The following account of Bentley's work at Christ Church mentions by name the windows depicting Hannah, Joshua, Naomi and Joseph, also a window depicting Easter, Ascension Day, and Whitsuntide. Along with these five windows, Robert Eberhard's Stained Glass Windows website ascribes some further windows to Bentley (probably in collaboration with Nathaniel Westlake). These include two early windows featuring King David and Ruth. However, the latest amendment of the listing text at Historic England only ascribes only two gallery windows to Bentley and Westlake. The confusion must be due to the extensive war damage the church suffered bomb damage on 10 September 1940: nearly all the stained glass windows were broken at that time. — Jacqueline Banerjee

All the windows mentioned above are shown here. Click on them for larger pictures. [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. Click on the images to enlarge them.]

decorated initial 'I'

n Christ Church, Streatham, a Lombardesque structure by Wilde dating from 1844, we find what is, we believe, Bentley's earliest essay, in collaboration with Mr. Nat Westlake, in the art of stained glass design, unless, perhaps, a window in Cranford Church preceded it. The technique, in accordance with the period and style of the church, is mosaic-like in treatment and sparing in the employment of white glass, producing a rich jewel- like effect. It is interesting to compare here the glass of 1863 with a window of the same series put in by Bentley over twenty years later (1885). The stained glass in question fills all the twenty-eight windows at the gallery level, namely thirteen in each side wall, and two east windows, north and south of the apse. Of the four erected on the south side in 1863 by Mr. John Montefiore [a wealthy patron of the church, living in the same road], the subjects are characters connected with the Presentation in the Temple, viz. Joseph, Mary, Simeon holding the Infant Christ, and Anna.

Left to right: (a) Ruth, 1864. South Clerestory 9. (b) The Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost. 1864. North Clerestory East. (c) David. 1868. North Clerestory 6. (d) Joshua. North Clerestory 1.

Subsequently, on the offer of further windows, the rector was advised to draw up for future adherence a definite scheme of subjects. The south gallery lights therefore were set apart for fourteen single figures and characters from the New Testament, with appropriate texts; to the Old Testament the north gallery was similarly allotted, while the two eastern windows were to be [527/28] treated with small subjects from the Life of Christ, illustrative of the several seasons of the Church, arranged in the geometric panel fashion of the thirteenth-century glass painters; Christmas, Epiphany, and Good Friday being represented in the north window, Easter, Ascension Day, and Whitsuntide in the south.

Left to right: (a) Naomi. 1876. North Clerestory 6. (b) Joseph. 1882. North Cleretory 9.(c) Hannah. 1884. South Clerestory 3.

It will be observed that there is divergence of treatment in the glass on either side; on the north, the backgrounds are white or yellow to compensate for deficiency of sunlight, while the details of canopies, borders, and bases are treated in a variety of conventionally foliated designs. The New Testament characters on the south side are contrasted with ruby and greyish-blue back- grounds, the varied canopies, columns, and bases representing architectural features of Byzantine or Lombardo-Gothic style. The Joshua window, seventh on the north side, was painted in 1873 ; the Naomi window in 1876 ; the Joseph window, 1882 ; the Hannah window, 1884 (Westlake had no part in these two last, for which [John] Stacey probably prepared the cartoons).

Bibliograpy

"Christ Church." Historic England. Web. 24 August 2020.

"Christ Church, Streatham Hill: Christchurch Road, Lambeth." AIM25 (Archives in London and the M25 area). Web. 24 August 2020.

de l'Hôpital, Winefride. Westminster Cathedral and Its Architect: Volume II, The Making of the Architect. 2 vols. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1919. Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 24 August 2020.

Eberhard, Robert, "Stained Glass Windows at Christ Church, Streatham, Inner London." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 24 August 2020.


Created 24 August 2020