Barnburgh Grange

Barnburgh Grange

From a 'History of Barnburgh' J Stanley Large

Now although Barnburgh Hall was the most important residence in, there was another one of importance within the Parish.

 Barnburgh Grange. This is of great antiquity and, as its name implies, was once attached to a Monastic Institution. I will explain this, briefly. From time to time the Religious Houses acquired land by bequests and endowments and as these grew in size it often became necessary for them to set up a grange and employ a granger (or bailif) to look after the land. 

Barnburgh Grange was part of Nostell Priory in whose possession it had been for over three centuries at the time of the dissolution. It has been said that part of the Grange was used as a Nunnery, but if this was so, it was unusual. 

After the dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1540) it passed to Francis Shepherd, but the most noted family to have possession of the Grange was the Vincents who took over the estate about the time of the Civil War. Thomas Vincent was the first. He died on July 15th, 1667, and was buried at Barnburgh. In the wall of the North Chapel in Barnburgh Church may be seen two mural tombstones to the Vincent family, and there is also an inscribed slab in the floor of the Chancel. After about a century with the Vincents, the Grange was sold to a James Farrer, whose descendants afterwards took the name of Fawkes and are said to have some connection with Guy Fawkes of the Gunpowder Plot. There is no evidence in support of this however. 

There are many curious features about the Grange House, one of which is a huge fireplace now bricked up but which was originally about 8 feet deep. An examination of the plan shows that this large bricked up space as large as a room  is now entirely sealed off.

Whilst the present Grange House is of considerable age, it is certainly not the original building, and Mrs. Smith the present Lady of the House (1952) tells me that the West end of the existing range of stables etc. was part of the original house. Though there is no written evidence of this, an examination of the fabric would appear to support this theory.

The Grange to-day (1952) presents a somewhat neglected picture and leaves one with the impression of decayed refinement. Nevertheless it requires little imagination to visualise its former glory 1952.