St James the Less


St James the Less Preservation Trust

Project cost



New Mills

Project Description

Restoration work to Grade II listed church

We were appointed as lead architects for the restoration work to this Grade II listed church and creation of an internal performing arts centre.

The restoration work to the church included external reroofing, stone masonry and stained glass repair.

St James the Less was a redundant church built in 1880. It is Grade II listed and linked to a group of almshouses of the same date formed around St James Square. The site is located in the centre of New Mills raised above the town, but with easy links, making it an ideal position for the performing arts centre.

Internally the building has been converted into a performing arts centre for theatre, dance, recitals and community use. Alongside the restoration work, a new extension provides a Green Room, which is also to be used as a Function Room with bar facilities. Part of the original interior spaces at the rear of the church have been remodelled to provide disabled access and WC facilities for the building.

Key Features

Assisted by specialists, Crick Smith Conservation, there was careful restoration of a series of murals and the recreation of the original decorative scheme on the Liturgical West Gable which forms a centrepiece for reinterpreting the interior.

  • Re-slating with Westmorland slate detailed with mitred hips and including 90% reused material.
  • Integration of a new access ramp linking to main entrance porch allowing all persons to enter the building at the same point.
  • Stone repair and lime repointing to existing masonry. Kempe stained glass repairs to the two tall west windows.
  • The project was Heritage Lottery Funded.

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