Thursday 2 September 2010

1864 North Transept window dedicated to Lane Freer; stained glass of Hereford Cathedral

The North Transept stained glass window in Hereford Cathedral is made of six main lights, as seen in the slideshow above. It is divided into two halves, with the Church Militant (living Christians striving towards their faith) on the left and the Church Triumphant (those who are in Heaven) on the right (

The main image of the Church Triumphant, extending across three lights, is either Jesus or God seated in the house of god with his feet on the World, surrounded by angels.

The minor scenes (all one light wide) appear to be the saints being welcomed to heaven by the angels. This conclusion is based on the fact that all the figures have halos, which were reserved in medieval art (and therefore by inference during the medieval/gothic revival of the 19th Century) for saints – see

The main image of the Church Militant, again extending across three lights, is Jesus surrounded 12 figures, presumably the disciples.

The minor scenes are different tableaus of which Christ on the cross is the most obvious. Others tentatively identified from bottom to top may be: A baptism in the river; the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus after being taken off the cross; Jesus cleansing Mary Magdalene; Jesus abating the storm; the stoning of St Stephen

Challenge: can you identify the remaining scenes correctly? 

There are six faces in the small rosettes above the main lights and the Holy Spirit is depicted in the top central part of the window.

The North Transept window at Hereford Cathedral was designed by Hardman and Co around 1864. Hardman and Co, also John Hardman Trading Co., became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of stained glass and ecclesiastical fittings.

The company had a close association with A. W. Pugin, who, with John Ruskin and The Oxford movement, defined gothic as the accepted style for churches.

More information can be found here

The window was dedicated to Archdeacon Lane Freer and cost the princely sum of £1200 at the time. Other references: Hereford Cathedral Stained Glass, ISBN 978-0-7117-4491-2, 25pages with numerous illustrations. Available from the Cathedral shop.

Eight stained glass windows in Hereford Cathedral are described individually and in detail in separate articles, links below 

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