Tudor window

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David reveals secrets of Chertsey’s Tudor window

A TUDOR window on display at Chertsey Museum was gifted to the town by Hampton Court Palace, a local historian said this week.
The stained glass window currently on display at the museum in Windsor Street should be of particular interest to Chertsey-folk, says Mr Wheeler, a former paratrooper of St Ann’s Road, who was determined to find out where it came from.
He learned it was installed in Alwyns Lane, Chertsey, in a building which was a chapel from 1806-1808 and later a community centre until the 1990s.
Mr Wheeler, who is also vice chairman of Chertsey Society conservation group, said: “When the Catholic church decided to sell the building, no one knew what would happen to the window, or where it had come from.
“So with the permission of the church, I took it over to Hampton Court to find out what they knew about it.”
Dr Jonathan Foyle, from Channel Four archaeology programme, Time Team, confirmed it had come from the palace and it was found to bear the coat of arms of Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour*.
Mr Wheeler said: “We decided that it should go in St Peter’s Shared Church in Windsor Street, because it belongs to the people of Chertsey so I contacted Rev Tim Hillier, and we held a vestry meeting to discuss it.
“We wanted the window put in over the memorial as a tribute to the civilians of Chertsey, but it ended up going further in.
“I don’t mind where it goes, as long as it stays in Chertsey, because I saved it for the people of this town.”
The window is currently part of Chertsey Museum’s Reverent Runnymede exhibition which opened last week to mark the 200th anniversary of rebuilding work at St Peter’s Shared Church.
Between 1806 and 1808 the church congregation used the chapel in Alwyns Lane and a man from Hampton Court gave one the palace’s Tudor windows, an organ, and other items to mark the end of the rebuilding.
Mr Wheeler said: “It belongs to the people of Chertsey, not to any of the churches of anything like that so its important that people know its history.”

* Her badge is a phoenix, crowned, rising from a tower.

Further reading

F. Sydney Eden, 1922, ‘The arms and badges of the wives of Henry VIII’, Burlington Magazine : 109-10 [Includes a plate (D) picturing Jane Seymour’s badge from Noak Hill church, Nr. Romford]

The church of ST. THOMAS, Noak Hill, Church Road, was built in 1842 as a memorial to Frances, wife of Sir Thomas Neave, Bt., of Dagnams. It is a small building of red brick, with transepts and south-west tower, designed by George Smith in the Early English style. The tower was restored in 1971. The church’s most notable fittings are collectors’ items from elsewhere. They include painted window glass of the 16th-18th centuries, given by Sir Thomas Neave, Bt. Among these pieces are medallions with the badge of Jane Seymour, the arms of Charles II and Queen Anne, and some French and Flemish glass.

‘Romford: Religious history’, Victoria County Histories: A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7 (1978), pp. 82-91.


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