SP2864 : East window, Beauchamp Chapel, St Mary's church, Warwick

taken 8 months ago, near to Warwick, Warwickshire, Great Britain

East window, Beauchamp Chapel, St Mary's church, Warwick
East window, Beauchamp Chapel, St Mary's church, Warwick
The east window of Beauchamp Chapel was made by John Prudde of Westminster around 1463. He was Royal Glazier to Henry VI.
Very specific instructions were given as to the design of the window - no black, green or white glass was to be used. The total cost was 100, very expensive.

The glass was vandalised by puritans in 1643, but has been skilfully restored with some figures being reconstructed from fragments. Only about half of the original glass remains in situ.

The window is divided into several parts:-

The upper tracery is contain scrolls with words and mottoes. There are coloured clouds with stars from which rays descend.

The lower tracery lights contain seraphim standing on golden wheels carrying scrolls and music with "Gloria in Excelsis".

The middle side lights bear the favourite Saints of Richard Beauchamp, namely St Thomas of Canterbury, (his mitre containing jewelled glass), Saint Alban, Saint Winifred, and St John of Bridlington.
The bottom panels contain figures from the Beauchamp family, and in the centre, kneeling as a donor is Richard Beauchamp. In the original glazing scheme his two wives were probably on either side of him with their associated children. Unfortunately Richard's head has been replaced with a female head during restoration.

The three central panels are thought to have contained scenes of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, but now contain figures of a Prophet, possibly Isaiah, and possibly Saint Elizabeth. The third figure is a composite of the Virgin Mary, although a lot of glass has been taken from the side windows of the Chapel to form these composites.

The reconstructed window also contains fragments of Christ with a crown of thorns and yellow rays, the prophet Ezekial with a scroll behind his head, and other halves of prophets.

The window is surrounded by painted stone figures of Saints on plinths.
St Mary's church, Warwick

Grade I listed

The church was originally founded in 1123 by Roger de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick. He designated the church as a Collegiate church.

There is an impressive surviving crypt with rib-vaulted arches. Those at the east end date from the 14th century, probably related to the time that the chancel was rebuilt by Thomas Beauchamp. It was finished by his son in 1392. It has panels with unusual flying ribs and contains the tomb of Thomas Beauchamp, died 1369. To the north of the chancel is the vestry, with the sacristy above.

The mediaeval Saint Mary's had a nave and aisles with a western tower, with north and south transepts, which remain much the same today.
Off the south transept is the Beauchamp Chapel, begun in 1443. It was completed in 1464, and cost 2481 to build. It was originally detached from the chancel, but is now linked via the Dean's Chapel. It contains the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, died 1439. There are also monuments to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died 1588, and also to Robert Dudley, Lord Denbigh died 1584 aged three. Also a monument to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, died 1590, and other monuments.
The east window was originally by John Prudde from the 15th C.
The Chapel was vandalised by Puritan troops in 1643, and restoration work began soon after.

The 14th century chapter house sits on the north side of the chancel and contains a monument to Fulke Greville, first Lord Brook who died in 1628.

The nave, aisles, transepts and tower were destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694, and rebuilt by 1704 by Francis and William Smith to designs by Sir William Wilson, possibly with help from Sir Christopher Wren.
The west tower is 174 foot high and visible for miles around. Pevsner calls it "curiously tired". It arises sheer from the pavement above an open arch. It was restored in 1885.
Inside, the aisles are the same height as the nave, with all three spaces vaulted and slender piers with capitals of acanthus leaves. The most western piers are considerably more massive than the others, showing that the tower was originally meant to be built there. In fact it was started but abandoned due to cracks appearing.

The north transept has been set aside as the Regimental chapel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The south transept originally housed the tomb of Earl Thomas 12th Earl of Warwick (d.1401) and his wife Margaret Ferrers (d.1407), parents of Earl Richard, 13th Earl of Warwick. This was destroyed during the fire

There is a large organ with four organ cases in different positions around the church.

There is a selection of stained glass from mediaeval through to modern glass from 2001. Many of the nave windows are clear.
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SP2864, 753 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 16 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 27 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
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Church (from Tags)
St Marys 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 2820 6498 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:16.9347N 1:35.2831W
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Stained Glass Window  East Window 

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