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2 reviews of St James Church in English
I wrote a book on the history of this place so will not bore just give interesting things worth seeing and a potted history.
The first mention of the church of St James in Grimsby is in a document dated 1114. There were then two churches in Grimsby the other being St Mary’s which was later demolished and its stone used to rebuild St James. In 1856 the church was restored and it suffered extensive damage by enemy action on 14 July 1940. It was again restored and hallowed on 3 December 1952. There is a ring of ten bells in the tower.
The parish church of St James is a spacious, cruciform church of the 13th century situated in the heart of Grimsby. It is an impressive building with cathedral-like proportions. A central tower from around 1365 carries a ring of ten bells. The building’s outstanding features are the combined clerestory and triforium, stretching almost completely round the interior, and its stained glass: there is a variety of notable stained glass, all from the 20th century. The Lady Chapel window illustrates the 'Magnificat’ or 'Mary’s Song’ and both transepts have attractive glass depicting scenes of creation, celebration and angels.
The original date when St James’ was founded is uncertain. However, there has been a church on this site for over 880 years with the first documented evidence being 1114. The parish church was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. You can also see Roman and Saxon bricks in the west wall.It was moved due to waterlogging. Obviously not the same church and I know many gruesome tales of the churchyard. Indeed I have followed the verger around after a storm picking up bones. (Human) a little like poltergeist. Maybe the kids who sit on the grass don’t realise that it is so packed there is only a foot or two between them and the bodies as the gravestones were all removed in the 60’s.
On 14th July 1943 there was an air raid on the town and two bombs were dropped on the churchyard. These destroyed the north wall of the transept, nearly all the windows were broken and most of the slates were blown off the roof. The only windows not damaged in the Second World War are those in the Memorial Chapel built to commemorate those who lost their lives in the First World War. Even today signs of shrapnel can be seen in the north face of the Lady Chapel walls.
Some bits are removed and some bricked up..a real mish mash.
By the door is the tomb of Sir Thomas Haslington transported from the Nunnery where the Grimsby Institute now stands. There is also a sun dial type stone from Wellow Abbey used for the reading of chapter and it has it’s own Imp like Lincoln. There is also a corbel head of a Spanish Lady..probably a merchants wife who visited this sea faring town.
The church contains several memorials namely : -
1. Great Grimsby Great War Roll of Honour.
2. Great Grimsby- Calendar Roll of Honour
3. 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment - Tablet
4. 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment - Roll of Honour
5. St. James School
6. Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps.
7. Great Grimsby 1939 – 1945 Roll of Honour
8. Grimsby Fishermen 1939 – 1945 –East Window
9. Lady Chapel Windows
10. Gibson Window
11. Two Brothers Memorial
12. Shrine of Remembrance
My favourite is the tombstone of the town clockmaker (now inside the church). It was his job to wind the clock (the only one in town) but he got drunk so often it would stop as he had not would it. The inscription on his tomb is so funny. “Not for the want of oiling”, means his insides with drink..compares him to a clock..
Here lies the one who strove to equal time
A task too hard each power too sublime
Time stopped his motion o’erthrew his balance wheel
Wore off his pivots though made of harden’d steel
Broke all his springs, the verge of life decay’d
And now he is though he’d ne’er been made
Not for the want of oiling that he tried
If that had done why then he ne’er had died
To the memory of Edward Ward
Who died 12th December 1847
Aged 54 years.”
Comment 1 comment on this review
bluesofty, 3 September 2008:
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