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.
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)
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: