St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas’ Church is a Grade II* listed building.[2] The church’s dedication was changed in 1490, to St Nicholas having previously been dedicated to St Magnus Martyr.[3]

The church was rebuilt in 1776, reusing medieval foundations and is considered a good example of the early Gothic revival. The rebuilding was financed by the Frampton family, who lived in the nearby manor house. The north aisle was added in 1841 and most internal fittings were renewed c1847.

The adventurer T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), who died in 1935, is buried in the separate churchyard. He was a cousin of the Frampton family and had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House. Lawrence’s mother arranged with the Framptons to have him buried in their family plot in the separate burial ground of St Nicholas’ Church.[4][5] Mourners included Winston and Clementine ChurchillE. M. Forster, and Lawrence’s youngest brother Arnold.[6][1][7]

In 1940, the church suffered a direct hit from a German bomb, and was largely destroyed.[1] It was rebuilt over the following decade, but the stained glass windows were replaced with plain green glass, which was not liked by the congregation.[1]

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

Laurence Whistler was commissioned to provide engraved glass replacements, and after making twelve, he offered to make and donate the thirteenth with a design on the theme of Forgiveness featuring Judas.[1] The offer was declined, but he made the window anyway.[1] After being displayed in a local museum, it was eventually installed – on the outside of the church (as the artist intended) – in 2014.[1]

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

St Nicholas Church, Morton

12 Comments CherryPie on Sep 27th 2019

12 Responses to “St Nicholas Church, Norton”

  1. The Yum List says:

    The roundness of the building is enchanting.

  2. Wonderful photos. I have read about Laurence Whistler and would so like to visit the church as the windows are so beautiful. I feel the need to visit Dorset again :)

  3. lowcarbdiabeticJan says:

    Lovely to see your photographs and read the information shared.
    I think the windows are beautiful.

    All the best Jan

    https://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com/

  4. What a beautiful church. I love those windows!

  5. JD says:

    If the last pic is the Judas window I can see why it was rejected; it doesn’t look like ‘the theme of forgiveness’ unless there are details which escape my dim eyes.

    The other windows are wonderful especially the Alpha/Omega one :)

    • CherryPie says:

      I love the windows :-) I found all of the windows difficult to photograph due to the light. The Judas window was the most difficult to photograph…

      This is what Whistler was trying to portray in the Judas window:

      “In February 1987, Laurence Whistler wrote a letter to the Rector offering to give the church a ‘thirteenth window’. In his letter he made the point that many medieaeval churches often have uncouth and unholy figures sculptured on the outside, in corbels, as if in contrast with the holy scenes inside. He went on to refer to the thirteenth window near the south east corner, glazed but walled up, adding that Judas was the thirteenth disciple. He went on to say that he would like to engrave on that window, to be seen only from the outside, ‘a shadowy figure, not clearly defined, but sketchy,of Judas hanging with the thirty pieces of silver falling from his hand and turning into flowers on the ground.” That is the point: the hint that even Judas might, at the moment of death, have sought and found God’s forgiveness.

      The information is quoted from a leaflet in the church. The window is so shadowy that it is very difficult to show the flowers that are springing from the fallen silver pieces, but they are there :-) I love the window :-)

  6. Ginnie says:

    It looks fabulous, Cherry. I’d want to visit it just because of my g’son Nicholas! :)

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