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The West Window

WindowThe window fills the whole of one side of the ringing room. It was designed by Burlison & Grylls  (misquoted as Burkson & Gryffs in one reference), and installed in 1885 in memory of Com. Elliott Mores. This page explains the imagery in the window, in as far as it has been deciphered. For convenience, the different sections of the window are numbered A,B,C (bottom to top) and 1,2,3,4,5 (left to right), as shown in the diagram. There are pictures and notes for each section below.

The window is described in the guide books as representing the Te Deum. It does indeed contain words from the Te Deum, but only the first 17 of its 29 verses. The distribution of the words around the window is also rather unusual, as shown by the arrows in the diagram. It starts with verse 1 at bottom left and runs through the outer four panels along the bottom. It then jumps to the bottom of the leftmost panel in the row above. Then it goes across all the scrolls held by the angels at the top, and across all the scrolls floating above the bottom row (except the middle one, which contains saints' names).  Finally, it jumps back to the remaining panels under the second row of figures. The complete sequence, using capitals for the bottom of each panel, and lower case for the scrolls at the top of each panel is: A1, A2, A4, A5, B1, b1, b2, b4, b5, a1, a2, a4, a5, B2, B3, B4, B5.

The window can also be thought of as a Last Judgement / Second Coming. Christ the Judge is in the Centre, surrounded by The Orders of Angels, Saints and Prophets, and St Michael is weighing Souls in the balance.

The positioning of the text of the Te Deum is probably used to help identify the various groups of figures. The wording in the scrolls (not the blocks of text) thus gives:
 

[a1-a2] "The noble army of Martyrs: praise thee" (9 martyrs) [a4-a5] "The holy Church throughout all the world: doth acknowledge thee"  (9 Saints from different countries
[b1-b2] "The glorious company of the Apostles: praise thee" (12 apostles) [b4-b5] "The goodly fellowship of the Prophets: praise thee" ( 12 prophets)

The window shows dozens of people and angels. Three have their names above them (Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, marked * in the table below) but some of the others have been identifed from the groups above, and by the way they are portrayed. Christian artists over the years have used a set of conventions for representing different saints, based on significant features of their lives. So the things they are holding, how they are dressed, what they are doing, and of course what they look like, can all be used to identify them. Some people say that this helped illiterate people to understand the stories in the bible, but that seems questionable since they would need to learn the stories before they could recognise the imagery.

There are over 50 potentially identifiable figures in the window, but many of them have not yet been identified. There are no known records of the window, and all of Burlison & Grylls records were lost when their premises were bombed in 1945. Some information was obtained from description of the east window of St Michael's church in Kirk Langley, Derbyshire , which also depicts the Te Deum, with a lot of the same content almost identical to panels A1, A2, A4, A5, B1, B2, B4, B5.

The figures in the Kirk Langley window have several significant differences compared to the Wokingham window, notably: A1-3 – has no spear, A4-3 is older, A5 extra figure behind, B1-1 hair gold not white,, B1-2 hair grey not brown, B1-5 young, gold hair, no beard, B2-2 grey hair not bald, B2-3 grey hair not dark. There are other minor differences of colour. The Kirk Langley window dates from 1851, over 30 years earlier than the Wokingham window, so the Wokingham design was presumably considered as an improvement on the original.

If you think you know the identity of any of the others (or if you think there are any mistakes) please do get in touch .

You can see enlarged versions of each section by clicking on the images below.

You can also see the detail of what we have so far deciphered .


Pictures

Click images to enlarge.

C1.jpg
C1
C2.jpg
C2
C3.jpg
C3
C4.jpg
C4
C5.jpg
C5
B1.jpg
B1
B2.jpg
B2
B3.jpg
B3
B4.jpg
B4
B5.jpg
B5
A1.jpg
A1
A2.jpg
A2
A3.jpg
A3
A4.jpg
A4
A5.jpg
A5

Details of people shown in the window

The table shows what we have worked out so far. It is incomplete, and might not be entirely accurate.

Click on the picture at the start of each entry to open a new window with its picture. You will need to reduce the size of the window to see both it and the table.

Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
A1 1 ?? beard, brown curly hair    
A1 2 Lawrence of Rome gold hair, bald patch, Grid iron, book, red cloak, white robe cross, Gospel Book, gridiron, palm frond, purse of money, attired as a deacon in a dalmatic, accompanied by a group of poor people Wikipedia
A1 3 ?? beard, gold curly hair, spear    
A1 4 Catherine of Alexandria long gold hair, crown, open book, sword, wheel wheel, crown, book Wikipedia
A1 5 ?? white head scarf, crimson robe    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
A2 1 Osyth (Martyr) [according to Long, but details don't match] white head scarf, crown, open book, palm frond, red robe carrying her own head Wikipedia
A2 2 ?? white hair, white beard    
A2 3 Alban (Martyr) long curly golden hair, green hat, roofed cross (cyborum?), sword on shoulder (by neck?), blue tunic with diagonal gold/maroon cross, white cape, blue leg armour Soldier with a very large cross and a sword; decapitated, with his head in a holly bush and the eyes of his executioner dropping out Wikipedia
A2 4 Edmund the Martyr dark beard, crown, 3 arrows, red robe crowned and robed as a king; holding a scepter, orb, arrow, or a sword  Wikipedia
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
A3 1 Michael* long golden hair, scales, sword, leg armour decorated with lions, jewelled headband with cross scales, banner, sword, dragon Wikipedia
A3 2 Raphael * Headband with cross, blue cloak fish
Pilgrim clothes [Taylor]
Wikipedia
A3 3 Gabriel* Staff, scroll ’Hail’ is archangel, trumpet, armour, wings, scroll stating “Ave Maria Gratia Plena” Wikipedia
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
A4 1 Etheldreda (Princess & abbess of Ely) golden hair, crown, white cloak, gold/green robe (F?)    Wikipedia
A4 2 Dunstan (Archbishop of Canterbury) Mitre, book, crozier (with cloth furled round it) red robe with gold edge, IHC in chest strap. opals(?) on mitre and cloak pair of smith's tongs, dove hovering near, angels before him Wikipedia
A4 3 ?? female? white hair, purple robe    
A4 4 Eadburga (Abbess of Minster in Thanet) female, long brown hair, open book with cloth and gold tassle, jeweled headband, blue bodice, green robe with gold rim and pearls? distinguished manuscript illuminator   Wikipedia
A4 5 Venerable Bede (Ecclesiastical historian) dark grey beard, gold cocked hat, red robe    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
A5 1 ?? curly fair hair, (young male?), orange tunic with gold edge, hands clasped    
A5 2 Edward the confessor (King) long hair, beard, ring, crown, sceptre, red cloak, ermine cope, gold shoes

... a tall man with a long face, ash-blond hair and beard, ruddy complexion and long, thin fingers ... legend of his ring ... [Buffalo]  

  Wikipedia
A5 3 Hilda of Whitby (Abbess) Abbess, head shawl. model of church in right hand, book & crozier in left hand Im
  Wikipedia
A5 4 ?? hidden
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
B1 1 ?? (Apostle) longish hair, balding, beard, white cloak    
B1 2 James, son of Zebedee (the Great) (Apostle) long hair, beard, staff, open book, cocked hat with shell, red robe, green cloak pilgrim’s staff, scallop shell, key, sword Wikipedia
B1 3 Philip (Apostle) dark tousled hair and beard, tall cross, closed book, blue cloak cross and/or dragon Christian iconography Wikipedia
B1 4 ?Matthew/Bartholomew/Thomas (Apostle) curly gold hair    
B1 5 John (Apostle/theologian) fair hair, beard, closed book, red/brown robe, gold flowers on white cloak long white beard and high forehead, holding the Gospel book Iconreader  Wikipedia
B1 6 ??Matthew/Bartholomew/Thomas(Apostle) golden hair, beard, purple/brown robe    
B1 Top 3 Angels white robes, halos, wings    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
B2 1 ? (Apostle) young, longish golden hair, beard    
B2 2 Peter (Apostle) grey hair, balding, beard, book, keys, blue cloak keys, boat, rooster, square white beard and short, curling white hair, bald on top. Blue robe and yellow mantle Wikipedia
B2 3 Andrew (Apostle) dark hair, beard, diagonal cross transverse cross Wikipedia
B2 4 Paul (Apostle) white hair, long beard, sword, crimson cloak, gold/crimson robe a usually older man shown near 3 springs of water, with a sword and/or a book Fisheaters Wikipedia
B2 5 James the less (Apostle) golden hair, fuller's club carpenter's saw; fuller's club; book Wikipedia
B2 6 Jude? (Apostle) brown hair, beard, green cloak mature man with curly brown (sometimes grey) beard and hair IconReader Wikipedia
B2 Top 3 Angels white robes, halos, wings    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
B3 1 Christ crown, orb, on throne, red robe    
B3 2 5 Minstrel angels golden hair, halos, white robes, playing: Portative organ, [?], Cymbals, Lute, [? (8-stringed instrument)] Minstrel angels feature strongly among Pre-Raphaelites  
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
B4 1 ?? (prophet) grey beard, maroon hat, book?    
B4 2 David (prophet) grey beard, harp, crown (with 2 bells) , red dragon on front, blue robe, red cloak A harp and whatever signifies royalty at the time of the painting
Christian iconography  
Wikipedia
B4 3 ?? (prophet) golden hair and beard, maroon hat, green cloak
B4 4 Isaiah (prophet)   dark beard, cloth wound round head, pen (or palm?) in LH, gathering up robe with RH, mauve cloak, something(??) on front old man with gray hair and beard holding a scroll Christian iconography  Wikipedia
B4 5  Ezekiel (prophet) beard, wheel (or shield?) (double wheel?), gold hat double wheels symbolise Old & New Testements [BOC]  Wikipedia
B4 Top 3 Angels white robes, halos, wings    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
B5 1 ?? beard, gold hat with ermine rim, hands together    
B5 2 Daniel (prophet) young, brown hair, staff of office, fingers of RH raised (blessing?) green hat, green cloak, red/brown robe  lion Christian iconography   Wikipedia
B5 3 ?? white hair, brown hat    
B5 4 Jeremiah (prophet) long white beard (may be bald under hat), scroll, purple robe, maroon cloak,Green hat with white border sword, book or scroll, horse, long, pointed beard; balding backwards from forehad. Green robe, red mantle Wikipedia
B5 5 ?? female?, gold hat, white head covering red garment (some white, blue)    
B5 Top 3 Angels white robes, halos, wings    
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
C1 1 Angel (Domination: Crown ) Wings, Globus Cruciger (orb with cross), staff with cross (sceptre?), crown, white robe (Red background) orb and sceptre [BOC]  
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
C2 1 Guardian angel (Power) wings, staff with flag (yellow cross on white), sword, sliver/white tunic, leg armour? hat with cross (Blue background) Shown in armour, carrying flaming swords or chains with which to bind the Devil [Taylor]  
C2 2 Guardian angel (Power) wings, Dragon under foot, with chain, spear (or staff), leg armour, white/gold tunic & cloak (Blue background) Shown in armour, carrying flaming swords or chains with which to bind the Devil [Taylor]  
C2 Top Barbara?? female. wings, RH holds model tower with 3 windows, LH raised, armour, shallow crown? (mirror image of C4) (Blue background)  tower, ciborum, cannon
tower with 3 windows
[Augusta SU]
Wikipedia  
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
C3 1 Seraph (one of three choirs of Counsellors, the highest order of angels) Wings, extra wings shrouding body, feathered legs, long golden hair, headband with 3 balls, standing on wheel, scroll ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ (Mirror image, apart from text, of below) (Red background) Six wings (2 to fly, 2 to cover face, 2 to cover legs) Shown with winged wheels. Colour crimson. [Taylor] Wikipedia
C3 2 Seraph (one of three choirs of Counsellors, the highest order of angels) Wings, extra wings shrouding body, feathered legs, long golden hair, headband with 3 balls, standing on wheel, scroll ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ (Mirror image, apart from text, of above) (Red background) Six wings (2 to fly, 2 to cover face, 2 to cover legs) Shown with winged wheels. Colour crimson. [Taylor] Wikipedia
C3 Top The Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) Lamb with halo, banner   Wikipedia
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
C4 1 Guardian angel (Power) ? Wings, palm (or quill?) in RH, staff, shield in LH, hat with cross, leg armour, white/gold tunic & cloak (Blue background)  Shown in armour, carrying flaming swords or chains with which to bind the Devil [Taylor]  
C4 2 Guardian angel (Power) Wings, flaming sword in RH, LH raised and measuring?, hat with cross, spikes and rings round legs, sandals, white/gold tunic & cloak (Blue background) Shown in armour, carrying flaming swords or chains with which to bind the Devil [Taylor]  
C4 Top Barbara?? female, wings, LH holds model tower with 3 windows RH raised, armour, shallow crown? (mirror image of C2) (Blue background) tower, ciborum, cannon
tower with 3 windows [Augusta SU]
Wikipedia
Picture Position (L-R) Person Details in window Typical details (From Wikipedia unless stated)) Link to more information
C5   Angel (Domination: Virtue)?? Wings, RH holding sceptre?, LH raised and pointing, hat with cross, gold cloak, white robe (Red background) Lilly and Red Rose [BOC]  

References

How to Read a Church, Richard Taylor, Random House.

 The Bible and the Saints, G Duchet-Sucheaux & M Pastoureau, Flamorian Iconographic Guides

Private correspondence, Brian O'Calaghan, Reading University

 Records of the Parish Church and Parish of Wokingham, Canon B Long, 1937

Wikipedia 

Iconography in Art and Architecture, Buffalo

The Saints and their Symbols, caravagio67  [dead]

Saint Symbology, World Lingo  [dead]

Christian iconography 

Doctors of the Catholic Church  [dead]

Symbols of the Saints in Art, Fisheaters  

Symbols of the Saints 

How to Recognize the Holy Apostles in Icons, Iconreader 

Updated 17-07-2018


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