PERMANENT MEMORIAL OF CLIFTON MOOR BATTLE

Date: Saturday 7th January 2006

THE last battle fought on English soil is to have a permanent memorial thanks to the efforts of Clifton Parish Council.

The Battle of Clifton Moor in 1745 was the last engagement on English soil between the Jacobites, who, led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie, attempted to regain the British throne, and government armies led by the Duke of Cumberland.

At Clifton Moor the Jacobite troops, commanded by Lord George Murray, were outnumbered three to one by the Duke of Cumberland's men.

In a rearguard action, Murray, with the McPherson regiment under Cluny McPherson, engaged the English, giving the Prince and the main body of Highland troops a chance to retreat from Penrith back over the border into Scotland.

In the resulting "skirmish" troops were killed on both sides, with the Highland dead buried under the "rebel tree", which still stands in the village today, and the soldiers on the government side buried in Clifton churchyard.

This was one of the last times the two foes met before the bloody rout at Culloden Moor, in which Highland troops were slaughtered in great numbers by the Duke of Cumberland's men. This was the encounter that earned him the nickname "Butcher".

At a recent meeting of the parish council plans to put up a sign in the village, commemorating the "last battle", were discussed.

Donations totalling £700 had been received towards the cost of the sign from the Herald, Eden Fells neighbourhood forum, Herald photographer Fred Wilson and A. W. Jenkinson.

Parish council chairman John Carruthers, of Midtown Farm, said the battle was not only of historical interest, but helped bring a sense of community to present-day villagers.

Ten years ago, on the 250th anniversary of the battle, a group of villagers raised funds to put on a large-scale historic re-enactment of the battle which drew close to 1,000 spectators to Clifton Moor.

Also on the agenda at the parish council meeting was discussion of three planning applications that had been submitted for properties in the village.

These were the construction of a conservatory on a dwelling at 11 Cumberland Close, a single story extension to 21 Cumberland Close and the erection of a two-storey rear extension for additional living space at Rose Barn, Moorfoot.

All the applications had been approved but it was decided that the clerk should write to the head of planning at Eden District Council stating there had been a lack of consideration of parish council objections and no feedback.

On highway matters, it was noted that the drain just south of the railway bridge was still blocked and posed a danger to both pedestrians and motorists. A new drain was needed on the verge between the village hall and the old police house.

Traffic management authorities had been contacted regarding overhanging trees at Brougham and repairs to the crash barrier at Clifton Hall. It was reported to the meeting that job numbers had been allocated for these works and therefore they would be carried out in due course.

There was some discussion regarding the possible use of some of the grounds at Clifton School as a lay-by. It was intended that the proposed scheme would be revised and a full public meeting be held in the spring to discuss the revised proposals.

Work that needed doing to Clifton Well and the cobbles near the village's church had been inspected by members of the probation service. PC S. Wilkinson reported to the meeting that the work could be carried out, but not until the spring.

The audit for the year ended April, 2005, had been completed and notices had been posted on the notice boards. The council's bank balances were reported by the clerk and statements were inspected and signed by the chairman. It was agreed to pay the accounts. The precept for the year ended 31st March, 2006, as appended was agreed.

The date of the next meeting was set as 6th February, 2006.