William Wailes Glass

 

At one time St Andrew's Great Ryburgh, as a result of George Tatham's 1860's restoration, boasted 14 windows all designed and  glazed by the Newcastle born William Wailes. Today we are left with 12 complete one lost completely and the other "restored" out of regonition in the fashion of the 1960's.

If we start with the missing one. We have Kelly's Directory 1879 description of "a beautiful stained east window, representing the different titles of our Lord, added in 1863" and a pre-Comper restoration postcard depiction and the knowledge that an entire stained glass window was found in the basement of the Rectory when it was sold and disappeared without trace before the then churchwarden could do anything about it :

 

1.

 

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The first of the restorations, that of the South window of the South Transept dated 1870 and the image of St Andrew himself. We can only debate with hindsight the merits of light over preservation of the status quo, clarity or vandalism?

 

2.

 

 

 

 Modern inscriptions

                            

 

There is one seemingly anomalous piece of glass that is to be found in the  St Andrew window. The glaziers supplied the clear rectangular panes and the inscriptions but did they also add this little curiosoty which at first sight does not appear to have been part of the original window?  The answer is to be found on the Think and Thank screen, where the furthermost west armourial is described by FH Tatham in his short history as that of:

 

"Meaburn Tatham - Gyronny of six argent and azure, three martlets counter changed."

i.e. 6 triangles of silver and blue, with 3 birds resembling swallows with thighs but no legs  on alternate triangles

 

A further look at the stonework of the window shows that the only place that shape fitted naturally was at the apex, which on the photgraph of the original window is too obscure to see any detail. We'll never surely know, but it is at least most likely to have been from William Wailes workshop.

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The two remaining East facing windows of the South transept were a memorial to Frederick Edgar Smith who died in 1861 but  date from the later years of the Ryburgh glass (1881) when his brother George's memorial windows were placed in the former Norman arched windows of the North transept:

 

3.

 

 

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The remaining east facing windows of the South transept are plain. Do they represent the glazing plan to be found in all the windows prior to the installation of their decorative examples?

 

4.

 

 

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Moving into the Nave we come to the most recently restored example in the east South wall . The window, depicting St. John was in memory of Edward Tolver-Gwyn of Pensthorpe and dates from 1866. The complete cleaning and repair of the window, carried out by Neil Forkes of Griffin Glass in 2010, was in memory of the the late Michael Savory of Highfield Farm.

 

5.

 

 

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The other window in the South Nave wall adjacent to the gallery and depicting St Luke was dedicated to Elizabeth the wife of the Patron of St Andrew's, Meaburn Tatham in 1872

 

6.

 

 

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Crossing the Nave opposite the window above, we find one of two windows that are memorials to the Patron, Meaburn Tatham who died in 1875 and depicting St Mark.

7.

 

 

 

The other window to the east depicts  St. Mathew.

8.

 

 

The North transept has the two windows dedicated to George Smith in 1882 and occupy the two east facing openings that prior to that were of Norman origin as can be seen in the 1832 print of the church made by J.B. Labrooke:

 

9.

 

 

Going east into the Chancel we find two more Tatham memorials on the North wall. The first is in memory of Meaburn Smith Tatham, the Revd George Tatham's older brother who died in 1870.

 

10.

 

 

The second window commemorates Revd.George and Betha Tatham's 2 year old son Meaburn who died on March 4th 1876. He is buried outside the south door of the Chancel. His younger brother Frederick Hugh was buried close  by a lifetime later in 1947.

 

 

Crossing to the South wall of the Chancel is the 3rd of our restored windows and a restoration in 1970 that caused much upset in the Tatham family at the time. It had been their hope to have more light enter by means of a similar treatment to that carried out in the South transept. Attitudes however had changed in the intervening 7 years and preservation was the order of the day much to the disappointment of F.H.Tatham's widow, Helen. The window was in memory of Marian Elizabeth Tatham,  George and Betha's eldest daughter who died on Easter Day 1870 whilst visiting her grandparents. 

 

11.

 

 

To complete the set is the memorial to Parthenia Block who died in 1870  She was Marian Elizabeth's Grandmother, i.e. Betha Tatham' s mother.  This window is in most urgent need of restoration so a fund has been started for the restoration of the window as a memorial to all the WW1 families of Ryburgh brought to light by the ongoing Think and Thank/Ryburgh Remembers  project.

Parthenia Block

12. 

 

From within, the window looks in very much the same condition as the others but externally the extent of buckled and brittle lead work, which has already caused cracks to the glass, is rather more apparent:

If you would like to contribute to the restoration of this window for any reason at all or simply as a tangible way to remember the impact of World War 1 that still resonates today, please visit our Make a Gift page . In donating please be sure to reference it as Parthenia Block Window.

Many thanks.


Church History
Webpage icon The remaining glass
Webpage icon John Christian A.M.
Webpage icon Snapshots of the past at Ryburgh Church
Webpage icon The Chancel Arch Inscription
Webpage icon The Ryburgh Angels
Webpage icon Great Ryburgh
Webpage icon More Ryburgh Scandal
Webpage icon The Ryburgh Scandal
Page last updated: 14th Sep 2018 11:23 AM