Radcliffe St Mary, Lancashire Genealogy
RADCLIFFE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bury, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 8 miles (N. N. W.) from Manchester; containing 6000 inhabitants. The name of this place is Saxon, and is derived from a cliff of red rock on the south-east side of the river Irwell, below the confluence of the Roche, and opposite to the village of Radcliffe. The Norman Conquest introduced much of the French language, and hence the appellation "Rugemont" was often given to the village, and was used also as the surname of several members of the Radcliffe family in the early periods of English history. The parish is one of the smallest in the county, and has no dependent townships; it comprises about 2435 acres, the greater portion meadow and pasture land, and situated in a rich vale, of undulated surface. The population, which has latterly greatly increased, is employed in agriculture, in collieries, and in extensive cotton-mills and bleach-grounds; the manufactures comprehending spinning and calico-printing, and nankeen, fustian, and check weaving. The village is large, and consists of two collections of houses, called Radcliffe and RadcliffeBridge; the latter is about half a mile distant from the former, and is separated from the township of Pilkington, in the parish of Prestwich-cum Oldham, by the river Irwell, over which is a bridge of two arches. A gas company was established in 1846, by act of parliament, but no powers were given in the act for lighting the place with gas. The Roman Watling-street, the Bolton and Bury canal, and the East Lancashire railway, all pass through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £21. 0. 5., and in the patronage of the Earl of Wilton: the tithes have been commuted for £156. 10., and there are 55 acres of glebe, with a house. The church, built at different periods, is in various styles of architecture, with a low tower, and has a curious window, called "the east window in the Sun chapel:" the chancel was restored in 1845, by the rector, the Rev. Nathaniel Milne, and a north transept was added in 1846, by subscription. St. Thomas's district, Radcliffe-Bridge, was formed in 1839, and has a population of 3000. The living is a perpetual curacy, also in the patronage of the Earl of Wilton, with a net income of £150, and a residence: the church was erected in 1819 by the Dowager Marchioness of Westminster, at a cost of £5000, and is a substantial stone building, fitted up with solid oak. There are a place of worship for Wesleyans, an excellent national school, and a large Sunday school adjacent to the church of Radcliffe-Bridge. Radcliffe Tower, now in ruins, was one of the most considerable manorial seats in the county. Of its date there is no precise information, but it appears that Richard Radcliffe, high sheriff of Lancashire, 32 Edward III., was of "Radcliffe Tower;" as was his predecessor, William de Radeclive, one of the knights of the Grand Inquest, 13th of John. The tower was rebuilt in the reign of Henry IV. It was of stone strongly grouted, and beneath the castellated rampart was a covering of lead; this last has long since disappeared, and its place is now occupied by a sycamore-tree growing out of the ruins. Generally, these strongholds were inclosed by a moat; but there are no traces of such an external protection to this pile, and it is probable that none existed. The park attached to it stretched for some distance along the vale of the Irwell.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 627-630. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51228 Date accessed: 20 July 2010.
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection
Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
Maps and Gazetteers
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