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Our Victorian stained glass

We are rightly proud of our unusual 1940s 'seasons and the good Shepherd' windows, but St Andrew's also has some remarkable Victorian stained glass.

The 1830's saw the Stained Glass Industry in England at its height, with a number of companies, primarily based in London, designing and manufacturing the most beautiful stained glass works of art, the like of which will never be seen again. The largest of the stained glass companies employed in excess of 300 craftsmen working 24 hours per day in shifts, such was the demand.

Luckily, St Andrew's has a selection of windows from some of the most famous companies including Robert Douglas Strachan, Lavers, Barraud & Westlake, Herbert William Bryans and Heaton, Butler & Bayne who became world renowned, providing windows to Westminster Abbey (the Brunel Memorial Window) in the same year that St Andrews underwent a major refurbishment (1868), St Martins Cathedral, Leicester, Peterborough Cathedral (1864), Wimbourne Minister (The Great West Window – 1857), Tewkesbury Abbey (1869), St Matthews Cathedral, Wyoming, USA, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec, Canada, The Church of Jesus Christ in St Petersburg, Russia and many hundreds more throughout Britain, the Empire and the United States.

Clement Heaton (1824-1882) was born in Bradford-on-Avon, the son of a Methodist Minister. He started producing stained glass in 1850. He is also said to have influenced Pugin. Heaton worked as a glass painter for William Holland of Warwick. It is there that he met and went into partnership in 1855, with James Butler (1830-1913) who was the lead glazier at William Holland's Studio.

In the early years (1859-1861) Heaton and Butler had an arrangement and worked with Clayton & Bell in London (another of the great stained glass companies), until they had their own design team headed by Robert Turnill Bayne (1837-1915), who came from Clayton & Bell. Bayne joined Heaton and Butler in 1860 and became a partner in 1862. The company became known for the use of a very large range and colour of glass, for bearded figures and for exquisite painted detail. Heaton, Butler & Bayne were based in Covent Garden in London.

In 1864 the company began to use the services of the artist Henry Holiday as a freelance designer and this arrangement lasted until 1878. The Brunel Memorial Window in Westminster Abbey was one such work by Henry Holiday.

The Heaton, Butler & Bayne window in St Andrews in Blunsdon, depicts Jesus raising Lazarus four days after his entombment – John Chapter 11 - and has a supposed error in it – Come and see if you can find the error!

Mike Snow

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