Kempe Memorial Window by C. E. Kempe & Co., above the organ in the south transept of Southwark Cathedral, in memory of Charles Eamer Kempe himself, who ran the original Studio in Marylebone. Despite the date given on the plaque, the window was not installed and dedicated unti 1908 (Barlow 125). Kempe and the Kempe company, formed after his death, were responsible for many windows in the cathedral. Including the later ones by C.E. Kempe & Co, there were twenty-two in all, though nine were lost in the Second World War. Indeed, this was the only window in the south transept to survive. The Kempe memorial plaque is attractive, but small, and, like the window itself, very easy to miss.

The angel on the right of the window, playing a viola.

The window's main feature is a set of three typically richly clothed musician angels playing assorted instruments, while an angelic choir sings below. Under each of the angels is the exhortation, "Praise the Lord," and across the foot of the window, divided as shown in the following quotation, the joyful text, "Out of Sion hath God appeared / in perfect beauty" (from Psalm 50, verse 2, in the translation given in the Book of Common Prayer). It was only possible to make this out with the aid of a high resolution photograph.

First photograph on the left by Colin Price; other two photographs, text and formatting, by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the 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 to enlarge them.

Related Material


Barlow, Adrian. Espying Heaven: The Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and His Artists. Cambridge: Lutterworth, 2019. [Review]

Created 3 March 2019