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Church of St James

A Grade II* Listed Building in Norton Canes, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.6683 / 52°40'5"N

Longitude: -1.987 / 1°59'13"W

OS Eastings: 400974

OS Northings: 307843

OS Grid: SK009078

Mapcode National: GBR 29Z.NGY

Mapcode Global: WHBFN.G617

Entry Name: Church of St James

Listing Date: 15 June 1951

Last Amended: 21 December 1973

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1060222

English Heritage Legacy ID: 271296

Location: Norton Canes, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, WS11

County: Staffordshire

District: Cannock Chase

Civil Parish: Norton Canes

Built-Up Area: Norton Canes

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Norton Canes St James

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Listing Text





Parish church of 1832 by Trubshaw & Johnson, rebuilt after a fire in 1888 by Osborn & Reading.

MATERIALS: Coursed, dressed local sandstone, tile roofs renewed early C21, except for older tile roof of porch.

PLAN: Nave with north aisle and transept, lower and narrower chancel, west tower, south porch and 2-storey north vestry and organ chamber.

EXTERIOR: Perpendicular-style church with buttresses, coped gables and plain corbel table. Windows have hood moulds and head stops. The 5-bay nave has 2-light windows, and porch in the 2nd bay with continuous moulding to the doorway. The north aisle has three similar windows and the transept has a 3-light north window. The 3-stage tower has diagonal buttresses carried up as pinnacles to the embattled parapet. It has a 2-light west window, 1-light south window, narrow square-headed windows in the second stage, and pairs of 2-light bell openings with louvres. The chancel has 3-light east and two 2-light south windows. The vestry has straight-headed 3-light and 2-light mullioned east windows in lower and upper storey.

INTERIOR: The nave has a 5-bay roof of hammer-beam type, but with moulded tie-beams and posts between the hammer beams. The aisle roof has arched braces on corbels, and the transept one truss similar to the nave. The tower arch has polygonal responds and the chancel arch is double-chamfered with an inner order on polygonal shafts. The chancel has a keeled boarded wagon roof with thin moulded ribs. Walls are plastered. Floors are wood blocks.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Most of the furnishings date from the rebuilding of the church after the 1888 fire. The octagonal font is in Perpendicular style. Benches have panelled ends and diagonal boarding to the backs. Choir stalls at the east end of the nave are similar but the frontals have open arcading. The stone pulpit has blind arcading with Christian symbols, and is clearly a pair with the font. The wooden communion rail has iron standards with scrollwork brackets. A Gothic reredos with blind panels incorporates 1832 plaques with Commandments, Apostle's Creed and Lord's Prayer. North and south sanctuary walls have a dado of colourful decorative tiles. The north organ gallery has an open arcaded front similar to the choir stall frontals. One monument was brought from the pre-C19 church, an oval wall tablet to Thomas Fowke (d 1691) decorated with cherubs and fleur-de-lis. Other memorials are C19, and include a simple neo-classical tablet to Phineas Hussey (d 1833) by B.J. Evans, showing a seated female mourner under a pediment, and a Gothic wall tablet to William Harrison (d 1877) by James Forsyth.

HISTORY: Situated close to Fradswell Hall, the church was built in 1832-33 by James Trubshaw (1777-1853) and Thomas Johnson (1794-1865), architects of Lichfield, replacing an older building. Plans show an aisleless church with tower, porch, short chancel and west gallery. After a fire in 1888 it was rebuilt, with the addition of a north aisle, transept and vestry, by Frank Osborn (1840-1907) and Alfred Reading (b 1850), architects of Birmingham, who also lengthened the chancel. At the same time original furnishings were replaced and the west gallery was taken down.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, p 212.
Incorporated Church Building Society Archives.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St James, Norton Canes, is listed Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The building retains a unified C19 Gothic character, with a prominent west tower, in spite of rebuilding after fire damage.
* It retains late C19 interior character, and earlier C19 fixtures such as 1830s Commandments, Creed and Lord's Prayer plaques and C17-C19 memorial tablets.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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