St James

St James was founded as a Chapel of Ease for Altham parish church in 1546, rebuilt in 1763 and extended in 1828.

About this church

It became a parish church in 1870.

Memorials to the Peel Family and Thomas Hargreaves are in the church, as are the colours of the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) East Lancashire Regiment, better known as the Accrington Pals. This battalion was raised in the early months of the First World War in response to Kitchener's call for a volunteer army. Groups of friends from all walks of life in Accrington and its neighbouring towns enlisted together to form a battalion with a distinctively local identity. In its first major action, the battalion suffered devastating losses in the attack on Serre on 1st July 1916, the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. The losses were hard to bear in a community where nearly everyone had a relative or friend who had been killed or wounded. Although the battalion was to fight again, its Pals character had been irretrievably lost.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church

Other nearby churches

All Saints

A beautiful early Victorian Gothic Revival Church designed by architectural pioneers Messrs. Weightman & Hadfield of Sheffield.


Blackburn Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral is one of England's newest Cathedrals, yet it is one of the country's oldest places of Christian worship; for many centuries, the parish church of Blackburn dedicated to St Mary the Virgin.

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