Definitions for radcliffe
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Radcliffe is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on undulating ground in the Irwell Valley, along the course of the River Irwell, 2.5 miles south-west of Bury and 6.5 miles north-northwest of Manchester. Radcliffe is contiguous with the town of Whitefield to the south. The disused Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal bisects the town. Historically a part of Lancashire, evidence of Mesolithic, Roman and Norman activity has been found in Radcliffe and its surroundings. A Roman road passes through the area, along the border between Radcliffe and Bury. Radcliffe appears in an entry of the Domesday Book as "Radeclive". During the High Middle Ages Radcliffe formed a small parish and the township centred on the Church of St Mary and the manorial Radcliffe Tower, both of which are local landmarks and Grade I listed buildings. Two hamlets lay within the parish boundaries: Radcliffe, around the church; and Radcliffe Bridge, which lay by a bridge over the River Irwell and later developed into Radcliffe's commercial centre. Coal measures underlie the area, and a series of mines opened during the Industrial Revolution helped to transform Radcliffe into an important industrial area. Locally sourced coal provided the fuel for a variety of cotton spinning and papermaking industries. The adoption of the factory system facilitated a process of unplanned urbanisation in the area, and by the mid-19th century Radcliffe had emerged as an important mill town at a convergence of cotton mills, bleachworks, and a newly constructed road, canal and railway network. The town no longer has any working collieries, and imports of cheaper foreign goods led to the decline of Radcliffe's heavy industries during the mid-20th century.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a prosperous town of Lancashire, on the Irwell, 7 m. NW. of Manchester; manufactures cotton, calico, and paper; has bleaching and dye works, and good coal-mines.
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