The Cathedral of the Thames Valley

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A view of St.James’s, a beautiful Victorian church in Weybridge, Surrey designed by Sir John Loughborough Pearson. This is a series of shots I took in 2009 pro bono to support the renovations work of The Friends of St.James.

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The Church of Saint Nicholas stood on this site from 1175 until the middle of the nineteenth century. St Nicholas’s was demolished in 1846 and a rebuilding programme was commenced.
The new church was dedicated to Saint James and was consecrated in 1848. Seven years later the Spire was completed, and in 1864 the South Aisle was built. A further eleven years would pass before, in 1875, the ‘Eight Bells’ were dedicated.

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Finally, in 1889, the Chancel was enlarged and the outer South Aisle was added; it was also at this time that the height of the Chancel was increased by roughly ten feet which gave a better harmony to the overall proportions of the building. The interior of the church is a lovely example of arts and crafts design.

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Installed in the West face of the south aisle is the Sacramental Window. Made from Victorian stained glass, it is probably intended to depict the sacraments of the church. This important window is made after a design by the celebrated pre-raphaelite, Edward Burne-Jones.

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St.James’s is the work of John Loughborough Pearson. Pearson, 1817-97, was a Gothic Revival architect renowned for his work on churches and cathedrals. Pearson revived and practised the art of vaulting, and acquired in it skill unmatched in his generation. St.James’s has been described as the ‘Cathedral of the Thames Valley’.

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6 thoughts on “The Cathedral of the Thames Valley

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