Newark St Mary Magdalene


Key to Windows

All the windows in the church date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with one exception. This is the mediaeval window in the Holy Spirit Chapel.

North Aisle Windows

The three stained-glass windows at the west end of the north aisle have a common theme, and are meant to be viewed together. Each depicts four Old Testament figures, with a scene from the life of each. They are memorials to the Branston and Taylor family, and are all the work of Burlison & Grylls of Newman Street, London. They were installed in 1903.

George Henry Branston window1. Memorial Window to George Henry Branston

Shows representations and scenes from the life of: Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham.

Henry Branston Window2. Memorial Window to Henry Branston, JP

Henry Branston was an Alderman of the Borough, and a benefactor of the church and the town. The window shows: Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, again with a scene from the life of each.

Taylor window3. Memorial Window to John and Anna Taylor

Donated by their son, Dr Charles Richard Taylor. Once again there are four Old Testament figures depicted, this time: Moses, Joshua, Samuel and David.

4. to 14.

These windows are all plain glass. They were installed as part of the 1850s restoration, but were severely damaged in a freak storm in July 1903, when three thousand eight hundred of the diamond panes had to be replaced.

East End Windows

St George's Chapel window15. St George’s Chapel Window

This window, by Hardman & Co of Birmingham, was installed in 1871. It is a memorial to James Prior Lacy who was a respected surgeon in the town, and appropriately the subject of the window is “suffering and healing”. It shows four healing miracles in the side panels: Peter’s mother-in-law, the woman with a haemorrhage, the centurion’s servant, and the blind man. The two centre panels together show the agony of Christ. It forms the backdrop of the St George’s Chapel.

Great East Window16. Great East Window

This window was installed in 1864 as a memorial to Prince Albert, the money being raised by public subscription. Like the previous window, this was designed and made by Hardman & Co of Birmingham, but has a very different effect. There are two tiers of lights. The subject in the upper tier is the Ascension of Christ. The lower tier contains scenes from the life of Christ, though much of this is hidden from the body of the church by the reredos.

Mediaeval window17. Mediaeval Window in the Holy Spirit Chapel

This window has been assembled from a large number of panels and pieces of mediaeval stained glass. In 1846 all the mediaeval fragments of glass from around the church were brought together and assembled haphazardly into a window. In 1957 the window was restored and re-arranged by Miss Joan Howson of the Department of Mediaeval Art of Oxford University.

The glass is from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, though the two central lights are more in a thirteenth century style. The four centremost lights are made up of complete panels, whereas the outer two are mainly fragments fitted together. There are many subjects represented: Biblical scenes, legendary and symbolic events, saints, coats of arms, etc., as well as some purely decorative work.

The window now lights the Holy Spirit Chapel.

South Aisle Windows

Canon Walker window18. Memorial Window to Canon Walker

This is the latest window to be installed in the church. It is a memorial to Canon James Manders Walker, who was Vicar of the church. It was installed in 1929 and was designed by Percy Bacon of Endsleigh Gardens, London. It depicts ten British saints. The window stands next to the Holy Spirit Chapel, which was itself planned and partly paid for by Canon Walker.

19. and 20.

Windows of plain glass.

Dr Thompson window21. Memorial Window to Dr Thompson

Dr William Edward Thompson was a native of Newark and much respected in the town. This window, by Clayton and Bell of London, was installed in 1861. It depicts five healing miracles, all from St Luke’s Gospel.

22. and 23.

Windows of plain glass.

Godfrey Window24. Godfrey Memorial Window

This window was placed as a memorial to Thomas Spragging Godfrey, his wife Elizabeth, and daughter Jane Ann. It is by William Wailes of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and was installed in 1859. It was originally intended to be placed in the Great West Window, but was given its present location on the advice of George Gilbert Scott. It depicts scenes from the lives of the Old Testament prophets.

Gilstrap window25. Gilstrap Memorial Window

This window, by Alfred Gerente of Paris, was installed in 1869 as a memorial to Elizabeth and Joseph Gilstrap, members of a notable Newark family of maltsters. There are four lights, each containing three medallions on vivid blue backgrounds, depicting scenes from the Old Testament in a thirteenth century French style.

Hodgekinson Window26. Hodgekinson Memorial Window

George Hodgekinson, who died in 1856 and to whose memory this window was dedicated, was a notable Newark solicitor. The window is by William Wailes of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and dates from around 1859. It is of a similar style to the Godfrey Window (also by Wailes) and depicts eight scenes from the Old Testament.

Sarah Good window27. Sarah Good Memorial Window

This is a half window, the other half being blocked by the south porch. Miss Good was a school-mistress in Newark, and the window was donated by her pupils in 1891. It is a grisaille window by Powell and Son of Whitefriars, London, similar to the clerestory windows which are also by Powell.

Kempe window donated by B.T.Pratt28. Window donated by Becher Tidd Pratt

This window, like the Queen Victoria Window, is by CE Kempe. The figures in the upper part of the four lights represent the evangelists. The two scenes in the lower part of the window are of the young Christ with the doctors in the temple, and the Adoration of the Magi.

Queen Victoria window29. Queen Victoria Window

This window is also by Kempe. It was donated in memory of Queen Victoria by women workers of the parish, and paid for with money set aside from sales of work. It was dedicated in 1902. The pattern of the window is similar to the previous one, and depicts four Old Testament figures (Moses, David, Isaiah and Malachi) in the upper part of the window, and beneath them we see the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Annunciation.

West End Windows

The three windows in the west wall of the church are all by Burlison and Grylls of Newman Street, London.

30. Baptistry Window

This was donated by Miss Bishop in memory of her parents - her father, Robert Bishop, was a noted maltster - and it was installed in 1892, shortly after Miss Bishop’s death. As is appropriate for a window next to the font, the theme of the window is Holy Baptism.

Great West Window31. Great West Window

The original Great West Window was inserted in 1466 or shortly afterwards. Part of the cost was paid by an Alexander Lowe, who left 100s. in his will for this purpose.

In the 1850s there was thought of a new west window, under the direction of George Gilbert Scott. Consideration was given for the Godfrey window to be placed here, but this was eventually installed in the south aisle. The present window was finally put in place in 1887 and dedicated to the memory of Rev JG Bussell, Vicar of the parish from 1835 to 1874. The theme of the window is “Perfect Priesthood on Earth”, and this is conveyed by the depiction of ten saints who are felt to embody aspects of priesthood. (The figure of St Martin of Tours (bottom right) is said to be modelled on Mr Bussell.)

Newbold window32. Newbold Memorial Window

This window was installed in 1889, and dedicated to the memory of Henry Newbold JP. In the two lights on the left is depicted Moses delivering the Law, and on the right is Christ delivering the New Law - scripture quotations held by angels make clear the connection between the two. In the middle is Christ seated in judgement, with the Archangel Michael.

Tile on the floor near
the aisle crossing point
detailing the payment
for the clerestory windows

Clerestory windows

Fifty windows glazed with hand-painted “stained glass of grisaille type”. Like the Sarah Good window, they are by Powell of Whitefriars, London, and are in a similar style. They were installed between 1881 and 1890, the cost being met out of the rents from Brown’s Charity.