Grange in Borrowdale

Grid Ref : NY 252175
 

The double-arched Grange bridge over the River Derwent. Photo by Ann Bowker

The village of Grange is situated at the entrance to the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale‘, where the valley squeezes between Grange Fell and Castle Crag. The impressive double-arched bridge over the River Derwent was built in 1675, but the hamlet’s origins are much earlier; in medieval times the monks of Furness Abbey, owner of this part of the valley, built an outlying farm, or grange, here.
 
Whitewashed 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 imitation Norman dogtooth decoration. A tiny Methodist Church of local green stone was constructed in 1878.
 
A road leads from Keswick past Derwentwater, to Grange bridge, then through the other Borrowdale villages of Rosthwaite and Seatoller, over Honister Pass and on to the smaller lakes of ButtermereCrummock Water, and Loweswater.
 

Maiden Moor, Catbells and Grange in Borrowdale from King’s How. Photo by Ann Bowker

Grange is equidistant between England’s highest mountain, Scarfell pike and England’s third highest mountain Skiddaw, with England’s second highest mountain Helvellyn lying half an hour away.
 
Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, and brother of King Edward VII, wanted to make a gift in memory of the King, when he died in 1910. Grange Fell was purchased, which included the Bowder Stone, and a memorial stone to King Edward was placed on the fell (grid ref 90: NY 258167). Eight years earlier Princess Louise had performed the opening ceremony at nearby  Brandlehow Wood, the first Lake District’s first aquisition.
 
The author Hugh Walpole lived at Brackenburn, about a mile out of Grange, from 1924 until his death in 1941. His grave in is the grounds of St John’s Church, Keswick. The Keswick Museum houses some of his manuscripts.
 

Grange in Borrowdale. [Grange bridge bottom right]. Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham

 
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