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Lady Chapel, St Mary’s Parish Church, Whickham

 

In these stained glass windows Mary is shown in her differing roles across the four panels, as the Stella Maris, Star of the Ocean, protector of the sailor, the Hortus Conclusus, the Enclosed Garden and the Fountain, symbolising fertility and purity.

 

Artists working in the fifteenth century popularised in a variety of ways the theme of the hortus conclusus, in which the Virgin, surrounded by angels and saints, appears in a flower garden enclosed by a wall. In the Song of Solomon chapter 4:12, refers to “a garden locked is my sister my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed”. The fourth panel depicts the Virgin with her feet on the devil symbolising the driving down of evil (Book of Revelations).