The paragraph below describes West Derby in the early eighteenth century:
The township lies on the edge of the open country, where the smoke-laden air of the city is exchanged for the fresher breezes which blow over open fields and through masses of foliage. True, there is hardly a break in the long line of houses from the city to the village of West Derby, but the larger houses set amidst gardens and paddocks are separated by airy spaces and are overshadowed by trees. The country is very flat, and has, except in the far east, the unmistakable stamp of sub urbanism. In the easterly direction are the plantations and grounds of Croxteth Hall; in the north is open land which was once moss land, a large cemetery being a conspicuous object in the level country. South and west are more crowded with houses, where such suburban neighbourhoods as Knotty Ash, Broad Green, and Old Swan are situated. The old-fashioned village of West Derby still presents a countrified aspect in spite of the advent of electric cars, and clusters principally about the gates of Croxteth Park. The open ground is chiefly pasture, but crops of corn and potatoes are raised in a loamy soil.