The Windows of St Mary’s

Ten of the windows of St Mary’s come from the extraordinary collaboration of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.

Many were designed by Burne-Jones with lead work, pattern work and colour by Morris.

We will take a tour around the church starting with the window behind the altar and working clockwise.

 

Further information about the windows are available from the Notes on the William Morris and Burne-Jones Windows, available to borrow and read in the church courtesy of Shirley Bartlett 7/8/12

Also the publication Speldhurst Church – Its Story and its Windows, Guy Hitchings, 2009

 

The East Window - The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion – 1905 – using Edward Burne-Jones design this window was produced by Morris & Co after their death.

 

This window apparently incorporates six pieces from a previous window that hung here which was designed by Lavers & Barraud . A back- lit panel of this window hangs in the village hall.

In this image of the crucifixion The Cross had become the Tree of Life.

Mary the mother of Jesus is seen with John the disciple.

Tongues of fire spring from the Angels heads indicating he Holy Spirit.

Heavenly minstrels play in the clouds above in the three small tracery lights.

The First Easter Day

The First Easter Day – 1871 – Clayton & Bell

On the left the Three Marys find the tomb where Christ’s body had been laid is empty . On the right the two angels tell with a scroll, “He is not here, He is risen”.

The half figures above are St Gregory, St Jerome, St Augustine and St Ambrose.

Below are the Old Testament Patriarchs – Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

 

The River Jordan

The River Jordan – 1875 – Edward Burne-Jones

Naaman the Syrian general suffering from Leprosy appears on the left hand side, washing in the Jordan

(See 2 Kings chapter 5)

On the right, Christ is being baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist.

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists – 1875 – Edward Burne-Jones

Matthew and Mark 

Influenced by a prolonged study of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo has influenced Burne-Jones who initially designed these for the chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge.

They represent Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, (the writers of the gospels in the New Testament) Beneath these figures are scenes from the life of Christ .

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists – 1875 – Edward Burne-Jones

Luke and John

Influenced by a prolonged study of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo has influenced Burne-Jones who initially designed these for the chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge.

They represent Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, (the writers of the gospels in the New Testament) Beneath these figures are scenes from the life of Christ .

St Mary and St Elisabeth

St Mary and St Elisabeth –1874 – Edward Burne-Jones

This window represents The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, after whom the church is dedicated.

Next to her is Elizabeth, her cousin and mother of John the Baptist.

The lower sections show the baptism of Jesus by John and Jesus blessing little children.

This window is placed next to the Font, the place for baptisms.

The Tower Room
Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Archangels Michael and Gabriel – Charles Eamer Kempe 1878

The Window of Praise

The Window of Praise – 1873 -­ Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris

The top section is known as a mandorla in reference to its unusual almond shape.

This depicts Christ in Glory ( Heaven) wearing a crown and holding an orb he is raising his hand in blessing . Surrounded by angels he is seated on a rainbow with water and foliage at his feet. –   Edward Burne-Jones

 

The Angel windows are lancet style. –

Each individual Angel plays an instrument, with reference to Psalm 150.

These are unusual in that they were designed by William Morris

St Ursula and St Nicolas

St Ursula and St Nicholas – 1873 – Edward Burne-Jones

These two saints were connected with teaching and children and placed in this corner as it was used for the Sunday school. Above these figures is an angel playing an instrument called a lunette psaltry.

Queen Bertha and King Aethelbert

 

Queen Bertha and King Aethelberht ( Ethelbert)

Designed 1879 

Assembled 1898 – Edward Burne-Jones

Top light – John Henry Dearle

 Queen Bertha was the first Christian Queen of Kent. With her husband the king they met the missionary Augustine who arriving at Ebbsfleet. Ethelbert converted to Christianity and Canterbury cathedral was established in in 597. This was a decisive point in the conversion of England to Christianity.

 

St Gregory and Augustine

St Gregory and St Augustine 

1873 – Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris

 St Gregory was the pope who sent Augustine to England.

His association with music is indicated in the top light by the angel playing an organ

St Augustine was sent as a Christian missionary to England and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Notice the difference in style as St Augustine was designed by Morris.

Christ with Mary and Martha

Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary

c 1871 – M & A O’Connor

These were produced in the Gothic revival style popular in the 1840’s hence the strong colours particularly red, blue and gold.

This window is located in the Choir vestry – by appointment only or after services this window is not normally visible to visitors

The Waller Window

The Waller Window – c 1800 – possibly James Pearson

 A special interest window to historians and stained glass experts, this window was originally in the church that stood on the site from 1800-1870 .

This was not produced in the style of the medieval craftsmen but appears to be painted in enamels on to thin clear glass. It has recently been restored (2020).

The centre panel depicts the scene of Abraham poised to sacrifice his son Isaac. On either side are Sir Walter Waller and his wife Anna. (The Wallers had been resident in Groombridge Manor house in the Speldhurst Parish leaving in 1604.)

This window is located in the Choir Vestry, which you can view by appointment or after services

The Six Saints

The Six Saints – 1876 – Edward Burne-Jones

 Two lancet windows designed specifically for Speldhurst Church

 On the left – St Alban, St Aidan, St Boniface

On the right – St Helen, St Oswald and St Walburga

 

This window was dedicated to the church organist Catherine Barker, this space was originally a vestry but became the organ chamber .

The Risen Christ

The Risen Christ – 1871 – Clayton & Bell

 In Gothic Revival style with strong colours and somewhat overcrowded scenes.

On the left

Mary Magdalene kneels at the feet of the Risen Jesus

Below that St Peter with the Key and St John at the empty tomb

Right

The road to Emmaus with Christ talking to two disciples who fail to recognize him. Below, Thomas placing his hands in the wounds of Christ with Peter .

There are also half figures across the top they are the prophets

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel

And below the apostles

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.