Points of Historic and Architectural Interest



Twelfth to Eighteenth Centuries


Waverley Abbey founded. The first Cistercian Monastery in England.
William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester, gave the monks two acres of meadow land in Elstead.

c. 1138

Original Church in Elstead built, served by priests from Waverley Abbey, consisting a chancel, a nave and a low shingled belfry spire at the west end supported on very solid oak timbers, axe dressed [Victoria Country History Surrey]. Ie. the walls of the present chancel and nave and the timber structure of the belfry date from 1138 [The ladder up to the belfry (north west corner) is one baulk of oak with steps incised - an unusual feature].

14th century

North-west Porch. The existing beams and barge-board are original timber. Also the plain round-headed door on the north side of the chance [visible from outside only].

15th century

Arch of North-west Doorway constructed of two pieces of oak obviously taken from a huge tree. The roof timbers of the Nave, tie-beams and kingposts are of the same period.

16th century

The three light east window inserted [although the glass in it now is modern]. Mass Dial cut in the stone on the exterior of the window. The eastern-most window in the north wall of the Nave was inserted at the same time.


Waverley Abbey dissolved, after which 'Elstead with Seale and Frensham' became a chapelry in the care of the Rectors of the Parish of Farnham.

1700 - 1736

Galleries built at the West End of the Church

Nineteenth Century


First resident Parish Priest of Elstead, the Rev William Jones, lived at the house now known as "The Hermitage" (Milford Road, corner of Ham Lane).


Restoration of the Church. The present font was given by Bishop Summer of Winchester. [Till then baptism was administered from a glass bowl placed on the Altar. The medieval font is now lost.]


Church School and School-house built on the site of an ancient tithe-barn [now occupied by Gardian Court, opposite the church in Thursley Road].


Cedar of Lebanon planted in the centre of the Churchyard, and Lime trees planted around the boundaries, in thanksgiving for the end of an epidemic of cholera in Elstead.


New Rectory built opposite the Church [now Bargate House].


Erection of stone chutch-yard wall to replace earlier fence. Built in sections & financed by a number of local families.


Remaining bell recast and two new bells added.


18th C galleries at the West End of the Nave were removed and the Church was enlarged by the addition of the South Aisle and Vestry. New seating and a new pulpit were added.


Organ installed by a Birmingham firm of organ builders at a cost of £180.


Organ moved to Organ Chamber (now part of the Vestry).


The Churchyard 'extension', next to the Village Hall, was opened, as the 'old' churchyard filled up. The land formerly belonged to the Rectory.

Twentieth Century to Present

Late 1940's

Organ moved again, this time to the west end of the South Aisle. New console installed in what is now called the Vestry)


New Rectory built in Thursley Road.


Re-ordering of the Chancel to suit modern liturgical needs - Altar brought forward, with hanging cross above: present altar rail arc installed; choir stalls and organ console moved to their present position in the South Aisle.


Building of the Church Room annex with meeting room, kitchen & toilet with diasbled access.


Programme started to replace to replace ageing Lime trees with Whitebeams.. New lighting scheme installed in the church. Altar rail adapted to centre-opening.


Garden of Remembrance opened under the Cedar of Lebanon; and new entrance and gate installed in the south east corner of the churchyard.


Re-ordering of the west end to provide open space, a cabinet for the Book of Remembrance, display area and storage: also to highlight the timber-frame of the belfry.


Sound reinforcement system and Hearing Loop installed.


Millennium Yew planted opposite the north door one of many planted in churchyards throughout the country to celebrate the 2,000 years since Christ's birth. Inauguration ot The Friends of St James' Church, who then financed the major renovation of medieval window frames and external rendering on the north, east &west walls.


Rebuilding of the 19th C. churchyard wall and fitting of new millennium gates.

February 2006