Friday, 19 July 2013

Fairmilehead Parish Church

Three miles South of Edinburgh is Fairmilehead Parish Church. I have passed it on many occasions but a few weeks ago I parked the car and wandered across to see if it was open. It wasn't. My Granny used to say that you can go a long way if you've got a good Scots tounge in you head - it's surprising how far you can get sometimes just by asking. So my thanks to the chap behind the desk of the attached church centre for unlocking the church for me.

They had four windows in the church by William Wilson. Mr Wilson has already made several appearances over at my main blog, most notably at Brechin Cathedral and The Eric Liddell Centre.

This window doesn't look so much like the style I've seen William Wilson use in other windows. The church website says that he designed this and made it in conjunction with James Ballantine. Wilson was apprenticed to James Ballantine (the third generation of stained glass makers in the firm started by his grandfather, also James Ballantine) and I wonder if this window dates to when he was working for this company which could explain the style difference. The dedication is to T.S.Thompson who died in 1934 - I can't see the window being a whole lot older (at least as late as 1938 though as that was when the church was consecrated). I could see no date on the window. The other windows above are dated 1957, 1959 and 1967 respectively.

There are three other stained glass windows in the church, all of which appear to be by the Abbey Studios in Edinburgh. The Abbey Studios didn't allow their designers to sign their windows but they have the studio mark of a bishops mitre. This one is from 1964

I couldn't see any sign of the studio mark on this window but it looks very similar in style to the last window so I'm convinced it is also from the Abbey Studios.

This window was above the front door and I couldn't get very close to it.

Using the camera's zoom, you can just make out the Abbey Studio's mark in this window at the bottom right of this picture.

It would be a shame to leave Fairmilehead church without having a little look at the general shape of the church. Can't say I've seen another where the walls curve round onto each other quite like this - very satisfying.

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