CLIFTON, a township, in the parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Manchester, on the road to Bolton; containing 1360 inhabitants. The Cliftons of Westby were in possession of this place in the 20th of Edward I.; the manor subsequently came to the Hollands, and afterwards, by purchase, to the Gaskell family. The township comprises 850 acres of land, in equal portions of arable and pasture, and of which the soil is of a clayey nature. It is situated in a luxuriant vale, and is bounded by the river Irwell, which flows on the north-east. The Manchester and Bolton railway passes through; and a line quits this railway here, and proceeds through Bury to Rossendale and other parts of the county; it was opened to Rawtenstall, a distance of 14 miles, in Sept. 1846, and has since been extended. The inhabitants are mostly employed in nine collieries. A school has been built by the proprietor's trustees.