Ormskirk in 1839
Ormskirk is in West Derby hundred, 13 miles north by east of Liverpool and 219 from London. The parish contains 31,150 acres, with a population in 1831 of 14,053, and is divided into seven townships or chapelries : the township of Ormskirk contains 600 acres, with a population of 4,251. The town consists of four principal streets, which intersect each other at right angles. The church is mostly modern, with a few portions of late perpendicular character : it has a large western tower at the end of the nave, and another tower and spire at the west end of the south aisle. This church contains the burial-place of the earls of Derby. Cotton and linen thread, silks, hats, and rope, are manufactured here, but not extensively. There are a weekly market and two yearly fairs. Coals are dug in the parish ; and quantity of carrots and early potatoes are grown for the supply of Liverpool. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry and diocese of Chester, of the clear yearly value £367, with a glebe-house. There were in 1833, an in school, with 136 children ; an endowed grammar-school with 22 children ; and one endowed day and Sunday school with 106 children daily, and 144 children in addition on Sundays.
In the parish, about three miles east of the town, is Lathom House, the seat of Lord Skelmersdale, which the civil war of Charles I was gallantly defended for the king by Charlotte de la Tremouille, countess of Derby. The house was well calculated for defence, standing in a boggy flat, and being defended by a wall six feet thick, strengthened by nine towers, on each of which were mounted six pieces of ordnance, and surrounded by a moat twenty-four feet broad. The siege was raised, but the place was ultimately surrendered by the king's order.
Lathom township contained a population of 3,272 in 1831. There are in the township an endowed school, a chapel, an almshouse, and a chalybeate spring.