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Church of St James

A Grade II Listed Building in Latchford West, Warrington

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Latitude: 53.383 / 53°22'58"N

Longitude: -2.591 / 2°35'27"W

OS Eastings: 360785

OS Northings: 387510

OS Grid: SJ607875

Mapcode National: GBR BYBB.V0

Mapcode Global: WH98R.57GC

Entry Name: Church of St James

Listing Date: 4 April 1975

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1139371

English Heritage Legacy ID: 58859

Location: Warrington, WA4

County: Warrington

Electoral Ward/Division: Latchford West

Built-Up Area: Warrington

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Latchford St James

Church of England Diocese: Chester

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Listing Text


DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of 1829-30 by S. Rowland, re-ordered internally in 1897.

MATERIALS: Red-sandstone ashlar, slate roof.

PLAN: Wide nave, incorporating entrance vestibules at the west end, with embraced west tower, short lower chancel with north and south vestries.

EXTERIOR: In the simple Gothic style of the early C19. The nave is wide and tall, in order to accommodate a 3-sided gallery, has clasping buttresses with pinnacles, and coped parapet. Tall windows are mainly 3-light with wood-framed intersecting tracery and transoms, and have simple hood moulds. In the 6-bay south wall the first window is shorter, above square-headed doors, the 4th window has no tracery, and the 6th is shorter above a pointed priest's doorway under a continuous chamfer. The north side has double square-headed doors corresponding with the south side. In the west front are 3-light windows either side of the 3-stage tower. This has clasping polygonal buttresses and embattled parapet with pinnacles. The original west doorway has been converted to a window with wooden cusped Y-tracery, above which is a blind rose window in a lozenge panel. In the second stage is a blind oculus (possibly intended as the frame for a clock), and the upper stage has 2-light Decorated openings with louvres, and gilded clock faces. The chancel has a triple-pointed east window with stone mullions. Vestries have Y-tracery in north and south walls and north doorway reached up steps.

INTERIOR: The nave is a large unstructured space now that the galleries have been removed. Walls are plastered and the nave has a flat plaster ceiling on a moulded cornice. In the west wall of the nave are inserted arches from the entrance vestibules, from which the former gallery stairs have been removed. The plastered tower arch is steeply pointed. The chancel arch has a single order of chamfer. The nave is laid with floorboards and has a section of parquet floor at the west end.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The octagonal font has head corbels on the underside of the bowl, and was probably brought from the old church. Early C20 choir stalls have ends with blind tracery and frontal with open arcading. The sanctuary walls are panelled, probably of the early C20, but the reredos is dated 1963, by Harper-Wycombe Ltd (designed by H.H. Wilson and carved by S.W. Hodges) and incorporates a Christus Rex in high-relief. A wall tablet to Rev Richard Wager Allix, first incumbent of the new church, has a sarcophagus with monogram. There are several stained-glass windows including Nativity in the south wall by Caroline Townshend and Joan Howson (1933), 1914-18 war-memorial west window, and 3 early C20 windows showing the Good Shepherd, Christ with Peter and John and Christ with Mary and Martha by Alfred O. Hemmings. The highly coloured east window, which must have been inserted after the organ loft was removed, shows the Last Supper and Ascension.

HISTORY: Originally known as St James, Latchford, and built 1829-30 by Samuel Rowland (d 1844), architect of Liverpool. It replaced an older church on a different site. The contractor was Robert Haddock of Warrington. Samuel Rowland built several secular Greek Revival buildings in Liverpool, and received commissions for several local churches. Original plans for St James show a 3-sided gallery with curved front, reached by stairs in north and south vestibules, the entrance to the main body of the church being through the west tower. The north vestry is also described as a porch on the plan of the original building and may have been added simply to balance the south vestry. Photographs kept in the church show box pews, and that the organ was installed in a loft in the chancel. In 1897 box pews, gallery and the gallery stairs were removed and arches were inserted in the west nave wall from the entrance vestibules.

R. Pollard and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Lancashire, Liverpool and the South-West, 2006, pp 624-25.
Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society Archives 00925, folios 31ff.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St James, Wilderspool Causeway, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The church has a well-preserved exterior in a prominent location, and demonstrates well the simple Gothic style favoured for churches in the early C19.
* The wide and tall proportions of the nave (incorporating vestibules for gallery stairs), the original porch beneath the tower, and the short chancel are characteristic of Georgian church planning.
* The chancel retains C20 fittings of consistent quality.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 27 October 2017.

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

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