Grange-over-Sands is a town and civil parish by the sea – with a wide tidal range, hence the “sands” name – 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 has a population of 4,042. It is close to the Lake District National Park.
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 centuries by the local vicar who was fed up with his post going to Grange in Borrowdale.
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.
The town is a centre for tourists exploring the southern Lakeland fells. 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).
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.
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.