The Mocking of Christ Window

Between 1850 and 1859 the chancel east window at Holy Trinity was fitted with new stained glass, supplied by William Holland & Co., of Warwick. By the latter part of the nineteenth century the style of this glass – and no doubt the intensity of its colours in particular – was out of step with religious feeling. It was taken down in 1894, and in 1895 a new east window, made by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, of London, inserted in its place.

Holland’s window of the 1850s had consisted of 21 subject panels, representing events in the life of Christ, as well as thirty four subsidiary sections in the complex tracery lights; fifteen of these panels and a lesser number of tracery lights were re-sited in the north transept window. At the same time four of the remaining six panels were placed in the east window of the St Thomas Becket chapel; they, however, slipped from view very quickly, for in 1898 the window was effectively blocked in order to accommodate the workings of the newly installed organ. They were virtually forgotten until 2011, when the organ pipes were being serviced and access was gained to two of the panels by temporarily removing a steel plate.

The Mocking of Christ attracted particular attention when the panels were uncovered in 2011. This was not a common subject at the time. It is possible that by the 1890s such tortured scenes from Christ’s Passion were considered less congenial by an Anglican congregation, which would account for this panel not being placed in the north transept.

This window together with the other 3 scenes recovered from the Hidden window” have been renovated and will appear in the porch of the South Side extension currently under construction.

 

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