|Businesses in Clifton||Towns and Villages of Cumbria|
(See also Wetheriggs Country Pottery)
Clifton lies alongside the A6 near Penrith in the vale of Lowther.
Clifton's moor is notable as the place where, in 1745, the last battle on English soil took place between Bonnie Prince Charlie's and the Duke of Cumberland's forces. In St Cuthbert's churchyard are buried ten men killed in the battle. Near the churchyard gate is a stone commemorating the event.
The church sits on an ancient place of worship, and legend has it that it is one of the resting places of St Cuthbert's remains. He died in AD 687 and is buried at Durham cathedral. The church nave dates from the 12th century, and the doorway is Norman. On the pulpit are carvings of the nativity. Other carvings are found on the choir stalls. A window is dedicated to Eleanor Enguyne and displays her family coat of arms. A monument commemorates her marriage.
In the 14th century she was mistress of Clifton Hall and a benefactress to the parish. The Wybergs owned the hall during the civil war and supported the Royalists. In 1652 Cromwell ordered their property sold. The story is told in the novel Waverley.
Clifton Hall was once a pele tower, then a turreted mansion. Now it stands in a farmyard. Built in the 16th century after the border wars with the Scots had calmed down, it was thus able to have larger windows and attend more to comfort than defense. The three storey rectangular tower measures 33 by 26 feet. Stairs led to upper rooms and the roof.
John Wesley preached in the village in 1752.
Wetheriggs Country Pottery at nearby Clifton Dykes was founded in the 1860s. It is the only steam-powered pottery still in operation in Britain and welcomes visitors.
In the vicinity is Cat Crag, named for the wildcats that used to inhabit it.
Clifton Tower is in the care of English Heritage and is open at all times with no charge to view.
Photos by TheButler and courtesy of James Stringer , Juno Leigh
Clifton is on the A6 south of Penrith.
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