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Most of the stone pillars have individually carved 'capitals' of a floral style. Two, however have been sculptured very artistically to show bible scenes (e.g. Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the Lion's Den) and others show biblical animals (such as sheep).

The local stonemasons used by the builder had much skill to show off to us today. Some of the work to the capitals was finished, after the church was completed.

The spire that was originally planned for was never built, owing to lack of financial resources, although the arches and brickwork in the Belfry area show that this had been structurally allowed for, at a later date. The doorway to the right of the entrance porch gives access to a flight of steps that lead to nowhere and finish just under the church eaves.

Hidden under the eaves here we discovered a small stone sample or test piece produced by one of the apprentice stone masons back in 1863.

Another feature in the church is the extensive use of red brick in the Norman style arches, incorporating the use of splayed, chamfered and other shaped bricks specially made at the brick-works.

The bricks, from our research, are thought to have come from Beaulieu (the cream colours) and from Fontley, near Fareham — the Fontley Reds and Blues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            David Bull

The Stained Glass Windows at St Mark's, Woolston

The stained glass windows in St Mark's are not only special forms of art, they are there for a purpose and it's a shame if their meaning is lost.

Their main purpose is to help us imagine and think about people and events in the Bible, exemplary Christians or Saints and so to help us in our spiritual growth; but they also mark important events in the history of the community or a local family. It was, then, a link between special events that touched people's lives, their search for Christian understanding and no doubt a hope to pass this on to future generations that usually prompted the windows to be installed in our church.

As our church is called St Mark's it's not surprising if two windows and part of another represent St Mark writing his gospel, and as families are grief-stricken at the sudden death of young children, it's not surprising to see windows representing Jesus calling children to him with the words "...of such is the kingdom of heaven. " These images and other scenes with Jesus are important in a church and helpful to churchgoers.

At St Mark's though, we have 3 other large windows, which unintentionally can be seen to represent the three armed forces of our country- the army, the navy and the air force. We do not want to be seen as a war-loving, weapon - proud or overly patriotic church, but local events, industry and people's lives in Woolston have been tied up with the armed forces and the effects of war, and it is the desire to commemorate the bravery and courage of British people in defending their freedom that is the inspiration behind the windows.

Perhaps the best way to talk about the windows is to take them in order of age, where known.

l. Small North Windows. Pair of narrow lancet windows with a coloured medallion in each to celebrate the consecration of the church.

One says, "This church was consecrated Nov. 17 1863".

The other shows a front view of St Mark (Sanctus Marcus) holding a red book.

It is thought that these were from the Lavers and Barraud workshop as the architect tended to use it. Apparently it is almost possible to tell the year of the window by the colours, as in the 19th century understanding of the technique in stained glass was improving all the time. Lavers & Barraud became Lavers and Barraud and Westlake and finally Lavers and Westlake in 1926. Another church by William White, St Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, London had windows from Nathaniel Westlake 1833-1925.

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2. North East Window. Well above eye level. The round section at the top shows St Mark seated and writing his book. A dove representing the Holy Spirit hovers above his (damaged) head and there is a lion with a curly mane, which is his emblem in art, pictured behind him.

Below this is a delicate design of angels whose pale brown outline fades into the light glass. The scene is taken from the Book of Revelation and the words on the gold bands are hard to read at a distance. "These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb." (Rev. 7 VI 4)

Below are 2 windows showing the Last Supper. It was more normal practice for a scene to be designed to fit the window, but here we have a scene cut in two to fit two windows which suggests that it might have come from an earlier church that was demolished. This could have been St Mary's, in the city when it was demolished in 1879-84, but we have no documentation.

Again at a distance it is very hard to see but 4 of the disciples are named on their halos. Jesus and Peter "Sanctus Petrus" are at either end of the table. Both are barefoot, and James, "Sanctus Jacobus" is the little man beside Jesus with the white towel. Peter has probably just told Jesus that he shouldn't be offering to wash their feet. "Sanctus Judas " who is wearing a dark kingfisher robe with red, is looking downwards and has a moneybag. St John, "Sanctus Johanus" has a blue halo and is near Jesus. The other disciples are not named.

At the bottom are the words, "And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. " (Mk 14 v 1 7)

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3. The East Window. Scenes of Jesus' life.

The window was in place by 1870 and may have been added in 1866 at about the time of the first extension. The Hedger family in memory of their brother donated it. The inscription reads:

"James Francis Hedger of Turtipore Bengal who died at sea 19th Match 1864, aged 47. East window erected by his brother and sisters."

Bennett's directory for 1863 states "Philip Hedger Esq. superintendent of the Docks, Dock House, Canute Rd; private residence, East Cliff villa, Woolston".

Philip Hedger seems to have lived at East Cliff for about twenty years from the mid 1850s. It's marked clearly on the 1867 map.

This was the main window in a new church in a fairly affluent suburb at the time when people were rediscovering the appreciation of stained glass. It is bursting with colours and detailed scenes of Jesus' life.

The rose window at the top shows Jesus in majesty, with his head and right hand reaching out dramatically beyond the confines of the circle. "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth".

The central glass pane shows Jesus walking on the water and the words are, "It is I. Be not afraid. " (Mat. 14 v27). There is also a reference to the Old Testament "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee" (Isaiah 43v2). The relevance of water and God's support are not lost on a community of sea-farers.

Immediately on the left of this is a continuation of the story of Jesus walking on the water when Peter tries to do likewise but fails through lack of faith. "O thou of l little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" The scene just to the right of centre on the other hand shows a non-Jewish woman of great faith. She was so sure that Jesus could help her daughter that she wouldn't go away.

"Woman great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou wilt. " (Mat. 15 v28)

The scene on the far left refers to the time when Jesus healed two blind men who were persistent in getting his attention. "Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes." (Mat. 20 v34)

The scene on the far right is also a reminder of faith being rewarded in difficult times and refers to the sisters Mary and Martha who recognised Jesus' power when their brother Lazarus was dead. "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

The pictures at the bottom all refer to Easter.

l) Judas kisses Jesus. 2) Jesus stands before Pilate who is washing his hands. 3) Jesus is carrying his heavy cross. 4) Jesus on his knees wishes that he didn't have to go through with the coming torture but is strengthened by an angel to accept God's purpose. (Luke 22 v42.) 5) The disciples are asleep in the garden and Jesus points to the arrival of Judas.

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4. South East, next to this. Jesus welcomes the children. This is a lovely window in memory of two of Richard Coles children. "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. " The brass inscription reads: "In memory of Richard Ferndale who died Nov. 12th 1856, Alice Elizabeth who died Oct. 26th 1860, The beloved children of Richard and Mary Coles."

The 1861 census shows that he was Mayor of Southampton and that they had another little boy called Richard and a daughter called Mary. He had slate works and steam sawing mills at Cross House on the other side of the Itchen, but his private residence in 1865 was Bentworth cottage and in 1867 he moved to Bryntirion, near the Vicarage. In 1868 he had an Institute built in College Rd where Peartree and

Woolston choirs practised and put on concerts. It was locally nicknamed "Howl Hall."
 

5. Lady Chapel. East Window. Near Choir Vestry. "Jesus welcomes the children."

It is likely that this window was included early and that the brass inscription was added later.

"To the Honour and Glory of God, in loving (remembrance of Fannie Stuart and her infant-----JRY ad 1-69. " The brass plate reads:

"To the Honour and Glory of God: In affectionate remembrance of Surgeon Major John Stuart, A.M.D. Entered into rest June 3rd 1879"

The father was probably a doctor at Netley Hospital and the family does not appear to be local.

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6. North Window. (Partly hidden by organ pipes.) Memorial to Vicar's brother, in the Royal Marines.

"In affectionate memory of Hugh Reginald Owen, Captain of the Royal Marines, who died at the residence of his brother, the Vicar of this parish. Erected by a few of his officers and friends 1881." An emblem with an armoured gauntlet holding a horn reads, "Sola ducat virtus"- "Let virtue alone lead!" and another with a globe reads, "Per mare, per terram"- "Over sea, over land."

In the middle of the Chancel floor there is a diamond tile marked H.R.B.O. Dec 1 1881.

The Vicar, the Rev. Charles Mansfield Owen, had only arrived a year before, and had just acquired the vicarage in September.

Three appropriate saints are depicted to correspond with the brother's involvement with the Royal Marines.

St Longinus. The soldier present when Jesus was on the cross and called him the Son of God.

St Paulinus. 7th century English saint who died in 644. He converted Edwin, King of Northumbria to Christianity. Later as Bishop of Rochester he had a peaceful influence. St George. Patron saint of England.

7. East Bay. The Lady Chapel. "The Four Evangelists "Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Designed by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898).

These windows, in two pairs, were installed in 1887 to commemorate the Vicar of St Mark's E. G. Blomfield and two members of the Hoare family. The Hoares are a mystery. They might have been related to the Blomfields, or they might have been related to the Rev. J. O' B Hoare, Vicar of Weston from 1875-1879, who lived in Milton Rd, Woolston as there was no Vicarage at Weston; but there is no mention of a window in any of the records we have left.

The window on the left, with St Matthew and St Mark, was made especially for the stained glass group as it was not part of the original architecture as can be seen by studying the 1870 photo of the church. It is strange that we have no reference to them by the Rev. Hughes who followed Blomfield and was responsible for the second enlargement of the church, but maybe as the cost was not borne by the parish, it was not seen as controversial.

In a booklet by D.Bond and G. Dear called "The Stained Glass Windows of William Morris and his circle in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight" the authors refer to the fact that Burne-Jones had previously used the same design but in a larger window at Jesus College Cambridge in 1872-74. "The figures of the Evangelists in the windows at Cambridge show the influence of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling and are considered among the best designs of the period, demonstrating a new maturity in Burne-Jones's style. This development signalled that any previous dependence on medieval precedent was now lost. The windows in St Mark's, Woolston, have little impact compared to those in Jesus College, partly because they are set in much smaller panels, and also because ' their effect (is) somewhat suppressed by the surrounding whitewash' (Pevsner 1967,595).

It's ironic that the walls in St Mark's were painted to relieve the gloom and rest the eye from too much patterned brickwork, whereas Mr White had deliberately chosen coloured bricks as more restful than white.

The booklet explains why Burne-Jones might have been chosen.

"The Revd Blomfield was the elder brother of Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942) who was a founding member of both the influential Art Workers' Guild and the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. Morris was initially sceptical about the need for such societies and exhibitions although he did change his opinion once they proved popular with the public. Morris and Reginald Blomfield became close acquaintances through their mutual links with the growing arts and crafts movement of the period, and it is possible that Blomfield was influential in the choice of a Morris & Co. design for the window at St Mark's. "

Fashions in art come and go. The simple forms and folds, the slightly dramatic poses still have charm and presence, but a young person of to-day might well wonder at the beardless, rather young, bland and unhappy looking evangelists, especially if the window is seen as an aid to devotion.

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8. West Window. Memorial Window to the First World War.

This was made by A.L.Moore and Son, Ecclesiastical Art Decorators, St Augustine House, 89 Southampton Row. London W.C. We have no documents to show its connection with J.I.Thornycroft. It's a window that represents the unity of the people of Great Britain involved in the war, coming as they did from all parts and symbolised by the four patron saints -St Patrick, St George, St Andrew, St David. It's also a window that means something personal to us in Woolston because it shows the local involvement of people in two of its scenes. Centre left we have men building ships. They are busy in the workshop planing and chiselling wood, and through the open window are the masts of ships. The next scene shows nurses tending a patient, and we are reminded of the vast numbers treated at Netley Hospital. This window makes a poignant backdrop on Poppy Day.

9. South Window. The R.A.F.A Memorial Window.

The Royal Air Forces' Association came to St Mark's in the 1980s as we had a large church and were, by our location in Woolston, naturally associated with the design and making of the Spitfire. It seemed to members of the association that it would be fitting to design a window representative of the air force's role in the defence of this country and particularly to remember the two planes made nearby the Spitfire, which had been designed by R.J. Mitchell at Supermarine in Woolston and the Hurricane '"hich had been built in Hamble.

The window was made and designed by a Southampton firm, Morri-Bees, and each year the church is full for an annual Service at which we remember the importance of the Battle of Britain.

We thought this was an excellent occasion to ask the designers to tell us about the window

Bronte Matthews

“As a stained glass artist I, Maurice William Bennett, was commissioned by the Hamble & Itchen Branch of the R.A.F.A Association to design and install a stained glass window to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the " Battle of Britain."

With the help of my wife, Molly Bennett, we spent 18 months researching and talking to many, many people before the fìnal design was decided upon.

The R.A.F.A Symbol was, of course, an obvious choice as it represents the many people nation-wide who are still working to care for those in need of help because of injuries suffered in both World Wars (mental as well as physical) and the families who still care for them.

The window has been crafted in the traditional way using many different types of glass and lead cames.

The stainwork allows us to give much more details to the "Spitfire" and the "Hurricane" roundels.

Light is of great importance; it is the "third dimension" in this kind of artwork, and the effect of light alone can add great depth to a design (as in the crystal in the Cross). Whilst the Cross is a "Vibrant Red" (this is achieved by the use of gold in the mixture) and backed by the warm, golden tones of the sun, the real magic is brought about by the natural light As it touches the clear glass crystal it seems to take on a life of its own as it throws its prisms to the congregation, as if God would reach out and touch them with his love.

Whilst we worked on the window, the Cross was placed on the " window box" and we spent many weeks pondering on it as, despite the vibrant colours, it seemed to lack life, until one very sunny day the light had managed to find a small gap right in the centre of the Cross which threw a shaft of light right across the studio to touch the wall opposite-suddenly we had the answer! With the addition ofthe crystal we were able to "spread" the light! This light that neither of us had created.

As we approach the Millennium there are many "modern" windows appearing in our Churches but, for us, we preferred to remain with the traditional concept of stained glass, which was to tell the story through a picture.

We hope that this window will remind future generations that with God's help out of evil came good.

The Artist, Maurice Bennett, assisted by his wife, Molly Bennett.

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St. Mark's Church Font

In 1991 it was decided that the font should be moved to its present position, with a seating area around it . The move from the West Wall would make it more visible and nearer to the main entrance, making it more central for baptisms. The new position is a lot lighter, and more accessible and less hazardous.

Crawford Duncan who was a member of the PCC drew up the plans for this work, which was funded by a major cash donation from the Friends of St Mark's and the Mothers' Union in memory of Kitty Wells. It was constructed by members of the congregation and the materials were kindly donated by Messrs Beestons.

The work took place over the summer months of 1991. Some of the lettering on the font had not been completed when it was first put in the church, and it was felt that this should be finished.

A plaque was made telling about the new area, with a verse from a very well know hymn, by George Herbert.

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ST. MARK'S CHURCH

The Builder — Joseph Bull & Sons

Joseph Bull was born in Southampton in 1803, the second child of William and Ann Bull, who was baptised in Above Bar Church. The family of eight children, were born between 1800 and 1819 and the last five children were baptised at Jesus Chapel, Peartree Green. The head of the family, William, was described in the church records as a Carpenter of Itchen.

Joseph married Sarah Barnes at St. Mary's in Southampton in February 1825 after their banns had been read at Jesus Chapel, Pear-tree. (The marriage could not take place at Pear-Tree, as it was only a Chapel at ease connected to St. Mary's).

This marriage produced twelve children between 1825 and 1851. Two sons carried on the family tradition of Carpentry; Henry William and Edward Charles and they and their father created a 'building business of some renown'

Joseph the founder of the business died in 1867, just after the completion of the building of St Mark's in 1863.

The company went on to build many churches in the Southampton area, as well as public buildings such as Winchester Guildhall, the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand and the Cape Town Parliament Buildings.

The Building Company ceased to exist at the turn of the century.

The Architect - William White (1825 - 1900)

William White was a British High Victorian Gothic Revival Architect, trained under George G. Scott, where he worked and trained with George Street and others who all designed many well known Victorian Gothic Style Churches and Public Bridges in the British Isles and overseas.

The Italian style was learnt by these young architects on a training visit to Italy. The idea of multicoloured brickwork (polychromy) had been used by White in quite a number of churches including St. Saviours, Aberdeen Park in London and locally at Christchurch, Freemantle in Southampton and St. Michael and All Angels Church in Lyndhurst.

White was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    David Bull

Architectural Features in St. Mark's

Above the Nave arch, high up under the roofline is a cross, constructed in red brick. This is set within an oval shaped ring of cream bricks, inset with 'tile' slips to create a sort of halo or Nimbus effect. William White, together with the skill of the bricklayer, made this work of art the central point of the church. Recently this has been floodlighted and revealed in its full glory.

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