Thankfully, we’ve never been asked to fit our blinds over stained glass windows as it would almost be a crime to cover such beautiful, intricate work.
We’re nevertheless always interested in the history of our local area, especially any unusual or historic windows in our locale. Since blinds are our bread and butter, we obviously see all shapes and sizes of windows every day and we always like to explore the more unusual and ornate ones.
We recently covered several other window-related topics such as the rather peculiar Witch Window, the history of the sash, and even the history of glass itself. Today, we’re going to take a brief look at the history of the stained glass windows in one of our local churches, the Holy Trinity Church in Dartford, Kent.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you information on all of the beautiful stained glass windows in the church, but we can tell you a little bit about some of them.
The East Window
The East Window depicts the Crucifixion surrounded by Beatitudes and was designed by Blomfield. The glass itself dates from 1862 and is by the renowned London stained glass workshop of Heaton, Butler and Baye, who are also responsible for the east window in the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Gillingham as well as windows in Westminster Abbey and Chester Cathedral. They were famed for their skills in colour and the linear designs of their Pre-Raphaelite-influenced chief designer, Robert Bayne. Notably, his windows often included at least one figure with his own features and long beard. The East Window in Dartford is a fabulous testament to the company’s attention to detail and fine craftsmanship.
West Window and West Window of the North Aisle
There are two West Windows as such. The larger of the two, the West Window has reticulated tracery (a netlike arrangement of repeated geometrical figures) and the West Window of the North Aisle is in the perpendicular style of the 15th century. Its glass is by Frederick Charles Eden (1922) and pays homage to those who died in the two World Wars. If you visit the Holy Trinity in Dartford, you can see their names listed on the memorial board beside it. Not all windows in the church are made up of stained glass and only a 3rd of the north wall windows have them, one such being a memorial to Sarah Armes who is depicted with her dog and a knightly figure.
The Porteus Window
This particular window is a memorial to local historian Geoff Porteus (1918-1987). and contains a figure of St. John in the centre. Below him is a rather pretty idealisation of Holy Trinity.
Lancet Windows of the Becket Chapel
A north aisle was added to the church in the early 12th century and you can still see evidence of this today. Around 100 years later, the east was remodeled with a new north chapel in to commemorate the martyred St. Thomas Becket. Two lancet windows fitting this era can still be found on the north side of the Becket Chapel.
The Hermit Window
This quirky and unusual little window is very close to the floor and is known as a low-side window. Nobody seems quite sure about its origin, but the glass is by Hugh Arnold and is called Hermit of the Ford. It dates back to 1905 and commemorates the kind hermits who were good enough to guide travellers over the ford and bridge.