Keys to the Past

Church of St. Philip and St. James, Church Lane, Tow Law (Tow Law)

Parish church. Circa 1867-1869 by C. Hodgson Fowler. Roughly-squared coursed sandstone with ashlar dressings; Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings; stone spire. Nave with west porch and south-west tower; chancel with north vestry. Decorated style. Full-width porch has two 2-centred-arched doors, boarded and with elaborate hinges, under continuous drip string which is a sill string for 3 central lancets. Wide buttresses with steeply-coped setback under gabled coping of pent roof. Large wheel window above and octagonal tower at right. Tower has buttresses on alternate sides, with slit windows to stair and shouldered-arched belfry openings, under octagonal spire with lucarnes.

3-bay nave has paired lancets in first 2 bays, lancet and 2-light window in third; 2-light window and lancet in chancel. 5-light east window under 8-foiled roundel. Steeply-pitched roof has stone cross finials; weather-cock finial on spire.

Interior: coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings. King-post nave roof with arch-braced scissor trusses on stone-corbelled brackets; chancel has panelled wood barrel vault, 2-centred chancel arch of 2 orders, the inner on short shafts with clasping rings. Windows have wide 2-centred rere-arches. Similarly-shaped organ arch and drip-mould over trefoil-headed vestry doorway. Full-width painted panel below east window; wood-panelled chancel. Unusual rood screen composed of varnished applied cones and other fruit. Glass includes east window in memory of M.H. Simpson, first vicar; north windows signed E. Smyth Sc. (c.1945) and Stanley Murray Scott 1965. Other windows original leaded lights in rectangular and lozenge patterns. Stone pulpit with open balustrade and marble shafts; square stone font on pedestal and 4 shafts. High-quality doors and original fittings, with stencilled felted draught curtains to inner doors.

Known to contain a number of features dedicated as war memorials (3-4).

Reference number:D37730
Historical period: Post Medieval (1540 to 1901)
20th Century (1901 to 2000)
First World War (1914 to 1918)
Second World War (1939 to 1945)
Legal status:Listed Building
  • National Heritage List for England Entry Number: 1232516

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Tow Law


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.