The Tower and Spire
 
Tower and Spire
We all recognise St James’s Church by its characteristic tower and spire at the west end.

The church tower
is made of stock bricks with stone dressings and carries the four clock faces. The clock and bells are housed in the bell tower. The actual place where the bells are hung is called the belfry. The windows in the tower do not have glass, but openings or louvres in the stonework so that the sound of the bells can travel. Stone spiral steps lead from the baptistry up to the belfry, then a wooden staircase leads up to a viewing platform in the spire and finally, a ladder leads up to a landing further up in the spire. The tower reminds us of the times when the church (not St James's) was used as a post of defence against enemies, being square, solid and strongly built.

Side of the tower
The clock, with four dials, is a simple pendulum wall clock and was made in 1893 by J Smith & Sons of Derby, the builders of the great clock of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. (Notice the louvre windows to let out the sound of the bells)
One of the clock faces

The spire, with a cross at the top rises above the tower in the form of a tall cone or pyramid. It is a familiar and prominent local landmark made entirely of Portland stone and is 48m tall.

A gargoyle is the projecting carved stone waterspout rather like an ugly-looking head. It was often used in church architecture and Its purpose is to throw out the rainwater from the gutter of the church roof, and so to get it clear of the walls of the building itself. The carvings have open mouths out of which the water drains. There are four different gargoyles on the bell tower, one on each corner:

A gargoyle
A gargoyle
A gargoyle
     
A gargoyle
A gargoyle
A gargoyle

St James's Church Quizzes

• Print out and fill in our St James's Tower and Spire Quiz

Further Information

More detailed information can be found in the main site on the page Inside the church.



The Parish Church of St. James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
Main site: stjames-hamptonhill.org.uk