Visitation window The Virgin Mary greeting St Ann

Left: Whole window, showing the Visitation. Right: The Virgin Mary with some of the attributes of a pilgrim. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

The Visitation, by N. H. J. Westlake, in the north chapel of St James' Church, Weybridge, Surrey. The whole window depicts the scene in which Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation. Mary is shown in the panel on the right.

Upper part of the Visitation window

The tracery lights of the Visitation Window.

When Mary arrives after her journey, complete with pilgrim's scrip and staff, Elizabeth feels her own unborn child (who will be St John the Baptist) leap in her womb. She then calls out the words found in the upper part of the window, "Blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1: 42). Westlake had a scholarly interest in stained glass (the first volume of his four-volume History of Design in Painted Glass would come out in 1879), and perhaps this is why he showed the Virgin Mary with some of the attributes of a medieval pilgrim.

According to Robert Eberhard, this window is signed by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake and was installed in memory of Catherine Dashwood, who died in 1871. Similar to the earlier Lavers & Barraud window in the north chapel, on the subject of the Annunciation, it is considerably simpler in style, and illustrates the change that Westlake brought to the firm.

It seems strange that the Surrey Pevsner says nothing about the windows in this church, though the church's own leaflet accurately describes its "fascinating range of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass."

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 it in a print one.

Related Material


Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St James, Weybridge, Surrey." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 19 November 2014.

Nairn, Ian, Nikolaus Pevsner, rev. Bridget Cherry. The Buildings of England: Surrey. 2nd ed. London: Penguin, 1971.

"St James' Church, Weybridge, Surrey." Leaflet available from the parish office.

Last modified 18 November 2014