St James' Church, Audlem

St James' Church, Audlem is in the village of Audlem in south Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, The church dates from the late 13th century with additions in the 19th century. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Nantwich. The church stands in an elevated position in the centre of the village.


The church is not recorded in the Domesday Book and it is thought that the first building on the site was given by Thomas de Aldelim to the priory of St Thomas at Stafford in the reign of Edward I. After the dissolution of the monasteries the advowson was granted to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. The church dates from the late 13th and early 14th centuries. In 1855–56 there were additions and alterations by Lynam and Rickman.


The church stands on a small mound in the centre of the village. It is built of red sandstone ashlar with a lead roof. Its plan consists of a nave of six bays with an embattled clerestory, a tower at the northwest corner of the nave, a north aisle with a chapel at its east end, a narrower south aisle, a chancel and a south porch. The church is approached through the south porch by 26 steps arranged in a semicircle. The south wall contains a former priest's doorway which has been walled up and its steps removed. The tower has on its west face a two-light window, above which is a pair of windows and above these is a circular clock. The belfry windows have two lights and are louvred. The top is embattled with pinnacles at the four corners.


The nave roof is camber beamed. The holy table and pulpit are Jacobean. A two-tier chandelier was donated to the church in 1755. Also in the church is a 13th-century chest. Windows containing stained glass dated 1857 are by William Wailes. In the south aisle (Nativity scenes from 1882) and in the north aisle (dated 1893) are windows by Kempe. Four memorial boards are present which are believed to have been painted by members of the Randle Holme family of Chester. The ring consists of six bells, all dated 1736 by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, which were rehung in 1891. The parish registers begin in 1557. The two-manual organ was made by John Squire of London and restored in 1973 by Hawkins and Son of Walsall. In the 1990s it was moved from a side chapel to the west end of the north aisle.