My Favourite History Place: St James Church, Gerrards Cross

Historian feature

By Philip Modiano, published 28th June 2021

St James Church, Gerrards Cross

Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, is a well-to-do town in the Chilterns and a wealthy commuter dormitory for London. It also harbours what might be one of the most remarkable, under-appreciated churches of the mid-nineteenth century. St James, the parish church, was built for the ‘unruled and unruly’ agricultural labourers and traders who inhabited that region on the edge of five other parishes in the mid-century.1 It was constructed between 1856 and 1859 by Sir William Tite, right at the end of his career, at a time when Gothic had been all the rage for 25 years, and Sir George Gilbert Scott was earnestly pressing its merits as a National Style. St James deliberately and beautifully thumbs its nose at such an idea...

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