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Church of St James

A Grade I Listed Building in Dursley, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6813 / 51°40'52"N

Longitude: -2.353 / 2°21'10"W

OS Eastings: 375692

OS Northings: 198114

OS Grid: ST756981

Mapcode National: GBR 0LT.KYD

Mapcode Global: VH958.50FG

Entry Name: Church of St James

Listing Date: 1 December 1986

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1290832

English Heritage Legacy ID: 394461

Location: Dursley, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL11

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Dursley

Built-Up Area: Dursley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Dursley

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Dursley

Listing Text

DURSLEY SILVER STREET
ST 7598
(north side)
5/59 Church of St. James
GV I

Parish church. Mid-late C15; tower of 1707-9 by Thomas Sumsion of
Colerne. Extensive restoration and alteration of 1867 by Thomas
Gordon Jackson. Ashlar limestone; coursed tufa limestone rubble;
clay plain tile roof. Nave with north and south aisles
incorporating chapels; west tower, south porch and chancel with
south vestry and organ loft. Perpendicular south aisle and porch,
porch central to aisle. Crenellated parapet with floral panels
having animal gargoyles and crocket pinnacles at corners. Low-
pitched porch gable with 3 image niches having richly crocketed
hoods over moulded pointed archway with C19 stud and plank gates;
2-light cinquefoil-headed casements to either side of porch serving
upper floor chamber. Porch has completely panelled interior with
lierne vault. Tudor-arched south doorway with plank and batten
doors, possibly C15. Single aisle window with Perpendicular
tracery either side of porch; diagonal offset buttresses to porch
and aisle. South chapel has lower pitched roof but similar parapet
to buttressed wall containing 3 earlier Perpendicular-traceried
windows in tufa wall, one east facing. Elaborate finials to
buttresses above fantastic animal gargoyles. North aisle largely
rebuilt in C19 re-using existing fenestration in buttressed wall.
Blocked moulded pointed-arched north doorway appears C14; 3 windows
with Perpendicular tracery and to left late C14 window with
reticulated tracery reset from another position. Ogee-headed
priest's doorway with C19 door. West end of church has gable end
of aisles either side of tower each with Perpendicular window;
north aisle end rebuilt in bands of tufa and ashlar limestone.
Three-stage tower is a good example of the continuity of the
medieval mason's tradition into the early C18, Thomas Sumsion being
a notable practitioner. Diagonal offset buttresses and bold
continuous string courses. Pointed-arched west doorway;
Perpendicular-traceried windows to ringing chamber. Five-panel
modelling of middle stage with cinquefoil heads; niche with crocket
hood to central panel on each face; moulded image shelf with bust
below on west and leaf-carved feature on north and south exhibiting
a classical influence. Underside of west niche hood has date 1709.
Pair of 2-light belfry openings on each face of tower with
quatrefoil-pierced stone screen above transome and blank panel
below. Pierced crenellated parapet with openwork corner pinnacles
based on those to Gloucester cathedral. C19 chancel has large east
window with geometrical tracery and angle offset buttresses.
Smaller geometrical-traceried windows on north side; single to
south with gabled organ loft to left having 2 geometrical-traceried
windows.
Interior is limewashed. C15 five-bay north arcade and west 3 bays
of south arcade have octagonal columns with moulded capitals,
moulded bases, and simple chamfered-pointed arches. East 2 bays of
south arcade have compound piers and have more elaborate hollow-
moulded arches and may be earlier. Simple pointed tower arch with
line of lower nave roof (before C19 rebuilding). Perpendicular
clerestorey is C19 and original nave roof has been raised, and has
moulded brattished tie-beam trusses with carved spandrel filling.
Similar roofs to aisles, but open wagon roof to south chapel,
chapel also having a now headless stone effigy on window sill.
Triple sedilia with nodding crocket-enriched ogee hoods in north
chapel with ogee-headed niche to left. Lofty High Victorian
chancel with arch having attached sandstone shafts, stiff leaf
capitals, and moulded arch with floral enrichment. Stone ribbing
to walls and barrel vault; matching triple sedilia to east of organ
loft and cinquefoil-headed aumbry in north wall. Choir stalls,
pews and octagonal timber pulpit are all C19. C14 octagonal stone
font standing on shafted Cl9 base has flower and shield panels to
alternating faces and stands on baptistery floor of 1920 by W.H.R.
Blacking. Many good C18 and C19 memorials include 2 above south
doorway: William Purnell Gent: died 1743 has open pediment on
fluted pilasters and armorial cartouche above inscription panel.
To right tall Gothick tablet to Robert Bransby Cooper, died 1845
has buttressed sides and crocketed ogee top. At east end of nave
adjoining chapel arch memorial to John Phelps, died 1755 has
elaborate use of coloured stone with panel flanked by scrolls and
surmounted by cartouche supported by curlicues. Large memorial on
north aisle wall to Mary, wife of Edward Bloxsome, died 1840 has
large sarcophagus in relief with hooded mourner and broken pillar.
Stained glass of late C19 and early C20 include east window by
Burlison and Grylls. Four windows in north aisle and another in
chancel by Walter Tower of 1909, having his sign - a black castle
superimposed upon a sheaf of corn. Two windows in south west corner
of 1921 by Christopher Webb. The present tower is a replacement
for the medieval tower with spire which collapsed on 7th January
1698/9. Costs of rebuilding were largely met by a grant from Queen
Anne. Very little remains of the C13 and C14 church especially
after the extensive C19 rebuilding.
(A. Best et al, An Historical Survey of Dursley, 1979).


Listing NGR: ST7570698111

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