SEE US IN A NEW LIGHT
There are so many beautiful windows in the Cathedral. Much was damaged during the English Civil War so the windows are 18th century or later. They include notable designs from Leonard Evetts, Caroline Townshend and William Wailes. St George’s Chapel has windows which depict lives of the Northern saints and leading industrialists. St Margaret’s Chapel contains the only known fragment of medieval stained glass, a beautiful roundel of the Blessed Virgin Mary feeding the Christ child. One of the windows on the north side depicts St George and the Dragon which is the emblem of the Northumberland Fusiliers.
Much of the north aisle is filled with war memorials commemorating those who died in various conflicts including the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War and WWI. Hanging down are the various old regimental colours (mainly from the Northumberland Fusiliers) which are ‘laid up’ in the Cathedral when the regiment gets a new flag. A brass memorial on a pillar near the font is specifically dedicated to bell-ringers from Durham and Northumberland who died in WWI.
Baptism takes place at this early 15th century Font, which stands near the main entrance to the Cathedral. This reminds us that it is through the waters of Baptism that we enter into membership if Christ’s Church. The wooden canopy (also 15th century) shows the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary inside the cover. Around the font are the coats of arms of Robert Rhodes and his wife Agnes, benefactors of the Church.
The Collingwood Memorial
Admiral Lord Collingwood, friend and colleague of Lord Nelson, was baptised and married here. After Nelson’s death, it was Collingwood who successfully concluded the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.
St Margaret’s Chapel
In the window over the altar is the only fragment of medieval stained glass to survive here – a 15th-century roundel showing the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Christ child at her breast.
The Maddison Memorial
Dating from the mid-17th century, this is the Cathedral’s most ostentatious monument. It commemorates three generations of the Maddison family. Henry Maddison and his wife were married in the church in 1594. They were leading coal-mining industrialists.
Effigy of the Unknown Knight
Made in the 13th century, this is the oldest memorial in the Cathedral. This knight probably served under King Edward I, who reigned from 1272 to 1307. Although now not visible, the coat of arms on the Knight’s shield is likely to have been originally brightly coloured and even gilded.
During Service, the Bible is read from this early 16th century Lectern, which is the only pre-Reformation brass lectern in the North of England. The eagle is the symbol of St John the Evangelist.
From the Pulpit the Word of God is expounded and the Christian faith taught. The Pulpit was carved in the 19th century from Uttoxeter stone. The figures portray Saints Philip, Barnabas, Paul, Peter and John the Baptist.
The case was built by Renatus Harris in c1686 and enlarged when it was moved to its present position. The organ itself, although largely by TC Lewis, was rebuilt by Nicholson in 1981. The Latin inscription translates: every spirit praises the Lord. Alleluia. Praise the Lord in his Holiness. For more information click here.
St George’s Chapel
This chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, dates from the 15th century but was restored in 1931. Note the fine 17th century Hall monument on the left. The windows celebrate 19th and 20th century Northumbrians’ achievements in technology and politics. This chapel is set aside for quiet prayer and contemplation.
The fine Quire was also part of the 19th century refurbishment. It features very fine Gothic Revival woodcarving by Newcastle artist Ralph Hedley. Under the tip-up seats along the back row are carved misericords, with an array of fantastical creatures depicted on them.
The High Altar and Screen
At the altar Christians celebrate Jesus’ living presence with us today, and obey His command to share bread and wine, representing His body and blood, in remembrance of His life-giving death upon the Cross. The High Altar Screen, or Reredos, is part of the 19th century refurbishment; it is made of alabaster and was designed by RJ Johnson. It depicts Christ in Majesty, with the Archangel Gabriel, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Nicholas, with the Northern Saints. The figures were carved by JS Westamacott whilst the screen itself was carved by Robert Beall.
The Thornton Brass
Made in the 15th century, this is believed to be the largest Flemish memorial brass in England. Roger Thornton was several times both Mayor or Newcastle and Member of Parliament.
This commemorates the relationship between Newcastle and the Danish navy. During WWI, Newcastle gave ‘safe port’ to the Danish Merchant Fleet when Denmark was occupied by the German forces after 1940. They were based in St Nicholas Chambers, opposite the Cathedral and during the following few years, over 3000 Danish seamen sailed from the Tyne.