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Grange-over-Sands is a town and civil parish on Morecambe Bay – with a wide tidal range, hence the "sands" name – roughly midway between Barrow-in-Furness and Kendal in Cumbria, England. Grange-over-Sands was created as an urban district in 1894 and lies historically within Lancashire. In 1974 Cumbria was created under Local Government re-organisation which absorbed the area referred to as "Lancashire North of the Sands" or North Lonsdale. Grange is now in South Lakeland District. The town remains part of the County Palatine of Lancashire and is part of the Duchy of Lancaster. It had a population of 4,042 in 2001, increasing to 4,114 at the 2011 Census.
The town developed in the Victorian era from a small fishing village, and the arrival of the railway made it a popular seaside resort on the north side of Morecambe Bay, across the sands from Morecambe. The 'over-Sands' suffix was added in the late 19th or early 20th century by the local vicar, who was fed up with his post going to Grange in Borrowdale near Keswick.
In 1932 a lido was built on the seafront but it closed in 1993 and was listed Grade II in 2011.
The River Kent used to flow past the town's mile-long promenade but its course migrated south, away from Grange. The sands or mudflats with dangerous quicksands became a grass meadow now grazed by small flocks of sheep. As a result of sustained easterly winds in the early part of 2007, the river has begun to switch its course back across the bay, and it remains to see whether the meadows survive.
The clean, sea air was believed to be of benefit to tuberculosis sufferers, and in 1891 one of the first sanatoriums in the country was established at Meathop. Not only was the air believed to have a therapeutic effect but also the local spring water.
There is one primary school, Grange-over-Sands Church of England Primary School. There is no secondary school, so most pupils attend the school in Cartmel or Milnthorpe . There is also a small nursery school.
The town is a centre for tourists exploring the southern Lakeland fells, and is home to a number of hotels, B&Bs, and holiday properties. Within the town itself, there is an ornamental duck pond and a traffic-free promenade.
Above the town is Hampsfield Fell (generally abbreviated to Hampsfell), crowned by 'Hampsfell Hospice', a sturdy limestone tower monument offering shelter to the rain-drenched walker, as well as the finest viewpoint of all the foothills of the outlying southern Lakeland fells. On the roof, a large compass pointer and list of peaks identify the greater and lesser landmarks in the magnificent panorama. Inside, painted boards commemorate its construction, praise the view and welcome the visitor. Hampsfell is the subject of a chapter of Wainwright's book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It reaches 727 feet (222 m). The summit of Hampsfell is surrounded by several flat, incised areas of exposed limestone, called limestone pavement. The best and most extensive pavements lie to the north of the hospice.
Adjacent to Grange are Lindale, to the north-east, Cartmel to the north-west, with its priory to which the village was once the 'grange' or farm, and Allithwaite to the west. The country house Holker Hall, which was built on land which once belonged to the priory, is nearby. Until its move to Backbarrow in 2010, the stables at Holker Hall housed the Lakeland Motor Museum.
In more recent years, the town has become a place of interest for ghost hunters, after several tourists staying at a holiday cottage in the area reported seeing the ghost of a beautiful young woman with severe and bloody scarring across her neck. There have also been several reports of screaming being heard from the cottage and surrounding area. Locals are said to claim that the woman was the wife of a fisherman in the late 19th century, who supposedly brutally murdered her upon discovering that she was being unfaithful. The cottage, now a popular resort for holiday makers, remains a huge source of controversy for locals and tourists alike.
Grange-over-Sands railway station, which serves the town, was opened by the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway on 1 September 1857 and is now served by the Furness Line, giving connections to Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness to the west, and Lancaster, Preston and Manchester (and its airport) to the east.
The main road access is the A590, which runs between the M6 and Barrow-in-Furness. Before the building of the railway, the main way of reaching Grange was the road across the Sands of Morecambe Bay from Hest Bank.
A new public swimming pool, the Berners Pool, opened in 2003 at a cost of £3.5 million. It was designed by architects Hodder Associates and won a RIBA Design Award in 2004, but closed in 2006 due to high running costs and structural problems. It has now (2014) been demolished, and is being replaced by an affordable housing development.
A new pool and leisure centre was planned as part of the redevelopment of the lido site. However this development is facing some opposition as it would involve filling in the Grade II listed Grange-over-Sands lido and this is being contested. By 2013 this proposal had collapsed.
A local newspaper, Grange Now, which reports on local news, comes out once a month and is delivered free to over 5,000 homes on the Cartmel Peninsula.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : South Lakeland Retrieved 18 September 2009
- "Town population 2011". Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Oliver Merrington's Potentially Re-Openable Lidos in the UK, retrieved 14 November 2009
- Golakes - Grange-over-Sands History, retrieved 9 July 2010
- Wainwright, A. (1974). "Hampsfell". The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Kendal: Westmorland Gazette. pp. 58–65.
- Article with references in old books www.bodian.co.uk/road-across-the-sands
- Guardian News and Media : "RIBA Award Winners 2004 : Berners Pool" Retrieved 18 September 2009
- South Lakeland District Council : 12 November 2008 : Winning Developer Revealed for Grange Pool Site Retrieved 18 September 2009
- Helen Carter (28 June 2011). "Campaign to save Grange-over-Sands lido". The Guardian.
it's the last remaining lido in the Northern England after the demolition and infilling of similar structures at Blackpool, Scarborough and Morecambe
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