Grange-Over-Sands is first mentioned on record as far back as 1536 when the ancient Cartmel Priory Registers recall ‘Grange-with-Kents Bank’. The name Grange derives from the old French word ‘Grainge’ meaning bar for storing grain.
However the development of the town was not likely to have begun until much later when in 1857 Grange-over-Sands was linked to Lancaster by the completion of the Lancaster to Ulverston railway. An official guide led parties along with highway through dangerous quicksand, tides and riverbeds. A guide is still appointed today but only for pedestrians. It has been said that in the early days local folk would watch the sands and in the event of a drowning they would cast lots for the saddle clothing and effects of the unfortunate traveller.
In 1877 architects’ plans were drown up to build Robin Cottage, but in 1880 the Railway Company built The Cumbria Grand Hotel. Originally know as the Hazelwood Hydro, the Victorian building was used by people who visited Grange for its notably warm climate. As long ago as 1891 residents enjoyed the use of the Billiard Room and entertainment in the form of concerts, progressive whilst dancing and games were a common occurrence. The Hazelwood Hydro was not licensed to sell wine and spirits but guests soon overcame this problem by ordering their favourite tipple from the office a week in advance. There was even a dark room for the new hobby of photography. A cycle house was installed where machines were stored at a charge of 1/-per week, which included free insurance against burglary and fire. Other facilities included croquet, badminton, quoits, bull board and desk quoits.
Since then the hotel has changed names. Once known as the Golf Hotel for its neighbouring course, it had Turkish & Steam Baths installed. During the war it was commissioned by the RAF as an officers training centre and till this day RAF buttons are occasionally found in the grounds.
The town of Grange and indeed the Hotel has managed to maintain its Victorian grandeur and remains unaffected by the neighbouring popular Morecambe and Blackpool holiday areas. The total population is below 3500.
Under its present owners Strathmore Hotels Ltd, The Cumbria Grand Hotel is continuing to grow in popularity.
To see some amazing old photos and brochures - click here
Read a very interesting and in-depth write-up by one of our local guests, Mr Roger Handley - click here