The ancient parish of Cartmel was extensive; it included Grange and
places west to the River Leven, the southern part of Lake Windermere, east
to the River Winster, and south to the shore of Morecambe Bay - about 40
Many people passed through Grange on the over-sands route between
Lancaster, Flookburgh and Ulverston, but few people settled until early in
the 19th century when there was a steady increase in population and a
trickle of holiday visitors. One of these early holiday-makers,
Clarke, from Liverpool, was distressed to find that most of the inhabitants
excused themselves from attending any place of worship because the roads
leading to the parish church at Cartmel and the chapel at Lindale were in a
very bad state
Miss Clarke set to work to collect funds for the building; she was
greatly assisted by the Misses Taylor, who had recently settled in the
village, and Canon Sergeant, also of Liverpool.
A site had already been given for a church by Mrs Susannah Newby, widow.
She sold part of the garden (80 ft x 50 ft)
of her farmhouse in Grange (the site of Hampsfell Grange) for £5 to Mr
Gray Rigge* of Wood Broughton and James Machell Harrison
(attorney-at-law), on 18th May 1852, just five months before her death
at Cark Villa on the 9th October 1852, aged 87, on the understanding
that a church was to be erected there once the necessary funds were
obtained. An appeal for funds was issued far and
wide, and it brought subscriptions from places as far away as Jamaica
and Valparaiso! Below is a copy of the original appeal.
church at Grange, near Windermere
The hamlets of
Grange and Cart Lane, in the parish of Cartmel,
North Lancashire, contain a considerable
population, being without exception members of
the Church of England. The nearest churches at
Cartmel and Lindale are distant respectively two
miles and upwards. The inhabitants of the
district have never known the privilege arising
from the residence of a clergyman among them.
Great numbers never attend any place of worship.
The visitors of this beautiful neighbourhood (a
yearly increasing body) have also suffered great
inconveniences from the want of a church. It is
proposed immediately (the sanction of the
Clergyman of the district having been obtained)
to erect and endow a church at Grange, containing
not less than 200 sittings, at an estimate cost
Rigge was JP for North Lancashire and Westmorland and a
prominent member of the local society so he was entrusted
to see that her wishes were carried out (her eldest
daughter, also named Susannah, was described as a
‘lunatic’ – she died on 19th May 1870 at Cark Villa).)
Plans were drawn up by architect Mr T D Barry of
Liverpool for the building to consist of a nave and a
short sanctuary, a porch and baptistry, with seating for
200 people, and on the 11th October 18152 the
foundation stone was laid by
the Earl of Burlington - better known later as the Duke of
Devonshire - just two days after Susannah Newby died.
On 28th September 1853 the
land and church were conveyed to Her Majesty’s Commissioners for
Building New Churches by Gray Rigge, and on 13th October 1853 the church
was consecrated by Dr John Graham,
the Bishop of Chester (Grange only became part of the Diocese of
Carlisle in 1856). Gray
Rigge died on 24th July 1857 in his 76th year.
Some unknown bard was moved to celebrate the occasion in verse, and
the following appeared in a Manchester paper:
|The village Grange,
which joins the sands,
Was far from church and market driven;
Now close at hand a new church stands
With guide to lead the road to heaven.
The maid who raised that sacred flame,
Posterity will praise her name;
And Sergeant, who with willing mind,
And pleasure, his assistance joined.
Let marvellous maid in slumber lie
While St Paul's spire points to the sky,
And guardian Cherubs shout on high
'The maiden Clarke shall never die'.
The first incumbent was
the Rev Wilson Rigg. He was 71 years of age when he took
office, and nearly drowned crossing the sands on his way