The beautiful building that is now Spring Bank Arts was once the church of St James the Less. John and Mary Mackie paid for the church and the neighbouring almshouses to be built in memory of Mary Mackie’s parents. The building held its first Church of England services in 1880.
St James the Less was one of the most prominent buildings in New Mills. Its architecture and decoration means that it remains a beautiful and significant building today. The church’s simple, solid exterior hides the surprising beauty of the interior. The colour and style of decoration echoes a late 13th century church. This architectural and decorative style was called Gothic Revival. It was very popular in the 1800s, especially for churches and civic buildings.
An early photograph of St James the Less showing the wealth of decoration. The photograph was taken by John Peter Beverly, a local photographer. More of his photos can be found in the New Mills Local History Society collection. New Mills Local History Society
The Mackies originally planned to build almshouses, to provide housing for needy elderly people. They added the church, saving the residents a steep walk to the parish church of St George.John Pope
This Paten (plate), Chalice (cup), and Sanctuary Lamp were once used in the church for worship. John Pope