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White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853

Clifton with Glapton

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, curiously 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. The Rev. Edwin P. Dennis B.C.L. is the incumbent, and resides at the rectory house, a neat mansion in the village. Sir J.G.J. Clifton is lord of the manor, and owner of the whole parish, which contains 401 inhabitants and 1,980 acres of land, including the ancient hamlet of Glapton, that forms part of the village, and is now lost in the general name of Clifton, its own name being seldom used except in the parish documents, in which the parish is sometimes called " Clifton-cum-Glapton". The parish was enclosed in 1756. A feast is held on the Sunday before October 2nd. The almshouses here for six poor women were founded in 1709 by Geo. Wells, with an endowment of 3s per week for each inmate, and an allowance of coals yearly, charged on the estate of Sir J.G.J. Clifton. In 1828 the estate was found to be indebted to the charity £193 16s, which has since been invested in £226, three per cent consols, in the name of Sir R. Clifton, Wm. Lindley and Thomas Thorpe, in trust for benefit of the almspeople. The interest of several small benefactions amounting to £60 is distributed amongst the poor at Easter.

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]