Right: The two lights of the window. Right: Closer views of one of the vignettes, of David slaying Goliath.

David and Goliath Window by William Warrington. 1866. Over the priest's door in St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. John Ruskin complained bitterly about this window when he saw it on a visit in 1875, seeing the scenes from the Old Testament episode as "nothing better ... than caricatures of bible history which would disgrace a penny child’s book of “Jack the Giant Killer” (see link to the whole letter in Related Material below).

Closer view of David holding
Goliath's head on a pole.

The window would have been made at the end of Warrington's career — indeed, this was the last year in which he was known to have made any windows at all (see Shepherd). The poor figure-drawing and brash colouring do suggest that he might have been better off with the heraldic designs in which he excelled, especially in such an historic church.

Related Material

Photographs by Rita Wood, and text by Wood and Jacqueline Banerjee. The images can be used 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.]


Hollick, Kathleen M., and Armstrong, William Gerald. The Parish Church of St Oswald, Ashbourne: a short guide for visitors. Ashbourne: Avian Press, 1973.

Shepherd, Stanley A. "Warrington, William (1796–1869), stained-glass artist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Onine ed. Web. 3 September 2021.

Created 3 September 2021