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Church of St James, Coventry

Description: Church of St James

Grade: II
Date Listed: 5 February 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 218510

OS Grid Reference: SP3306676845
OS Grid Coordinates: 433066, 276845
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3886, -1.5155

Location: 125 B4113, Coventry CV3 6GN

Locality: Coventry
County: Coventry
Country: England
Postcode: CV3 6GN

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Listing Text

(East side)


The Church of St James is a long and low building, resulting from four major building episodes. The earliest part is the Perpendicular style, embattled chancel and five sided east facing apse designed by James Green, a Coventry stonemason and erected in 1817. The nave and baptistry were added in 1955, the vestry in 1959 and the tower in 1965. The church walls, with the exception of the vestry, which is of brick, are of ashlar. The roofs are slate apart from the baptistry which is lead. Leading east from the nave is the chancel with apse and to the west the tower. The vestry is attached to the southern side of the chancel.

The chancel is buttressed and the whole lit by Tudor style arched windows with intersecting tracery. The nave roof descends to three large north and south gables filled with triangular-headed windows with free Perpendicular style tracery. In the western bay on the southern side is a polygonal baptistry with cinquefoil-headed one-light windows. The tower, in an Arts and Crafts Style, is attached to the western side of the nave and was added in 1965. It includes a porch at ground level with trefoil-headed one-light windows with triangular-headed hoodmoulds. The tower has a moulded western doorway, diagonal buttresses, a parapet above a stringcourse and a low pitched slate roof. The brick built and pitch roofed vestry which is attached to the southern side of the chancel and part of the apse has seven chamfered triangular-headed one-light windows and a triangular-headed eastern doorway.

Interior: The walls are plaster covered and the ceilings largely wooden. A moulded chamfered arch leads into the chancel which has a depressed Tudor-arched roof divided into panels by moulded ribs with carved bosses at the intersections. The chancel is lit through the apse and by a pair of Tudor style, two-light windows in each of the long walls. Those on the north are full size, whilst those on the south have been truncated by the later vestry. Between each pair of windows is a hatchment and on the southern wall a First World War memorial plaque. A moulded Tudor arch leads into the apse from the chancel and this is filled with a glazed wooden framed partition. The apse has a pretty plastered Gothic vault, the eastern wall is decorated with slender plaster piers and has a number of wall monuments to members of the Gregory family. The nave roof dominates the interior with the principal rafters curving right down to the floor in a cruck-like fashion. The roof itself has two sets of purlins and is boarded behind. The floor is of woodblock and the pulpit, reading desk and a fragment of chancel screen are part of a suite of possibly 1817 date are all panelled with blind trefoil-headed arches. The baptistry has c.1955 stained glass windows in a conservative style and contains the font with a deep octagonal bowl on an octagonal stem. The font is difficult to date, but Pevsner suggests that it may belong to the 1660's.

The medieval church on this site was demolished in the early part of the C19 and replaced in 1817 by a small church with apse. The work was carried out by James Green, a Coventry stonemason for A R Gregory, Esq., of the adjacent Stivichall Hall. In 1955 the church was extended considerably, with the addition of the nave and baptistry under the patronage of Alexander HM Gregory-Hood, the vestry was dedicated in 1959 and in 1965 the tower was added.

Pevsner, Warwickshire, 1966, 280 Accessed 3/12/2007 Accessed 3/12/2007 Accessed 3/12/2007
Pers. Comm. John Newborn

The Church of St James is listed Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* It is a distinctive church commissioned by a prominent local family and executed to a high standard.
* Later alterations and extensions have been executed sympathetically and add to the interest of the building.
* The unusual form of the nave roof with its curving cruck-like principal rafters creating a striking internal space is especially noteworthy.
* It retains a good range of memorials and furniture.

Listing NGR: SP3306676843

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.