Skip to main content

Listed Building record MDR611 - St James's Church, near Woodhead Reservoir, Tintwistle

Type and Period (2)

  • (Medieval to Tudor - 1400 AD to 1487 AD)
  • (Georgian - 1730 AD to 1770 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Erected about 1838 on the site of, or incorporating, the chapel of St. James founded in 1487. (1) In normal use [1964]. (2) This mid 18th century church is a grade II listed building. It is built of coursed rubble gritstone and has gritstone dressings. It has a stone slate roof and a 20th century wooden turret on the west gable. It has a simple rectangular plan, plus a south porch added in a matching style in 1924. The south elevation has a central porch, which is flanked on either side by round-arched windows with keystones and imposts, and metal diamond patterned glazing bars with margin lights filled with coloured glass. There is a similar east window but with early 19th century wooden Y tracery. The roof was raised and three windows were inserted into the north wall in the late 18th century. The north side has a central round arched window with quoins and voussoirs and wooden 'Classical' tracery. To the left and higher up is a large rectangular window, with diamond leaded light and margin lights with coloured glass. To the right there was formerly a similar rectangular window that now has its lower parts blocked. There is a south doorway, which is round-arched with a keystone and has a 18th century studded plank door. Inside, there is an early 19th century west gallery, supported on wooden posts, and a panelled gallery front. There is a dado with raised and fielded panels to the north, south and east walls. The simple openwork benches have trefoiled tops, and the bench fronts have flat balusters. (3) This chapel stands almost 800 feet up at the head of the Longdendale Valley and has fewer that 40 people living within a four mile radius, making it one of the most desolate chapels in the county. It may already be well over 500 years old, as although 1487 is usually given as its foundation date, Sir Edmund Shaa, Lord Mayor of London, left money in that year to pay for a priest 'in the chapel that I have made in Longdendale' to sing his mass. It has been suggested that the 15th century building, which was probably wooden, was in fact at Robin-i-Meers, about three quarters of a mile further up the valley by the River Etherow. The change of dedication from the Blessed Virgin to St James might imply a new building, and there are no graves prior to the mid 18th century in the present graveyard. Extensive renovations were made to the exterior of the chapel in 1910, and a number of old graves on the floor of the inside of the chapel were removed and replaced by block flooring. A further addition was made in 1919, when Mr Ben Crossland built the small outer porch as a memorial to the men of Crowden and Woodhead who gave their lives in World War One. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Earwaker, J P. 1880. East Cheshire Past and Present. Vol 2. pp 171-172.
  • <2> Personal Observation: F1 JHW 27-FEB-64.
  • <3> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. Ref: 82174.
  • <4> *Internet Web Site: Glossop Heritage Trust. Glossopdale Churches and Chapels. Web page last updated 08/12/2009.



Grid reference Centred SK 0798 9949 (12m by 6m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1426

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 19 2024 6:03PM

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.