Church of Saint James the Great, Church Hill, Birstall (Grade II)

Geo: 52.6740, -1.1195
Date ListedWed 1st June, 1966
CategoryStatutory Listed Building
AddressChurch of Saint James the Great Church Hill Birstall LE4 4DN
GradeGrade II
Grid ReferenceSK5963508848
Volume, Map, Item285, 5, 38
WardBirstall Watermead
Conservation AreaBirstall

Parish church, medieval but extensively restored in c1860, by Gilbert Scott, and now having a large modern extension to the north, the original north wall having been removed. The medieval building appears to have a late Saxon or Norman core, but is largely late C13 or early C14, and with many later features. Ironstone and granite rubble. West tower, nave with north aisle, chancel. The tower is a squat structure of 2 stages, coursed ironstone rubble on a plinth and with granite boulder course, with quoins and a later ashlar embattled parapet. Single lancet in west wall, and paired lights to bell chamber. Nave has steeply pitched Swithland slate roof, the south wall is Victorian (rebuilt in 1828 and then restored in c1860), granite rubble with sandstone dressings. South doorway has slender shafts and hoodmould with foliate corbels, 2 paired foiled lights with quatrefoils. Eastern coped gable and cross. Chancel is the earliest part of the fabric: coursed granite rubble in small pieces. It is narrower than the nave and also has a steeply pitched roof with eastern coped gable and cross. Its south west window is a shallow round arched splayed opening. Right of it, some indication of a blocked in feature and a C15 2 light square headed window. East window is a simply traceried light with ogee hoodmould and fleuron. One square headed light to north. North aisle largely obliterated by new church building, but its east and west walls are of c1860.
Inside, the tower arch is a late C13 triple chamfered archway, without capitals or any interruption between shaft and arch. Nave of 3 bays with low round piers and double chamfered arches. Victorian tracery in south windows and Victorian timbered roof. Chancel arch is a double chamfered archway on corbels and in the Chancel to the north are two openings through to the north chapel of 1869, and between them a single opening which might be Anglo Saxon or Norman: a single splayed round arched light and incorporated in the glass, fragments of an early latticed wood shutter. Two roughly shaped piscinas to north and south of altar.
Font is C13, a plain circular bowl on a circular shaft. High Victorian stone and marble pulpit. Much good late C19 stained glass, notably in the west wall and chancel and south east nave window, which is by Ward and Hughes of London, dated 1887. In the chancel are 2 monuments one by J Bacon junior, a sentimental death bed scene in marble, commemorating Sarah Mansfield, died 1813. The other, is to John Mansfield who died in 1839.

The description above describes the salient features of the building as it was at the date of listing. It is given in order to aid identification; it is not intended to be either comprehensive or exclusive.

Statutory Listing covers all parts of the property and its curtilage, ie all internal and external elements whether described or not.