kids encyclopedia robot

Clifton, Greater Manchester facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Terraces, Rake Lane.jpg
Housing on Rake Lane near the railway station
OS grid reference SD775035
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M27
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Salford & Eccles
List of places
Greater ManchesterCoordinates: 53°31′26″N 2°19′13″W / 53.5239°N 2.3203°W / 53.5239; -2.3203

Clifton is a small town within the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. Historically in Lancashire, it lies alongside and in the Irwell Valley in the northern part of the City of Salford. Clifton, a former centre for coal mining, once formed part of the Municipal Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury.


Clifton is derived from the Old English clif and tun, and means the "settlement near a cliff, slope or riverbank". Clifton was mentioned in the Pipe Roll of 1183–84.

Coal mining

Clifton Hall Colliery was situated a few yards to the west of Lumns Lane on a site currently occupied by a domestic refuse and recycling site, run by the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority. It is thought that the colliery was operating by 1820, and its tramway is shown on a parliamentary plan from 1830 and an 1845 map. The colliery closed in 1929.

On 18 June 1885, an underground explosion at the colliery killed 178 men and boys. It is thought the explosion was caused by firedamp igniting on contact with a candle. Blacksmith George Hindley (aged 16) and fireman George Higson, were part of a band of men who descended into the mine immediately after the explosion. They received an Albert Medal (2nd class) in recognition of their heroism.

Wet Earth Colliery was another early coal pit located in Clifton. Having closed in 1928, its remains can still be seen in Clifton Country Park, very close to the River Irwell, the Manchester-Preston railway line, and near the bottom of Clifton House Road which runs uphill from the valley to its junction at the top with the A666, Manchester Road just opposite Clifton Cricket Ground.


The Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery was established in 1892. The Chloride Electrical Storage Company opened its battery factory at Clifton Junction in 1893. Magnesium Elektron Ltd built a large factory at Clifton Junction to produce magnesium metal in 1936.


Clifton lies five miles north west of Manchester on the A666 road (Manchester Road) to Bolton. The township covered 850 acres in the valley of the River Irwell, which forms the north east boundary. The Manchester-Preston railway line passes through and there was a junction with the line to Bury and Rossendale which opened to Rawtenstall in September 1846. The highest land rises to over 300 feet above sea level in the west of the township near the Worsley boundary and is moss land. The underlying rocks are New Red Sandstone between Clifton and Ringley while the rest of the township lies on the Middle Coal Measures of the Manchester Coalfield. Much of Clifton's boundary with Pendlebury is defined by Slack Brook which flows eventually into the Irwell not far from where Agecroft Power Station once stood. Slack Brook has been largely culverted for many years under landfill tipping since the 1950s.


Clifton is served by Clifton railway station on the Ribble Valley Line. In earlier times, the station was known as "Clifton Junction" from its location at the junction of the Manchester and Bolton Railway and Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway lines. The Bury line left the station/junction and passed over Clifton Viaduct, known locally as "the thirteen arches" and is preserved as a Grade II listed building. There are plans to restore the canal for leisure use at a cost of over £50M.

Clifton Library

Clifton Library is located on Wynne Avenue (formerly part of Rake Lane) in the Clifton Community Centre. It is open three days each week on Mondays (2.00pm-7.00pm), Wednesdays (2.00pm-5.00pm) and Fridays (2.00pm-5.00pm).

Public houses

There are currently three public houses within Clifton. These are the Oddfellows Arms, the Goldon Lion and the Robin Hood, all along the same side of Manchester Road. On Rake Lane, at the junction with Queensway, stands the Holyrood nursery which was until recent times, the Beehive public house.

Clifton Barracks

The British Army's Territorial Army Centre is located on Manchester Road very close to junction 16 of the M60 motorway. It is known locally by its informal title of "Clifton Barracks".

kids search engine
Clifton, Greater Manchester Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.