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RADCLIFFE, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Bury district, Lancashire. The town stands on the river Irwell, near the influx of the Roach, and on the Manchester and Bury railway, adjacent to the Boltonand Bury canal, 2½ miles S S W of Bury; took its name from a red cliff on the opposite side of the Irwell; consists of two parts, called Radcliffe and Radcliffe-Bridge, about ½ a mile asunder; carries on bleaching, paper-making, cotton-spinning, calico-printing, gingham, fustian, nankeen, and check-weaving, machine-making, iron-founding, and small-ware manufacture; has several collieries; and has a post-office under Manchester, a railway station of Radcliffe-Bridge, with telegraph, a good inn, a police station, a market house built in 1851 at a cost of £1,500, a bridge over the Irwell, two churches, three dis-senting chapels, four national schools, an agricultural show on 28 Sept., races about the middle of Aug., a fair on 29 Sept., and charities £9. The parish church is ancient, of various dates; has a low massive tower; and includes a chapel restored in 1845, and a N transept added in 1846. St. Thomas' church, at Radcliffe-Bridge, was built in 1819, at a cost of £5,000; was rebuilt in 1865, at a cost of £7,274; is in the perpendicular English style; and contains 1,200 sittings. The parish contains also part of Starling village, and comprises 2,466 acres. Real property, £35,800; of which £8,940 are in mines, and £1,439 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 6,293; in 1861, 8,838. Houses, 1,726. The manor belongs to the Earl of Wilton. R. Tower, now a ruin, was formerly a great manorial mansion. The living is a rectory, and that of St. Thomas is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Manchester. Value of the former, £500; * of the latter, £300.* Patron of both, the Earl of Wilton. The sub-district excludes two small portions of the parish, but includes portions of three other parishes. Pop., 8,972. Houses, 1,754.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Bury library.



Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Radcliffe area is Bury.

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Radcliffe has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Radcliffe was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.