The name Litherland comes from the Old Norse hlið/hlith-ar which means 'slope' and Old Enlish land 'land'.

Litherland was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Liderlant. The first manor of Litherland consisted of one half and two quarters, the areas being Litherland including what is now Seaforth (the half) and present day Orrell and Ford (the two quarters).

Litherland, situated north of neighbouring Bootle, remained a poor area until the arrival of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in 1774, which brought the area into the modern world, originally providing a route from Liverpool to Wigan, and eventually in 1816 through to Leeds. The route became very busy primarily for goods and later for the transportation of passengers. The outcome of all this activity was to bring prosperous businessmen from the City to the countryside, where they had a desire to live.