Whole window Tracery lights

Left: (a) Jesus tells Mary that Martha has chosen the better part. (b) The risen Jesus asks Mary Magdalen not to touch him. (c) Jesus is anointed at Bethany. Right: Close-up of the tracery lights, with the dove of the Holy Spirit at the top, and the Lamb of God to the right, etc. [Click on the images for larger pictures.]

Three-light window with three New Testament scenes attributed to George Caleb Hedgeland (1825-98), placed here in memory of Carelia Mansfield, who died in 1853. This is the fifth window in the south aisle, in St James' Church, Weybridge, Surrey. Under the panels are these texts from the King James Version of the bible: "She hath chosen that good part," from Luke 10, 42; "I ascend to my father and your father," John 20, 17; and "She hath done what she could," from Mark 14, 18.

One of two windows in the church attributed to George Hedgeland by Peter Cormack, Hon. Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, this one is as clearly his work as the other. Hedgeland's was one of the "smaller outfits" producing stained-glass windows (Cheshire 171) and he continued to paint on glass in the pictorial style when others had returned to the methods of medieval artisans. The effect was bright and three-dimensional, just as in an easel-painting.

Close-up of figures

Perhaps the most distinctive panel here is the "Noli Me Tangere" one in the centre. This shows the risen Jesus in voluminous wine-coloured robes and a richer burgundy-coloured hat, with his spade over his shoulder, in reference to Mary's mistaking him for a gardener. Outdoor wear, a hat and spade are traditional elements of the scene, as is the jar of oil at Mary's side, originally brought for the purpose of anointing the body. For the spade, for example, see Angelo Bronzino's sixteenth-century rendition; in Jan Brueghel the Younger's seventeenth-century version, Jesus is not only wearing robes and carrying a spade, but is surrounded by a scattering of vegetables. Note also the purple garment of the woman at Bethany, echoing the grapes hanging from the vine above. The window would have been executed around the time that William Perkin discovered a way to process the colour from coal tar, making it much more widely available, and causing a great surge in its popularity.

Photographs and text 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 or cite it in a print document.]

Related Material


Cheshire, Jim. Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.

Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St James." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 24 June 2014.

"The Glaziers' Trust: Board Members" (on Peter Cormack). Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass". Web. 23 June 2014.

"St James' Parish Church, Weybridge, Surrey." Pamphlet available in the parish office.

Last modified 25 June 2014