Skip to main content

Home
News
Discover St. Lawrence
What's On
History
History Gallery
Old John Green
St Lawrence Hall
Stained Glass Windows
Photo Gallery
Community Assoc.
Church News
Flora & Fauna
Food
Reviews
Village Hall
Your Letters/Rants
Sponsors
The Green Pages
Weather/Tide Data
Contact Us
Site Map / Links

THE PRE-RAPHAELITE GLASS OF THE HOSPITAL CHAPEL AND ST. LAWRENCE PARISH CHURCH

 

 

Bridget Garton has now produced a new 20-page Full-Colour Guide to the windows, available from brigetgarton@talktalk.net at £3 + Postage.

 

 

 

 

Pre-Raphaelite Windows, Parish Church

The William Morris and Reynolds-Stephens glass came to the Parish Church after the Chapel of St. Luke at the Royal National Hospital, where Ventnor Botanic Gardens is now, was dismantled in 1969 having been there for nearly 100 years.

 

 

William Morris executed the pattern of the leading, the background and the colouring of the glass of the North Windows of the Hospital Chapel of St. Luke, which was divided between the North and South walls of the Parish Church.

The larger Saints’ panels were installed into three South windows:

   

St. Luke, bearing a volume of Hippocrates in the centre was designed by Ford Maddox Brown;

 St. Luke by Ford Maddox Brown

St. Peter to its left and St. John, which was presented in memory of Don Mills of St. Lawrence, on the right, both to the design of Edward Burne Jones, famous artist of the 1800s and a friend of William Morris.

 

 St. Peter by Edward Burne Jones

 

St. John by Edward Burne Jones

 

The Hospital Chapel Windows

Apparently, at the outset, the Hospital Chapel windows were a source of friendly contention between  Dr. Hassall and the architect Dr. Thomas Hellyer of Ryde, who had wanted small windows placed high up.  Dr. Hassall argues that large handsome mullioned windows placed low down would allow the entrance of light, sunshine and warmth.

The West window of St. Lawrence Church, the work of Sir William Reynolds-Stephens, a follower of the later Pre-Raphaelite School, which bears the artist’s signature, had been unveiled by Lord Mountbatten in 1972.

  This had been exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum when removed from the hospital chapel, and was considered an outstanding work by a celebrated designer and sculptor, unique in its way. 

The smaller sections of the Hospital Chapel North window are now framed in an illuminated light box in St. Lawrence Parish Church, which were unveiled by the Queen Mother in June 1975.

These stand as a fine example of the splendid diversity of William Morris’ talent, for the two outer panels showing the “Raising of Lazarus” and the “Raising of Jairus’ Daughter” were designed as well as executed by Morris.  We are told that the central panel was designed specifically for the Ventnor commission by Ford Maddox Brown, of the Royal Academy in 1873.

A national appeal had helped to bring these important examples of Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art to St. Lawrence and in this way signalise one of the great victories of medical history, it being appropriate for them to be in a church built by another great Victorian, Gilbert Scott.

Chronology

1869-90 – Hospital Built

1871-72 – Hospital Chapel Built

1876 – Parish  Church Built

1964 – Hospital Closed

1969 – Hospital Dismantled

1972 - West Window Installed in St. Lawrence Parish Church

          Unveiled by Lord Mountbatten

1975 – North Window inserted into North Aisle (LightBox) and South Aisle Windows – Unveiled by H.M. Queen Mother

 

Thanks to Dennis Sheppard and Margaret Tiddy

 

Dennis has a wealth of information on this subject, especially the process of installing them in the Parish Church, which took years of organising. Anyone requiring more information should contact The Ed and I will forward your request on to Dennis.