Clitheroe: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°52′16″N 2°23′30″W / 53.8711°N 2.3916°W / 53.8711; -2.3916

Clitheroe is located in Lancashire

 Clitheroe shown within Lancashire
Population 22,000 
OS grid reference SD742417
District Ribble Valley
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BB7
Dialling code 01200
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Ribble Valley
List of places: UK • England • Lancashire

Clitheroe (pronounced /ˈklɪðɨroʊ/) is a town and civil parish in the borough of Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. It lies on the southern edge of the Forest of Bowland and is often used as a base for tourists in the area. The most notable building in the town is a Norman keep, suggested to be one of the smallest 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 place has been claimed to be the most (geographically) central town in Britain, by virtue of its proximity to the village of Dunsop Bridge.



The name Clitheroe is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon for "Rocky Hill",[1] and was also spelled Clyderhow and Cletherwoode.[2] The town was the administrative centre for the Honour of Clitheroe (previously spelled Honor). This land was held by Roger de Poitou, who passed it to the De Lacy family from whom it passed in 1311 to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.[2] Up until 1835, the Lord of the Honour was also by right Lord of Bowland.

The town's earliest existing charter is from 1283, granted by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and confirming rights granted by one of his forebears between 1147 and 1177.[1]


The front of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

The four main secondary schools in the town are Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Ribblesdale High Technology College,Moorland School and Bowland High, the school with a specialist status in performing arts. The nearest large school to the town is Stonyhurst College, a co-educational Jesuit independent school, next to the village of Hurst Green. There are several primary schools in the town. These are St James's Church of England Primary School, Stonyhurst College Junior School, St. Michael and John's Roman Catholic Primary School, Pendle Primary School, Edisford Primary School and Brookside Primary School. Nearby is Stonyhurst Saint Mary's Hall, the junior department of the above-mentioned Stonyhurst College, at Hurst Green.


Clitheroe enjoys one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the UK. This is largely due to the presence of several companies that each employ hundreds. Most significant are Ultraframe, Hanson Cement, Tarmac, Dugdale Nutrition and Johnson Matthey.

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; Clitheroe Light Engineering (engineering), Spiroflow (material handling), Shackletons Garden & Lifestyle Centre, Farmhouse Fayre, Townson Bros. (fuel suppliers) and Clarity Sign & Design (sign design and installation).

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.[3] 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

Clitheroe Castle (53°52′15″N 2°23′36″W / 53.8708°N 2.3932°W / 53.8708; -2.3932) 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".


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. Jimmy Clitheroe (1921-73) a comedian well known for his radio shows, was not from the town but from nearby Colne. However, a cafe in the town is named after him.


Clitheroe has many small independent shops, as well as some smaller branches of chain stores, such as Clinton Cards, Timpsons, Boots the Chemist & WH Smith(Opens November 2009). There are numerous banks and building societies, including Lloyds TSB, Abbey (Santander), HSBC, Natwest & Yorkshire Bank. Clitheroe has a number of supermarkets; Booths, Tesco & Sainsbury's. There are numerous cafes, hairdressers, & charity shops. There is also a little shopping arcade known as the Swan Courtyard, which contains many shops and cafes. There are also 2 petrol stations, run by BP & TOTAL. April 2009 saw the opening of the much delayed Homebase store. Other prominent stores include; Dawsons Department Store, Sowerbutts, Cowgill's, Banana News, Kaine and Rawson and jwl Contemporary Jewellery amongst many others includin Ideal pet stores acoss from Sainsbury's next to Homebase. Seven Exclusive Menswear on York Street selling Armani Paul Smith Ted Baker and many more brands

Clitheroe Festivals

Clitheroe has hosted a Spring festival since 1997 and sausage day has been celebrated on January 5th due to the local love and manufacture of sausages.


The home ground of Clitheroe F.C.

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.

Hurst Green is a football team from near Clitheroe. They play in the East Lancashire Division 1, and in 2007 were crowned Champions.

An annual cycle race, the Clitheroe Grand Prix takes place in the town.

Clitheroe is also home to the PESL Futsal Cup, an annual futsal tournament, which takes place every August at Edisford.

Professional UFC fighter Michael Bisping also hails from the town.

Clitheroe Rugby Union Football Club, formed in 1977, play at the Littlemoor Ground on Littlemoor Road in the town

There is also a young persons football club, called Clitheroe wolves.

Successful motorsport racing driver Simon Horton hails from the town. Simon is sponsored by one of the towns major employers Hanson Cement (formally Castle Cement)


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.

Clitheroe also has its own Ambulance, Fire & Police stations.


There are three Anglican churches: St James' Church has recently been refurbished and is home to a lively all-age congregation; the more traditional St Mary's is prominent on Church Brow atop another limestone knoll; 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. There are also Methodist and URC churches 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.[4]


Clitheroe is well connected in terms of public transport links via Clitheroe Interchange.

Train services in and out of Clitheroe

There are hourly trains to Blackburn & Manchester Victoria from the railway station that are operated by Northern Rail.[5] Usually, services are operated by Class 150 trains, but sometimes Class 156 operate the service. The Ribble Valley Rail group (community rail group) is campaigning for services from Clitheroe to be extended to Hellifield.

Bus services in and around Clitheroe

There are also frequent bus services to the surrounding Lancashire & Yorkshire settlements. Transdev is the most prominent operator, mainly operating interurban services to other towns in Lancashire, Greater Manchester & West Yorkshire. Other operators include Stagecoach in Lancashire and Tyrer Bus. See list below for more details:

Services Operated By Transdev Lancashire United:

Routes Run by Other Operators:

  • The Mainline 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28 & 29 .... Clitheroe - Whalley - Padiham - Burnley - Nelson - Colne (Transdev Burnley & Pendle)
  • Route 231 .... Clitheroe - Whalley - Great Harwood - Accrington (M&M Coaches Accrington)
  • Route 241 .... Clitheroe - Whalley - Great Harwood - Clayton-le-Moors - Accrington - Oswaldtwistle - Royal Blackburn Hospital (Tyrer Bus)
  • Bowland Transit B10/B11 .... Clitheroe - Slaidburn circulars (Tyrer Bus)
  • Bowland Transit B12 .... Clitheroe - Chipping - Garstang (Travel For All)
  • Pendle Witch Hopper 70/71, P70/P71
  • 70/71 .... Nelson - Barley - Clitheroe - Sabden - Burnley (Sundays only, Tyrer Bus)
  • P70/P71 .... Nelson - Blacko - Barley - Downham - Chatburn - Clitheroe (Mon-Sat, Tyrer Bus)
  • Route 5 .... Longridge - Ribchester - Clitheroe (Stagecoach in Lancashire)
  • Route C1 .... Low Moor - Clitheroe - Peel Park (Travel For All / Stagecoach Ribble)
  • Route C2 .... Clitheroe - Low Moor - Chatburn - Sawley - Grindelton (Mon - Sat circular Tyrer Bus)
  • Route C4 .... Clitheroe - Peel Park (circular, Tyrer Bus)
  • Route C5/C15 .... Clitheroe - West Bradford & Waddington Circulars(Mon-Sat circular Tyrer Bus)
  • Route C25 .... Clitheroe - Whalley - Brockhall - Copster Green -Blackburn Stagecoach in Lancashire)

Twin Town

Clitheroe is twinned with a small town in France.

Media gallery


  1. ^ a b "Town Council History". Clitheroe Town Council. Retrieved 2009-11-14.  
  2. ^ a b "Clitheroe". Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-11-14.  Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 531 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
  3. ^ 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]
  4. ^
  5. ^ Welch, M.S. (2004) Lancashire Steam Finale, Runpast Publishing, Cheltenham, ISBN 1 870754 61 1

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Clitheroe is an attractive market town in the Ribble Valley in East Lancashire. It lies to the south of the Forest of Bowland and is the ideal staging post for visiting that area, known as 'Lancashire's hidden gem'.

It is well known for its Norman castle, dating back over 800 years and for great food and wine shops.

Get in

Clitheroe has a railway interchange, with hourly trains to Blackburn and Manchester (Victoria Station). It is also served by regular buses from Preston, the X80 and 280, which run hourly during the day.

Get around

There are bus connections with Bolton, Blackburn, Accrington, Skipton, Ribchester and local villages.


The castle, which is often said to have the smallest Norman keep in England. It stands on a 35-metre outcrop of limestone and is one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire, and is surrounded by pleasant gardens and a park. It is also the only remaining castle in the county which had a royalist garrison during the English Civil War.


Wander through the main streets and experience a typical northern English market town, especially on market days. There has been a market in Clitheroe since Norman times. The market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with a Flea market on Fridays.


Clitheroe is well served by specialist shop, and an award-winning off-licence, D. Byrne & Co, on King Street. It also has an excellent Booths Supermarket - an institution in Lancashire.

Get out

The Forest of Bowland - explore a beautiful and almost unknown area of Britain.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CLITHEROE, a market town and municipal borough in the Clitheroe parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 220 m. N.N.W. from London and 35 m. N. by W. from Manchester, on the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway. Pop. (1901) 11,414. It is finely situated in the valley of the Ribble, at the foot of Pendle Hill, a steep plateau-like mass rising to 1831 ft. The church of St Mary Magdalene, though occupying an ancient site, is wholly modernized. There are a grammar school, founded in 1554, and a technical school. On a rocky elevation commanding the valley stands the keep and other fragments of a Norman castle, but part of the site is occupied by a modern mansion. The industrial establishments comprise cotton-mills, print-works, paper-mills, foundries, and brick and lime works. The corporation consists of a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 2385 acres.

Stonyhurst College, 5 m. S. W. of Clitheroe, is the principal establishment in England for Roman Catholic students. The Jesuits of St Omer, after emigrating to Bruges and Liege, were disorganized by the revolutionary troubles at the close of the 18th century, and a large body came to England, when Thomas Weld, in 1795, conferred his property of Stonyhurst upon them. The fine and extensive buildings, of which the nucleus is a mansion of the 17th century, contain a public school for boys and a house of studies for Jesuit ecclesiastics, while there is a preparatory school at a short distance. Every branch of study is prosecuted, the college including such institutions as an observatory, laboratories and farm buildings.

The Honour of Clitheroe, the name of which is also written Clyderhow and Cletherwoode, was first held by Roger de Poictou, who was almost certainly the builder of the castle, which was dismantled in 1649. He granted it to Robert de Lacy, in whose family it remained with two short intervals until it passed by marriage to Thomas, earl of Lancaster, in 1310. It formed part of the duchy of Lancaster till Charles II. at the Restoration bestowed it on General Monk, from whose family it descended through the house of Montague to that of Buccleuch. The Clitheroe Estate Company are the present lords of the Honour. The first charter was granted about 1283 to the burgesses by Henry de Lacy, second earl of Lincoln, confirming the liberties granted by the first Henry de Lacy, who is therefore sometimes said, although probably erroneously, to have granted a charter about 1147. The 1283 charter was confirmed by Edward III. in 1346, Henry V. in 1413-1414, Henry VIII. in 1542, and James I. in 1604. Of the fairs, those on December 7th to 9th and March 24th to 26th are held under a charter of Henry IV. in 1409. A weekly market has been held on Saturday since the Conqueror's days. In 1558 the borough was granted two members of parliament, and continued to return them till 1832, when the number was reduced to one. Under the Redistribution Act of 1885 the borough was disfranchised. The municipal government was formerly vested in an in-bailiff and an out-bailiff elected annually from the in and out burgesses. A court-leet and court-baron used to be held half-yearly, but both are now obsolete. The present corporation governs under the Municipal Corporation Act (1837). There was a church or chapel here in early times, and a chaplain is mentioned in Henry II.'s reign.

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