It has been a labour of love.

The wife of Grange Moor’s first ordained local minister, Bryan Short, has written a fascinating booklet exploring the history of Grange Moor village and the church.

Stephanie Short reveals it was built to save the villagers having to traipse all the way down to Kirkheaton - the only church in the parish for over 1,000 years until 1898.

Entitled: ‘Grange Moor - A village and its church’ the booklet is now on sale, and proving very popular among parishioners.

The book describes the links of both church and village school with the Beaumont family, who had their family home at Whitley Beaumont, now demolished and the centenary of St Bartholomew’s in 1998.

It describes such things as the cost of the church in 1898 of £1,900, a considerable sum for a small mining community, and some of the characters who have been part of church and village life over the years.

Going further back it tells of how the village has links with the monks of Byland Abbey and that it even has a well reputed to have been the place St Paulinus stopped on his travels from Dewsbury in the 7th century.

Village Entertainment 1968. The lady on the far right is Joyce Stead
 

This has been very much a labour of love for Mrs Short. She said: “I wanted to pay tribute to the founders of the church and their descendants and to have a coherent account of the first hundred years and to show the significance of the church in the village community.

“My account focuses on St Bartholomew’s Church and its people and aims to show the dedication and commitment over many years which is continuing today, not least among the older ladies who even now in their late 80s and 90s are working to serve the church.”

Grange Moor is part of the parish of Kirkheaton. and the Rector, Richard Steel, has welcomed the book’s publication.

He said: “It is fascinating to read of the life of the church over the decades, especially when some of the older members have been worshipping there since they were children, so the great majority of the life of the church.

“We are working hard in the community to make sure that the church has a solid future as well as a great past.”

Mrs Short added: “Bryan and I consider ourselves privileged to have worshipped and served there over the years, and we have long prayed that others would be called to further God’s work through St Bartholomew’s.

Frontspiece of the book, Grange Moor Church
 

“If the booklet can be used to advertise the church and to encourage more long term help then that would be an answer to our prayers.”

Copies are available at St Bartholomew’s and from the Parish Office at St John’s (01484 531449) for just £2.50, with profits going to further the church’s work.

EXTRACTS FROM BOOK:

The village of Grange Moor took its name from Denby Grange, which was founded by the monks of Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire about 1200.

The name Denby means “the village of the Danes”, suggesting that there had been a Scandinavian invasion in the area before the monks came,

Dr. George Redmonds, a local historian, refers to a deed of 1792 which suggested that the moor was “common or waste ground.”

An ancient tradition refers to Paulinus’ Well near the road in Whitley Upper, where the 7th century monk, Paulinus, is reputed to have preached on one of his tours in Yorkshire.

The well is known today as Pinion Well and used to be visited by young people on Palm Sunday when they took bottles containing sweets. They filled the bottles with well water to make a pleasant drink. Today the well has been filled in because it was contaminated.”

Those were the days! Garden party at Whitley Hall, 1930s