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St Michael and All Angels, Sowton and St Mary the Virgin, Ottery St Mary

, near Exeter in Devon, is a rare survival: a remarkably complete ecclesiological interior. The funds to rebuild the church came from a family that had recently moved to Devon: John Garratt, a successful London merchant, had purchased the local estate in 1830 and retired to Devon to lead the life of a country landowner. 1 The manor house, ‘Bishops Court’, is located on the site of the medieval episcopal palace and so infused with medieval

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival

last years of Robert Beer’s life point towards developments on a national level in that they were all memorial windows. Two that have not survived were executed at Holy Trinity Buckfastleigh, both commemorating members of the patron’s family. 10 The other two are at Abbotsham and Thorverton, and in both the iconography is tailored to the window’s memorial function. The Christian belief in life after death is expressed through

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival

A mere artisan? JOHN TOMS inhabited a different world from the people who produced the ecclesiological discourse on stained glass. It is doubtful whether he set out to gain artistic credibility, at least in the same sense that William Warrington did; nor did he represent himself as a pious religious artist producing Christian art. In fact, more than anyone, Toms resembled Winston’s worst nightmare: the

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival

, craftsmen and patrons. This was one good reason for a Victorian such as Lance to pay for an ornate church: if a building was pronounced true Gothic then religious credibility was conferred upon all who were involved in its production. Lance’;s fine new church at Buckland St Mary suggested that life in the parish was both vigorous and pious, and that the Church of England physically and spiritually at its centre

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival

second half of the sixteenth century. The decline of glass-painting was a direct result of the Reformation: figurative images were now seen as more Roman Catholic than Protestant and so the demand for pictorial stained glass collapsed. 2 Protestant feelings against religious images ran high, and waves of iconoclasm destroyed large quantities of medieval stained glass. Aristocrats requiring a public record of their lineage and

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival
How and why the market spread

evidence to suggest that the Great Exhibition made the reputation of any glass-painter, or that stained glass took the exhibition by storm, yet the fact that this famous event was beyond the control of the church makes it particularly significant. Despite the quasi-religious terminology applied to the Crystal Palace (which had a ‘nave’ and ‘transepts’) and despite the blessing offered by the archbishop of Canterbury at the

in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival