Welcome to the Haslingden Roots Website
|Haslingden Roots are a voluntary organisation
based in Haslingden Library dedicated to preserving the local and family
history of the area.
Formed in 1997 after a successful Heritage weekend at St James Parish Church the group have collected, transcribed and indexed many of the Church records from the Area
||Over the coming months we will be building the website to include
the history of our town and lots of old photographs for you to enjoy. So
please be patient it will be well worth the wait!
Should you have any queries about the town or about your family history in the area please contact
is located in the
embraces the outlying villages of Stonefold and
first church on the site of St James Haslingden was
built in 1284.
There have been a number of Churches
on the present site and whilst the
present building was erected
in 1780 the Tudor Tower was left
standing until the completion
so that marriages & baptisms could be solomized in it.
Records held for St James
by Haslingden Roots
by Haslingden Roots
Baptisms 1837 – 1910
Marriages 1837 – 1924
Burials 1837 – 1900
Baptisms and Marriages pre 1837 are included in the British Vital
Records Index and the records for St
James are held on film at Rawtenstall Public Library
and the records for St James are held on film at Rawtenstall Public Library
Monumental Inscriptions have also been transcribed for this Church
The village of Haslingden Grane was in the 19th Century a thriving community of over 1300 people many of whom worked in the mills which were built in the area or in the quarries which surrounded this remote part of Haslingden.
The village had two places of worship, St Stephens Church and Grane Methodist Chapel, a grocers shop and several beer houses. The Villagers were known as "Graners" and they were renowned for their independance and thrift.
The end of this thriving community came in the early days of the 1900's when the need for water to supply the surrounding districts became apparent. Grane already had two reservoirs, Holden Wood and Calf Hey but it was the building of the Ogden Reservoir completed in 1912 that meant the end of Grane Village as it was known.
One of the earliest photographs I have of Haslingden Grane shows the area around St Stephens Church and this photograph was taken before the building of the middle of the three reservoirs which dominate this beautiful area of Lancashire.
St Stephens Church
In 1883 however, in the year the church was finally consecrated, the Bury and District Water Board began to purchase land and properties in order to extend the catchment area of their Grane reservoirs. Over the next twenty-five years may farmhouses, cottages and three cotton mills were demolished or left to decay into ruins
.Many of the populace moved out of the area. The church was left isolated as attendances declined and it eventually fell into disrepair. It was felt necessary by the parishioners to have a place of worship at a more convenient site nearer Haslingden. In 1910 a piece of land measuring 723 & 4/9ths square yards was purchased from Holden Wood Bleaching Company for £120 11s 8d [£120.58p]. The Mission Room was then built at a total cost of £1,800 and opened in April 1911. The Mission Room immediately became the centre of church life. Services were held in the upper room whilst a lower room was used as a Sunday School, a Men’s Institute and a social centre.
The photograph below shows a view of the Mission Room on Grane Road
This picture of St Stephens was taken on the day before removal started on the Church building and shows the original site at Crowtrees where the burial ground can still be found today
Demolition of the church began in May 1925 and was completed by September, when the corner stones were removed. Each stone of the church was marked with a course and stone number and transported to the new site. A similar method was used when dismantling the interior. Additional costs for a new top for the steeple, a new vestry, the memorial window, etc., brought the original total to over £8,000. The site of the old church was marked by a stone cross.
The next few pictures show the removal of St Stephens in 1925.
The corner stone was laid by Lord Derby in March 1926 - just
outside the time limit set. On
The memorial was designed
and constructed by Mr. E.H. Atwell of
Church attendances, however,
continued to dwindle and in 1947 St. Stephen’s came under the direct
pastoral care of the vicar of St. James’, Haslingden.
In 1986 the church closed
and the remaining congregation joined with that of St. James’.
In November 1991 the altar, cross, the memorial plaques for both
world wars, ad other plagues and fittings were removed to St. James’.
St. Stephen’s Church was
placed on the market and several possible uses, including a crematorium
and a home for the elderly, were considered.
In 1995 however, the
building was bought by Mr. John Ainscough for conversion into an
antiques showroom and heritage centre.