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St James the Great, Cradley, Herefordshire

(52°7′17″N, 2°23′13″W)
SO 736 471
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
  • George Zarnecki

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St James's was largely rebuilt in 1868-70, but some earlier features were retained. The nave has a N aisle by Perkins of 1869, with a six-bay arcade. The S doorway is 12thc., and the tower arch 12thc. too, but later. The tower is short and stocky, late 12thc., but fitted with diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet around 1400. Re-set in its N wall is a relief decorated with a simple design that may be Anglo-Saxon. The chancel is by Sir G. G. Scott (1868) and the S porch dates from 1893.


The manor, of 12 hides, was held by the Bishop of Hereford in 1086. A priest was recorded, holding 1½ virgates of this manor. Charters for an annual fair and a weekly market were granted by Edward I to Richard, Bishop of Hereford 1284.

Benefice of Cradley with Mathon and Storridge.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

There is a stylistic mismatch between the plain scalloped capitals and imposts of the tower arch and the keeled shafts and pointed arches. The capitals look to be pre-1150; the rest c.1200, but everything fits together very well. RCHME offers a late-12thc. date for the entire ensemble, and this is probably the most satisfactory solution. Pevsner takes the re-set stone in the tower to be a section of Anglo-Saxon frieze; RCHME also has it 'probably pre-Conquest'.

W. M. Hunt, Cradley - A Village History. Bromyard, 2002.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 106.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 2: E, 1932, 61-62.
Herefordshire Sites and Monuments Record 31074. Now available online at http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/db.php/p