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© Mr Ben White

IoE Number: 380890
Location: CHURCH OF ST JAMES, WHITSON STREET (east side)
  BRISTOL, BRISTOL, BRISTOL
Photographer: Mr Ben White
Date Photographed: 17 March 2007
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 08 January 1959
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

BRISTOLST5873SEWHITSON STREET901-1/11/348(East side)

BRISTOL ST5873SE WHITSON STREET 901-1/11/348 (East side) 08/01/59 Church of St James I Church, former priory. Founded 1129 as a Benedictine cell, from when the nave survives, tower c1374, S aisle widened and rebuilt 1698, porch late C18, and N aisle rebuilt 1864. MATERIALS: Pennant rubble with limestone dressings, and limestone ashlar to the porch and part of the tower and W end. PLAN: aisled nave, SE tower and SW porch. Norman W end and nave, late Perpendicular Gothic Survival style S aisle, mid Georgian porch and mid C19 N aisle. EXTERIOR: blank, rubble E end with a course of weathering beneath three C19 round-arched windows, and an oval light in the apex. 4-stage unbuttressed tower with a small doorway on the E side, and a square SW stair tower, flush with the W side, with an octagonal spirelet with a pyramidal top and finial; on the S side is a small flat-headed window to the lower stage, a small lancet to the second stage, and a clock; 2-light belfry windows, a string with corner gargoyles and a crenellated parapet with gableted pinnacles. C19 north aisle of 5 gables with 2-light plate tracery windows, and semicircular-arched clerestory windows. The late C17 south aisle of 5 bays has 4-light windows with square heads, separated by buttresses; there is an arched doorway below the E window with shafts and moulded capitals and a label mould below a weathering; clerestory windows set in a band of blank arcading, 2-storey late C18 porch at the W end with side windows as the S aisle, and S doorway with pilasters of 2 panels separated by sunken diapers (see St Paul's, Portland Square (qv)) and a band of trefoil-headed panels above with foliate spandrels. C12 west end has clasping buttresses to the lower rubble section and a much restored segmental-arched doorway within a round arch with shafts and cushion caps; above is a sill band to the ashlar upper part, which contains a fine arcade of interlacing arches pierced by 3 round-arched windows, the middle one wider; betweeen the tops of the buttresses is a string, and a c1160 wheel window of plate tracery forming 8 circles around a central one within a zigzag ring, but the interlacing moulding which made it remarkable has mostly disappeared; above is an upper string and an arrow slit; wide, gabled N aisle with a pointed doorway with foliated capitals, and a window as the N aisle, and a semicircular-arched window to the S gable INTERIOR: C19 blind E arcade of interlacing round-arched mouldings, below an arcade of round-arched niches with cushion capitals; a billet moulding runs above this around the church, and the 3 windows above it have a diamond moulding to the arches. Late C12 five-bay nave of stout columns with 4 half-round minor shafts; wide, scalloped capitals, and square-section semicircular arches and lozenge hoodmoulding which runs on into the E wall; ornamented string course below deeply splayed clerestory windows, and late C14 arch-braced collar roof on corbels. 5-bay C19 north aisle is 2 bays wide: an arcade of red granite columns, probably following the line of the old aisle, and respond shafts in the N wall, wide capitals with undercut foliage, with shallow pointed arches, and half-arches to the nave. Late C17 south aisle has fine painted corbels to a timber pitched roof. The W windows have attached shafts and a zigzag moulding forming lozenges to the arches. FITTINGS: large late C19 pulpit on 4 granite shafts, with octagonal top with marble shafts and interlacing arches; C19 Norman-style font with zigzag moulded column base, late C19 Norman-style altar table with massive twisted front legs and cushion capitals, wrought-iron altar railing, choir stalls with poppy heads, plain pews with doors. MEMORIALS: N aisle: marble wall tablet to Isaac Bough d.1713, a sarcophagus on animal feet, with a bowed tablet above and a framed urn on top, with a slate backing; wall memorial to Sir Charles Somerset d.1598, of a panelled pedestal beneath an aedicule with Corinthian columns to an entablature, corner obelisks and a central coat of arms; in the centre is a couple and their daughter kneeling either side of an altar. W end: marble wall tablet to Dighton family c1730 has a winged cupid apron and a pedimented top. Marble tablet to Joan Wood and others, c1708, brackets to a Corinthian aedicule with scrolls and fruit supporting the sides. Wall memorial to Henry Dighton d.1673, a marble aedicule with Corinthian columns, apron and side panels with military motifs, canon on top and a central heraldic cartouche. S aisle: marble wall memorial on brackets with an apron and scrolled sides, a high panel with head reliefs and a shell. Wall memorial to Thomas Edwards d.1735, a Corinthian aedicule on brackets with a broken pediment and cartouche. Wall memorial to Martha Noble d.1754, a panel on brackets bearing a sarcophagus with a skull, below an open pediment with a crown and open book on the top. Wall tomb of Robert Earl of Gloucester, a wide moulded arch containing a C12 recumbent effigy in robes: 'extremely interesting' (Pevsner). Above the W door is a Royal Coat of Arms. Various mid C18-C19 wall tablets. HISTORICAL NOTE: the priory nave became a parish church in 1374. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 390; Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 14-17, 31, 60, 178).

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