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
Haslingden Centre
Mary, Annie & Elizabeth Selina Nuttall

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

jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk

Haslingden Town

Haslingden is located in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire and derives its name from its one-time abundance of hazel trees.

Haslingden embraces the outlying villages of Stonefold and Rising Bridge, Helmshore, Ewood Bridge and Irwell Vale and The Grane Valley.

Haslingden St James Parish Church The 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.

 

Haslingden St James 

Records held  for St James

  by Haslingden Roots

      Baptisms 1837 – 1910

     Marriages 1837 – 1924

     Burials 1837 – 1900

 

The 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

 

Monumental Inscriptions have also been transcribed for this Church

St James Parish Church, Haslingden

 

Grane Village

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.

Haslingden Grane in the early 1900's

 

 

St  Stephens Church 

     The first church of St. Stephen’s, Grane, was completed in 1867.  It’s site at Crowtrees placed it in the centre of a then populous and thriving community.

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

A view of Grane Road showing the Mission Room

 

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

A view taken the day before removal began

 

     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.

Partially demolished Church

 

 

Raising the corner stone of the Church

 

The corner stone was laid by Lord Derby in March 1926 - just outside the time limit set.  On Sunday 25th September 1927 the new church of St. Stephen, Grane, was consecrated by Dr. Herbert, Bishop of Blackburn.  At the same time the temporary licence for the holding of divine service in the Mission Room was formally revoked.

 

St Stephens Church after removal

 

On Sunday, 25th September 1927 the gift of the stained-glass window war memorial was unveiled during a consecration service held by the vicar, the Revd. A. Harris.  The memorial, set in the south wall, was unveiled by Colonel O.C. Clare, D.S.O.,M.C., a former commanding officer of the 5th. East Lancashire Regiment with which many local men served during the war.

 

     The memorial was designed and constructed by Mr. E.H. Atwell of Manchester at a cost of £143.  The main feature is a battle-weary soldier, embraced and succoured by an angel, looking towards Christ.  At the head, on a scroll, is “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter now into the joy of the Lord”.  A brass plaque on which there were sixteen names was part of the memorial.  Amongst the many wreaths laid at the service was one from Haslingden British Legion, laid by Mr. W. Entwistle, the brother of Pte. Joseph Entwistle, one of the sixteen men commemorated.

 

     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.  On 11th February, 1948 a memorial, in the form of a brass plaque, to the three men who died in the 1939-1945 war, was unveiled by the Revd. G.C. Walmsley.  During the 1970’s the Mission Room was sold, and for some years was used, amongst other things, as a candlewick bedspread factory until it was converted into a private dwelling-house in 1985.

 

     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’.  On Sunday, 13th January 1992 the newly created ‘St Stephen’s Chapel in St. James’ was formally dedicated by the Rt. Revd. Ronald Milner, Bishop of Burnley.

 

     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.