November 23, 2017

Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Grange (Keswick)

Grange bridge courtesy Graeme DougalGrange is noteworthy for its double arched bridge of 1675 that crosses the Derwent River. Stone and whitewashed cottages sit snugly in the Borrowdale Valley encircled by the fells, most notably by High Spy, Castle Crag, and the scree slopes of Maiden Moor.

The Furness Abbey monks had a farm here, hence the name Grange. Author Hugh Walpole, writer of the Herries Chronicles (a Cumberland family chronicle), lived nearby at Brackenburn House from 1923 to 1941. The Keswick Museum houses some of his manuscripts, and he is buried in the churchyard there. One of the descriptions he wrote of the Borrowdale area sums up its beauty.Grange tea room courtesy Graeme Dougal

The eagle can see the black precipitous flanks of the screes washed with rain and the dark purple hummocks of Borrowdale crags flash suddenly with gold.

A 200-year-old building serves the village as a store and tearoom.
Grange Holy Trinity church interior courtesy Graeme DougalWhitewashed walls bring a bright gleam to the interior of Holy Trinity Church, built in 1861 with a bell tower. The curved interior roof is decorated with saw toothed arches. A tiny Methodist Church of local green stone was constructed in 1878.

Bowder Stone by Graeme DougalIn nearby National Trust woodlands is a famous Victorian must see landmark, an Ice Age granite stone named Bowder Stone. It sits teetering on an extremely small base. A man-made hole allows people to reach to the other side, and steps lead to the top.

Grange from Grange Fell courtesy Ann BowkerClose by Castle Crags summit also boasts an historic site, that of a Romano-British fort. Alfred Wainwright wrote, If a visitor to Lakeland has only two or three hours to spare, poor fellow, yet desperately wants to reach a summit and take back an enduring memory of the beauty and atmosphere of the district and let him climb Castle Crag.

Grange Holy Trinity Church 1861 courtesy Graeme DougalGrange sits on a flood plain of the river where Borrowdale opens out to Derwent Water. Settled from as early as the 7th century, this once isolated areathere were no roads until the 18th centuryis now enjoyed by all.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal and Ann Bowker

Grange is located 5 miles south of Keswick on the B5289.

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