The West Window

At the entrance to Gloucester Cathedral, the West Window is a prominent feature. Although my photographs don’t capture the details well, the window depicts Biblical scenes.

The glass we see today was installed in 1859 as a memorial to Dr J. H. Monk, Bishop of Gloucester from 1830 to 1856. It was made by the large Newcastle firm of William Wailes, and is signed and dated in the red strip in the bottom left-hand corner of the window.

The themes of the window are the Birth of Jesus and the Doctrine of Baptism. These are highly appropriate for the window’s location, as fonts are usually placed near the main, often west, entrance to churches.

In the central section, between the upper and lower transoms (the main horizontal stonework across the window), you will see the nativity, with shepherds and kings visible through the windows hurrying towards the stable. To the left of this, angels announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, while on the right the three kings worship the infant.

Above these nativity scenes, from left to right, are the Presentation of Christ by his parents in the temple, the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, and John the Baptist preaching by the River Jordan. Three Christian baptisms from the Acts of the Apostles are depicted above the upper transom: those of Paul, of Cornelius, and of the jailer of Philippi.

Across the bottom of the window are three ‘watery’ incidents from the Old Testament. The first of these shows Noah with his family, animals, and birds leaving the ark after the flood. Next are the Israelites after passing safely across the Red Sea. The horror of the Egyptians as they face drowning is vividly captured, as are the treasures at Moses’ feet. Finally Naaman can be seen washing in the Jordan to rid himself of leprosy. Note his feet are showing through the water.*

The West Window

*From Gloucester Cathedral Stained Glass – Gloucester Cathedral 2004

4 Comments CherryPie on Mar 3rd 2016

4 Responses to “Gloucester Cathedral – The West Window”

  1. Ginnie says:

    Windows like this blow my mind, Cherry. Maybe one day I’ll see this one!

  2. Wonderful shots you’ve taken of Gloucester Cathedral. Amazingly, it’s one we’ve not got to yet – but of course it’s on the list! Sorry I’m not able to comment as much as I’d like at the moment – too much to do!