a village and parish having no dependent township, is situated in the hundred of
Salford, and diocese of Manchester, from which town it is distant six miles
N.N.W. by road and seven by railway; and two miles and a half by rail S.S.W.
from Bury. The area of the parish is 2,880 acres of land; and its population in
1801 was 2,497; in 1831, 3,904; in 1841, 5,099 : and according to the
parliamentary census of 1851’ it contained 6,293 inhabitants. The rateable value
of the parish in the present year, 1852, is £22,640. Radcliffe enjoys its full
share of all those advantages which characterise the neighbouring towns,
resulting from the establishment of the cotton and other manufactures, which
consist chiefly of ginghams, checks, ticks, nankeens, and fustians; besides
cotton spinning, smallware manufactures, and calico printing : and in the parish
and its neighbourhood are several coal mines – the whole affording employment to
large numbers of the working population, both male and female. The East
Lancashire Railway and the Bolton and Bury Canal, which pass close to the
village, furnish the greatest facilities for the transit of its manufactures and
merchandise to and from Manchester, Liverpool, Bury, and the principal towns and
villages in the manufacturing district. The village is lighted with gas from the
works of the Radcliffe and Pilkington Gas Company, formed in the year 1845.
The Parish Church of Radcliffe is a
very ancient structure. The living is a rectory, rated in the King’s Book at
£21. 0s. 5d. and now valued at £368. It is in the patronage of the Earl of
Wilton, and incumbency of the Rev. Nathaniel Milne. The aggregate amount of the
tithes, commuted in 1839, is £99. 0s. 9d. St Thomas’, Chapel of Ease, is a neat
building erected in 1821. The living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the
rector, and in the enjoyment of the Rev. Robert Fletcher; income, £120. The
Wesleyan Methodists have two Chapels here, one at Radcliffe Bridge and the other
at Radcliffe Hall. The latter is an excellent building of stone, in connexion
with which is a Day and Sunday School, a neat brick building erected by
subscription in 1851-2, at the cost of about £500. The Lyceum, instituted in
1851, occupies a large room in Church – street, Mr. Samuel Wheelhouse, hon.
A new Market House was built in the village in 1851, at a cost of £1,500, by the Earl of Wilton, who is lord of the manor. The Poor House here, in connection with the Bury union, occupies a healthy situation; the site, together with the materials necessary for its construction, were given by the late Earl of Wilton. Radcliffe Races are held annually, about the middle of August; and fairs on the 29th and 30th of April for horses and horned cattle; and on the 28th and 29th of September for wool, cloth, and pedlery.
(1) Whellan & Co.’s Directory