Left: Whole window. Right: The figure of the prophet or patriarch, flanked by angels with scrolls.

Angels hold scrolls inscribed with the text starting "Hurt not the earth..." in the seventh window in the south aisle of St George's Church, Jesmond. Like the rest of the stained glass windows here, it was the work of the architect Thomas Ralph Spence (1845-1918), as main designer, helped by Newcastle-born artist John William Brown (1842-1928) who worked on the figures, with the Gateshead Stained Glass Company executing the designs. Like the rest, too, it was installed at the outset, in 1888. The angels' text has a continuing, indeed even greater relevance to us today. It is from the Book of Revelation, 7, 3: "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees."

Beautifully detailed decorative banding below the figures and above the Clog Calendar.

Symbols fro the Clog Calendar denoting feast days, starting here with those for St. Simon and St.Jude, and St. Leonard.

The church website tells us that the symbols below the figures on these windows come from the old medieval "Clog Calendar," indicating the various feast days of the year for the illiterate: "Where Spence discovered his information is not known, nor do we know why he thought it appropriate to place a clog calendar in a suburban church; we can only assume that this was yet another pattern with which he could enrich his great work." However, quite apart from the mid- to late-Victorian fascination with medievalism, this was the very time when architects were pondering the significance and uses of such symbols: a Norwegian Clog-calendar was discussed at the Cambridge Antiquarian Society on May 13, 1878,for instance, and William Lethaby's Architecture, Mysticism, and Myth would be published in 1891.

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images for larger pictures.]

Related Material

Sources

Magnússon, Eiríkr. Description of a Norwegian Clog-calendar. Communicated to the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, May 13, 1878. Google Books. Web. 19 October 2015.

Moat, Neil. A Theatre for the Soul: St George's Church, Jesmond: The Building and Cultural Reception of a late-Victorian Church. Newcastle University: Doctoral thesis, 2011. Web. 19 October 2015.

"South Aisle." St George's Church website. Web. 19 October 2015.


created 19 October 2015