Tyne and Wear
Opened in 1833, designed by celebrated Newcastle architect John Dobson, the church has many historical and architectural features of interest. Its graveyard contains many significant memorials.
St James’ Church opened for worship in 1833. At that time, Benwell not was not part of Newcastle. It was a largely rural area of farms and big mansions and private estates.
The church was designed by John Dobson but has been extended and adapted several times since its original form. It remains a historically significant and beautiful building, with many special features. It is one of the few heritage buildings to have survived successive waves of clearance and re-building in Benwell.
The church was built on land donated by John Buddle, the famous mining engineer and colliery manager who was later buried at St James'. City centre developer Richard Grainger also lies in the churchyard in a large grave within an enclosure of Gothic-style iron railings which has been recently restored.
Many other significant figures from the history of Tyneside are buried at St James', including John Sowerby the glassmaker, William Isaac Cookson industrialist and coal owner, Arthur Thomas Lloyd the third Bishop of Newcastle, and Jack Palmer world class boxing champion. Features of interest in the church include: - The original Dobson wooden ceiling - Stained glass windows including some by William Wailes, one of the foremost stained glass designers in Britain in Victorian times. - A stone carving by the designer and sculptor, Eric Gill - A bust of John Buddle, with detailed inscription recounting his achievements and merits - Woodcarving by Ralph Hedley
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