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The History of Christ Church and Glasson Dock

The Church


Christ Church, Glasson is a beautiful church in a most picturesque location. Situated within half a mile of Glasson Dock Village. It was built in 1840, adjacent to the Glasson Arm of the Lancaster Canal, completed in 1826. The rear gate of the Churchyard leads onto the towpath. The church was consecrated on the 29th June 1840 by the Bishop of Chester, as it lay in the Diocese of Chester at the time. Later, it was in the Diocese of Manchester and latterly in that of Blackburn. In 1850 the parish of Glasson was created, covering the whole of Thurnham and some surrounding areas. 

The Vicar of Cockerham  and the shipyard founder, James Penny Nicholson, came up with the idea for a church at Glasson. Money was raised and the land was purchased from John Brockbank of Lancaster. The first vicar was called Edmund Luby who was in post between 1850 to 1889. His successor Charles Golland, was credited with  doing a lot for the village, not least, the establishment of the Reading Room. (later demolished) He raised money for this by preaching outside the village for funds.The Parish Council was formed in 1894 and he was chairman until his death in 1926.

The graveyard was extended in 1905, when land was granted on the proviso that a burial plot was available in perpetuity for members of the Dalton family, who owned most of the land in the area. Apparently, only two male members of the family have been interred in the graveyard, with the female members laid to rest at Lancaster Cemetery.

In 1932 the church was extended with the addition of a vestry and chancel, funded by a donation  from a wealthy local woman.Local architects, Austin and Paley of Lancaster, were responsible for the planning and design of the alterations.

There is a hatchment of the Starkie family on the south interior wall of the church. The  family resided at Ashton Hall from 1853 - 1894 and were good supporters of the church. The vicarage was built in the 1840's and adjacent to this, is a house originally named 'Parsonage Cottage', built in the1850's. It is thought this provided accommodation for the female servant of the vicar. With the advent of the railway, it was purchased by the railway company in the early 1880's and it became 'Station House'. 

The Village

The original village consisted of a group of approximately 10 dwellings situated in the farming hamlet of Old Glasson, where the current farm is, to the south of Glasson Dock. The village adjacent to the dock, arose from the need to house the many workers building the dock  and later shipyard workers, who were engaged in boatbuilding and repair work. The reason for the school's  location on the south side of the basin, was because virtually all inhabitants at the time resided at Old Glasson.​ Christ Church Thurnham  Glasson C of E School was built in 1833.

The Dock

Prior to the completion of the Dock in 1787, there was little here other than a bend in the River Lune, muddy banks, marsh and wading birds. Trade  was centred on Lancaster and for a time Sunderland Point. As a result of the serious silting of the River Lune,  a solution was found with the idea of a harbour on a  sheltered bend in the river approximately 1 mile from the mouth of the estuary.


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