St Helen


The glass in St Helen’s is all Victorian or later. The poor quality of the stone used for the windows ensured that any medieval glass that was recorded in Thoroton’s time was lost over the years. In 1598 the churchwardens present that their chancel is in decay and the glass in one of the windows was lately thrown down by the wind. In 1608 they present that the slates are down and the glass unrepaired. In 1630 the leads of the church are not sufficiently repaired and the glass windows are broken and shaken and want good reparation. The windows are described in 1852 as almost all mutilated and debased. All the windows had lost their mullions.

A writer who visited the church in 1887 declared:

The old windows, with bad taste, have been removed from the north side and erected in the Vicar's garden.

Click the numbers in the key plan for details of each window.





















Key to Windows

1The east window of the memorial chapel

This is a window of three lights and tracery by Alexander Gascoyne. Gascoyne was born in Nottingham in 1877 and attended the Nottingham School of Art. It is a war memorial to CSM William George Domleo Croix de Guerre, 1/7 Robin Hood Rifles 1914-1918 who was killed in action in April 1918.

In the middle light, a haloed Saint George (chosen no doubt for George Domleo) in armour and bearing a shield and a banner spear which is killing the blue and green dragon of evil at his feet. The face here is possibly taken from a photograph of CSM Domleo.

In the left light is St Oswald KM (King and Martyr) with a sceptre and pastoral staff and in the right hand light, St Edward KC (King and Confessor) under a blue halo and with a crown sceptre and clasped book. Oswald was the saintly king of Northumbria who re-introduced Christianity to Northumbria and who died in AD642. Edward the Confessor was king of England from 1042-1066. He grew up with deeply religious views and gained the nickname “Confessor”. All these figures stand against red and blue diapered and ornamented and tasselled drapes. The quarries show a grisaille design with the initials WO for the dedicatee. In the tracery, in stylised floral design is the badge of The Robin Hood's Regiment and the shields with IHS and XP. The window dates from 1918.

The inscription at the bottom of the windows reads:

To the Glory of God and in memory of C.S.M. William George Domleo
Croix-de-Guerre 1/7 Robin Hood Rifles 1914-1918 Killed in action April 1918.

2,3South wall of memorial chapel

Two identical windows of three lights of plain glass

4,5South aisle

Two identical windows of two lights of plain glass.

6West end of south aisle – The Clarence Bassford Window

This is a three light window dedicated to the memory of Clarence Bassford.

The window was designed by H P Thomas of Celtic Studios, Swansea. The theme is the two sacraments Baptism and Communion. The tracery sections and the head of each flanking light contain the symbols of the four Evangelists with the four Rivers of Paradise flowing through both lights signifying the four Gospels.

The left hand light depicts a sun-burst with open pomegranate displaying its seeds, symbolising future life and hope of immortality. The young tree grows up from the base towards the Cross – “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant and as a root out of the dry ground”. (Isaiah 53.12)

The right-hand light displays the descending dove of the Holy Spirit with the scallop shell (traditional baptismal symbol) combined with the gifts of the magi, the water flowing down to a baptismal font with the XP symbol displayed thereon.

The middle light focuses on the Holy Communion and carries an agnus dei, a crown with IHS symbol, a pelican, and a chalice and paten bearing the letters INRI.

At the bottom of the middle light is the inscription:


The tracery section at the apex of the window contains an Alpha and Omega.

The Window was dedicated by the Bishop of Southwell on Sunday, 5th September 1982.

7Tower-south side

A small lancet window

8West end of north aisle.

The East Window from St Andrew’s church transferred here in 2009 after St Andrew’s was closed. The window was dedicated on the 10th April 1949. It was known as the “Thanksgiving” window and was presented by Mr Neville Martin as a thanksgiving for personal mercies and for the preservation of St Andrew’s Church through the perils of war.

It depicts Jesus calling the brothers Andrew and Simon Peter to follow him. The upper part of the window shows them at work on the lake. In the main part of the window a wonderfully craggy-faced Jesus is the central figure, standing in a field of daisies, with a beckoning finger. The water laps around the feet of Andrew and Peter. Andrew in green and red is on the left and seems to have his hands up in amazement while Peter on the right appears to be applauding although, being fisherman, it could be they were just saying, “It really was this big, Lord.” The symbols identifying them are depicted in the lower part of the window, St Andrew by the white saltire on a blue background, Peter by the keys and Jesus by the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. The scroll reads:


The window, a really fine piece of work, was executed by Pope and Parr.

& 11

Stained glass in north aisle windows
for Navy, Army and Air Force

North aisle.

Three identical openings each of two lights dating from 1876-77 when the north wall was taken down and rebuilt. The windows themselves are in memory of those who fell in World War II. Each represents one of the Armed Forces. The middle one is an allegorical design with two ambiguous and androgynous haloed angels with feathered wings who are attractively and simply clad in finely coloured and decorated vestments and cloaks, both set against clear glass with simply painted clouds (of glory?) about them. The left figure has a spear for warfare and the right‑hand one an olive branch for peace. No maker is shown. This window represents the Army.

The windows each side are of plain glass except for the quatrefoils. The left one with its picture of a galleon in full sail represents the Navy and the right one with its picture of the eagle represents the Air Force.

& 14
Vestry area-north wall.

Three small single lancet windows with plain glass.

15Vestry area-east wall

A single lancet window with two lights of plain glass.

& 18

Three identical rectangular windows each with three lights of plain glass.

19Belfry window-north side

Here the original Triassic sandstone mullion survives with bedding planes vertical and now showing signs of splitting. There is no glass in this window, only louvres.

20East Window

Undoubtedly the best window in the building. Pevsner describes it as “a spectacular East window of c1290 or 1300, five lights with intersecting tracery except at the very top, where wilfully (it is the perversity East Anglian flowing tracery which is heralded) just one pointed quatrefoil is inserted.” However, when Sir Stephen Glynne visited in 1852 he described the East window as having five lights, no foils and of questionable character! Can they be talking about the same window? A photograph taken before the 1876-77 restoration shows the old window. At first glance it is not too dissimilar to the present window. However, a closer inspection reveals that the present window is quite different. It was inserted during the renovations in 1877. It would be interesting to know who designed it or whether it was a copy of one somewhere else. Unfortunately there appears to be no records that answer these questions. The glass is by Mayer and Co of Munich. They had been working in glass since 1848 but did not work in stained glass until 1860 so this commission of 1877 is quite an early work One of their most notable commissions was for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The window consists of five lights. The middle three depict the Crucifixion with the Nativity and Resurrection in the flanking lights. Above is Christ in Majesty and the signs of the four evangelists and Alpha and Omega.

The inscription in grisaille at the bottom reads:


Medieval glass

We are reliant on Thoroton for a description of the glass for none of it now remains. He saw the following glass in Stapleford church:

In a ‘high window in the Church, and twice on surcotes’:

1Argent, on two bars azure, three cinquefoils or (Teverey).

21, impaling, Argent, a bendlet gules.

In a window in the chancel:

3Gules, on a bend azure between two wolves heads erased argent, three leopards heads or, a bordure gobony of the second and third.

Underneath: ‘Thomas Gunthorp Prior of Newstede’.

4Three lions passant guardant argent, upon large bars sable, divided with barrulets, gules. ‘The chief is broken away and intended for the Priory of Newstede’.

5Argent, on a bend sable, three birds or choughs or.

‘In the North Ile window of the Church, quartered’:

6Or, on two bars gules, three waterbougets argent (Willoughby).

7Sable, a lion rampant amongst cinquefoils argent (Clifton).

8‘On the upper half’: Argent, on two bars azure, three cinquefoils or, ‘and on the lower half’: Argent, on a bend gules, three hedgehogs or.

9‘Willughby again’ impaling: Gules, on a bend argent, three scallops sable.

The glazing of the ‘high’ ie clerestory window may have been late fifteenth or early sixteenth century as the windows display the uncusped main lights and tracery common in that period (cf Tuxford, Holme and Kelham). The arms represented confirm the dating, for they referred to the Teverey family of Long Eaton, who inherited property in Stapleford in the mid-fifteenth century. The arms of Willoughby in the window in the north aisle were also of a similar date and related to the marriage of Hugh Teverey (d1517) to the daughter of Hugh Willoughby and Isabella Clifton, which occurred sometime at the end of the fifteenth century. Thomas Gunthorpe, who was commemorated in a window in the chancel, was the prior of Newstead Priory from 1467 to 1504. Newstead held the advowson of Stapleford. The glazing at Stapleford was put into a pre-existing chancel of the late thirteenth century.