Clifford, West Yorkshire
The village of Clifford takes its name from Clyf' and ford Old English for ford at the bank or cliff, referring to the crossing of the River Wharfe at Boston Spa which was then within the manor. Clifford is mentioned in the Domesday Book, when Ligulf held the manor of six carucates with four ploughs.
Clifford was originally a farming community, but in the 1831, the corn mills, powered by Bramham Beck, on Old Mill Lane were transformed into flax mills, making patent yarn and shoe thread. The mills were owned by the Grimston Brothers. At its height the business employed about 300 workers, some of them Irish immigrants, and many of whom lived in the stone terraced cottages in the village.
Clifford was a township in the old parish of Bramham, in the upper division of the wapentake of Barkston Ash, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It became a separate civil parish in 1866 as Clifton with Boston, which was split into the civil parishes of Clifford and Boston Spa in 1896.
Clifford is a rural village, with a conservation area at its centre. It has a mix of buildings from traditional magnesian limestone cottages to modern family housing. All construction within the conservation area must use local limestone. Green Belt land separates the village from Bramham and Boston Spa. Limestone for building was quarried locally.
||Wetherby||Boston Spa, Thorp Arch||Wighill,|
|Bardsey, A1(M) motorway||Newton Kyme, Tadcaster|
There are three churches in Clifford. The Anglican church dedicated to St Luke on high ground at the western end of the village is built in the Gothic style of architecture and was consecrated by the Archbishop of York in 1842. The church cost £1200 raised by subscription and the site was donated by George Lane-Fox. The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel, and the Roman Catholics built St Edward King and Confessor Catholic Church. to serve the population of Irish workers that came to work in Grimstons flax mill established in the village in 1831. The Grimston, Clifford and Vavasour families contributed to the cost of building the church.
Clifford has three public houses (The Bay Horse, The Albion and The Old Star) and a fish and chip shop (Clifford Fisheries). There were no other shops or businesses in 2009 as the post office had been converted into houses.
The Old Star is a historic multi room pub owned and operated by Samuel Smith's Old Brewery. The Albion is situated on the edge of the village, offers a food menu and is run under lease from Enterprise Inns. The Bay Horse is the local 'games pub' and has a dart board, jukebox, a small pool table, and an Azzy situated at the end of the bar. The Bay Horse also has a pool team who play in the Wetherby League.
The Village Hall is a small venue for concerts and plays. Clifford's first Beer Festival took place on 19 June 2010. Clifford's second Champion Beer Festival took place on 2 July 2011 and due to its popularity took place for a third and fourth time (2012, 2013) and has become an annual event.
Clifford has a monthly magazine, The Outlook, that is delivered free to every resident by the committee.
- History of Clifford, Clifford Parish Council, retrieved 2010-08-30
- Lewis, Samuel (1848), "Clifford, with Boston", A Topographical Dictionary of England (British History Online): 632–635, retrieved 2010-06-04
- Leach & Pevsner 2009, p. 228
- Clifford cum Boston, GenUKI, retrieved 2010-08-30
- Vision of Britain website: Clifford With Boston
- Village profile, Clifford Parish Council, retrieved 2010-08-30
- "Clifford Champion Beer Festival 2011". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
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