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)