St Mary's Church, Bibury

The Church of St Mary, built on the remains of a Saxon Church and incorporating some of the ancient stonework. The north chancel wall of the church is home to a stained glass window which was designed in 1927 by Karl Parsons and was featured in the 1992 Christmas stamp set issued by the Royal Mail.
Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I being poor have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
by W.B. Yeats

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

Back in June I fulfilled a long held wish to visit the Orkneys and Shetland. It was Orkney that made the deepest impact on me with so much to take in during the relatively short time I was there. Outside of Wiltshire, the Orkneys probably have the most amazing archaeological sites in the British Isles, I fell in love with place. Also visited St Magnus Cathedral in the Orkney capital of Kirkwall while I was there and now record some of the beautiful windows. As with St David's Cathedral in Wales, the sea features and there is reference to the Vikings in the detail of one of the more modern looking windows.
St Paul
St Christopher

'Some fell on stony ground' - the parable of the sower

I wasn't able to spend as much time as I wanted looking at the truly lovely windows (a bit of a whirlwind tour) so have missed some of the important ones. For more information about the windows and art in the St Magnus Cathedral see link below:
(Thanks IC for the helpful information)

St Michael's and All Angels Church, Highworth

"A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid"
An inscription on the Millennium Window
The Millennium Window in the church of St Michael's and All Angels in Highworth just outside Swindon. It depicts the small town of Highworth and church on its hill overlooking the Vale of the White Horse. The heavens above and ammonites below symbolising all creation.

Engraved Glass Prism - Laurence Whistler

This steps outside of the 'stained/painted glass' remit; it is so exquisite, however, I must include it. In the Morning Chapel at Salisbury Cathedral, I spent some quiet time just looking at it - as it slowing turns, the scene changes.
There is other engraved glass by Laurence Whistler in the cathedral which I won't include here, as photographing clear glass rarely does it justice.

Laurence Whistler - master of engraved glass

Prisoner of Conscience - Salisbury Cathedral

Prisoner of Conscience Window
There is much to choose from in the beautiful and historic Salisbury Cathedral - medieval, Victorian or 20th century. I have chosen the East Window which was designed by Gabriel Loire in 1980 in the Loire Studio, Chartre. Light brings this window to life.
Gabriel Loire: April 21 1904-Dec 25 1996

Iffley Church, Oxford

Nativity Window - designed by John Piper (1903-1992)
Iffley Church, Oxford
Today I walked along the Thames towpath in Oxford to visit the beautiful Norman church of St Mary's in Iffley and to see for myself this lovely stained glass window.
John Piper excelled in designing stained glass despite only discovering the medium half way through his career as a renowned artist.

St David's Cathedral

Last week I spent some time in the city of St David's in west Wales and needless to say visited the famous cathedral while there. Unlike most cathedrals, St Davids is built in a hollow and hidden from view, this was to protect it from the invading Vikings.

Details from one of the lovely rose windows in the cathedral. The stained glass was made in the 1950s at the William Morris Workshop.

Detail depicting the invading Vikings

A sacred place

The Tree of Life

The Fish Window

(click on photo to enlarge)
In my search for unususal and beautiful stained glass, I have entered many churches - some of the windows I have used, some I haven't. Rarely have I felt a sense of the sacred - it was in this little church; St David's on Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire - built on an early Celtic burial ground.


Today I visited the Oxfordshire village of Buckland with a walking group. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive I had a little wander around the church of St Mary the Virgin ... (possibly Saxon in part, mainly Norman). The stained glass windows within exquisite and to attempt to post them here would not do them justice ... they should be seen within their proper setting of a Cotswold village church. I have selected a detail from one of the smaller windows to represent my visit.

St Francis of Assisi

A detail from a window in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Buckland Oxfordshire
"... make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love ..."

The sleeping soldier

The sleeping guard -
a detail from a window in the Church of the Virgin Mary at Bishop Cannings in Wiltshire

Justice and Mercy

Justice and Mercy
St George's Church, Preshute, Marlborough
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

Angels and Dragon Slayers

A detail from the window below - showing the mythical George slaying the dragon. What the dragon really represented is the subject of debate.

The above window is in St Mary's Church in Painswick, Gloucestershire. Interestingly, it depicts the archangel Michael and St George together - both mythical 'slayers of evil'.

The above window is clearly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Made in 1914 by Heaton Butler & Payne, it is in St Laurence Church, Stroud.
Angels are an interesting concept - to some people they are real spiritual allies, to others just mythical inventions similar to the 'good fairy'. This little blog exists to observe and record ... do I believe in angels? I haven't yet decided but I suspect they rarely come with wings and usually look like something else.

Domed ceiling

This photograph does not do justice to the beautiful art noveau domed roof in the Berkeley public house - today in Bristol while waiting to go into the Banksy exhibition.

The Hunt Window - St Winifred's Church, Manaton

Ian Cox who lives in Devon has sent me this lovely window photograph - also the text below. Thank you Ian for making such a splendid contribution to this little blog.

Ian's text
Now, I know nothing about Sir Frank Brangwyn, but this website does, It was he who designed the window. He was a Victorian artist, and in my personal opinion, was pretty good. There is a touch of William Morris in his work, for reasons I know little about, well, ... a tiny bit.
His stained glass is explored more at
This website includes a couple of photographs of the window in Manaton's St. Winifred's Church (which are much clearer than mine). The Hunt Window, as it is called, was made by Sylvester Sparrow, of Hammersmith, using the old technique of varying the thickness of glass to give texture and depth of colour.

The window was commissioned by Cecil Hunt in memory of his son Esmond, aged 19, who died in 1927. It refers to Foxworthy Farm, (the Hunt's Devon home), music (choir boys singing), flowers, foliage and family crests. It is a personal statement, in a beautiful setting, that is almost impossible to create today. A modern monument in an ancient setting. I wonder how it came to pass?

The sun window - Great Bedwyn

St Mary's church in Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire
Today, after a long enjoyable walk we (friends) stopped off to have a look at the lovely church in Great Bedwyn. The above window is over the main entrance into the church though I couldn't make out the face of the central figure in the window as the late afternoon sun dazzled through. When I moved I noticed that the face, although Christian in tradition, is actually depicted as a sun-god. An interesting moment.

Detail from the front window of St Mary's at Great Bedwyn

Fisherman's Museum

I found this little window over the door of the Fisherman Museum in Scalloway while visiting the Shetlands recently. Appropriate and lovely in its simplicity.
The west flushed, drove down its shutter
And night sealed all.
Peaceful the air, the sea.
A quiet scattering of stars.
The great ocean
Makes the gentlest of motions about the turning world,
A thin wash through the pebbles.
No moon this night.
Th creels lie still on their weeded ledges.
Not a sound, except far inland
The yelp of a tinker's dog.
Three days ago a storm blazed here, and drowned
Jock Halcrow among his lobsters.
There's one croft dark to-night in the lighted valley.
Fisherman by George Mackay Brown (1921-1996)

May morning light

I am including this window from the church at Longbridge Deverill because I loved the way the sunlight fell through it. Outside it was a perfect May Day morning; the narrow footpath down to the church had wildflowers and grasses bordering each side; the river Wylie could be glimpsed through the new-leafed trees; and the birds were singing. Somehow the light through this window tells of the warm, peaceful day outside.

The Glastonbury Story - Longbridge Deverill

A detail from the Glastonbury window in the peaceful church at Longbridge Deverill in Somerset - showing Joseph of Arimathea setting sail for England and planting the famous thorn staff on 'Weary-all-Hill' where the first church was built in Glastonbury.
A comparatively modern Rennaissance style window in the north aisle in the church at Longbridge Deverill representing the story of Glastonbury. In the centre light is Joesph of Arimathea who was (according to tradition) said to have brought Christianity to the west of England.
A detail from a beautiful gold and red window in the church at Longbridge Deverill

Museum of Stained Glass at Ely Cathedral

A fascinating web-site on stained glass here:
Somewhere I have yet to visit but it is high on my list of 'places to visit soon'. Thank you to Glynn (and his partner Kathryn) for telling me about it.

All Saint's Church in Marden, near Devizes

Unfortunately, I cannot claim to have seen these beautiful windows but first saw these photos on the Avebury discussion forum where they were posted by Wiltshire based musician and writer Steve Marshall - he has kindly given permission for me to use them here. Many thanks Steve (see Avebury forum link)

The above is a detail from the larger window below (with a description by Steve Marshall)

This is how Steve described the windows:
But my favourite is a memorial to the Niven family, who lived at Marden Grange. I assume they're related to David Niven, who lived not far away in Wilcot, near Pewsey. The window was designed by Molly Kettlewell in 1979. It depicts the views from Marden, to the north & to the south:

The window created by Jasper and Molly Kettlewell in 1958 - depicting St Peter and St Paul
Footnote: As well as being a musician and writer, Steve Marshall is also a leading exponent of Surround Sound and has a website at

Purple and blue

A detail from a window in the Wroughton parish church, St John the Baptist and St Helen. I include it because I love the colour of the purple and blue sky.

Art Deco in a leafy suburb

The staircase windows
These are the windows that initially inspired this blog - my son and his little family moved in a family house at the end of last year. This window was only partially visible when I first saw it as the window ledge had books piled on it. A bookcase has arrived now (see photo below) and these art deco windows can be seen as they were originally intended.

The dining room

The dining room in the little family's home is my favourite room - it looks out onto a modern conservatory and garden through some rather lovely art deco windows. The doors had been removed but were found at the side of the house so there are plans to replace them.

Note: Art Deco was a popular international design movement from 1925 - 1939

Historical Graffiti and Window

Historical graffiti and small window in the porch of the 15th century church of St Mary the Virgin at the little hamlet of Calstone Wellington near Calne in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Sky and Light

Stained glass exhibit by Tony Bolland from an original painting by John Piper

The Cherhill White Horse

Today I went along to the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes specifically to see a small exhibition of stained glass called Wiltshire sky and Light by Tony Bolland. The museum at Devizes is a superb resource for anyone interested in the fascinating archaeology and history of Wiltshire. After spending time with the beautiful stained glass exhibits I then spent a while in the Neolithic and Bronze Age rooms.

George and the Dragon

A window in the 14th century chancel of St Leonards, the beautiful little Norman church at Stanton Fitzwarren in Wiltshire. The glass is Victorian by Kempe and this panel deoicts George and the Dragon. The dragon is particularly interesting as appears to be smiling.

St Mark - The Lion

Detail from a window commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St Mark's Church in Swindon.
A detail from a large and spectacular window by Martin Travers over the main alter in St Mark's Church (the Railway Village, Swindon).
Apparently the lion represents St Mark in Christian iconography. In this church built for the first railway workers in Swindon, the symbol of the lion is hidden all around the the church.

East Tilbury Church - window detail

photo and text by Glynn Wadeson
Just thought you might like to see this detail of a stained glass memorial window in St. Mary's church East Tilbury. I liked the way the sun ws lighting it from the inside.....The church sits all on its own but close to the 19th century 'CoalHouse fort' which was built by General Gordon (of Khartoum fame) and guarded the Thames estuary. The church has a a plaque put up by the military engineers who also rebuilt a tower (though not the vicarage and east end of the nave) which were destroyed by Dutch navy ships cannon fire in their 1608 foray against the Royal Navy!

The above photograph and text was sent to me by my old friend Glynn who now lives in Walthamstow, East London - many thanks, Glynn.

Star windows at the old municipal baths

I first spotted this lovely little window from the street. When I finally gained access to the Health Hydro I tracked it down to a room which is now a lavatory - this secular little window in a public building has pride of place on this blog.

One of the lovely circular star windows at the old municipal baths, now the Health Hydro. Built in the 19th century primarily for the residents of the Railway Village in Swindon.

Christchurch, Swindon

Detail from the Nativity Window in Christchurch - the shepherds

The above window was made and donated to Christchurch in 1987 by stained glass artist John Hayward to replace a window that had been vandalised.

The two windows depicted above and below were donated in 1922 in memory of Fitzroy Pleydell Goddard who was part of the Goddard Family the long standing Lords of the Manor in old Swindon. The window below is particularly interesting as the upper part of the window portrays a country landscape. The lower part includes two sets of Coats of Arms one which has a golden stag and the other a pair of ravens.