Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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St James the Less's Church, Iron Acton
St James the Less's Church,
High Street, BS37 9UQ,
Iron Acton, Gloucestershire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 14th century, and we understand it is still open.

St James the Less's Church is a Grade I Listed Building - see the British Listed Buildings website for details. Briefly, it comprises a nave of four bays, western tower, chancel, a south chapel and aisle, and an embattled north porch. The south aisle and its chapel appear to be later additions, though the Listed Building site mentions it has a blocked up priest's door, suggesting otherwise.

Its Victorian restoration in 1879 was by Sir T.G. (Thomas Graham) Jackson, a pupil of George Gilbert Scott, who is better known for his work on Oxford Colleges, and in particular, Oxford's "Bridge of Sighs". The large buttresses to the tower have statue niches on the north side. The one on the north-east corner is empty, but the one on the north-west corner has a statue of St James. A drive past using Google StreetView shows the north wall of the tower appears to have had a four-light window, which is now blocked up, but this is not mentioned in the Listed Building description. The clerestory windows of the nave could be equally at home in a medieval cottage.

Then of course there is the "very handsome but mutilated stone cross with steps" in the churchyard, mentioned by Kelly's Directory of 1923, and which is labelled on OS 1881 1:2,500 as a preaching cross; so all in all it appears to be an intriguing church, with many interesting features, both inside and out.

The same Old Map also shows that Iron Acton had a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Kelly does not mention this, nor any other non-conformist chapels in Iron Acton, but it does say that Nine Elms, formerly a detached portion of the parish, was transferred to the parish of Alveston under the provisions of the "Divided Parishes Act, 1882".

Today (2018), St James the Less belongs to the Fromeside Benefice of Churches, which also includes St Peter (Frampton Cotterell) St Michael the Archangel (Winterbourne), and All Saints (Winterbourne Down).

There may be more information available by by selecting one or more of the accompanying images on the right.


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference ST6806383449. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Iron Acton, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 4 Nov 2018 at 11:44.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that St James the Less's Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 7 Jul 2022 - 15:14:44 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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