St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze is fortunate to retain some beautiful examples of medieval glass. Together with the wall paintings that covered the interior of the building in the fifteenth century, they created a mini palace of colour, in stark contrast to the drabness and drudgery which was probably most people’s experience of ordinary life.
Windows in the north and south arcades contain remnants of this early painted glass featuring the Virgin Mary and Christ child, angels and biblical figures, ecclesiastical architecture, and heraldic emblems.
Anyone walking into the building will be drawn to the church’s early seventeenth-century East Window. The quality of the painting, the richness and subtlety of its colour, and on closer inspection its intriguing symbolism and heraldry, is mesmerizing. Painted by the master glass painter Abraham Van Linge, it combines biblical figures with overwhelming references to the St.John family of Lydiard Park.
The window was commissioned by Sir John St.John (d.1648) who was also responsible for the major monuments in the church. At about the same time he chose Van Linge to create a window for St. Mary’s Church in Battersea and an extraordinary secular window for Lydiard House.
St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze accomplished a full restoration of the Van Linge window in 2000 but the majority of medieval glass remains in poor condition. The Friends of Lydiard Park and St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze are planning a fundraising initiative to clean and conserve this important fifteenth-century legacy.