Saturday, 14 April 2012

St Margaret's King's Lynn

Among the places I visited during my recent holiday was St Margaret's Church in King's Lynn.  King's Lynn is a very old trading centre and a member of the Hanseatic League in late medieval times.

The church is just across the square from the town hall and is the most impressive building in the centre of the town except for the Customs House. It certainly is the tallest structure in modern King's Lynn.

There are a number of 19th century windows in the church, but I have chosen only three to show here.

Upon entry, the east window and reredos dominate the church.
East Window and Reredos
The reredos is gilded carved wood depicting christ at the centre top separated from his crucifixion at the bottom centre by St Michael appearing to the virgin Mary.  He is surrounded by figures in the dress of the popes and bishops, who may be the early fathers of the church.  On the outer portions, angels are in support. This is massive - the figures are almost life size.  It was designed by G F Bodley and carved by G R Bridgman and installed in 1899.

East Window
The window above the reredos is huge too.  In keeping with the reredos below, it contains the figures of St Margaret and St Mary Magdalene on either side of Christ. The other figures are angles.  The window is 19th century, made by Ward and Hughes.

West Window
 The west window contains the saints relating to the other churches in King's Lynn surrounding Christ.  The other panels at the sides and in the bottom layer contains scenes from the history of King's Lynn such as the granting of the King's Lynn charter, the visit of Cardinal Wolsey, and King Henry VII granting a charter for the reconstruction of the church in 1524.  The window was designed by Donald Taunton of John Hardman and Co. and installed in 1927.

Side Entrance
 The church has only one modern window.  It is located at an entrance on the north side of the church and is the second large window on the West face of the church.  This was designed by Geoffrey Clark and installed in 1967.  It is an impressive window of almost 4 metres tall.  Unfortunately, you can see that there is already damage to the bottom right corner.

It is an impressive church which is very light due to pale green tinted leaded glass in the clerestory and various figures in clear fields for the north and south ground level windows.