History of the area 

Orrell Park is a residential housing area in the north of Liverpool. In 1770, however, there was hardly a building in sight when Parliament created a trust to turnpike a road from Liverpool through to Aughton and Ormskirk and on to the North. The venture proved a valuable time-saver for the area. It was well travelled and used for going to the market towns and taking goods to the city centre. It also helped the area with incoming trade. This road became the Liverpool to Preston road and is now known as the A59. It passes through Orrell Park and is known in its various sections as Rice Lane, Walton Vale and Warbreck Moor.

There was a turnpike house in Rice Lane where all coaches and travellers had to pay a toll to use the road. Example prices are shown in the table.

A score of sheep   One halfpenny
A score of pigs   Two pence
A score of cattle   Five pence
A horse   One penny
A coach   Sixpence
A wagon   One shilling

The villagers had to work three days a year without pay to keep the road maintained in good working order. All the fees went to the Township Coffer, and neglecting one's duty to do the statutory work incurred a fine of 20 shillings for each day missed.


By 1847, the tithe map and schedule of the day showed that the area was divided into portions of land which were used for farming. Orrell Lane, Bull Lane and Moss Lane (on which Orrell Park Baptist Church stands) had already been established, although Moss Lane was marked as Watts Lane in 1847. By 1850 it had become Moss Lane. There is still a Watts Lane close to Moss Lane.

The farming in those days included the growing of oats, clover, potatoes, turnips and wheat. There was also pasture land. One of few buildings in the area was Whitefield House which also had gardens and outbuildings. This house is long gone, but its location was in the Southfield Road area, which is a stone's throw from Orrell Park Baptist Church.

The area was listed in Gores' Directory of 1876 as Orrell Park, Orrell Lane, Walton without any names or addresses of occupants. Two years later, the same directory listed 28 properties that were occupied. Orrell Park was mainly made up of the well-off families of ship owners and merchants from the overspill towns like Everton and Kirkdale. From this time onwards the building continued to expand until, by 1930, the area was almost as built up as it is today.

Several landmarks were built in the area during the period of expansion. For example, the Blessed Sacrament and St. John's church schools were started in c. 1876 and 1878 respectively. The West Derby Union Workhouse in Rice Lane later became Walton Hospital, and Hartley Jam Works started in Orrell Park in 1886.

In 1890 prisoners from the old Kirkdale Prison were marched up to Hornby Road to the new Walton Prison which, by 1893, was one of the largest and most modern prisons in England.


1906 saw the opening of the new railway station, named Orrell Park Station, which is still in regular use to day as a stop on the Liverpool - Ormskirk line.

In 1927 a new billiard hall (now a ballroom) was opened above a row of new shops opposite Orrell Park Station. Unremarkable in itself, the building contains Orrell Park's most famous spelling mistake. When putting up the name Orrell Park Hall above the shops, the bricklayer was to use three frames of bricks to encompass the name, one per word. When the bricks were laid, he had space left for only one letter L in Orrell and to this day the name on the building is Orrel Park Hall.

In the early 1940s there was some destruction of buildings in Orrell Park courtesy of the German Luftwaffe. Trinity Church and The Windsor Castle public house, opposite one another at the Orrell Lane/Walton Vale junction, were destroyed in the May 1941 blitz, as were many shops and houses in the area. Both Trinity and The Windsor Castle were rebuilt. Girtonville College for girls on the corner of Orrell Lane and Warbreck Road was also bombed, but was replaced by houses.

In the 1990s more housing was built in Bull Lane (on the site of the old Reads tin can factory which had manufactured in the area from 1910 to 1987), and in the vicinity of the Cheshire Lines railway.

And that brings us up to date!

We are grateful to the Orrell Park Local History Society for permission to copy information and pictures used on this page.