Place:West Derby, Lancashire, England

NameWest Derby
Alt namesFairfield (near Liverpool)source: from redirect
Broadgreensource: district in parish
Clubmoorsource: district in parish
Dovecotsource: district in parish
Edge Hillsource: district in parish
Fairfield (Liverpool)source: district in parish
Gillmosssource: district in parish
Kensington (Liverpool)source: district in parish
Knotty Ashsource: district in parish
Norris Greensource: district in parish
Old Swansource: district in parish
Stanleysource: district in parish
Stoneycroftsource: district in parish
Tuebrooksource: district in parish
TypeTownship, Parish
Coordinates53.434°N 2.907°W
Located inLancashire, England     ( - 1974)
See alsoWest Derby Hundred, Lancashire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Walton on the Hill, Lancashire, Englandancient parish in which it was located until 1866
Sefton Rural, Lancashire, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1928
Liverpool, Lancashire, Englandcounty borough of which it was a suburb 1928-1974
Liverpool (metropolitan borough), Merseyside, Englandmetropolitan borough of which it was a part since 1974
Contained Places
Yew Tree Roman Catholic Cemetery
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

West Derby has been a northern suburb of Liverpool since 1928. At the 2001 Census, the population of its ward was 14,801. Within it are a number of districts whose names are commonly used in the local area. Most of these places have been "wards" of Liverpool either today or in times past. Liverpool keeps changing the names of its wards and their boundaries.

West Derby was originally a township within the ancient parish of Walton on the Hill in the West Derby Hundred. The hundred covered most of southwest Lancashire.

West Derby became an independent ancient parish in 1843 and a civil parish in 1866. With the Local Government Act 1894 it was divided into two sections. The western part became an urban district for a year and then was absorbed into the county borough of Liverpool. The eastern more rural part of the parish was named West Derby Rural and became a civil parish within Sefton Rural District until 1928 when it too was fully absorbed into Liverpool. Croxteth Park, to the east of West Derby Rural was also a parish within the rural district until 1928.

In the nationwide reorganization of municipalities which took place in 1974, Liverpool became the Metropolitan Borough of Liverpool in the new administrative county of Merseyside.

Liverpool West Derby has been a UK parlimentary constituency since 1885. The constituency is now one of five covering the city of Liverpool and covers the northeast of the city, including both parts of the original West Derby parish, and Croxteth Park or Croxteth.

Image:Liverpool 1917 revised.png

Many hamlets and villages grew up within West Derby over time. Broadgreen, Clubmoor, Dovecot, Edge Hill, Fairfield, Gillmoss, Knotty Ash, Norris Green, Old Swan, Stanley, Stoneycroft, and Tuebrook all fall into this category and have been redirected here. Some of the more significant ones are described below. Short descriptions of some of the others can be found in Wikipedia or A Vision of Britain through Time.


Edge Hill

Edge Hill is a district within the former West Derby parish, southeast of the city centre, bordered by Kensington, Wavertree and Toxteth Park. The area was first developed in the late 18th/early 19th century (Georgian era). Many of the Georgian houses of the time still survive.

In the early 19th century, it was the site of two railway works. Both the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the Grand Junction Railway initially set up workshops there, but with little room to expand as business grew, the Grand Junction Railway moved its main locomotive production to Crewe in 1843. Edge Hill was the site of huge railway marshalling yards until the 1960s, sorting trains to and from the docks via the Victoria Tunnel and Wapping Tunnel to Park Lane and Waterloo goods stations on the dockside.

Kensington (Liverpool)

Kensington is an inner city area of Liverpool, covering part of the old parish of West Derby. It is located immediately to the east of Liverpool city centre, and is bordered by Everton to the north, Fairfield to the east and Edge Hill to the south. The area is occupied largely by Victorian terraced houses.

Knotty Ash

Knotty Ash is a small area on the eastern fringe of Liverpool and West Derby neighbouring the districts of Old Swan, Broadgreen, Dovecot and Huyton. Its name is derived from a gnarled ash tree which formerly stood near the present-day Knotty Ash public house. In 2004, comedian and local resident Ken Dodd planted a new ash tree close to the site of the original.

Fairfield (Liverpool)

Fairfield is an area of Liverpool, encompassing streets between Tuebrook and Kensington and stretching to Old Swan. It consists of a variety of houses; there are some traditional red-brick terraces, larger Victorian villas and also the notable 300-year-old Georgian Fairfield Crescent which is off the equally old Prospect Vale. The area also contains the Victorian Newsham Park.

Old Swan

The following description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is provided by the website A Vision of Britain Through Time (University of Portsmouth Department of Geography).

"OLD SWAN, a village in Stanley chapelry, West Derby township and parish, Lancashire; 3 miles E of Liverpool. It has a post-office under Liverpool, St. Oswald's Roman Catholic chapel, and St. Anne's national school; and in its neighbourhood are glass-works, a rope manufactory, and borax works."


Tuebrook includes Newsham Park; the Victorian, Grade I listed building St John's Church; Tuebrook Market and Tuebrook Police Station, which is now closed to the public although still in use by Merseyside Police. It is part of the Parliamentary Constituency of Liverpool West Derby.

Research Tips

  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes were ecclesiastical (described as ancient parishes), under the jurisdiction of the local priest. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • An urban district was a type of municipality in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish and were used for urban areas usually with populations of under 30,000. Inspecting the archives of a urban district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Civil registration or vital statistics and census records will be found within registration districts. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belongs, see Registration Districts in Lancashire, part of the UK_BMD website.
  • The terms municipal borough and county borough were adopted in 1835 replacing the historic "boroughs". Municipal boroughs generally had populations between 30,000 and 50,000; while county boroughs usually had populations of over 50,000. County boroughs had local governments independent of the county in which they were located, but municipal boroughs worked in tandem with the county administration. Wikipedia explains these terms in much greater detail.
  • Lancashire Online Parish Clerks provide free online information from the various parishes, along with other data of value to family and local historians conducting research in the County of Lancashire.
  • FamilySearch Lancashire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has a number of county-wide collections of Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials, some from the 1500s, and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. There are specific collections for Liverpool (including Catholic baptisms and marriages) and for Manchester. Their databases now include electoral registers 1832-1935. Another pay site is FindMyPast.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1888 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time includes the boundaries between the parishes and shows the hamlets within them.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1954 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time is a similar map for a later timeframe.
  • GENUKI provides a website covering many sources of genealogical information for Lancashire. The organization is gradually updating the website and the volunteer organizers may not have yet picked up all the changes that have come with improving technology.
  • The Victoria County History for Lancashire, provided by British History Online, covers the whole of the county in six volumes (the seventh available volume [numbered Vol 2] covers religious institutions). The county is separated into its original hundreds and the volumes were first published between 1907 and 1914. Most parishes within each hundred are covered in detail. Maps within the text can contain historical information not available elsewhere.
  • A list of cemeteries in Liverpool giving the locality, type of burial ground, the denomination, and information on whether inscriptions exist and where they might be found.
  • FindAGrave has investigated 47 cemeteries in Liverpool.
  • A description of the township of West Derby from British History Online (Victoria County Histories), published 1907
  • Historic Liverpool. The West Derby chapter of a blog on the history of Liverpool townships with old maps as well as an interesting narrative.
  • A description of West Derby parish and registration district from John Marius Wilson's Gazetteer of 1871-72 lists the sub-districts within the area at that time. Useful for identifying locations for people found in censuses.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at West Derby. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.