Clitheroe Town Centre
Clitheroe shown within Lancashire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Ribble Valley|
Clitheroe (pron.: //) is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is near the Forest of Bowland and is often used as a base for tourists in the area. It has a population of 14,697. The most notable building in the town is Clitheroe Castle, suggested to be one of the smallest Norman keeps in the country.
The town elected two members to the Unreformed House of Commons. The Great Reform Act reduced this to one. It was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and remained a municipal borough until the Local Government Act 1972 came into force in 1974 when it became a successor parish within the Ribble Valley district.
The name Clitheroe is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon for "Rocky Hill", and was also spelled Clyderhow and Cletherwoode. The town was the administrative centre for the lands of the Honor of Clitheroe. These lands were held by Roger de Poitou, who passed them to the De Lacy family from whom they passed in 1311 to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster and subsequently, to the Duchy of Lancaster. At one point the town of Clitheroe was given to Richard, 1st Duke of Gloucester. Up until 1835 the Lord of the Honor was also by right Lord of Bowland, the so-called Lord of the Fells.
The three main secondary schools in the town are Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Ribblesdale High Technology College and Moorland School. There are several primary schools in the town. These are St James's Church of England Primary School, St. Michael and John's Roman Catholic Primary School, Pendle Primary School, Edisford Primary School and Brookside Primary School.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (June 2012)|
Hanson Cement has been criticised for using industrial waste in its kilns, which some local inhabitants claim produces poisonous dioxins. Hanson Cement claims that its filters remove these and that government inspectors have approved the plant. However, locals continue to campaign for the use of industrial waste as fuel to cease.
Other businesses based in or around the town include; Evans Accountants (Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors),Core Business Management Ltd (Outsourced Business Services), Clitheroe Light Engineering (engineering), Spiroflow (material handling), Shackletons Garden & Lifestyle Centre, Farmhouse Fayre, Townson Bros. (fuel suppliers), Clarity Sign & Design (sign design and installation) and Rufus Carr Ltd (Independent Ford dealer) est.1928.
There are a number of small industrial sites in and around Clitheroe with the most prominent being the newly expanded Link 59 Business Park to the north of the town.
Jet engine development 
During World War II, the jet engine was developed by the Rover Company. Rover and Rolls-Royce met engineers from the different companies at Clitheroe's Swan & Royal Hotel. The residential area 'Whittle Close' in the town is named after Frank Whittle, being built over the site of the former jet engine test beds.
The Castle 
Clitheroe Castle is argued to be the smallest Norman keep in the whole of England. It stands atop a 35-metre outcrop of limestone and is one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire. It is also the only remaining castle in the county which had a royalist garrison during the English Civil War.
The castle's most prominent feature is the hole in its side which was made in 1649 as was ordered by the government. It was to be put in "such condition that in might neither be a charge to the Commonwealth to keep it, nor a danger to have it kept against them".
Dixon Robinson was in residence as Steward of Clitheroe until his death in 1878 and resided at the castle from before 1841. His son Aurthur Ingram Robinson lived at the Castle after 1878.
A Conservative member of parliament has represented the town for many years, with the exception of Michael Carr, elected in 1991 for the Liberal Democrats. The current MP is Nigel Evans. Previous to both these was the high profile David Waddington. However, at local government level since 1991 the town of Clitheroe itself has elected at least 8 out of the 10 Liberal Democrat borough councillors to Ribble Valley Borough Council, while Clitheroe Town Council has been Liberal democrat controlled for that period too. Likewise since 1993 the Town has had a Liberal Democrat County Councillor to Lancashire County Council. In addition, the borough returned one of the first six ever socialist MPs at the 1906 election, due perhaps to the large number of mill workers living locally at that time.
Clitheroe has many small independent shops, as well as some smaller branches of chain stores, such as Timpsons, Greggs, Sayers, Boots the Chemist, WH Smith, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero and Homebase. There are numerous banks and building societies, including Lloyds TSB, Santander, Barclays, HSBC, NatWest & Yorkshire Bank.
Other prominent stores include; Exchange Coffee Company, Dawsons Department Store, D. Byrne & Co. Fine Wine Merchants, Clitheroe Lighting Centre, Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop, Sowerbutts, Cowgill's, Banana News, Kaine and Rawson, JWL Contemporary Jewellery and Hoody Marvelous.
Clitheroe festivals 
The first Ribble Valley Jazz Festival for over 40 years - held from 30 April to 3 May 2010 - was organised by the Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, based in Clitheroe.
Clitheroe has hosted a Spring festival since 1997 and sausage day has been celebrated on 5 January due to the local love and manufacture of sausages.
The annual Clitheroe Food Festival takes place in early August. Eighty or more Lancashire food and drink producers are selected to participate by the festival organisers. Lancashire's top professional chefs, the town's retailers, groups and volunteer organisations also take part.
Clitheroe F.C. play in the Northern Premier League Division One North. They play their home games at the Shawbridge Stadium, which is also the home ground of Blackburn Rovers WFC. There is also a youth football club, Clitheroe Wolves.
Clitheroe Rugby Union Football Club, formed in 1977, play at the Littlemoor Ground on Littlemoor Road in the town and run two rugby teams.
An annual cycle race, the Clitheroe Grand Prix takes place in the town.
Clitheroe Skatepark was opened in 2006. The Park is of all-concrete construction and covers approximately 1,200 square metres. There are three main zones to the park; the street plaza which leads into the central section, and finally a split level, 7-foot-deep (2.1 m) concrete kidney bowl. Each section blends into the next, so a line can take you fully from one end of the park to the other without stopping. Clitheroe Skatepark is owned and run by a team based at The Grand, a charitable organization specializing in schools and youth work.
Clitheroe has a health centre, accommodating the Pendleside Medical Practice and the Castle Medical Group. There is a community hospital. The areas is served by the East Lancashire NHS Primary Care Trust.
There are three Anglican churches: the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene is a traditional Anglican church prominent on Church Brow on a limestone knoll; St James' Church has recently been refurbished and is home to a lively all-age congregation; St Paul's is in the area of town known as Low Moor. The town also has a large Roman Catholic community. The majority of Roman Catholic children attend St Augustine's RC High School. The Catholic saint, Margaret Clitherow, was not from Clitheroe but lived and was martyred in York. Trinity Methodist Church, part of the wider Methodist Circuit in Clitheroe and surrounding villages, is located on the edge of Castle Park in Clitheroe. There is also a URC church in the town as well as the Clitheroe Community Church and Salvation Army citadel. In nearby Sawley there is a Quaker Meeting House.
There is a sizeable Muslim community in Clitheroe. After years of campaigning for a Mosque in the town, permission was finally granted in 2006 for the conversion of a former church at Lowergate into a multi-faith centre which will have a Muslim prayer room and will be open to all faiths to use the rest of the building.
Clitheroe is well connected in terms of public transport links via Clitheroe Interchange.
Train services 
There are hourly trains to Blackburn and Manchester Victoria from the railway station that are operated by Northern Rail. Usually, services are operated by Class 150 trains, but sometimes Class 156 and Class 153 operate the service. The Ribble Valley Rail group (community rail group) is campaigning for services from Clitheroe to be extended to Hellifield.
Bus services 
There are frequent bus services from Clitheroe Interchange to the surrounding Lancashire and Yorkshire settlements. Transdev is the most prominent operator, mainly operating interurban services to other towns in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. Other operators include Holmeswood Coaches, M&M Coaches, Little Red Bus and Tyrer Bus.
Notable people 
- Michael Bisping, professional UFC fighter.
- Jimmy Clitheroe (1921–73) a comedian well known for his radio shows, was born in the town but raised in Blacko, near Colne.
- John Lund, Eight-time BriSCA F1 Stock Cars World Champion.
- Those Dirty Words, UK rock band.
- Dixon Robinson (1795-1878) Honour of Clitheroe, Blackburn Lawyer and major landowner / employer of Clitheroe and Chatburn. Built the Pendle Hotel. Owned the Chatburn Horrocksford Lime Co, Bold Venture Kiln, Limeworks and Quarry from 1837 to his death in 1878. Lived at Clitheroe Castle.
Twin town 
Media gallery 
The main street in Clitheroe, taken from Swan Court Shopping Arcade.
View from Clitheroe Castle. In the distance is Pendle Hill.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Ribble Valley Retrieved 31 July 2010
- "Town Council History". Clitheroe Town Council. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "Clitheroe". Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-11-14.Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 531 of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
- Forest of Bowland official website
- David S Brooks (1997). Vikings at Waterloo: Wartime Work on the Whittle Jet Engine by the Rover Company. Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. ISBN 1-872922-08-2]
- Clitheroe Food Festival
- Welch, M.S. (2004) Lancashire Steam Finale, Runpast Publishing, Cheltenham, ISBN 1-870754-61-1
Further reading 
- Thomas Dunham Whitaker, An history of the original parish of Whalley, and honor of Clitheroe, 1818 Full text at archive.org
- Farrer and Brownbill, The Victoria history of the county of Lancaster Vol 1, 1906 Full text at archive.org
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Clitheroe|
- Clitheroe Town Council
- Clitheroe in the future
- Old Clitheroe
- Clitheroe at GENUKI: historical and genealogical information
- Clitheroe Advertiser & Times