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FORMBY, a village, a township, and two chapelries in Walton-on-the-Hill parish, and a sub-district in Ormskirk district, Lancashire. The village stands on the coast, adjacent to the Liverpool and Southport railway, near the river Alt, 7½ miles W of Ormskirk; was formerly a market-town; and has a station with telegraph on the railway, and a post office under Liverpool. The township includes also the hamlets of Ainsdale and Raven-Meols. Acres, 15,264; of which 8,560 are water. Real property, £7,531. Pop. in 1851, 1,594; in 1861, 1,780. Houses, 328. The increase of pop. arose from the erection of houses for persons from Liverpool. The property is divided among a few. Formby Hall is the seat of the Rev. L. Formby. A headland or projection, 3 miles SW by W of the village, bears the name of Formby Point. Two beacons and a red tower are on the coast, and the floating light put up in 1834, at the Victoria or New Formby channel, on a line with the Crossby or main channel into the Mersey, is 3 miles WSW of the red tower. The Old Formby channel is nearer the shore, and not much used. The two chapelries are St. Peter and St. Luke; and are jointly conterminate with the township. The livings are p. curacies in the diocese of Chester. Value of St. Peter, £124;* of St. Luke, £50.* Patron of the former, the Rector of Walton; of the latter, Dr. R. Formby. St. Peter's church is a plain brick building, with cupola. St. Luke's is neat and recent. A Roman Catholic chapel, in the Romanesque style, after designs by Mr. Clutton, of brick, with stone dressings, was built in 1864, at a cost of £3,000. Marsh's schools have £34 from endowment; and other charities £11. The sub-district contains also Birkdale township and Altcar parish. Acres, 25,218. Pop., 3,606. Houses, 647.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Ormskirk library.



Church Records

The registers of the parish church, St Peter, have been published by the Lancashire Parish Register Society as follows.

  • Volume 112 - Bap, Mar & Bur 1620-1780.
  • Volume M5 - Bap, Mar & Bur 1781-1837.

Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Formby area is Sefton North.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Formby which are provided by:



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Historical Geography

In 1835 Formby was a township in the parish of Walton on the Hill.

Information about boundaries and administrative areas is available from A Vision of Britain through time.

You can see the administrative areas in which Formby has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Formby was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.

You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.