Building Newry & Mourne

Dean Swanzy Memorial Window

The sketch of the leaded stained glass windows shown here was produced in July 1936 to a Gothic design by Abbott and Company Limited, St John's Studio, Chapel Street, Lancaster. It is dedicated to Dean Henry Biddall Swanzy and was likely to have been installed in the church later that year or sometime during the following year.

A letter from the office of Samuel and Gerald Wilson Reside, Margaret Street, Newry, County Down, dated 24 June 1936, was circulated to potential tenders, to provide a conceptual basis for the new decorative glazed feature with the theme: 'St John the Apostle of Love'.

Dean Swanzy Memorial Window

Dean Swanzy Memorial Window

Replying to this request in July 1936, Abbott and Company enclosed this sketch with a quotation of 'about 100' for the work. Referring to their workmanship depicting St John, they stress, 'In one light he has a book in one hand and a quill pen in the other hand. In the other light he [is] shown with the chalice held by both hands. An eagle is shown in the small top light'.

Actually, in the left light, St John holds the chalice in his right hand. This is verified by a black and white photograph taken later of the installed window.

The inscription, located at the base, begins on the top line of the left pane and continues on the top line of the right pane, reads: 'To the Glory of God and in memory of Henry Biddall Swanzy, M.A. M.R.I.A. Dean of Dromore and Vicar of Newry, 1914-1932. The gift of his friends'.

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This project is part financed by the European Union through the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the East Border Region Interreg IIIA Partnership.

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