Grid Ref. SK 082 517
25 August 2003 and 26 September 2015

Church of St. James and St. Bartholomew in morning light


Church   Font
  The church in late afternoon light   The font decorated for Harvest Festival
West End   Detail of carving
The Nave looking West   Detail of the chancel arch and column by flash
Chancel Arch   Pump
Norman chancel arch   The village pump


Arthur Mee states that the village takes its name from the fact that the River Hamp vanishes underground. South of the village is Cauldon Low. Mary Howitt used it as inspiration for her poem, The Fairies of Cauldon Low. The faries must have been disturbed in recent years by the quarrying. Walkers will be interested to know that Waterfall has a pub.

The church of St. James and St. Bartholomew does not betray great age from the outside because of its 19th century porch and Georgian windows. However, step inside and there is a stunning Norman chancel arch. The inner arch of the south doorway is also Norman. The 13th century chancel was mainly rebuilt in the 1890s when the south porch was added. The west tower and the nave with the arched windows date from 1792. The font, screen and communion rail date from the 17th century. The church is Grade II* listed.

The gateway, not shown in my pictures has an interesting history and is itself Grade II listed. The iron gates are from a park in Derby, the gate piers were originally chimneys at Ilam Hall and the remainder of the stone comes from Wootton Lodge when it was demolished.

Like most of the churches of the Moolands, that at Waterfall is raising money for restoration projects; there is also support from English Heritage because of the historic importance of building. The parish is now part of the United Benefice of Calton, Cauldon, Grindon, Waterfall and Blore Ray with Okeover in the Diocese of Lichfield. There is a list of incumbents on the back of the introductory pamphlet available in the church going back to James Massye in 1533.

There are three bells: a Treble by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester made in 1772, a Second and a Tenor both made by Seliok of Nottingham in the 15th century.


The Buildings of England, Staffordshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner, Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0 14 071046 9
The Old Parish Churches of Staffordshire, by Mike Salter, Folly Publications, 1996, ISBN 1871731 25 8
The King's England, Staffordshire, by Arthur Mee, Hodder and Stoughton, London, first published in 1937.
Pamphlet in the Church: A Brief Introduction to St. James and St. Bartholomew, Waterfall, 20 pence


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