Clifton & Thornhills


Clifton stands only a stone’s throw from the centre of Brighouse but in a high elevated position overlooking Brighouse.

This truly historical village is filled with historical interest and intrigue dating back to the 16 century and beyond it is also reputed to be the burial ground for Robin Hood?

As you climb the very steep Clifton road out of Brighouse town centre you are greeted by the Armytage Arms at the brow of the hill turning in front of this pub you enter the main street of the village as you approach the heart of the village you have to be impressed with some of the old buildings and features that are mixed among the more modern built houses.

As you travel on passing the village school you come to a crossroad with the very impressive Black Horse Inn on the right this in itself is a historical land mark with the impressive Yorkshire Stone work standing proud as it has since the 18th century.

As you travel on through the village and its winding roads opening up to the countryside and the fields that once formed part of the Armytage vast estate as it now looks down on the M62 motorway as it brings produce and goods from one side of the country to the other just like in the past when the Calder & Hebble canal did exactly the same job only much slower and sedate.

It is said that Clifton still has a vast amount of its past hidden away and if you look carefully you can find many signs of its past, including early “crop rotation”, in an age when crop farming was on the rise small farms or crofts as they were known, mostly leased from the big estates, these small farms or just a small field in many cases, at times were mostly the rough or steep bits of land the big estates did not really want, so let them off to these small holders, farmers and crofters, the crofters with limited means and money had to make the most of this inhospitable land and often ploughed the land downwards in strips as they were often too steep for the horses to cultivate the land in any other direction, this was a very slow time consuming hard job, so after they had completed a small strip of land they would plant it with seed before moving in to the next strip.

Every year they would change the type of crop produced in each strip and this early way of growing became the most efficient way to grow crops with limited land, which also improved the crops yield without over using the limited lands natural resources.

Like most of Brighouse, Clifton was also a mining area thought to produce minerals and coal they say Clifton still has the remains of its mines and rail tracks that were used to carry the coal down the steep hills to the awaiting barges, this was carried out using carriages loaded with coal at the top of the hill and the weight of the coal was enough to take the heavy carriages down the track with a braking system on some of the carriages to slow them down and stop them at the bottom for unloading onto the barges, the empty carriages were then pulled back to the top with a type of winch powered by horses.

Clifton is another part of Brighouse that borders on other boundaries including Kirklees (Huddersfield) and Cleckheaton which is under Bradford City’s control, in its past it was part of the vast assets of Clifton Hall, Highley Hall and Kirklees Hall, Clifton like most of Brighouse has some amazing views, walks and wildlife making this an ideal place to visit and check out its past and present features.


The modern Clifton is home to two pubs, an infant and junior school, a village Hall, Village Church, general store, its own Golf Course, Cricket and Football Grounds, while not forgetting its very own Brass Band (Clifton & Lightcliffe) one of the oldest Brass bands in the area with its roots stretching back to the 18th century.