Landmark & Views

St James Concert and Assembly Hall

Guernsey / Europe

St James (formerly known as St James-the-Less) is a former church in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey.  In 1985 it was converted to be a concert and assembly hall. It stands on College Street, near Elizabeth College.  The original church was built to provide services in English for the benefit of the British garrison stationed on the island – the other churches holding their services in French.  This was the inspiration of Admiral James de Saumarez in October 1815.  The church was designed by the English architect, John Wilson (1781-1866), who had designed the barracks on the island.  It was completed by 1818 at a cost of nearly £7,000.  It served as the chapel for Elizabeth College and was the subject of a sketch by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851).  

In 1970 the church became redundant.   Found in disrepair in 1981, The Friends of St James Association was formed to restore the building.  The States of Guernsey paid for the restoration between 1983 and 1985 when it was formally opened by HRH Duke of Kent.  The work won a Civic Trust Award in 1986.

In 2002 the Dorey Centre, containing meeting rooms, café and administration offices, were completed, which gave the centre extra exhibition space and catered for formal dinners and weddings.  The Guernsey Millennium Tapestry is housed here.

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