Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 04, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 01, 2016

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The Anglican Church of Saint James the Great was situated in Keyham Road, Morice Town, Devonport, Plymouth.  It has been demolished.

The ecclesiastical parish was formed on May 19th 1846* from the civil parish of Stoke Damerel.   The congregation met in a temporary chapel in Navy Row**, Morice Town.  The site for the Church was given by the Lord of the Manor, Sir John Saint Aubyn, Bart.

The foundation stone of the Church was laid by Admiral Sir Willam H Gage, the Port Admiral, on Saint James's Day, Wednesday July 25th 1849.   A similar ceremony followed at Saint Paul's Church in Morice Square.  The Church was consecrated by Bishop Henry Phillpotts on June 11th 1851.  Services were held at 8am and 7pm.

Of the original cost of 6,600, the Admiralty granted 4,000 in consideration of provision being made for people connected with the Royal Dockyard.  A further 1,100 came from the Church Building Societies, the remainder being provided by subscriptions.

The architect was Mr James Piers Saint Aubyn.  It was built by Messrs W & T May, of Stoke, in the Early Pointed style.  The tower and spire, which was 120 feet*** or 145 feet in height (reports differ), projected from the second bay from the west end of the south aisle and formed a porch for the south side.  The building was 116 feet by 57 feet and was to accommodate 729 adults and 364 children.  It was constructed of limestone rubble with Bath stone windows.

A day school in connection with the Church was opened in 1863 and there was also a mission hall in Moon Street.

The Church was damaged by enemy action in 1941 and never rebuilt.  It was announced on February 25th 1958 that the Church was to be demolished and the parish merged with Saint Michael's in Albert Road.

*  Kelly's directories quote the date as June 23rd 1846.
**  Navy Row later became Albert Road.
***  Height as quoted in the Plymouth, Devonport & Stonehouse Herald at the laying of the foundation stone.  Maybe the height was increased later.