home page

Question and Answer

Return to Index

Enter a keyword to search the site; note does not include some of the previous projects

From

My children are researching the Grant Brothers and would like some information suitable for their age

Reference 004

Question

Answer

Short History of St Andrew's Church and the Grant Family

The Grant family left Elchies, Morayshire, Scotland in 1783. At that time William Grant and his wife Grace had 7 children - James (then aged 16); William (13); Elizabeth (10); John (8); Mary (7); Isabella (3) and Daniel (3 months)

They made the journey of over 300 miles and eventually arrived in Ramsbottom, which at that time was still a very small village. after employment in Bury (at Hampton Mills, a calico printing works) William purchased a small shop in Bolton Street, Bury and then soon moved to larger premises. Other members of the Grant family moved to England and the family later established the firm of William Grant and Brothers, Calico Printers.

In 1806 the brothers purchased Ramsbottom Print works and started to manufacture goods themselves. The family lived at Grants Lodge ( the rear of what is now The Grant Arms ) and in 1821, built The Square Works replacing Peel's Mill. the new Works was reputed to be the most progressive and modern in Europe. Ramsbottom grew fast. William Grant (the elder) died in 1817 aged 84 and Grace died in 1821. In remembrance of their parents, the Grant family built Grants Tower, now a ruin.

The Grant brothers were immortalised by Charles Dickens as the Cheeryble Brothers in his book 'Nicholas Nickleby"

The Grant family were still members of the Established Church of Scotland and William Grant (the younger) laid the foundation stone of St Andrew's Church of Scotland 14th June 1832, the building being opened for worship 15th June 1834. the minister appointed to the church was Rev. Andrew McLean.

As time went by, the congregation of St Andrew's became more Unitarian, while William Grant, son of John, worshipped at St Paul's Ramsbottom, an Anglican church. William pleased with the congregation to return to the Church of Scotland but in vain so he closed the church and offered it to the Bishop of Manchester for use as an Anglican Church. St Andrew's became a Parish Church in 1875, and is now the oldest church building still used for worship in Ramsbottom.

The former congregation of St Andrew's built a new church (now demolished) at the junction of Bolton Street and Kay Brow.

The crest of the Grant family can be seen on the outside of the building and many memorials to members of the family can be seen inside. the Church was remodelled both inside and out in the 1990s.