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The church of St. James-the-Less is a large church provided by the Church Commissioners to cater for Longton & Lane Ends rapidly growing population. Cost when built - £10,000.
Built in 1833-4 and designed by J. Trubshaw with a west tower, six-bay nave and clerestory, a short chancel with polygonal apse.
Situated between Uttoxeter Road and Normacot Road.
The graveyard was cleared and laid out as gardens in 1960 at a cost of £6,000.
St. James Church
Normacot Road to
the front of the picture and Uttoxeter Road to the rear
the church is still surrounded by pottery factories - some preserved as listed buildings
and some still in operation producing pottery
Longton in the 1930-40's - St. James is at the left of the photo
photo: the Lovatt collection
From: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward - published 1843 "A spacious new church has been erected in Longton by the Commissioners for building additional churches and chapels, and, under the powers of the Stoke Rectory Act of 1827, has been made parochial, and endowed with £10,000 from the rectory funds, the advowson having, in the year 1839, been purchased by John Carey, Esq., an opulent manufacturer of Fenton and Lane End. The church is a very good specimen of plain Gothic architecture of the perpendicular style, built from a design of Trubshaw, the architect of Stoke church, of Hollington stone. It occupies an area of 120 feet in interior length by 64 feet in breath, has a lofty clerestory supported by pointed arches, resting on eight pillars on either side the nave, and embattled side aisles; a small chancel forms five unequal sides of an octagon, to which are attached a Vestry on one side and a Sacristy on the other. There are side galleries, with five tiers of pews, and a deep western gallery, in which is a small organ. The interior is arranged for a large congregation (2000 or upwards), but the ordinary attendance has been hitherto lamentably small Sectarians of various name and dogma had long pre-occupied the ground at Longton, and they have become more alive to the maintenance of their several institutions since Episcopalian zeal has discovered itself more decidedly here. It is beside our province to say whether it be to the advantage of true religion in the present age, that whenever a new church is designed in a destitute neighbourhood, the vigilance of Dissenters is simultaneously awakened to the extension of their particular views of doctrine in the same locality.
The tower of this church rises to the height of 90 feet; has massive circular turrets at the angles, and is crowned with pinnacles and battlements. A large window of four lights, divided by mullions and transoms, distinguishes the western face of the tower, over which is a marygold window, and corresponding thereto, are dial openings in the other three faces. The principal entrances are through projecting porches on each side of the tower. The church has a capacious stone font, surmounted by a conical cover; the Commandments, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer are painted on wooden panels underneath the chance! window; and our visit here having been delayed, we were struck with the solitary and melancholy memorial within its walls, of the burial of the Patron’s eldest son, a youth of 16 years of age, for whose future use (as it is understood) the advowson was purchased, and who was hastily snatched away on the 21st Feb., 1841. The slab which covers his grave is sculptured with the family arms, above the hope inspiring motto “RESURGAM.”
This church bears the name of Saint James the Less, and was consecrated by the late venerated Bishop Ryder, on the same day as that of Shelton (June 20th, 1834). The sacramental vessels of both churches were the gift of that exemplary prelate.
The following clergymen have since occupied the church of Longton, of whom the first three were licensed by the Bishop previously to its becoming rectorial :—
1834.—Rev. R. Agessix, M. A.
1836.—Rev. W. Ford, M. A. (now Incumbent of Lane End.)
1837.—Rev. D. Parsons, M. A.
1839.—Rev. Benj. Vale. LL. D., the first and present Rector, instituted by John Carey, Esq., Patron.
The following Table contains a summary of the Registers to the close of the year 1841 :—
Year Baptisms Burials Marriages 1834
The cemetery enclosed to this church contains nearly two acres, and was principally formed of the sites of old decayed buildings, purchased by the commissioners at the expense of the parish of Stoke.
The income of the New Rectory arises from the interest of the £10,000, funded property, intended to be laid out eventually in the purchase of glebe-lands, together with the pew-rents and surplice fees, which amount in the whole to about £500 per annum.
A very good Rectory-house has been built by the Patron, with the aid of the provision made by the late Rector of Stoke, Dr. Woodhouse, as previously mentioned. The house, which is a handsome square building, in the Italian style, coated with cement, stands within a quarter of a mile from the church, on the edge of the parish adjoining to that of Trentham, is removed from the contiguity of manufactories or collieries, and agreeably seated within a newly planted curtilage.
The district parish of Longton comprises the townships of Longton and Lane End, with portions of Fenton-Culvert and Fenton-Vivian, the whole territory embracing about four square miles, and a population of more than 12,000 souls. .......
Connected with the church is a newly-erected schoolhouse, built in 1836 on land given by the Duke of Sutherland, adjacent to which have been subsequently reared dwelling-houses for the residence of the master and mistress; about 100 children are here instructed daily, on the national system, and 200 Sunday- scholars.
"The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" John Ward - published 1843
Listed building details for St. James
Basil Buckland's photos of the church and people of St. James
Potworks alsongside St. James' Church
A 'walk' along Normacot Road
Index of Churches and Chapels
Index of Longton Churches
Christian Heritage of Stoke-on-Trent