Grange over Sands
Resort town in Lonsdale hundred, Lancashire North of the Sands. For pre-urban history of area, see Broughton East, Allithwaite, Lower and Allithwaite, Upper.
Grange CP and UD created 1894 from parts of Broughton East, Upper and Lower Allithwaite CPs; new CP covered 1540 acres [623 ha]. Further 274 acres [111 ha] transferred from Lower Allithwaite to Grange 1914.
Origins and growth of the town:
Grange developed as hydropathic centre and tourist town following opening of Ulverston & Lancaster Railway 1857; by 1870s it was described as ‘in much local repute as a watering-place’. Resort development took off in 1860s, with building of Grange Hotel (completed 1866) and laying out of ornamental gardens on former marshland in front of railway station (1865). Kents Bank Hotel (at former departure point for cross-sands route to Hest Bank) opened 1876. Growth boosted in 1880s with arrival of hydropathic institutions: Grange Hydropathic and Hazelwood Hydro (now Grand Hotel), opened 1887. Former villas overlooking sea were converted into hotels, most notably Abbot Hall at Kents Bank (built 1840; became hotel 1916) and Netherwood (built 1893). From 1870s, town’s economy centred on retail and service sectors, supporting tourism and caring businesses. Convalescent homes were built: North-East Counties Friendly Societies’ home 1897 (present building dates from 1914-16) and Working Men’s Club and Institute Union home (now Cartmel Grange Care Home) 1914. Promenade laid out 1902-04 and lido built 1932 (closed 1993). Other activities included coach-building, limestone quarrying, slipper manufacture and printing. By 1891 population was 1,733; by 1921 it stood at 2,920 (of whom almost 30% were visitors). By c.1900 Grange’s character was as community of retired business people and manufacturers. Analytical and technical agricultural testing laboratories moved from Aynsome to Kentsford House, Kents Bank, Grange 1954 and Nature Conservancy had offices in former villa at Merlewood from 1951 to 2002. Grange continued to grow across middle and later decades of 20th century, gaining significant retired population; by 2001 population had reached 4,042.
Places of worship:
St Paul’s Church (Anglican) built 1852; enlarged several times between 1861 and 1904 and partly rebuilt 1932 (adjacent clock tower, one of Grange’s landmarks, built 1912). Grange Fell church (Anglican), built 1907, originated in church room on Grange Fell, recorded 1898. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1874; enlarged 1903 by addition of hall and Sunday school; still in use. St Charles’ Roman Catholic Church built 1884; still in use. Congregational Church built 1894; now United Reformed Church. Cemetery on Grange Fell Road opened 1889.
Schools and other institutions:
Sunday school (began 1811) became day school 1830. National school built 1864; enlarged 1884; closed (later used as Royal British Legion club) when new school built on new site in 1960s; now Grange CE Primary School. By later 19th century Grange possessed many of institutions of a small town: Working Men’s Institute established 1866. Masonic Lodge built and opened 1895. Town hall and Victoria Hall built 1898 (opened 1901).