"Clifton with Glapton Parish. Clifton is a small village on the south bank of the Trent, four miles south west of Nottingham, and contains a number of rural cottages, finely shaded with trees, and also a few villa-looking residences. Near it is Clifton Hall, the beautiful seat of Sir Juckes Granville Juckes Clifton, Bart, deeply embosomed in ancient groves of oak, fir and elm, and commanding most extensive prospects over the Trent, the town of Nottingham, and the adjacent counties of Derbyshire and Leicestershire. You are led to this delightful spot from Nottingham, through Clifton Grove, an avenue of trees a mile in length, upon the gentle swells of the earth covered with green sward, and broad enough for six carriages to drive abreast. Near the upper end of this avenue, the cliff overhangs the Trent, whose silver streams meanders most pleasingly around it. "Here", we are told by Throsby, "tradition says, the Clifton Beauty, who was debauched and murdered by her sweetheart, was hurled down the precipice into her watery grave". The place has long been held in great veneration by lovers, and the story is the subject of one of the earliest and longest poems of the late Henry Kirk White, who often visited the spot.." The Hall, which has been the seat of the Clifton family for many centuries, stands upon a rock of gypsum, suriously interspersed in many places by beautiful spar. The centre of the principal front is ornamented by ten handsome columns of the Doric order. The church, dedicated to St Mary, stands close to the mansion, and though ancient, is yet in good preservation. In 1846 it was restored and beautified at the sole expense of the patron, Sir J.G.J. Clifton, Bart. It is built in the form of a cross, with a lofty tower in which are four bells. Here is the family vault of the Cliftons, in which are deposited several generations, its entrance bearing the date of 1632. The Rectory is valued in the King's books at £21 6s 10½d, now at £405, and has about 150 acres of glebe." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]
This place is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as having a church and a mill
May Day festivities have a long tradition in Clifton. The Nottingham Daily Express reported this in 1913:
"One of the most charming survivals of the days that we recall as more picturesque than ours is the ancient May Day Festival in Clifton. And for a more appropriately beautiful setting than the old village green you could search the whole county in vain." That year, the May Queen was Dorothy Moss, who was led in a procession to the centre of the green, while the maypole itself was carried by "six stalwart scarlet and white-clad henchmen". The article continued: "Her Majesty then gave the signal for the start of the revels, which were participated in by 50 or 60 children." They performed the age-old maypole dances, the Spider's Web, the Water Wheel and the Gipsies' Tent, the Single Plait and Double Plait.
The Nottingham Journal reported this in 1929:
"Clifton is one of the few English villages in which the traditional ceremonies are carried out in their entirety."
In 1881, Clifton Hall was the seat of Sir Juckes Granville Juckes Clifton, Bart, commanding extensive views over the Trent, the town of Nottingham, and the adjacent counties of Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
The CLIFTON family held Clifton Hall for 700 years.
Karen Chantrey WOOD has a photograph of Clifton Hall on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2000.