Sunday, 2 September 2018


This is fun!

Theodore H Mogridge, a local doctor,  in his descriptive sketch of Sidmouth, 1836, describes the great east window of Sidmouth church in some detail.  He notes a piece of glass which he recognises to be mediaeval and thinks he is looking up at an ancient coat of arms.  Not only does he note it, he blazons it for posterity. "argent, five piles on saltire gules." and he wonders whose arms they can be.

But it is not a coat of arms at all!

It is, as that remarkable Sidmothian, Peter Orlando Hutchinson, (1810 - 1897) recognised "The five wounds of Christ crowned and bearing mottoes."   In his Sidmouth Guide  he lets us know:  "The piece of glass in the vestry window was another of my protégés.  It was taken out of the great east window and lost sight of for some time, but after an outcry on my part it was produced, when I had it placed where it is and a wire guard outside."

It  is there to be seen in Sidmouth Church today,  It would seem to be a very rare depiction, in England at any rate, and all credit to Orlando for finding it and preserving it.