Left: Whole window, showing the Nativity scene, with the Magi and shepherds. Right: Detail of the right-hand light, showing the Magi.

The east window of St George's Church, Jesmond, shows the Holy Family in the manger, flanked by the visiting Magi and shepherds, and watched over by eight angels, the one nearest the right holding a harp. As with the mosaic-work, the architect T. R. Spence (1845-1918) himself would have been responsible for the overall scheme: note the very elaborate and intricate architectural background of each light, with its triple-lancet motif; he seems also to have designed the angels. But, because he was less skilful in life-drawing, he is known to have had help with the large figures. In this case the help came from Newcastle-born artist John William Brown (1842-1928), who had trained under William Bell Scott (Moat 103). Neil Moat says, "Especial care seems to have been taken over the east window ... perhaps an indication that it was viewed as a test bed for the entire scheme" (123). The lights were executed by Messrs O'Neill Bros., London, and installed by the Gateshead Stained Glass Co. early in 1888 (see Moat for the rather complicated background here, 124-5). Like the pulpit and altar, the design for the east window was apparently shown at the Newcastle Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1887 ("Chancel and Sanctuary"). High over the altar, it represents the key point of the New Testament, the incarnation, for the congregation at St George's as for the kings and shepherds before them.

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 the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images for larger pictures.]

Related Material


"Chancel and Sanctuary." St George's Church website. Web. 18 October 2015.

Moat, Neil. A Theatre for the Soul: St George's Church, Jesmond: The Building and Cultural Reception of a late-Victorian Church. Newcastle University: Doctoral thesis, 2011. Web. 18 October 2015.

created 18 October 2015