FOR this week's Nostalgia edition we wanted to take a look at St James' Church.

The church is an iconic feature of Whitehaven and has towered over the town centre for centuries.

The building was once described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘the finest Georgian church interior in the county’.

It was dedicated to St James on July 25, 1753 and it was built to a plan by Carlisle Spedding who was Sir James Lowther’s agent.

Above the alter is a painting called 'The Transfiguration' by Guilio Proccacini. It was reputed to have been taken from the Escorial Palace, Madrid, by French soldiers during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain.

It came to England, to the third Earl of Lonsdale, who presented the painting to the Church in 1869. It is thought to be the only work of this Italian artist in an English church.

Under the tower is a lobby with a staircase leading to a gallery in two directions, which is the same arrangement as St Andrew's Church in Penrith and St Mary's Church at Wigton.

The organ was dedicated by the Bishop of Carlisle in 1909 and is said to be one of the finest of its kind in the North of England. It is thought to be one of three with the others being at a church in St Bees and the other destroyed in the fire at St Nicolas Church in Whitehaven in 1971.

In the Lady Chapel there is a large lump of coal, and hanging in the Chapel is a genuine miner’s lamp. This was presented to the Church as a memorial to the coal miners who lost their lives in the William Pit disaster August 15, 1947.

These photos show what has gone on at St James Church over the years, we hope that they bring back some fond memories for you.