Clifton, York

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North Riding
Aerial photographs of Bootham Crescent (29th May 2021) 018.jpg
View over the Terraces of Clifton
Grid reference: SE592532
Location: 53°58’19"N, 1°5’52"W
Population: 13,548  (2011)
Post town: York
Postcode: YO30
Dialling code: 01904
Local Government
Council: York
York Central

Clifton is a village which has become the northern suburb of the City of York, the capital of Yorkshire. Clifton is a mile and a half north of the city centre, in the North Riding. The A19, passes north out of York through Clifton.

The old village area was made a Conservation Area in 1968. It is the location of Nestle Foods Factory and the Public Schools of St Peter's and the former Queen Anne's.

The origin of the name is derived from the Old English pre-7th century clif, meaning a gentle slope, or more usually a riverbank, with tun, an enclosure or settlement.[1]


Clifton Methodist Church
Avenue Terrace

During Roman times there was a road through Clifton that approached the Roman fortress from the north-west and headed towards the river crossing. There was a second road that also left the north-west gate and may eventually have joined the other. The evidence from early timber buildings from the museum gardens and early burials from Bootham and Clifton suggest the roads existed from the 1st century. Sporadic 2nd century Roman occupation material and fragments of streets indicate that by that time expansion may have begun in Clifton. This development was not sustained and evidence indicates that from the 3rd century onwards the area beyond St. Mary's was given over to cemeteries.

There are records that show a windmill existed from the late 14th to the early 19th centuries in Burton Stone Lane and was known as Clifton or Lady Windmill. Ownership was recorded between 1374 and 1413 as belonging to John de Roucliff. Other owners recorded were Sir William Ingleby, in the mid 15th century, and Sir William Robinson in the early 18th century. The last record of the mill still being operational was in 1852, but there is no trace of the building now.

The district was badly damaged during the Siege of York. On the street named Clifton, The Old Manor House is partly timber framed but was rebuilt after the siege and is now grade II* listed.[2]

The Burton Stone Inn

Horse racing had begun in York towards the end of the 17th century. In 1708 the corporation recognised the potential for profit from horse racing and that local Clifton landowner, Sir William Robinson, had offered his land on Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings as a racecourse, donated £15 a year towards a plate. Following the winter of 1730 racing moved to the recently drained Knavesmire.

The York Diocesan Church Building Society, founded in 1861, contributed to the building of the church in Clifton between 1867 and 1869.


Nestlé factory

Most of the population find employment in the city centre or the many retail and industrial parks on the outskirts of York such as Clifton Moor in the nearby area of Clifton Without. Employment can be found within the ward at the Nestle Foods Factory on Haxby Road, and the York District Hospital on Wigginton Road.


St Joseph's RC Church

The first Methodist society in Clifton met in a cottage in the 1870s and in April 1884 the Avenue Terrace Chapel was opened. A larger chapel on the site of 'Clifton Cottage' was opened in 1909.

The Grade II listed church of St Philip and St James, was built between 1866 and 1867 next to Clifton Green, G.F. Jones of York being the architect.[3]

St Joseph's Catholic Church is located on the roundabout at the northern end of Kingsway North on Burdyke Avenue.

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  1. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 112 ISBN 0198691033
  2. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, 1975
  3. National Heritage List 1259228: Church of St Philip and St James (Grade II listing)