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LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE - Extracts from the local press


Westmorland Gazette 16th October 1852

The long-looked for ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the church took place at Grange on  Monday last, at two o’clock, by the Earl of Burlington, in the presence of a large and fashionable assemblage of spectators.  Amongst the company present were the Rt Hon the Earl of Burlington and party;  George Arkle, Esq (banker) and friends, Liverpool; Miss Clarke, Grange; John Wakefield Esq and Miss Wakefield; W Townley Esq and party; Gray Rigge Esq and party; J Cowherd Esq and friends; George Webster Esq, Mrs Webster, and Miss Webster, Eller How; Richard Wright Esq and friends, Liverpool; F C Stileman Esq and Mrs Stileman; the Misses Taylor; W Strickland Esq, the Slack; Mr & Mrs Charles Wilkinson, Kendal, etc, etc; and amongst the clergy present were the Revds O Serjeant, J A addison (Windermere), T Remington, J Young, T M Postlethwaite, W Wilson, etc.


The site of the intended church is on the summit of the hill in the centre of the village of Grange, the ground having been given for that purpose by the late Mrs Newby, of Cark Villa, and when completed will vie in architectural design and finish with any church of its size.  We can only faintly describe the diversified landscape scenery which the building will command; looking down, as we did, on the village itself, and the beautiful expanse of Morecambe Bay beyond the western coast of Lancashire, with the bold front of Arnside Knot facing us, and the far-famed Ingleborough raising its majestic head beyond; casting our eye along the western shore of Lancashire we see Lancaster Castle itself as a prominent object, the terraced town of Poulton, and Fleetwood “looming in the distance”; on our left, again, we have Holm Island, the heights of Blawith, the rocky peninsula of Meathop, Milnthorpe, Sandside, and the fine range of Westmorland and Yorkshire mountains completing the distance.


The ceremony was commenced by the RevdT Remington with prayer, after which the treasurer, George Arkle Esq, presented a handsome silver trowel to the Earl of Burlington, accompanying the act by an appropriate speech, in which he stated that a very pleasing duty devolved upon him, as secretary and treasurer to the Building and Endowment Fund, to present the noble lord with the silver trowel he held In his hand for the purpose of completing the first act towards the erecting of Grange church.  He was happy to communicate the fact that the Protestant faith had been the first to raise its standard there; and that to the untiring and indefatigable exertions of one lady in particular, who, if she were present (she was!), would feel herself highly gratified in thus seeing the realization of her much cherished wish, the inhabitants and visitors to the place must be indebted for its erection, as also in some degree to the noble generosity of another lady, lately taken from them, in giving the land.  He hoped, however, the inhabitants of the place would not rest satisfied with the church alone, until they had erected schools in connection with it.  In conclusion, he deemed it a great honour to prsent the trowel on that occasion to a nobleman esteemed and respected by all who knew him – noble by birth as well as noble in sentiment and thought; that nobility was indeed noble when it combined such traits with acts also of Christian charity, and in promoting objects like the present, dedicated to the service and worship of God.


The noble lord, on receiving the trowel, mallet, and level, then completed the ceremony by dedicating the church to St Paul and, in responding, said that he felt highly gratified and honoured on the present occasion in taking upon himself the part of laying the foundation stone of Grange church.  He felt ashamed, however, at his inability, from want of local information, though himself a resident almost in the neighbourhood, to enter into details respecting the church, which he must therefore leave to be explained by those conversant with the subject; but he was more than gratified to learn that the funds for the object had been collected by private subscription, aided to a great measure by the exertions of one lady, in whom the object might be said to have originated  Though the village itself was small In comparison with others, yet In the present day churches were erected in places far and wide; and as hamlets enlarged themselves into villages, and villages into populous and commercial towns, the increase of inhabitants demanded an increase of churches.  Grange, however, as an improving village on the shore of Morecambe Bay, and possessing as it did almost unrivalled beauties of scenery, with an unusually genial climate, drew yearly visitors to the place from less favoured districts, and he trusted the erection of Grange church, the first stone of which had been laid that day, would tend to increase the celebrity of the district as a sea-side watering place, and induce many from a distance to fix their residence there, and he hoped the church, when completed, would be a lasting work in furthering the praise and glory of God.


The Revd T Remington afterwards read a prayer, next was sung the 100th psalm, and the company then dispersed – not before, however, giving three cheers for the Earl of Burlington, and the like number, with “one cheer more” for Miss Clarke, the lady to whose exertions in chief is the place indebted for the church.  We understand that the bazaar lately held in Liverpool in aid of the funds raised £100, after clearing expenses, and that the cost of erecting and endowing this church, which will contain about 200 sittings, is about £2,100.


Description of the building

The church will consist of a nave 52 feet 6 inches by 22 feet, having an open wooden porch at the south; a chancel 17 ft by 11 ft 6 in; and a vestry at the north-east angle 9 ft 6 in by 9 ft.  The style of architecture adopted is geometric decorated – the windows on the north, south and east sides being filled with tracery, and the west end having a triplet of trefoliated lancets, with a bell-cote of a novel and tasteful character standing above the gable, between the nave and chancel.  The roof is entirely open timbered, stained and varnished, producing a pleasing effect.  The walls (which are to be of local limestone with bath stone dressings) are to be lined with brick, a cavity of 2 inches being left between the brick and stone, so as to prevent the damp from reaching the inner walls of the church, an evil of too frequent occurrence in such exposed situations.


The church will contain 200 sittings, and the contract has been taken by Mr Hugh Yates, of Liverpool, for £650.  The design is by Messrs Barry and Murray of Liverpool who, as ecclesiastical architects, have obtained for themselves much praise.


Kendal Mercury 16th October 1852

The Revd Mr Sergeant and Richard Postlethwaite Esq entertained numerous parties after the service, while several other parties were also given by different gentlemen in Grange.  In the evening, Mrs R Wright (Bay Villa) entertained to tea, at the house of Mr T Wilson, the New Inn (which occupies a commanding situation – the views from its windows being really delightful) all the old women, etc, in the village, and the merry and agreeable manner in which they spent the evening fully testified that they appreciated the treat which had been so well and so generously provided for their enjoyment.