Clifton, Little

Township in Workington parish, Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland, including village of Bridgefoot.


1,089 acres [441 ha].


166 in 1801; had risen to 476 by 1861, attributed to opening of collieries; peaked at 599 in 1871; declined across 20th century to stand at 391 in 2001.


see Great Clifton.


Clifton iron furnace (first coke-fired blast furnace in Cumbria) erected 1723 by Messrs Cookson; closed 1781. Coal mining, with collieries in 19th century at Harrygill, Reelfitz and Westray (ceased by 1900). Forges at Bridgefoot (sickles and edge tools) and Reelfitz (spade manufactory) in mid-19th century. Brickworks near Lowther Pit in late 19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval chapel of ease serving both Little and Great Clifton townships. Had become ‘very ruinous’ and partly collapsed by 1717; rebuilt, perhaps 1734; again 1858, as St Luke’s church, when ecclesiastical parish of Clifton was formed; rebuilt again 1900. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Bridgefoot built 1867; rebuilt 1875.

Schools and other institutions:

National school, Chapel Brow, built c.1860; closed and converted to dwelling. Reading room established 1896; by 1903 the Allerdale Coal Company had provided reading and recreation room at Chapel Brow, known as William Fletcher Memorial Institute.