Left: Whole window. Right: Close-up of some Biblical scenes: the Old Testament prophet Joel; Adam and Eve (and the snake) in the Garden of Eden; the Annunciation: and the Baptism of Christ [Click to enlarge and see the details].

Great east window, Lincoln Cathedral. Ward and Hughes. 1855. The listing text on this Grade I listed building describes the tracery quite matter-of-factly ("East window has Geometrical tracery with 2 groups of 4 lights. Above it, a 5-light pointed arched window"). But cathedral historian A. F. Kendrick wrote more enthusiastically at the very end of the Victorian period:

The great east window is considered to be the finest example of its style in the kingdom. It is of eight lights, "formed by doubling the four-light," and has a great circle in the head, filled with a six-foil surrounded by half-a-dozen quatrefoils. "Bar-tracery being fully developed," we read in a note to Rickman's Gothic Architecture, "the general appearance of the window is rather Decorated than Early English, but the mouldings still belong to the earlier style. This window ... together with the whole of that part of the choir is singularly and beautifully accommodated to the style of the rest of the building." [122]

Returning to the subject a little later, to look at the stained glass in the window, Kendrick says that it is

filled with modern glass. It is believed to have originally contained the arms of many of the English nobility. In the year 1762 it was reglazed by Peckitt of York; the design of that time seems to have been chiefly, if not entirely, of geometrical forms. Portions of Peckitt's glass now occupy a place in the north wall of the eastern transept. The arrangement of the subjects in the present window is due to the late Dean Ward. The compartments contain subjects illustrating the life of Christ, and various scenes from the Old Testament history. The window was executed by Ward and Hughes about the middle of the present century. [126]

Closer view of the Annunciation roundel.

The prophet shown above Adam and Eve is probably Joel, because he is holding a scroll referring to Chapter 2, verse 28: this is chapter and verse of the prophet's best-known text: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." As explained in the caption below the top image on the right, the other scenes shown are of Adam and Eve and the snake in the Garden of Eden, and, from the New Testament, the Annunciation and the Baptism of Christ.

Photographs by Colin Price, reproduced here by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


Kendrick, Albert Frank. The Cathedral Church of Lincoln. 1898. Corrected ed. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1902. Internet Archive. Contributed by the University of Toronto. Web. 25 November 2017.

"Cathedral Church of St Mary and Cloisters and Chapter House and Libraries: List Entry". Historic England. Web. 25 November 2016.

Created 25 November 2017