Church of England Diocese of Lichfield Waterfall

A history of the church

St. James and St. Bartholomew, Waterfall (Staffordshire)


St. James and St. Bartholomew, Waterfall stands in agricultural land on the edge of the Peak District in one of the most beautiful parts of Staffordshire. It is approached by public footpaths from Waterfall or Back o' the Brook and serves a parish of 663 souls. There has been a church on the site since at least the 12th century.

The building dates from several periods. The west tower and nave with arched windows are of 1792. The 13th century chancel was mostly rebuilt in the 1890's when the porch was added. The chancel arch and the inner arch of the south doorway are Norman or earlier.

The tower has four pinnacles and contains three bells.
Treble 2' 4 ½'' Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester 1772
Second 2' 6 ¼'' Seliok, Nottingham 15th Century
Tenor 2' 9 ¾'' Seliok, Nottingham 15th Century
The bell frame probably dates from the installation of the Treble bell, but has been produced in an older style. The fittings were originally designed for traditional English full circle ringing.

The old font, and the screen are 17th century. although the communion rail was restored in 1909. A 20th century font is now in use. Wood from the old box pews was used to panel the chancel and sanctuary when new pews were installed in 1892. Some of the names from those sittings can still be seen. A small organ originally came from Ilam Church. The church is listed Grade II*.

The gateways to the churchyard are listed (grade II). The wrought iron gates came from a park in Derby. The stone gate piers were originally chimneys at Ilam Hall and are now filled with concrete, the remainder of the stone being brought from Wootton Lodge when it was demolished. A sundial and a memorial are also listed. The churchyard has been used for burials since the 16th century, but before that burials were in the nave of the church.

Incumbents or Curates

Occurs in 1533 James Massye
1583-1602 John Tetloe
1602-1642 Edmund Okeden
Occurs 1651-2 Robert Thompson
Occurs in 1658 Joseph Hulme
1662-1669 Robert Thompson
Occurs in 1670 Thomas Cooke
Occurs 1684-88 Thomas Malbon
1689-1709 William Heald
1710-1757 Thomas Prince
1757-1780 John Townsend
1780-1788 John Harvey
1788-1795 Humphrey Maysmoor
1795 C. Lockett
1795-1796 Thomas Gell
1796 A. H. Bruce
1797-1800 James Doubleday
1800-1808 John Webb
1808-1809 Hugh Bennett
1809-1821 Thomas Newton
1821-1822 W. Harbur
1822-1832 Elias Saunders
1832-1849 Richard Ward
1849-1850 R. H. Goodacre
1850-1851 G. Harry Penny
1851-1852 John Sutcliffe
1852-1853 Thomas Fenton
1854-1860 J. W. Kewley
1860-1863 Rowland Henniker
1863-1866 W. C. Ward
1866-1873 W. Jackson
1873-1881 P. Pym Sarjent
1881-1884 Henry Brown
1884-1888 William M. Heather
1888-1908 Cecil Booth Tyrwhitt
1908-1912 Robert G. Wilkins
1913-1916 John N. Knottesford-Fortescue
1916-1924 Henry L. Firmstone
1924-1927 Lionel Edward P. Frith
1927-1947 James Beresford Smith
1948-1956 Evert Ronald Grant
1956 Hugh St. John P. Warren
1957-1978 John J. Coulter
1980-1983 Wilfred R. D. Alexander
1983-1988 Lawrence R. Price
1989-1996 John R. Tye
1996-2000 Peter W. Davey
2001- Andrew J. Burton