SALT AND ENSON
603/17/1A CHURCH OF ST JAMES
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of 1840-42 by Thomas Trubshaw.
MATERIALS: Coursed rock-faced local Weston Bank sandstone, with graded slate roof.
PLAN: Nave and chancel under a single roof, with south porch, north vestry and east bellcote.
EXTERIOR: The exterior, reminiscent of a cemetery chapel, is dominated by the tall belfry and is mainly in Tudor-Gothic style. North and south windows are all straight-headed. On the south side are 7-light and 1-light nave windows, and 3-light chancel window. On the north side are 2-light, 3-light and single-light nave windows. The tall porch has an entrance with 2 orders of nook shafts and big head stops to the label: the decorative masonry is of a high order. The nave has a plain chamfered south doorway. Above the south chancel doorway is a heraldic lion in relief. The east end has an over-scaled rose window, with shallow lean-to projection below it, flanked by lancets. The gabled bellcote has 2 bells. In the west wall are 3 stepped lancets with Decorated tracery. The north-east vestry has a north doorway with pointed overlight.
INTERIOR: The interior has wide, lofty proportions and is overall a considered and effective design. The nave has a 5-bay hammerbeam roof on corbelled brackets, enriched with pendants. In the tripartite chancel arch the tall central arch has an inner order on foliage corbels. Steep outer arches have foliage capitals on nook shafts. The chancel is rib vaulted with central boss, and has shallow bays on the east, north and south to give the impression of a crossing: a surprising effect for a church of this modest scale. Walls are scribed render. The floor, where visible, is red and black tiles, with wood block floors beneath the pews.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: A wooden screen runs across the chancel arch. It was brought here in 1908 from Alton, and was designed in 1892 by John Pollen and made at the School of Woodcarving, South Kensington. The font is a round bowl on a quatrefoil stem. Furnishings installed in 1892 include the benches, which have ends with moulded edges and arm rests, and polygonal pulpit. The stone altar has quatrefoil panels with encaustic tiles, similar to the tiles forming the reredos. In the nave the north-west window shows stained-glass armorial bearings, made by William Wailes (1853).
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Beside the porch is a discarded octagonal font bowl with rotten wooden cover.
HISTORY: Built 1840-42, largely at the expense of the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury, by Thomas Trubshaw (1802-42), architect of Haywood. Trubshaw belonged to a dynasty of Haywood architects dating back to the early C18; an antiquary and a landmark designer too, he pursued an unusually picturesque approach to Gothic Revival church design. The design is unusual because the rose window and bellcote are at the east rather than the west end and, with the north vestry, the north-east perspective offers what would be expected of a conventional south-west perspective. The interior maintains the conceit, where the chancel is vaulted like a tower base at the centre of a notional crossing. The interior was altered in 1892 by Nicholas Joyce, architect of Stafford, who provided new floors, pews and pulpit.
W.S. Deavill, The Scallop Shell: A Guide to the Parish Church of St James, Salt, 1991.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974, p 229.
Parish archives in possession of churchwarden.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St James, Salt and Enson, is listed Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-detailed mid C19 Gothic revival church retaining original character and detail.
* It is of historical interest for its unusual plan that places rose window, bellcote and vaulted `crossing' at the east rather than west end.