St James, Bushey High Street, Hertfordshire is a Grade II* knapped flint and stone rubble listed building restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1871. It has a fifteenth-century tower and an even earlier chancel (the listing text dates it to the early- to mid-thirteenth century). There is no mention of Scott in Pevsner, although the aisles and north porch are dated to the nineteenth century.

The interior is attractive and has been sensitively restored: for instance, the chancel roof still has its "early moulded wall plates" although these are now to "braced collar trusses with painted decoration to E." (listing text). Similarly, the aisles have arched braced nineteenth-century roofs which imitate the nave's. More details from the listing text: the carved organ case and the decorated organ pipes also date from 1871, and (another interesting point) the Victorian Gothic Revival altar table is described as having figures painted by students of the illustrator and artist Hubert von Herkomer. Herkomer lived in Bushey, in his specially designed house Lululaund nearby, and was also responsible for the carved timber cross at the west end of the south aisle, not shown here. Both Pevsner and the listing text point out that the east window dates from 1871 and was made by Powell and Sons. So too, no doubt, was the west window, since it was designed by Harry Ellis Wooldridge (1845-1917), distinguished both as a music antiquary and an artist, who for many years designed windows for Powell's. So the Victorians had quite an important hand in the church.

The added north porch.

Buried in the churchyard here is William Jerdan, an important figure in the world of Victorian periodicals, the founder and long-time editor of the Literary Gazette.

Photographs by John Salmon and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.


Church of St James. Historic England. Web. 23 June 2020.

Pevsner, Nikolaus, revised by Bridget Cherry. Hertfordshire. Buidings of England Series. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Created 23 June 2020