"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)