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Chetwode Glass

Posted By ltempest On February 10, 2012 @ 2:03 pm In Issue 57,News | Comments Disabled

Fig. 1. Chetwode, St Mary and St Nicholas, south window of the chancel: figure of an archbishop.

Fig. 1. Chetwode, St Mary and St Nicholas, south window of the chancel: figure of an archbishop.

Concerns have been voiced about the possible impact of High Speed 2, the rail link between London and Birmingham, on the thirteenth-century glass at the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary and St Nicholas at Chetwode in Buckinghamshire. The rail line will pass about 110 yards (100 metres) from the church. Eighteen trains an hour in both directions travelling at speeds of 250mph (400kmh) are likely to cause extensive vibrations that could weaken the lead supports of the glass and possibly the structure of the building itself.

The central lancet of the tripartite south window of the chancel contains some thirteenth-century grisaille, including two vesicae, one a beautiful panel of St John Baptist on a blue background holding an Agnus Dei, the other enclosing the figure of an archbishop in mass vestments; the same opening also includes a shield of England. The upper part of the easternmost lancet of the same window is filled with thirteenth-century grisaille, including a green and red cross, and in the lower part is a fourteenth-century figure of a saint in an architectural setting. The westernmost light is similarly divided, the upper part including a circular panel representing the Crucifixion and the lower three fourteenth-century figures – the Blessed Virgin, St Peter, and (at the foot of the lancet) a bishop with the fragmentary inscription ‘Amicus dei Nicholaus’.

The east window of the church contains good glass in the medieval style made in 1842 by William Holland (1809–1883) of Warwick.


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