The Vyne

Rose Windows by Sasha Ward

All Saints, Shrewsbury                                                                 Holy Cross, Ramsbury, Wiltshire

All Saints, Shrewsbury                                                                 Holy Cross, Ramsbury, Wiltshire

On the last four trips to look at stained glass windows, I've found myself looking at the same shaped rose in the centre of a design. These all have at leat one ring of five petals with a symmetrically folded edge and a spotty centre. They range from the most realistic at All Saints Shrewsbury (above left) to the most modern and heraldic one from the 1950s at Eltham Palace (below right).  The effect of three of them is rather ruined by one or two bars running right through the centre, but I like the combination of this basic 3D modelling surrounded by geometric patterns - as ever I'm focusing on the look of the design rather than its meaning. 

Moravian Church, Malmesbury                                            Great Hall, Eltham Palace

Moravian Church, Malmesbury                                            Great Hall, Eltham Palace

The Vyne, Hampshire                             St. Mary, South Hayling             St. Mary, Cheltenham

The Vyne, Hampshire                             St. Mary, South Hayling             St. Mary, Cheltenham

Unsurprisingly, I found more examples of the same in my files of recent stained glass photographs including the two above - the most lovely red on blue rose in a tudor window at The Vyne (NT, near Basingstoke) and one at the bottom of a Kempe window on Hayling Island. As this slightly blurry image shows, I wasn't concentrating on the bottom, or predella, of a window at this point even though this is where you can get an excellent close up shot. 

It's great to see more realistic roses too, like the ones in the triangular tracery from St. Mary, Cheltenham (above right). My all time favourites are in St. Johannes, also known as The Church of the Roses, built in Malmo in 1906. The rose is everywhere inside and is the subject matter of most of the windows, including a number of rose "rose" windows. Since my first visit to this church in 2012 I have been very influenced by its colour scheme in my work for interiors. The combination of every hue but in a pastel tone gives you a really peaceful, happy feeling.

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St. Johannes, Malmo

St. Johannes, Malmo

The Outside of Stained Glass by Sasha Ward

The Vyne (NT, near Basingstoke) and some of its heraldic glass

The Vyne (NT, near Basingstoke) and some of its heraldic glass

Fantastic fenestration at The Vyne, those glazing bars that form octagons, triangles, lozenges and diamonds also contain some great heraldic glass. You can tell how good it is - and well restored - from the outside (above).  My favourite panel on the right, the arms of Henry VIII, has lions painted and scratched back in such a way that it is easy to imagine the painter's hand at work. 

C16th glass : the base of the Crucifix and Henry VIII panel

C16th glass : the base of the Crucifix and Henry VIII panel

Inside the chapel there is a rare opportunity to get close to the exceptional 16th century glass by climbing the scaffolding that is there while the glass panels are conserved. The crucifix panel (above left) is already in place and the one featuring Henry VIII is on display on a light box in the house, also great for a close up view. Adjacent panels feature Queen Margaret of Scotland (his sister) and Catherine of Aragon.

panel 2.jpg

It easy to see where these three figures, together with gorgeous canopies and name Saints, will go by looking at the leading pattern in the clear glazing installed in the chapel windows before the coloured ones arrive back. Curious idea, but It looks good from the outside (above right) while protecting the precious glass inside. 

How good to get so close up to Henry VIII, portrait at about 30 years old. Glass possibly by Flemish glaziers, commissioned by Lord Sandys of The Vyne in the 1520s.

How good to get so close up to Henry VIII, portrait at about 30 years old. Glass possibly by Flemish glaziers, commissioned by Lord Sandys of The Vyne in the 1520s.