For this church:
One of the earliest records of glass in St Mary’s was by John Leland, who in 1530 was chaplain and librarian to Henry VIII; with the special position of king’s antiquary which was created for him in 1533. He was authorized to search cathedral and monastic libraries for manuscripts of historical interest. Probably from 1534 and certainly from 1536 to 1542 he was engaged on an antiquarian tour of England and Wales. He visited St Mary’s church in 1540 and commented:
excellente newe, and unyforme yn worke, and so manie faire windows yn itt, yt noe artificer can imagine to set more.
Hood, assistant curate at St Mary’s, in his book published in 1910 referring to the quote by Leyland, goes on to say:
He saw the church in the days before the Reformers in the fifteenth century and the Puritans in the century which followed, had bared the windows of the wealth of colour, which modern glass has not been able to surpass.
Many of the pre-reformation windows bore heraldic shields which would leave room for the admission of sunshine.
In 1559 the Commissioners, under Archbishop Sandy of York, pronounced:
the chancel to be in great decay and the windows without glass.
An eighteenth century visitor described:
a fine old lightsome building.
Thoroton in 1677 states:
The painted glass that formerly adorned the windows is now chiefly gone. The figure of St Andrew, however, still remains perfect, in a north window
He also passed comment on stained glass ‘In a window of the south Ile’. This consisted of heraldic glass and Thomas Close FSA identified the evidence of four shields and their owners: 1st shield – The Earls of Arundel; 2nd shield – Richard II King of England before his marriage in 1381-1382; 3rd shield – Richard II after his marriage with his first Queen Anne of Bohemia in 1382; 4th shield – Barons Nevil of Raby later to become in 1397 Earls of Westmoreland.
Early records show a house in the churchyard in 1582-83 was lived in by:
Bennyson the glasyer a house there. iiijs. And money was paid: to Lawrence Wurthe for v. barrs of iron that the glasyer vsed. xd.
Much of the destruction of painted glass is blamed on the Puritans but a letter read at the Royal Archaeological Society at Salisbury at the end of the eighteenth century stated:
Sir, - This day I have sent you a box full of old stained and painted glass as you desired me to due, wich I hope will sute your purpose. It is the best that I can get at present. But I expect to Beatt to Peceais a great deale very sune as it his of no use to we and we due it for the lead: if you want eney more of the same sorts you may have what thear his, if it will pay for taking out, as it is a Deal of truble to what Beating it to Peceais his etc... your most Omble servant John Berry
John Berry was a glazier, of Salisbury.
From the accounts of 1806 payments for glaziers at St Mary’s are mentioned several times: Mr Cook, glazier, for work done from June 1804 to April 1805 £14 13s 0d. Ale for glaziers, &c. £1 17s 6d. Mr Cook, glazier £31 0s 0d. Mr Greasley, glazier, 7s 4d.
After the restoration work of 1839, ‘the stained glass artist was replaced by the upholsterer who was called in to keep the worshippers from the rays of the sun, and vast curtains were stretched over the windows.’ It was then realized that stained glass as well as being protection against the sun, was educational, and gave a new atmosphere inside the church so their restoration was started in 1865, when a memorial window to the Prince Consort was erected at the east end of the chancel. The subject of this window, surmounted as it is by the royal arms, is somewhat unsuitable for its position; and shortly afterwards Suffragan Bishop Trollope drew up a scheme of subjects for subsequent benefactions, which was followed in most of the earliest windows. Thus those on the south side of the chancel illustrate our Lord’s Life and Teaching; and those on the north the Acts of the Apostles. The great windows in the transepts represent, in the south the Parables, and in the north the Miracles, of the Gospels. Some of the smaller windows there illustrate the Prophetical Books, which with the rest of the Old Testament, were to provide subjects for the windows in the body of the church; but this scheme has not been followed in windows erected after the year 1890.
A public meeting was held on 14th November 1865 in the Exchange Hall, to plan further restoration of the Church. The chair was occupied by the Right Hon Lord Belper, Lord Lieutenant of the county, and also present were the Right Hon Earl Manvers, the Right Hon J Evelyn Denison, the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, the Mayor (Mr Ball), the vicar the Rev Francis Morse and many other notable persons of the Town.
A circular was distributed in the hall from Mr G Gilbert Scott’s survey which gave a long list of remedial work which needed attention and said ‘the windows are bedaubed with dirty stain’. It was followed by:
But the chief beauty of St Mary’s of old consisted in its Windows, which are so many, that it is almost necessary to have at least the principle ones of Stained Glass, and no restoration could be deemed complete which did not embrace this. There must therefore be added to Mr. Scott’s estimate, the following for windows:
This was the start of the extensive stained glass we now see in St Mary’s.
In St Mary’s there are 37 stained and/or painted glass windows containing 384 lights in total.
1The Great East window is the oldest Victorian stained glass window in St Mary’s made by John Hardman of Birmingham and installed in 1863 at a cost of £500 as a memorial to Prince Albert the Prince Consort. This is colourful window has 36 lights, much of it hidden by the reredos.
2This window of 12 lights in the chancel is dedicated to Canon Morse and was made by Clayton and Bell in 1888. A brass plaque reads:
The Latin text could be (loosely) translated:
In honour of the most Holy Trinity this window to Francis Morse M.A. Vicar of this church for 22 years is dedicated in genuinely affectionate memory by occupants of the town, parishioners, friends who endeavoured to pour out the life of the church in active thanks to God for a life that was pious, kindly, diligent, completed in Christ and is commended as an example to succeeding generations 10th July 1888 AD
The window depicts scenes from the Resurrection: in the lower four lights the Resurrection itself with text: “I am the resurrection and the life he that believeth in Me though he were dead yet shall he live”; in the middle four lights the Ascension with the text “I ascend unto My Father and your Father and to My God and your God”; in the upper four lights the Day of Pentecost with the text “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
This 12 light window was installed in 1890 and made by Edward Frampton as a memorial to G H Hebden, The dedication below the window is a mosaic inside a white and orange mottled marble frame.
The window depicts scenes from the Passion: in the lower four lights the Last Supper with text: “This is my Body which is given for you This is my Blood of the New Testament”; in the middle four lights Jesus in Gethsemane with the text “Father if it be possible let this cup pass from Me nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt”; in the upper four lights the arrest of Jesus with the text “And they took Jesus and led Him away and He bearing His cross went forth”.
The window at the East end of the Lady Chapel is a memorial to Monica Wade-Dalton, and consists of 12 lights depicting biblical scenes. It was installed in 1920 by Burlison and Grylls An inscription across the bottom two lights reads:
Katherine is shown wearing a Nottingham Lace wedding dress. She was a victim of the Spanish Flu epidemic.
5This window is dedicated to Richard Robert Patterson and has 12 lights. It was made by John Hardman in 1878. The donor was Miss Patterson of The Park Nottingham. The total cost of the window was £500 and was originally on the south side of the chancel. The dedication in the window:
This window was moved to its present position in 1912 when the Lady Chapel was built. It was re-sited by Mr G F Gascoyne who was an artist in stained glass and had premises on Shakespeare Street, Nottingham.
6These 6 small lights are set in the sedilia below the Patterson window and made up of fragments of stained and coloured glass possibly installed by Mr Gascoyne when the Lady Chapel was built in 1912.
This window by Ward and Hughes was dedicated in 1868 to Sir Charles Fellows by his son Charles Francis Fellows. The window has 12 lights depicting 24 biblical scenes with text below from the New Testament. The dedication is beneath the window on a brass plaque:
This window has fragments of glass in the tracery which Pevsner states to be:
This window was moved from the south chancel to its present position in 1912 by Mr G F Gascoyne of Nottingham.
The William Wright window by Ward and Hughes was installed in the south side of the chancel in 1868, and has 12 lights depicting 24 biblical scenes with texts below from the New Testament. The dedication on a brass plaque beneath the window reads:
It has fragments of C15 glass in the tracery.
Chancel - North side
11This window on the north side of the chancel is dedicated to John Watson. It was made by Clayton and Bell in 1891and consists of 3 tiers of 4 lights, of biblical scenes. Across the centre row is the dedication:
This window dedicated to Lord Belper was made by Clayton and Bell in 1880 and consists of 3 tiers of 4 lights of biblical scenes and a coat of arms of the Strutt family. At the foot of the two centre lights is the dedication:
The Fredrick Dobson window has 8 lights was designed by Canon Morse vicar of St Mary’s and made by Burlison and Grylls in 1882. The brass plaque beneath the window has a dedication in Latin which reads:
which translates as:
To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Fredrick Dobson, his family have placed this window. Born July 22nd 1827; fell asleep in the Lord November 7th 1882.
A brass plaque below the window has the dates 1857-1894.
The Great south window was installed in 1867 and made by Heaton, Butler and Bayne has 48 lights in 4 tiers and tracery and is dedicated to Thomas Smith. Pevsner describes this window as ‘a major mid-Victorian design, as exciting as the very different early ones by Morris & Co.’ This colourful window shows the Parables of Christ. A brass inscription spanning the whole width of the transept beneath the window reads:
Thomas Smith (1631-1699) was the founder of Smiths Bank in Nottingham.
16The Allen window on the west side of the south transept was made by Ward and Hughes in 1876 and consists of 8 lights depicting the Psalms and readings from the New Testament. The dedication in the bottom of the glass reads:
This window was moved to its present position in 1912 by Mr. G. F. Gascoyne when the Lady Chapel was built.
19These 4 lights were installed by John Hardman as a memorial to John Featherstone in 1880. The total cost of the window was £133 5s 0d. Below the four lights are four zinc panels on which a memorial inscription has now been lost except for a few words:
died Jan 29 1855 aged 71 ... and in memory of ... died on ... Featherstone
Clayton and Bell installed these 8 lights in 1878 as a memorial to Job Bradshaw. The right hand lower light has Jonah being thrown to the whale, the whale showing a beautiful set of teeth. The inscription on the glass reads:
Job Bradshaw (1804-1877) for 25 years was proprietor of the Nottingham Journal.
21This window, dedicated to the Revd J W Brooks, was made by Clayton and Bell and installed in 1874. It has 48 lights but only the centre 16 are stained glass and depict the Miracles. Inscribed in the stained glass:
23This window of 4 lights is dedicated to the veterans of the Crimean and Indian Mutiny. It was designed by Mr Denholm Davies installed in 1936 by Hinchcliffe, Hincks and Burnell. This is the most recent window in the church. A brass plaque beneath the window reads:
This 6 light window was erected in 1929 to the Scout Movement. The window has the signature Earnest C Carter of Hincks & Burnell, in the bottom center and a mark of a crown in bottom right hand corner. A brass plaque below the window reads:
The next three windows, by Kempe & Co. are dedicated to those who served in the South African War 1899-1902 and were installed in 1905. The dedication for three windows (this one and numbers 27 and 28) is below this window on a large gilded plaque with a marble border. It lists 144 names.
27This window and window 28 are either side of the south porch and the bottom part of each window is truncated, having 3 full sized lights and 2 part lights. Bottom left, part light, an angel (with typical Kempe styling, the wings are made of peacock feathers) and holding a plaque which reads:
In the smaller part-light is the Nottingham Motto: ‘VIVIT POST FUNERA VERTUS ’ (Virtue survives death)
Hine was an architect of some prominence in Nottingham, having charge of the erection of many public buildings and principle business concerns, such as the warehouse of T Adams & Co, R & T Birkin and others, the restoration of many churches, and the adaptation of the Castle for an art museum. He was also the County surveyor for Nottinghamshire.
Miss Barnett, for some years was closely connected with the Sunday School and Guild, and generally with all the Church work,
37The Great West window is in memory of Thomas Adams and was made by John Hardman in 1876. It has 42 lights in 4 tiers and tracery. The glass for this window cost £1094 10s. The total cost was £1400 which included transportation, the enameled brass plaque below, painting on the wall and fitting. The dedication which is on a brass plaque below the window, is read continuously either side of the west door and reads as follows:
Thomas Adams (1801-1873) was a lace manufacturer and merchant, and had built the large and handsome warehouse in Stoney Street, he was born in Worksop and apprenticed at Newark.
The 36 clerestory windows and all other windows in the church are of plain glass.