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Church of St James, Clitheroe

Description: Church of St James

Grade: II
Date Listed: 30 September 1976
English Heritage Building ID: 182853

OS Grid Reference: SD7431041138
OS Grid Coordinates: 374310, 441138
Latitude/Longitude: 53.8658, -2.3921

Location: St James's Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 1HH

Locality: Clitheroe
Local Authority: Ribble Valley Borough Council
County: Lancashire
Country: England
Postcode: BB7 1HH

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Listing Text


30-SEP-76 (East side)

Parish church of 1839-42. Architect unknown.

MATERIALS: Roughcast walls with smooth-rendered architraves, hammer-dressed quoins and buttresses, coursed masonry to upper stage of tower, slate roof.

PLAN: Nave with west tower flanked by porches (originally with gallery stairs), short chancel with north and south vestries; parish centre extension on the south-west side.

EXTERIOR: Neo-Norman style church with a broad and tall nave designed to accommodate a gallery. The main front is the west, which closes the vista down St James' Street, and is painted cream. The three-stage tower has angle-buttresses in the lower two stages, and a cornice on head corbels to an arcaded parapet and large square corner pinnacles. The tall round-headed west doorway has continuous moulding and replacement doors. In the second stage is a two-light window, incorporating shafts with scalloped capitals, below bullseye windows in lozenge frames, except for the west face where a clock was inserted in 1925. The upper stage openings are in recessed panels below Lombard friezes, and have shafts with scalloped capitals and chevrons in the arches. Tall porches are built as lean-tos against the tower. Former doorways, which have simple continuous chevrons, have been converted to windows, above which are windows to the former stairs. The nave is six narrow buttressed bays with round-headed windows. On the south side the first two bays are obscured by the parish centre. On the north side is a doorway in the fifth bay. The chancel has triple stepped east windows. On the south side the low vestry projects beyond the east end of the chancel, and has two round-headed windows in the east gable end, and a studded south door. The north lean-to vestry has a round-headed east window.

INTERIOR: The nave, a cavernous space now that galleries have been removed, has a queen-post roof on corbelled brackets with arcading above the tie-beams, and a plastered ceiling behind which is divided into large panels. The chancel arch has semi-circular responds with waterleaf capitals, and chevron in the stepped arch. The chancel has a plaster barrel ceiling, and a tile floor. Walls are exposed rubble stone with freestone dressings, and in the west wall is a blind arch in the second stage of the tower that might originally have opened to the gallery. The west part of the nave has been separated from the main body of the church by a partition, integral with the parish centre extension. Original stairs have been removed from the west porches.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Many original fixtures have been removed. Benches from the original gallery have been set up in a new west gallery, and have shaped ends. The Perpendicular font, probably of 1839, has Passion and other symbols around the bowl, on an arcaded stem. The nave retains a dado, in which the upper tier of panelling is arcaded, but original seating has been removed. The chancel also has a dado, the upper tier of which is arcaded. In the east wall the panels have painted metal boards with texts of Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, Apostle's Creed, and four of the 39 Articles. The east window show the Ascension and saints and two brightly coloured nave windows from the 1860s show New Testament scenes.

HISTORY: The architect of this church is not known. It had a conventional late-Georgian layout: nave with gallery, short chancel, and porches with gallery stairs separate from the entrance to the main body of the church. It was substantially altered c2000 when an extension was built on the south-west side of the church, and the porches and west end of the nave were separated from the main body of the church.

Hartwell, C. and Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England, Lancashire North (2009), 241.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St James, St James Street, Clitheroe, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The church is a good example of the neo-Norman style as applied to Georgian planning, with its short chancel and nave designed for galleries, which had separate entrances.
* The original plan of the interior remains discernible, and it retains significant early C19 architectural detail in the nave roof and chancel arch.
* The main west front, carefully designed to terminate the view down St James' Street, preserves its original character in spite of some alteration.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.