This parish, sometimes called Kirk Clifton, lies within the ward and petty sessional division of Allerdale-above-Derwent; the county council electoral division of Workington rural; the deanery and county court district of Cockermouth and Workington; and the poor law union and rural district of Workington. For ecclesiastical matters Great Clifton and Little Clifton form one parish. The village is pleasantly situated on the south side of the river Derwent, on the Cockermouth and Workington road 2½ miles from the latter town eastwards, and 5½ miles west of the former.
The Manor, which includes Little Clifton, was given by William de Meschines, to Waltheof, son of Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar, and by the heiress of that family came to the Lucys, and from them to the Eaglesfields, and subsequently to the Berdseys. From the latter family Clifton Manor came by marriage into the hands of the Salkelds, in the reign of Elizabeth. The Salkelds of Whitehall, sold the manor to Sir James Lowther, Bart., from whom it descended to its present possessor, the Earl of Lonsdale. The principal landowners in the parish, besides the lord of the manor, are the Trustees of the Rev. T.W. Falcon, and R. Dalzell, Esq., Clarendon House. The commons were enclosed by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1814. Within the limits of the parish 988 acres are embraced, of the ratable value of £3,491, and the gross rental of £4,100. In 1891, the population numbered 987. Coal is found in the district, and is worked by the Allerdale Coal Co., at the William Pit, which employs about 350, who turn out an average of 450 tons daily. There is an infant school in the village, under the control of the School Board, capable of holding 142 children. The Wesleyans have a chapel here - not a large one - and another at Bridgefoot, rather more than a mile east on the Cockermouth road. Close behind the village southwards is Clifton Hall, the residence of Miss Dalzell, pleasantly situated, but too much in a hollow to be seen to advantage. The garden and grounds are well kept. Clifton House, a large square mansion, now in the charge of a caretaker, but formerly the seat of the late Rev. S.W. Falcon, occupies a delightful and elevated situation, overlooking the picturesque vale of the Derwent, and commanding a beautiful prospect of sea and land northwards and eastwards. It was built in 1824. Though when at first erected, the house must have had an exposed appearance, now the growth of the extensive plantations, which form the background of the mansion, has greatly added to the beauty of its fine position. Tradition tells us that there was once a market held here, and the remains of an ancient cross, still pointed out, seems to support the tradition.
Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901
30 July 2006
© Steve Bulman