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Places > Clifton

1320: All Saints Church was thought to be built around this time.

1390: The original Manor House built.

14th Century: The massive church tower is mainly of 14th century work, but the building may not have been completed until a later date. It has been suggested that the Black Death in 1348-9 may have stopped work for a time.

1620: Clifton Manor acquired by Walter Rolt, who commissioned a troop of horses to support Oliver Cromwell. In 1706 the Queen Anne staircase was installed. The West Wing was added in 1850 but by 1910 the Lodge, Armoury and Home Farm had been disposed of and Clifton Manor estate was reduced to five acres. During the First World War the Australian Cavalry were billeted in the stables and outhouses. The sergeants took over the servants' quarters and the offices the main house.

1776: The Golden Lion Public House established, the ancient, partly wooden, building  was demolished in 1938 when the new pub was built at the rear.

1806: Rev. Daniel Oliver founded a school which continued until 1861.

1840: The Fox and Duck Public House opened in Henlow Road, During the 1960s the name was changed to the Clifton Arms. The pub closed in 1990.

1846: Blue Ball public house opened in Shefford Road, closed 1890.

1853: Clifton Strict Baptist Church built by Septimus Sears with room for over 700 worshippers.

1862: The north aisle and chapel of the church were rebuilt and enlarged. The school and school masters house were built by Henry Miles the Rector's father.

1867: The Admiral Public House established.

1872: Almshouses built from money raised by the sale of a periodical called 'little cleaner and sower' edited by the Rev. Sears of the Baptist Chapel. During the Second World War they were occupied by Jewish refugees. They were pulled down in 1950.

1880: G.& A. Harwoods Minerals Water Factory operated from 1880 until 1947. Harwoods produced Hops Bitters, Cherry Cider, Stone Ginger Beer, Lime Juice and Soda, and Ginger Ale and sold them to the pubs and shops of all the surrounding villages.

1881: New village well built by the Rector Hugh Miles.

1922: The dedication ceremony for the War Memorial held on 19th March. The war memorial stone was placed under the canopy of the village well.

1931: The Church Hall built, being largely based on the old rectory stable block and laundry.

1936: Providence Chapel in Shefford Road opened.

1973: Samuel Whitbread Upper School opened.

1981: All Saints Lower School opened.

1992: Work completed in restoring 16 medieval paintings on a rood screen in All Saints Church. The work lasted four years at a cost of over 10,000.

1995: Dispute over ownership of Clifton pond, resulting in a public inquiry in 2000 with the ruling that the pond belonged to the village.

1999: New Sports and Community Centre at Whiston Crescent opened on the 24th April, the total cost being 220,000

2006: Building work completed at Samuel Whitbread Community College making it the largest school in the county, with the number of students aged between 13 and 19 increasing to 1,800.


  • The Newspaper Cuttings Collection in the Local Studies Library at Bedford Central Library
  • Victoria County History of Bedfordshire 3 Vols. 1912.
  • Stacey, S and Livsey, A Look at Clifton. 1987

  • Page last updated: 23rd Janaury 2014