Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Islington (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 31519 82216



TQ3182SE CLERKENWELL CLOSE 635-1/74/276 (East side) 29/12/50 Church of St James and attached railings


Anglican church. 1788-92 by James Carr; steeple rebuilt 1849; restored by Reginald Blomfield 1882. Multi-coloured brick set in Flemish bond with Portland stone dressings, roof of Welsh slate. Chancel, nave, porch and vestibules under a single roof, tower and spire over the pedimented west gable. The east end has crypt windows and two levels above, all with plain stone architraves, the crypt and lower level segmental-arched, the upper level round-arched; central east window round-arched with gauged brick head and inset Palladian motif; shallow segmental-arched window to pedimented gable. The south side has slightly projecting outer bays with chamfered quoins and balustrated parapet: each bay has a flat-arched entrance flanked by Roman Doric columns carrying triglyph frieze, mutule cornice and pediment, that to the east blocked, that to the west with panelled door of original design; the entrance as a whole recessed under a round arch of gauged brick with double keystone; above each entrance a round-arched window with broad plain stone surround, recessed under a round arch of gauged brick; between the bays four windows to three levels detailed as for the east end; a modillion cornice runs the full length of the south side; parapet. The north side is detailed like the east end but with no enrichment and two-storey parish hall attached under a separate roof. The west end has a centrepiece under the tower faced with Portland stone, with brick wings to either side detailed as for east end; central flat-arched entrance set back under a round arch with Gibbs surround; round-arched window above set back twice under round arches and once under a flat arch, with balustrade and impost bands; round-arched niches to either side with blank recessed panels above them; modillion cornice and pediment. The tower is square in plan at the clock and bell stages, the latter with round-arched louvred openings with central mullion, imposts, archivolt and keystone; paired pilasters at each corner; balustraded parapet with urns at each corner, and then three octagonal stages, the first and principal having an arcaded order; octagonal spire with ball finial. Railings to steps to both south entrances with wreathed handrail and columnar balusters. INTERIOR: : the body of the church is a single space curved at the west end. Reredos with pilasters and engaged columns, triglyph frieze, mutule cornice and central pediment; the panels of the reredos and two side wall panels painted with texts in the C19 or early C20; panelled dado to side walls. Gallery carried on Doric columns, stepped and curved at the west end; upper galleries flanking the organ at the west end, of 1822, carried on cast-iron columns with iron balconies. Architrave and cornice with palmette and guilloche ornament. Plasterwork decoration to the ceiling in the form of circular and oval panels with bay leaf and Vitruvian scroll ornament. Late C18 communion rail with wrought iron ornament; fine organ with Spanish mahogany case, 1792 by George Pike England, restored in 1978; east window by Heaton, Butler and Bayne, 1863; wall tablet to Elizabeth, Countess Dowager of Exeter, at east end of south aisle, 1653. The porch rooms and vestibules all have architraves, panelled doors and panelled dadoes; staircase to main gallery has panelled dado, wreathed rail, open string and metal stick balusters; the stairs to the upper gallery have wreathed rail, open string and metal irontwist balusters. There are important wall monuments from the earlier church of St James in the porch: that to Thomas Crosse, c.1712 in the south porch is a plain tomb chest carrying paired Corinthian pilasters with busts in front on scrolled consoles, and between them an inscription panel; above that an armorial cartouche with floral garlands set within a broken pediment; that to Gilbert Burnet, also in the south porch, c.1715 by R. Hartshorne, has pilasters flanking the panel with emblems of learning under a broken and open pediment; in the north porch, monument to Elizabeth Partridge of c.1702, cartouche with bust, weeping putti and death's head. The church's C18 interior has survived in an unusually unaltered state. C19 and C20 glass includes large Ascension East end (Heaton, Butler and Bayne, 1863) and the Rose memorial window (North aisle, 1899, by Curtis, Ward and Hughes). (Eric Willatts: Streets with a story. The book of Islington: London: 1986-; Historians' file, English Heritage London Division).

Listing NGR: TQ3151982216


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Willatts, E, Streets with a story The book of Islington London, (1986)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 16 Oct 2005
Reference: IOE01/14002/35
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Stewart Monk. Source Historic England Archive
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