St PETER'S, Leck

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St PETER’S, Leck

St Peter’s church in the hamlet of Leck is in a lovely setting, its adjacent car park making it a convenient stating-point for a walk along the valley of Leck Beck.  It is famous as, possibly, helping to inspire events in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre.  The Brontë Sisters attended the clergymen’s daughters school at nearby Cowan Bridge, where the conditions were awful and several girls died of tuberculosis (consumption).  There are certainly 'fever' graves in St Peter’s churchyard and for the years 1820-1829 and 1840-1849 records show that 50% of all deaths were of children under 10.  It is thought that the girls’ deaths inspired the character of Jane’s friend, Helen Burns, in the novel.  The Brontë Sisters left Cowan Bridge in 1825, but while they were there normally attended Tunstall Church, St Peter’s being too small.  There has been a church, or chapel, on the site since at least 1610, and it was actually expanded in 1825.  A larger church and tower were built in 1879 by the Lancaster firm of Payley & Austin; however, that building was greatly burned in a fire in 1913 and rebuilt, with the addition of a fine spire.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Via Carnforth
County
Lancashire
Post Code
LA6 2JD
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Yorkshire Dales, Ingleborough - walking country
Primary Management
Church Authorities

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