Category Archives: Norfolk medieval women in stained glass

Women and Women saints in Norfolk’s medieval stained glass

Most surviving stained glass features tracery figures. Human beings as well as angels, populate the windows; women appear mainly as Virgins, and other saints, whilst men are prophets, patriarchs, kings and clerics – and both appear as patrons.

Anne Boleyn, wife of Sir John Shelton (relative of Queen Anne Boleyn). Donor, Shelton church c1500-1505.

The most common image of a woman in Norfolk glass is the Virgin Mary, who appears in scenes including the Annunciation, the Assumption and the Coronation of the Virgin, as well as multiple Nativities. There are a few images of Mary Magdalen (Burnham Market, photo) and many more of the myriad virgin saints. The most popular in Norfolk were St Margaret of Antioch, usually portrayed slaying a dragon, St Catherine the Great (with her wheel) and St Barbara (with her tower). Others include St Juliana and St Agatha. There are good examples at Cley, Stratton Strawless, Martham and Salle

The virgin Mary, part of an assumption scene at Bale.

The photos in the carousel below are all of donors and women saints: