Welcome to St James @ the Interchange, formally known as the ‘Plant Church’ or the ‘Railway Church’ because of its links with Doncaster’s Railway Works.
The current building was built by the shareholders of Great Northern Railways, but the site is much older, going back to the time of the crusades.
The design of the building is unusual, having a double nave with large pillars down the middle as a reaction to the catholic revival of the time. The deeds proudly say that ‘there will be no processing or other forms of popery’.
The site has a fascinating hidden history. It was a leper hospital, built outside the town walls, around 1220. It was given to the Knights of the Order of St Thomas of Acre, the only all English order of monastic knights, under the patronage of Richard the Lionheart. They reverted to an Augustinian order of black canons at the end of the crusades. The buildings all eventually disappeared in the 17th century after their eventual closure at the Dissolution.
The current building was built by Gilbert Scott under the watchful eye of Lord Grimethorpe. It is a plain, massive building in Ancaster stone, in a low evangelical tradition. It originally catered to the spiritual needs of the men of the railway works and their families.
The church has a magnificent east end window dedicated to the memory of Lord Grimethorpe and the reredos below it is dedicated to his wife. It is unusual in that it contains mercy seats at the pew ends.
If you know anything more about the heritage of this site and would like us to include it here please contact us.
Address: St Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster, DN1 3AW
Opening Times: Please contact us to arrange a visit.
Contact: 01302 365544
Directions: A1 J36. Follow A630 to Doncaster town centre. The church is on your left, take the turn for Hexthorpe just before the church.
Grid Reference: SE 572 028 GB Grid
The text has been written by volunteers from the site, more information can be found when you visit in person.
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