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Bank of LiverpoolMartins Bank has some of the smallest and quaintest sub-branches you could wish to see, tucked away all over the country.  None smaller or more quaint then, than the Bank’s office at Cartmel Institute. The Bank of Liverpool opened this sub-Branch in 1899.  This photograph of the Branch was kindly donated to Martins Bank Magazine in 1960 by Mrs Mabel Hollett, whose husband, the late Mr F M Hollett, was the photographer.  Mr Hollett was with Rockliff Bros for many years, and well known to some of the Bank’s staff at Cartmel. Cartmel is originally a Sub Branch to Ulverston. In 1948, David Haire, retired Manager of Martins Bank’s Sunderland Branch visits the Old Gatehouse at Cartmel and writes an article for martins Bank Magazine, about the unusual history of Cartmel Priory…

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1948 03 MBM.jpgAbout two miles from Grange-over-Sands in a quiet and pleasant vale which lies between Newby Bridge and Allithwaite, on the northern shores of Morecambe  Bay, there nestles around the hoary old Priory the peaceful village of Cartmel with its few hundred souls.   In its centre is an old gatehouse which is the sole survival of the monastic buildings which once encircled the Priory and covered 22 acres. This ancient structure may be of interest to readers as the adjacent building with the shadowed gable was once the home of the local office of the Bank, which next year attains its Jubilee. The gatehouse formed the north-west corner of the lofty boundary wall of the conventual area. It is a dark fabric resting upon a deep archway.

In Service: 1899 until 24 November 1970

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The roof was originally covered with lead, with battlemented parapets which were removed at the time it was slated.It is known that a school was held in the room above the archway from 1624 for very many years. Subsequently it was let as a dwelling for poor families, afterwards used as a Methodist Chapel and then converted into a warehouse. It is believed to have been the Court House of the Manor of Cartmel which now forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster.

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The story of Cartmel itself (a cathedral city in miniature) has a legendary beginning. It is said that some monks, looking for a site on which to establish their Order, came here and prepared to build their church on a hill. As they began, however, a voice was heard saying :— “Not here, but in a valley between two rivers, one running north and the other south”.

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They then searched all the North of England but eventually returned to the hill where the voice had been heard, and in crossing the valley they found a stream running north and about 100 yards further on, another running south. There between them they built their church.  It is related that the British settled here in 677 some 200 years after the arrival of the Saxons and that Egfnd, King of Northumbria, gave the land of Cartmell " with all the Britons in it”  to the saintly Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who probably raised a church to propagate the faith. That such a church existed before the present Priory is known from documentary evidence of conveyance of abbey lands attested by ecclesiastics of Cartmel.

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Following a complete gap of five centuries, the first clear historical records state that the present Priory was founded in 1188 by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke and Baron of Cartmel, Regent for the boy King Henry III. The Earl also obtained a arant of land from Kins John for its permanent endowment. The original style of architecture was transitional Norman and early English, but in 1410 the nave was rebuilt and perpendicular windows inserted in the choir and other parts. To provide a Bell Tower a short addition was made to the original Tower but the new section was built diagonally to the base of the old. thus resulting in a unique architectural effect. At the Dissolution this religious house contained 10 Augustinian Canons and 38 servants. Its original charter provided that it should never be elevated to the dignity of an abbey, but have an independent existence. Thus the Parishioners were able to claim it as their Parish Church. and so saved it from destruction. It was the only monastic church in Lancashire which escaped.







Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-09-40 Cartmel

Sub to 11-09-40 Grange over Sands

The Institute Cartmel Grange over Sands Lancashire

210 Northern

Tuesday 1300-1430

No Saturday Service

Cartmel 387

No Nightsafe

Mr J M Thornton Manager (Grange over Sands)

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Carrville (Durham)


18 December 1918

3 January 1928

25 July 1942


15 December 1969

24 November 1970

Opened by the Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Closed for World War 2


Barclays Bank Limited 20-34-54 Grange over Sands


Castleford (Yorkshire)


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