the death of Sir Richard Molyneux in 1623 the list of manors runs—'Down Litherland alias Litherland, Orrell, Ford,' &c.; but when the tenures are described it is 'the manor of Down Litherland and other the premises in Down Litherland, Linacre, Ford and Orrell'; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 383, 389.
  • 7. Richard Fox son of William the Demand quitclaimed to Richard de Molyneux of Little Crosby his interest in lands purchased from Margery de Orrell; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 197. Perhaps it was the same Richard Fox who gave two acres in Litherland to Agnes, daughter of Christian of Great Crosby and Richard their son; Croxteth D. G. ii, 8. Earlier probably than these deeds were the grants of lands in Sefton to a Richard Fox made by William de Molyneux; ibid. Ee. 3, 4, 6. These lands are mentioned in a charter of 1318; ibid. Gen. i, 8. In 1332 Richard the Demand and William Fox of Litherland paid 2s. each to the subsidy; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 17; and in 1339 Richard Fox made a grant of lands in Litherland to Richard de Molyneux of Sefton; Croxteth D. G. i, 9. John, son of Richard Fox of Orrell, in 1351 and 1352 made claims against Roger Hurdys of Orrell and Emma his wife, and John Bayn of Orrell, concerning small portions of land in Litherland; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1 (Lent), m. iij; R. 2 (July), m. iiij.
  • 8. Adam de Orrell was a plaintiff in 1346 and 1347; De Banc. R. 345, m. 393; R. 350, m. 314d; this suit concerned lands given by Henry de Orrell to Richard de Orrell and Ellen his wife, parents of the claimant, in the time of Edward II. William, son of Richard, son of William de Orrell (living at the end of the thirteenth century), in 1356 claimed certain lands held by Richard de Ince of Orrell and Agnes his wife, in virtue of a grant by Emma daughter of William de Orrell to a former Richard de Ince; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 9; R. 6, m. 7 d.; Assize R. 438, m. 6. Some grants by and to William son of Simon de Ince of Orrell may be seen in Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 230b, n. 64, 67, 68. Here is also a release by Henry son of Richard son of Adam de Orrell in 1368; ibid. n. 72.
  • 9. There was a Ford field in Great Crosby. The following grant, however, shows that there was another ford on the Sefton boundary, which may have given the name to this part of Litherland. Richard de Molyneux, rector of Sefton, in 1328 granted his brother Thomas a portion of the waste of Litherland, the bounds of which are thus described: 'Beginning at the bridge of the Stanybrigg and following the boundary of Sefton as far as the Ford, and following the Pool to the ditch of the said Thomas, and along this ditch to the Ford field and then in a line to the road from the vill of Litherland to the Stanybrigg, and along this road to the ditch of the Stanybrigg, and following this ditch to the first-named boundary.' He added another part of the waste, with turbary in his moss in Litherland, and other easements; all to be held from the chief lords by the gift of a rose on St. John Baptist's day; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 76b. The Stanybrigg and its ditch, on the road between Litherland and Sefton, are mentioned in another charter, granting land in Sefton to the same Thomas; ibid. fol. 75b.
  • 10. John del Ford granted land in Litherland to the rector of Sefton, who in 1310 gave it to Roger de Roby and Agnes his wife; Croxteth D. G. ii, 7; Ee. 15. Roger del Ford occurs in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. 17. Alice de Ford granted land in the Nether Broadmoor to Ralph de Molyneux in 1381–2; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 6.
  • 11. N. Blundell's Diary, 131, 145. The will of Philip Syers of Down Litherland was enrolled in the Common Pleas in 1778; R. 323, m. 282.
  • 12. Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901.