St Mary


Plumtree has no really old stained glass, but many of its windows were made in the 1870s by the firm of Burlison & Grylls, a Victorian stained glass studio working in neo-Gothic style. George Frederick Bodley, who restored the church in 1873-5, and his partner Thomas Garner were the firm’s principal patrons.

Key to Windows

1Chancel east window

In late medieval German idiom. The small angels in the bases of the lights are added from Nuremburg figures of the late 15th/early 16th century (school of Dürer, Wohlegemut etc.). Commissioned by and commemorating the Burnside family. 1872-3. The shields of arms in the windows are:

a)See of York.

b)Sable a chevron or between three boars’ heads couped argent, Burnside, impaling ...?

c)Burnside impaling quarterly or and azure on a bend sable five bezants, Stebbing.

d)See of Lincoln.

2North aisle east (vestry) window

Removed from the chancel when Bodley restored the church in the 1870s. The glass was made by James Powell & Sons of London, probably from the designs of H Casolani, a Maltese-born artist with links to the Continental “Nazarene” movement. Dates from 1865.

3,4North aisle windows

The angel figures and emblems of the Evangelists in the tracery lights were made by Burlison & Grylls, possible to Thomas Garner’s designs.

5North aisle west window

Burlison & Grylls, 1908. Gifted by Mrs. Browne in memory of her husband, the Rev Samuel Benjamin Browne the window was unveiled on 31 May 1908. It consists of four lights which have been filled with the figures of Moses, Melchisedek, David and Elijah. Each figure bears some emblem connected with the person represented: for instance, Moses holds the Table of the Commandments, and David a harp. The window has the following inscription:

To the glory of God, and in memory of Samuel Benjamin Browne, Rector of Plumtree, A.D. 1883-1906.


Annunciation window. By Burlison & Grylls, 1872/3. Late 15th century style. This is a very pretty window which is difficult to see to advantage.

7South aisle west window

This modern window is by Christine Bodicombe, a pupil of the artist John Piper, who died in 1968 at the age of 28. The colours and lettering are based on those used in the 12th century. The window, which was installed in 1963, was commissioned by and gifted to the church by Mr G D Johnson in memory of his wife, Doris Constable Johnson, and two of their daughters. Mr Johnson was a churchwarden at Radcliffe on Trent parish church but moved to the south of England when he retired. When visiting his son he worshipped at Plumtree. His son, Philip, later served for 27 years as a churchwarden at St Mary’s. The elder daughter, Geraldine, died in the early years of the second world war of a streptococcal virus having been a nurse. She is buried in Bulcote churchyard. The second daughter, Noelle, died at the age of two just after the first world war of the ‘sleeping sickness’. She is buried in St Giles’ Church, West Bridgford. The Rector, Arnold Doxey, chose the text for this window, ‘Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy House’, as Mr Johnson and his wife never missed their Sunday worship. There are four roundels depicting the minsters of York, Lincoln and Southwell and the parish church of Plumtree. (Nottinghamshire was originally included in the Diocese of York, but in 1837 was transferred to the Diocese of Lincoln; the Diocese of Southwell was created in 1884.)

8South aisle, westmost window

By Burlison & Grylls, 1880s/1890s.

9 South aisle, eastmost window

Designed and made by studio of Edward Reginald Frampton, who was trained at the well known firm of Clayton & Bell. The original tracery lights were removed and replaced by angel figures, to match those in the adjacent aisle window, by Burlison & Grylls. This may have been to allow the Order of the Star of India insignia to be included.

10Lady Chapel window

The four figures of the Greek Doctors (Gregory, Basil, Athanasius and Chrysostom) are closely based on figures in a window in the Lorenzkirche in Nuremburg dating from the second half of the 15th century. The Annunciation in the upper part of the window is also based on German medieval figures. The window dates from about 1880.

11,12Chancel south windows

By Burlison & Grylls, influenced by late medieval South German art. Memorials to members of Burnside family. 1880s-1890s.