A Conservation Area is an area that has 'special architectural or historic interest' and where it is important that this special character is preserved or enhanced.
The special character of each conservation area does not come from the quality of the buildings alone. Equally important are features such as the layout of roads and paths, grouping of buildings (townscape), the materials used, landscape features and the quality of public and private spaces.
There are 25 declared conservation areas throughout Sefton, each reflecting the variety of building styles and environments exhibited within its borders.
Formby is an ancient settlement and mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Fornebei. The name is of Scandinavian origin, with the ending _by meaning settlement or town. Situated at the edge of the West Lancashire coastal plain, it contains vernacular architecture with some older cottages having historical features that date back at least 250 years. Green Lane lies in an area of the township that was known as Old Town, a name which survives today only in the name of ‘Old Town Lane’, however in the 19th century the name was well testified in the survival of field names such as ‘Old Town Fields’ and ‘Old Town Yards’. References to grants and leases of land in Old Forneby date from 1442, and Ould Towne Yarde in 1632/3 from which it is clear that the area was settled at least in the mediaeval period.
The name Green Lane appears to be comparatively modern and may well date from the establishment of the Chapel dedicated to St. Peter. It was built to replace the earlier chapel (at the site of St. Luke’s Church) which had been abandoned by the late 1730s. In 1742 a church brief was obtained for raising money for the erection of a new church, which was consecrated on the 19th July 1747. A sun-dial erected in 1719 in the earlier chapel was brought to St. Peter’s and now stands near the porch.
Yates’ Map of Lancashire, 1786 shows buildings standing on the west side of Green Lane with the church as the only building on the east side.
The tithe map of 1845 is the first definite proof of occupation and land tenure in the Green Lane area. As on Yates’ Map, with the exception of the Church, buildings are shown only on the west side of Green Lane. Of these, three groups survive to the present day; Ivy Cottage and May Cottage, Church Cottage and Church House.
On the 6” scale Ordnance Survey map of 1848, Church House is shown as the Formby Arms Inn.
On the 1893 map, considerable change is shown in Green Lane. The Grapes Hotel had been built in the 1870s and may well have taken over the refreshment of parishioners from the Formby Arms Inn. Piercefield Road had been constructed and it now forms the westward limb of the junction of Green Lane, Ryeground Lane and Church Road. Buildings had also appeared at the south east side of the junction and are now a row of shops.
(Source: Sefton MBC website)