Left: Whole window. Right: Detail from "Feeding the Five Thousand." [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Feeding the Five Thousand, by John Hardman & Co., with a closer view of Jesus on the right. This is the south transept window, the last to be installed, in 1887, in Alexander Ross's Inverness Cathedral, dedicated to St Andrew, Inverness-shire, Scotland. This has the same theme as one of the earlier north aisle windows but is much grander in scale. St Andrew, who became the patron saint of Scotland, was originally a fisherman, but, like his brother Peter, heeded Jesus's call to become a "fisher of men" instead. So this is an important theme to develop in one of the cathedral's larger windows.

The tracery lights of this window are particularly beautiful. The top one shows the disciples fishing, and gathering in a net full of their latest catch. Below left is Jonah, giving thanks for deliverance from the whale. On the right is a man who seems to have caught a large trout by hand, perhaps after "trout tickling."

St Andrew might be the disciple below Jesus immediately to his left. Such a saint, and such an episode from the bible, are both particularly suitable for a cathedral in this Ness-side town where fishing has always been important, and which once had a big fish market. The window is dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of Alfred Robert Denison, who died near Inverness on 5 September 1887. Perhaps it will be no surprise to learn that he was a collector of valuable fishing books. Not shown here, but along the bottom of the window flow stylised waves with gulls flying above them. It is really a special window.

Photographs by Colin Price, reproduced here by kind permission of the cathedral; text and formatting 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.

Related Material


"Denison, Alfred Robert (1816-1887)." British Armorial Bearings (University of Toronto Libraries). Web. 13 January 2018.

Gifford, John. Highland and Islands. The Buildings of Scotland. London: Penguin, 1992.

"Inverness, Ardross Street, Cathedral Church of St Andrew." British Listed Buildings. Web. 11 January 2018.

"A Tour of the Cathedral." United Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. Web. 11 January 2018.

11 January 2018