Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sir Ninian Comper in Inverurie and Whiterashes

A couple of blogs ago (and back in October such has been my slow blogging), I mentioned that my coverage of the Sir Ninian Comper window in All Saints in Coventry was a little scant and that I would make it up to him. It also give me a chance to tie a few blogs together because during my visit to Jane Bayliss (in the last post), she was telling me that as well as making new windows she is also involved in the restoration and repair of old windows, and pointed me towards All Saints' Church in the village of Whiterashes near by where they had been involved in the restoration of the Ninian Comper windows there.

Unfortunately All Saints' Church was closed so I thought I would get my stained glass fix from St Mary's in Inverurie. Turns out that they have a window by Sir Ninian too. It features St Margaret of Scotland (that's her coat of arms above her in the window). I think the man in the window may be King David the first, her son, (also taken to be a saint) but I'm not sure.

The figurehead on Queen Margaret's ship looks rather pleased with himself.

The strawberry plant that is Sir Ninian's signature in most of his windows.

While I was in the church, I was chatting to a chap who turned out to be the priest of that church and also of All Saints' in Whiterashes which I had found locked earlier. Kind fellow lent me his key, so back I went, as much bolstered by the trusting act as getting to see the windows.

All the windows in All Saints' are by Ninian Comper and were installed between 1898 and 1919. Some do not have strawberries and I imagine they predate his using the signature.

This window is The Thanksgiving Window from the First World War. Whiterashes, quite remarkably, lost nobody in the war but amongst the injured was local laird, Quentin Irvine and his brother Alexander. Their mother donated this window, featuring St Michael, to the church and the three holly leaves in the window are part of the family coat of arms.

 St Bartholomew and St Nathanael (now as far as I can see, Bartholomew was Nathanael - says so here)

St Christina  with arrows and the millstone which was hung round the neck to try and drown her (it floated) and St Mary, sister of Lazarus, who, it seems, was also Mary Magdalene.

The chap with the sword here is St Quentin and the other fellow is James the Great who has a scallop shell on his staff to indicate he is a pilgrim.

St Hugh of Lincoln with his companion swan and St Francis of Assisi

Not sure I like the glint on St Hugh's swan's eye.

 A delightful little detail of the medal round St Hugh's neck.

The Great East Window, features the Virgin Mary with John the Baptist on her right and John the Evangelist on her left. John the Evangelist here holds a chalice with a viper in it, his symbol. I noticed that window at the beginning of the blog also has a chalice with a viper in it at the top - could it be that it is St John appearing in that window too and not St David.

It's not a window but for completeness I should mention that the reredos (the screen behind an alter) here is also designed by Sir Ninian. 

The figures on it photographed much better with the flash on.

Sir Ninian makes a couple of appearances in my other blog when I saw a window by him last year in Hardraw and the year before in Cromarty.


  1. Lovely photos, lovely windows....I must go and find some to share with you :)

  2. Thanks Val :) - sent you a small link regarding this >.<