Holy Trinity is well endowed with beautiful stained glass windows.
With one exception, these windows depict figures of Christ, angels and saints. Most of them are dedicated to the memory of individuals associated with our church.
The windows in the nave are laid out such that five female saints are depicted in the South Aisle and five male saints in the North Aisle. All were people of great faith and endeavour who have been an inspiration to generations of Christians.
Other than the image at the top of this page, the photographs (many still to be added) are the work of Dr Raymond Parks of Edinburgh, to whom we are extremely grateful.
The windows are as follows:
James Ballantine & Son were glass stainers based in Edinburgh.
The London-based companies of Clayton & Bell, C. E Kempe, Burlison & Grylls and J. C. Bewsey were among the most prestigious glass stainers and painters of their day.
Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907) trained with Clayton & Bell and Thomas Baillie & Co., before setting up his own London studio in 1866. The Kempe Trust seeks to maintain interest in Kempe and his work.
Isabel Goudie was a local artist and designer.
Margaret Chilton was born in Bristol in 1875 and trained in England in the style of the arts & crafts movement. She later established a studio in Edinburgh in partnership with Miss Kemp. Most of her work is to be found in Scotland.
The windows are grouped on this page according to their location within the church.
[St Matthew (detail)]
“To the glory of God and in memory of Elizabeth Murray, widow of John Murray of Polmaise, who died October 6th 1889, aged 86, her children dedicate this window.”
Kempe’s windows are generally identifiable by logos such as a shield, the AET monogram or a wheatsheaf. The Apostles are depicted as they numbered after the election of Matthias, as recounted in Acts 1:13-26.
[Black Watch insignia]
Accompanied by a plaque inscribed:
“In memory of Colonel Edward Ramsden Priestly, Lieut. Colonel 42nd Royal Highland Regt ‘The Black Watch’. Died at Stirling 25th March 1868 in his fifty first year. Erected by his brother officers.”
Col. Edward Ramsden Priestly commanded the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch) from 1860 until his death in 1868. He had served previously in the 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot and 25th (Kings Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot. He died at the Golden Lion Hotel, Stirling.
This window was initially placed in the old Episcopal church in Barnton Street, then moved to Holy Trinity for its consecration in 1878. It is not of the highest quality and is becoming faded in places. However, it has a pleasing design and is a fitting memorial to a regiment that has long associations with Stirling Castle.
“To the glory of God in loving memory of my husband, Charles H. Thomson, who died July 17, 1951.”
Accompanied by a plaque inscribed:
“Also in memory of his wife, Janet H. Thomson, who died 17th July 1979.”
This window depicts St Columba bearing the cross before him, as he would have on various missionary journeys to the Picts. Above is the dove, from which his name is derived, and below, he is seen in the frail coracle that carried him across the Irish Sea on the perilous journey that changed the course of Christianity in this country.
Charles Herbert Thomson was the governor of a Sudanese province before retiring to Stirling. He was elected to Vestry in 1936 as Secretary to the Finance Committee and held this office with only one break until his death in 1951 at the age of 60.
“In memory of William Kellock (Benefactor).”
This window adopts one of the favourite artistic representations of Francis – preaching to the birds – reflecting his affinity with the natural world. Francis is also shown receiving the stigmata that he is said to have borne, unknown to others, until his death at the age of 45.
William Curtis Kellock was an ironmonger’s clerk who served on Vestry for many years. He died in November 1940, aged 77, leaving a quarter of his estate to the church. This money was invested as the basis for a fund to provide a new hall on the church grounds.
[St Andrew (detail)]
“To the glory of God in memory of her sons Ian Livingstone who died March 9th 1942, and Charles Livingstone, who died January 10th 1954, given by their loving mother.”
This window depicts St Andrew with the saltire cross, associated with him from the 10th century, bearing a fishing net, the mark of his original trade. His association with Scotland, of which he is patron saint, derives from the moving of at least some of his relics from Patras in Greece to what is now St Andrews in Fife by St Rule in the 8th century.
Flying Officer Ian Frederick Livingstone served with 83 Sqdn, RAF Volunteer Reserve. The son of Alexander and Kate Livingstone, Livilands Lane, Stirling, he was vice-captain of Stirling High School FP Rugby Club, secretary of Ochil View Tennis Club and an assistant scoutmaster. He joined the RAF in 1940 and was shot down over the Netherlands, aged 25, while flying an Avro Manchester from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, in a thousand-bomber raid on Essen. He is buried in Bergen General Cemetery, Netherlands.
Charles Livingstone, a civilian pilot, died in a plane crash while returning as a passenger from Cyprus.
[St Martin (detail)]
“Placed here by his brother officers in memory of Major Douglas James MacGregor MacDonald, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, died 17th Nov. 1893, aged 43.”
This window depicts St Martin offering a coin to a beggar, a reference to an incident from his early life when he divided his cloak to clothe a beggar, following which Christ appeared to him in a dream wearing the garment that he had given away.
[St Laurence (detail)]
“If any man serve me, let him follow me & where I am, there shall also my servant be. In thankful remembrance of William Lawrence Boyes, Deacon in this church, who rested in Christ on the eve of the Epiphany 1882.”
A very apt choice, given that Boyes’s middle name was Lawrence and that, like the saint, he was a deacon of the church. The window depicts St Laurence looking towards the gridiron, the instrument of his torture and death, a copy of the Gospels in his hand.
William Lawrence Boyes was born at New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, in March 1857. He was the son of Rev. George Boyes, a teacher at the Episcopal school there. He died of tuberculosis at Aberchirder, Banffshire, where his father had become Rector, on 5 January 1882. At that time, he was a Curate here at Holy Trinity but had been ill for about a year.
[St Michael (detail)]
Three saints associated strongly with soldiers.
St George may have been a soldier in the Roman army who was martyred during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Maximian. He became a patron saint of soldiers during the crusades when he was popular among the Knights Templar and other knightly orders. Richard I of England held him in special veneration while on crusade, and his profile in England gradually increased until he became its patron saint.
St Michael derives his soldierly status from his leadership of the angel host in the books of Daniel and Revelation.
St Victor was a soldier in the Roman army who was martyred at Marseilles during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Maximian. He is depicted bearing a martyr’s palm.
[St Ninian (detail)]
“To the glory of God and in affectionate remembrance of Colonel John Murray of Touchadam and Polmaise. Born mdcccxxxi. Died mcmiii. Erected by his surviving brothers.”
This window depicts three saints important to the development of the Scottish Church.
St Gilbert became Bishop of Caithness following the murder of his predecessor, Bishop Adam. Finding his cathedral at Halkirk vulnerable to further attacks, he moved to Dornoch, where he established a new cathedral. The arrows he is depicted as holding refer to his being able to establish peace in the region following the earlier violence. He also wears a mitre and holds a crook, signifying his status as a bishop.
St Columba, who came from Ireland on a mission to the Scots and Picts, succeeded in converting the most influential rulers to Christianity, thereby ensuring a firm foundation for our faith in the northern and western parts of what later became Scotland. He is depicted holding a model of Iona Abbey, which he founded and which remains a place of pilgrimage and retreat to the present day.
St Ninian led an equally significant, earlier mission to Whithorn in Galloway. At some point, St Ninian, or later followers acting in his name, evangelised much of southern and eastern Scotland. St Ninian is depicted with a mitre and crook, signifying his status as a bishop. The ‘Murray stars’ – three white stars on a blue field – are also evident, signifying the family of Murray of Touchadam and Polmaise.
[St Kentigern (detail)]
“AMDG in mem. veri reverendi Clementis Leigh Coldwell huier eccliae annos xxix rectoris, obit S mcmiii Jul vii Mo.”
This window depicts three important saints associated with Scotland.
St Giles, although not a Scottish saint, was greatly revered here, especially in the south and east. He is shown sustaining an arrow wound in the hand in order to protect a hind.
St Andrew was one of Jesus’ disciples, who may have been crucified at Patras in Greece. In the 8th century, St Rule brought at least some of his relics to what is now St Andrews, which thereby became an important pilgrimage centre until the Reformation in 1560. He became Scotland’s patron saint and is depicted with the saltire cross, with which he has been associated since the 10th century.
St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo) may have been the son of a woman called Thenew who was also a saint. He came to lead an enormously important religious settlement (which Thenew may have founded) in the Brythonic-speaking kingdom of Strathclyde (Brythonic was a language group of which only Welsh and, to a lesser extent, Cornish and Breton now survive). This settlement eventually grew into the archbishopric and city of Glasgow, the only mediaeval cathedral city in the British Isles outwith London to become an important industrial centre. The shrine of St Kentigern ensured that, like St Andrews, Glasgow remained an important place of pilgrimage until the Reformation in 1559/60.
St Kentigern is depicted wearing a bishop’s mitre with, at his feet, the arms of the city of Glasgow: the bird that never flew, the tree that never grew, the bell that never rang and the fish that never swam. They never did these things because they only ever appeared on a coat of arms! The ring in the fish’s mouth refers to a legend of Kentigern recovering the queen of Strathclyde’s ring from inside a salmon.
[Angel playing bagpipes (detail)]
“Giving thanks to God for the dear memory of Rebecca Mary Coldwell, who entered into rest on Good Friday AD 1881, the Guild of the Holy Trinity with many others of her friends and neighbours dedicate this window.”
This window is clearly designed to balance the earlier (1878) window on the south wall of the chancel, which also depicts seven angel musicians. The angels are performing excerpts from the Benedicite, a canticle forming part of Morning Prayer, based upon verses 35 to 65 of the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews, additions in the Apocrypha to Daniel, Chapter 3. The song is in thanks for delivery from the fiery furnace.
Rebecca Mary Coldwell, the wife of Clement Leigh Coldwell (Holy Trinity’s first Rector), died of mastitis on 15 April 1881, aged 37.
Donated by Lady Seton-Steuart of Touch. The window illustrates scenes ranging from the Annunciation to Pentecost and is laid out as follows: [text missing!].
[Psalm 150 (detail)]
“In affectionate memory of Edwin Sandys Bain and his daughter Frances Sandys Sandys and her daughter Agnes Sandys, this window is placed by the widow and mother of the deceased AD 1878.”
The angels are performing Psalm 150. The later (1905) window on the north wall of the chancel balances it beautifully – just as the Benedicite forms part of Morning Prayer, so does Psalm 150 form part of Evening Prayer.
The three members of the Bain/Sandys family commemorated by this window all died in the year 1874.
Frances’s full name was Frances Anne Sandys Sandys. The name Sandys appears twice, as it had been given to her as a family name, and she married a Lieut. William Edwin Sandys, Royal Artillery, who was probably already a relative. She died of diphtheria at Montrose on 2 June 1874, aged 30. Two days later, on 4 June, her daughter, Agnes Elizabeth Abney Sandys, died of a combination of measles and diphtheria, aged 5. On 30 December of the same year, Edwin Sandys Bain, serjeant-at-law and landed proprietor, died at Easter Livilands, Stirling. His death certificate records his cause of death as partly due to ‘exhaustion of vital powers’, possibly exacerbated by the deaths of his daughter and granddaughter earlier in the year.
[St Margaret (detail)]
C. E. Kempe, 1900
“To the glory of God and in memory of Margaret Murray of Polmaise, this window is erected by her surviving brothers and sister, December 1900.” This window depicts a family group representing three generations of the Canmore dynasty.
St Margaret, who had experienced court life in England and Hungary before marrying Malcolm III (Canmore), initiated political and ecclesiastical reforms which brought Scotland firmly into alignment with Catholic practice and hence with the European religious and political mainstream. This was to hold the nation in good stead for centuries to come.
She is depicted with a crucifix, signifying her piety and her adherence to mainstream Catholic practice. Her son, St David, as king David I, founded an astonishing number of religious houses during his 29-year reign, including Dunblane Cathedral and Cambuskenneth Abbey (both c.1140).
King Malcolm IV was David’s grandson and successor. Known to contemporaries as ‘Malcolm the Maiden’, apparently, on account of his virginity, he was only 12 on his accession and 23 when he died. He is therefore depicted in this window as an immature youth. Depictions of David and a suitably immature Malcolm appear side-by-side on the foundation charter of Kelso Abbey, which the designer of this window may have had in mind.
“To the memory of James Murray of Touchadam and Polmaise, who died xiiith Dec. mcmvii aged lxxiv, this window is dedicated by his widow.”
This window depicts Raphael with the fish that he gave Tobias to ward off a demon in the apocryphal book of Tobit. The ‘Murray stars’ – three white stars on a blue field – are also evident, signifying the family of Murray of Touchadam and Polmaise.
“To the dear memory of Jane, Lady Clerk. Died 20th Sept. 1825.”
This window depicts Michael triumphing over the devil (a dragon) with angels above, as described in Revelation 12:7-9.
Donated by Lady Clerk of Penicuik.
“To the glory of God and in memory of George Thomas Galbraith MD, Dep. Inspr Genl of Hospitals, late HM’s 99th, 53rd and 71st Regiments. Died 24th October 1900.”
This window depicts Gabriel’s announcement to Mary (the Annunciation) that she would bear the Messiah. Mary is symbolised by a lily (for purity), and the beginning of Gabriel’s message is shown in Latin: Ave Maria, gratia plena (Hail Mary, full of grace).
[St Margaret (detail)]
“Remember in the Lord Georgina Vetch, who rested in Christ May 11th 1890.”
This window depicts St Margaret holding a crucifix and thurible, referring to her successful efforts to ensure Scotland’s adherence to Catholic religious practice, thereby ensuring its place within the European religious and political mainstream.
[St Elizabeth (detail)]
“This window was bequeathed by Caroline Ethel Spurway in 1944, in loving memory of her parents, Major-General John Spurway and Caroline Dundas (neé Stirling) his wife and of her elder sister Christian Aimée Spurway.”
Following the death of her husband, St Elizabeth dedicated her life to the relief of the poor and sick until her death at the age of 24. Appropriately, this window depicts her as a pious young woman.
Caroline Ethel Spurway was born at Gargunnock House on 11 July 1869, lived in London and died in Edinburgh on 25 April 1944. Her father, Major General John Spurway came from Tiverton in Devon and served with the Royal Artillery. Her mother, Caroline Dundas Stirling belonged to the family of Stirling of Gargunnock, three generations of which served on the Vestry of Holy Trinity. Miss Stirling married the then Major Spurway at Gargunnock House, the ceremony being conducted by Rev. Robert Henderson of the Episcopal Church in Barnton Street, Stirling.
Aimée Christian Spurway (the order of her names on her birth certificate) was born at Gargunnock House in 1866 and is believed to have died in England.
[St Catherine (detail)]
“To the glory of God and in loving memory of Reginald Frederick Yorke, who died 6th March 1906, aged 43; this window is erected by his wife, Constance Eleanor Yorke.”
The legend of St Catherine concerns her disputations with fifty philosophers sent to convince her of the errors of Christianity and her subsequent tortures, which consisted of being broken on a wheel – the ‘Catherine wheel’. When the wheel broke, she was beheaded. The legend inspired artists throughout the Middle Ages and this window maintains this theme.
Reginald Yorke was an electrical engineer and the son of an Admiral in the Royal Navy. He died of typhoid, still a scourge in 1906, in his home at 3 Glebe Crescent, Stirling.
[St Mary Magdalene (detail)]
“In memory of Alice, Emily. Elizabeth & Helen Galbraith (Benefactors)”.
St Mary Magdalene is usually (and probably wrongly) identified as the sinful woman who anointed Christ’s feet in the house of Simon (Luke 7:38). Hence, in this window, she bears a pot of ointment. She is the patron of repentant sinners and of the contemplative life.
“In loving memory of Marion A. C. Wilson, died 1904; Charles Wilson, died 1917; Marion Napier Wilson, d. 1931.”
Reputedly founding abbess of Kildare, St Bride, or Bridget, has associations throughout Ireland and the west of Scotland. She is associated with compassion and, although more usually associated with cows, due to miracle stories concerning the provision of milk, in this window, she holds a lamb symbolising, on one level, kindness and compassion, and, on another, Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).