Left: Whole window. Right: The figure of the prophet or patriarch.

This is the first window in the south aisle of St George's Church, Jesmond. Once again, these smaller windows were collaborative, with architect Thomas Ralph Spence (1845-1918) in charge of the overall scheme, the Newcastle-born artist John William Brown (1842-1928) probably working on the figures, and the Gateshead Stained Glass Company generally executing the designs. This company, says Moat, did "extremely fine work in silver-stain, of which there is a great deal at St. George's ..., which lends to the interior a distinctively golden light (124).

There is no architectural background here. The church website notes that instead these windows incorporate the kind of glass found in domestic settings, and assumes that "Spence wished to play with as wide a range of texture, colour and pattern as he could." In fact, the curving lines blossom into floral and foliate motifs, and really do seem to anticipate Art Nouveau style. There is another sign, too, of the pride in craftsmanship that so often distinguishes this late-Victorian period. In large churches like this, stained glass windows would usually be added at different times, in memory of various people, and by different artists. However, like the east and west ones, the stained glass windows in the rest of St George's were all installed at the outset, in 1888. Neil Moat finds this "a self-consciously artistic gesture that precluded any further (disfiguring) interventions" (122) — although having a generous benefactor must also have been a factor.

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


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.

"South Aisle." St George's Church website. Web. 18 October 2015.

created 18 October 2015