St Mary and All Saints


Click the numbers in the key plan for details of the items.











Key to Glass



The east window
of the chancel

Centre middle
panel showing
Lower left
panel showing
the Nativity

The attractive stained glass in the east window (1) is characteristic of Victorian windows and is thought to be by William Wailes who was in Newcastle around the 1850s. This glass is quite simplistic and sentimental and all the figures are of European appearance. It is not the best quality glass so it was probably made before Victorian glass was at its best, pre-1860, and most likely it dates from 1851 when the chancel was rebuilt. Godfrey records in 1907 that this glass was procured by subscription when the Rev George Hunt Smyttan was rector in 1851. The window is made up of five tiers. At the very top of the east window is a diamond of glass showing the letters IHS contained in a gold circle, as the symbol of Jesus.  Beneath this are two angels carrying banners, one of which can be read as ‘Gloria in Excelsis’ and below them are five small areas of decorative glass. Below these, the main part of the window consists of three vertical lights, each of which has an upper and a lower scene, and each is decorated round the edge by a trailing vine.   

Of the three upper scenes, the central panel shows Christ carrying an empty cross (a symbol of the risen Christ) with a hand raised in blessing. He has shoulder length hair and a beard and a red cross in his halo. He is wearing a red cloak, perhaps indicating majesty or love, and the background is green symbolising the earth. The left upper scene is of Virgin Mary dressed in blue, holding a white lily in her right hand and in her left hand a book. Unusually she has a green halo which is the colour that usually symbolises earth and creation. The right upper scene depicts St John the Evangelist. He is beardless and fair haired with a halo that resembles the rays of the sun, and he is wearing an over garment of gold and cream over a green tunic. In his left hand he is holding a palm branch which is symbolic of a martyr’s triumph over death, and an item resembling a horn, but which is probably a banner, on which the writing is indistinct. A creature that may be an eagle is sitting on his right shoulder together with an unidentified item that might be a sword head.

Beneath these are three lower scenes. The middle lower scene shows the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by St John the Baptist. Jesus is bearded with a red cruciform halo and naked to the waist. John is bearded with a pale halo and he is holding a shell and pouring water over Christ’s head (rather than baptism by immersion), and above them a dove depicting the Holy Spirit is descending with a shaft of divine power. A banner of light glass above the two figures proclaims ‘Hic est meus filius dilectus’ or ‘This is my beloved son’. The left lower scene shows the Nativity. Joseph stands to the left with a red halo and his left hand resting on a staff. Mary is wearing a red cloak and has a pale gold halo. She is seated with a child with a cruciform halo, and two shepherds and an ox look on. The right lower scene shows the Last Supper. Jesus has a red cruciform halo and is blessing the wine and comforting a person in his left arm, who is presumably St John, while six other men look on. It is not known what the green swatch of glass before him represents.

2-3.In the south wall of the chancel is a group of three lancet windows to the left of the priest’s door (2) and a single lancet window to the right (3). Although the patterns are different, all four lancets appear to be of a similar style and age and are made from stamped quarries of attractive Victorian glass showing leaves and decorative patterns. Godfrey records in 1907 that the three lancets were procured by the school and college friends of the rector the Rev George Hunt Smyttan, and the single light was inserted by members of the rector’s family when the chancel was rebuilt in 1851.

Nave and North Aisle

4-7.At first glance the four windows in the main part of the church appear to be very similar. Although one has decorative glass and three contain plain glass, the frame style is Y tracery and the dimensions are almost the same. Further inspection however reveals distinct differences in the glazing, which perhaps indicates that these windows originate from three different dates.

The two plain north facing windows (4 & 5) are virtually identical; for each the main part of the window consists of two lights each with small rectangular glass panes and with the upper arched sections containing diamond shaped panes. Their frame style is similar to that seen in the 13th century but as the curve is unusually wide they were probably built to imitate existing windows in the church and are not likely to be genuine medieval windows. It is recorded that the north aisle was restored in 1837 and it seems likely that these two windows date from that period. This dating is supported by the engraving of the name of ‘John Welch Bingham’ on one pane of the left window (4) because the town map of Bingham records that a John Welch, plumber and glazier was living on Long Acre West in 1841.

The two south facing windows (6 & 7) of the nave have deep sills. The right south facing window (6) has plain rectangular glass panes throughout and the style and type of glass appears to be older than the glass in the north windows. The central stone mullion is narrower and the securing leaded bars are at greater intervals than for the other three windows. Near the top the lead bar crosses a row of whole panes, unlike the other windows which line up neatly, suggesting the window may have been re-glazed at some point. The original south porch to the church was taken down in 1812 and the nave re-built at this time. It is not known where the south porch was located but this window might have been sited in its current position around that date.

The glazing of the left south facing window (7) has been described as Victorian and as such should be contemporary with the chancel and north facing nave windows. However, it appears older than the others and is the only nave window with decorative glass. The two lights are made from small diamond shaped pale gold tinted panes, as is the top section which also bears the letters IHS in one pane. The window bears eight diamond shaped patterns, four on each side, each made from four panes and these show a variety of fleur de lys, oak leaf and cross representations.



Window in
the south
wall of the
Window in the
west wall of the

In the south face of the lower stage of the tower is a small plain lancet window (8) which may be 13th century which has small diamond shaped pale gold tinted panes. The middle stage of the tower has only a small window (9) with Y tracery in the west wall. This window consists of two lancet panels filled with pale gold tinted glass similar to the south facing window; in addition the left panel has a central red alpha and the right has a red omega symbolising God as the beginning and end, and each panel has a decorative pane above and below the letter. Both windows in the tower are delicate and well worked and appear to be of great age, and certainly pre-Victorian.

West Lobby

10.The west wall of the lobby has a small window at the same height as the second stage of the tower and provides light to the tower access route.

Earlier windows

In 1677 Thoroton described a stained glass window in Hawksworth church that commemorated the arms of the Middletons of Fulbeck and the Sibthorpe, Leek and Bozom families, but none of this remains.