PARISH CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
I
List Entry Number:
1213947
Date first listed:
22-Feb-1967
Statutory Address:
PARISH CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT, CHURCH LANE

Map

Ordnance survey map of PARISH CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT
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Location

Statutory Address:
PARISH CHURCH OF ST JAMES THE GREAT, CHURCH LANE

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

County:
Hertfordshire
District:
East Hertfordshire (District Authority)
Parish:
Thorley
National Grid Reference:
TL 47604 18844

Details

TL 41 NE THORLEY CHURCH LANE (west side) Thorley village

4/9 Parish Church of St James the Great 22.2.67

GV I

Parish church. Early C13 two cell church with square ended chancel and unaisled nave fossilized at present size by migration of settlement to Thorley Street. S door C12 reset. Simple S porch altered after 1832. Early C15 unbuttressed W tower of 3 stages with buttressed stair projection on S, crenelated parapet, slender spike and weathercock. C19 vestry on N. Works recorded in 1691 (HRO and EHAS Trans (1899) 65-9): 1822 (Kelly 1862): 1834 (HRO). Restorations in 1846 by G E Pritchett (1824-1912) (Pevsner (1977) 363): and Lewis Vulliamy (1791-1871) in 1854/5 (Kelly 1898). Fittings by G G Scott probably c.1870 (EHAS Trans (1899)) and reredos by J Day 1884 (Pevsner). Flint rubble walling with limestone dressings. Steep pitched roofs restored in C19. Red tiling renewed in 1951. Nave walls raised in red brick c.C17. Exterior rendered except 2 lower stages of tower, W end of nave and S wall up to porch. C12 S doorway has spiral fluted shafts, capitals with elementary upright leaves at the angles, chevron ornamented arches in 2 orders, and flatter arch to tympanum. Door C19 with decorative ironwork. C13 lancet windows central in N and S walls of nave and chancel with another and C13 N doorway in chancel. Chancel arch has 2 chamfered orders with semi-octagonal responds, moulded capitals and waterholding bases, possibly late C13 (Pevsner). C14 cinquefoil piscina and triple stepped sedilia with ogee tracery in S wall of chancel. Small trefoil piscina under SE window of nave and rood stair with upper and lower doors in thickened N wall at E. C14 Decorated style tracery of SW and higher SE windows of chancel and the W window (? reset in tower in C15) were noted by Glynn before the restoration and shown in Buckler's drawings of 1832 (HRO). This tracery was renewed and the E window reconstructed by Pritchett in 1846. C15 2-light windows in nave at E and W ends of S wall, and E end of N wall, and C19 copy at W end of N wall. Tall C15 tower arch of 3 moulded orders with pilastered jambs and moulded capitals and bases. Unusual small doorway to stair with broad chamfer and projecting fillet moulded shafts with foliated capitals. Elaborate C15 W doorway with 2-centred moulded arch within a square outer order and decorated spandrels under higher label. The outer arch order and spandrels renewed in 1976. Small stoup under segmental head to S of door. 3-light W window has carved heads as hood mould stops. Small rectangular openings to middle stage of tower and 2-light quatrefoil openings to belfry appear unrestored C15 work. Moulded arch braced timber roofs with 3 tiers of wind bracing, with plain stone corbels in nave and trefoil pierced wooden corbels in chancel, presumably by Pritchett in 1846. C12 square font with flared sides each with 5 shallow blind arches. Low moulded stone base by Scott. Carved wooden pulpit, reading desk and 8 bay low trellised wooden altar rails also by Scott. Long white marble reredos unveiled 1884 (EHAS Trans 1899) with coloured marble inserts, carved and gilded panels behind altar flanked by gabled aedicules with Lord's Prayer and Creed on N and Ten Commandments on S, and carved floral panels at sides. Inscription on brass to John Duke 1606 under SE nave window. Fine series of C18 wall monuments in chancel.

A C13 church preserved by migration of village to Thorley Street. Set on high ground and a focal point in the landscape. On a moated site at the centre of the shrunken village of Thorley. (RCHM (1911) 219-20: VCH III (1912) 375-6: Pevsner (1977) 365). The C17 stocks and whipping post noted in the churchyard in RCHM (1911) were removed for safekeeping to Cemetery Lodge Museum, Bishops Stortford in 1980.

Listing NGR: TL4760418844

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
398623
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Doubleday, A, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1912), 375-6
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 363-365
'Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society, (1899)
'Kellys Directory' in Hertfordshire, (1862)
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1898)
Other
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)

Legal

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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 04 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/15100/30
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Peter L. Herring. Source Historic England Archive
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