Church

 

 

 

St James Church, Dunwich

The parish church of St James (Grade 2 listed) stands at the western end of St James street. Originally built in the classical style in 1832 to replace All Saints which was closed in the late 1750s (and later collapsed over the eroding cliff), it was "Gothicised " in 1881. The original brick walls were clad in flint; the windows reshaped and the chancel  added.The present tower replaced the cupola of the 1830 building. Historical information can be found in the church, which is open daily.

St James is part of the Yoxmere Benefice of eight parishes currently managed by Reverend Christine Redgrave, Associate Priest (01728 667095; redgrave460@btinternet.com). Times of services are  publicised on local notice boards.


 

 

 

 

St James Hospital Chapel (generally referred to as The Leper Chapel)

The remaining walls of the chancel and apse of the C1200 Hospital Chapel stand in the churchyard of St James Church, and are open to the public at all times. These ruins are the oldest surviving mediaeval fabric in Dunwich and an important part of late Romanesque sculpture in East Anglia and have  been described as of national significance. The apse had three windows originally of which only one retains its ashlar work. At ground level are the remains of the internal blind arcade consisting of nine arches (originally 12) in front of which the altar would have  stood.

The outer walls have lost all their cut stone work; the ruins are roofless and the floor is grassed and the west end is bounded by wrought iron fencing and a gateway. The walls provide an adequate space for occasional concerts and services. The Chapel is open   every day and there is access for wheel chairs up a slight grassy slope. Outside the ruins are display boards relating to the chapel and the leper hospital and further information can be found in the church.