St. James' Church in Yarmouth is medieval but little remains. Rebuilding began in 1635.

There is a monument to the seventeenth-century admiral Sir Robert Holmes who based his operations at Yarmouth. He obtained it in a raid on a French ship, when he seized an unfinished statue of Louis XIV of France and forced the sculptor to finish it with his own head rather than the king's. However, in the opinion of the author of the guidebook available at the church, this is a legend.

The church consists of nave with north and south aisles, a chancel and a western tower. The original church was said by local tradition to have been at the east end of the town, and its foundations were visible in the old churchyard in 1845. Destroyed by the French in their raid of 1377, it is said to have been rebuilt on the present site only to be again reduced to a ruin in 1543. At the beginning of the 17th century it was practically rebuilt, and reconsecrated by John Davenant the Bishop of Salisbury on 11 March 1626. The chancel, which had a polygonal roof with enriched bosses at the intersection of the ribs, was lengthened in 1889.

To the south of it is the little mortuary chapel containing a fine statue of Sir Robert Holmes, died 1692, and many memorials to the Holmes family. There is a wall tablet by Nollekens to Captain John Urry, 1802, and in the floor are 17th-century grave slabs of the Hide family and to Peter Pryavlx, 1644. On the front of the gallery at the west end are brass tablets commemorating the different charitable bequests, and in the north aisle is the royal achievement of King George I, 1715.



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Founded: 1635
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Susan'cubitt Cubitt (3 years ago)
Had a lovely feeling in this church.
Iain Prandle (4 years ago)
Very nice and quaint church in Yarmouth. Very peaceful away from the hustle and bustle of the village.
John Emery (4 years ago)
Harvest Festival themed display.
R Pond (4 years ago)
Lovely little church worth a visit
Ross Malickis (5 years ago)
Lovely Looking church.
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The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.

The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.

According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.

The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.

The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.

With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.