Site Event/Activity record ECC2236 - Pevsner survey of St James the Great Church, Colchester, 1954


Location St James Church, East Hill, Colchester
Grid reference TM 0016 2523 (point)
Map sheet TM02NW



Pevsner, Nikolaus (Mr)





Survey by Pevsner of St James the Great, East Hill, 'The chancel chapels of this church, high up above the rise of East Hill into High Street, are perhaps the best Perp work in Colchester. The rest of the church is of less importance. The NW angle of the nave with its Roman bricks is proof of Norman origin. The W tower may be C13 (see one upper S window) altered in the C14. Diagonal buttresses and battlements. The odd little spire does not belong to the restoration of 1871. Does it belong to the restoration of the late C17? Of 1871 the clerestory windows, and N and S aisle windows. The N and S chancel chapels and the chancel E end are faced with knapped flint. The N chapel in addition, as it faces the street, has a parapet decorated with a frieze of triangles with trefoils alternately the right and wrong way up. Internally the chancel is splendidly tall with a five-light E window and tall N and S arcades. The piers are lozenge-shaped with four slim shafts and four long shallow hollows. The two chapels have large three light windows and ceilings with prettily carved beams. The S chapel E window even has four lights. Both chapels have flat ceilings also with carved beams. The nave arcades are more curious but less impressive. They are four different varieties, in chronological order SE (two bays, octagonal pier, arches with one concave and one convex moulding; C1300), NE (two bays, octagonal pier, arches with two hollow chamfers; mid C14), then SW and NW differing only in minor features (C15 piers with, towards the nave, as their central motif, thin polygonal shafts without capitals). - STAINED GLASS, S chapel E and SE. Tall figures of apostles, c1850, said to have been obtained from Belgium or Holland.- Plate. Salver of 1705; two Flagons of 1752. - Monuments. Brasses of 1569 and 1584 in the chancel floor. - Monuments. Brasses of 1569 and 1584 in the chancel floor. Arthur Winsley 1727. Standing wall-monument with semi-reclining figure in informal dress' <1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Serial: Pevsner, Nikolaus. The Buildings of England: Essex. p133.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • St James's Church, High Street, Colchester (Monument)

Record last edited

Mar 17 2016 8:57AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.