Liturgical West Window ("Tree of Jesse") of Motherwell's Our Lady of Good Aid R.C. Cathedral. The window, which actually faces south, was most probably designed for the Hardman firm by Dunstan Powell, and added in the early twentieth century — Michael Fisher, whose book on James Powell Hardman is reviewed here, kindly gave his opinion on this, explaining that "Hardman's did extensive decorative work there in 1911 and 1929.... I would think that Dunstan Powell is a safe bet for the glass" (correspondence). Dunstan Powell was the grandson of A. W. N. Pugin through his daughter Anne's marriage to John Powell, his dates (according to genealogical records) being 1861-1932. He both designed stained glass, and ran the studios in the 1920s (see "Dunstan Powell").

The window has a traditional Tree of Jesse design, with the well-known text from Isaiah 11, 1, along the bottom: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse and a flower shall rise up out of his root." with Jesse himself at the centre of the lowest panel and the tree growing upwards until its topmost part "flowers" into the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Good Aid) holding the infant Jesus. The figures in the lower sections are from the Old Testament, giving way in upper parts to New Testament figures. They are labelled, and the labels are clearer in the original high resolution image, and do help with the more obscure Bible characters. But here too it is easy to see the more familiar ones — David playing his harp to Solomon just above Jesse, for instance, and St John and Joseph kneeling either side of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. It is very detailed and beautiful, and the flowering of the root in the top central figures is very effective (and affecting).

Photographs by Colin Price; text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. Thank you to Catriona Blaker of the Pugin Society for forwarding my enquiry to Michael Fisher, and to Michael Fisher for responding to it. Colin Price himself felt that it was most likely by Hardman's. 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 all the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


"Dunstan Powell" Stained Glass in Wales / Gwydr Lliw yng Nghymru. Web. 24 October 2019. [This says that Dunstan Powell was the greatgrandson of John Hardman, the reference being to John Hardman Sr.]

Fisher, Michael. Guarding the Pugin Flame: John Hardman Powell 1827-1895.. Salisbury: Spire, 2017. [This has very useful family trees, pp. 6-7.]

Free BMD. 24 October 2019.

Our Lady of Good Aid. Web. 24 October 2019.

"Peter Paul Pugin" (Obituary). The Builder, Vol. 86 (Jan-June 1904): 316. Google Books Web. 24 October 2019 (very limited view).

24 October 2019