5 - Caddonfoot Parish Church, Scottish Borders
AddressCaddonfoot Parish Church, Caddonfoot TD1 3LG
Comments byDouglas Hogg
This entry is part 5 of a 10 part essay by Douglas Hogg with the title “The Lion in the North – a 20th century lineage – A personally immersive account of the development and influence of a progression in the use of glass painting in Scotland as an expressive form, with particular reference to this as a unique and identifiable east coast phenomenon.” The full essay can be read in the themes section, where there are also links to each of the locations that are discussed.
Artist, maker and dateHerbert Hendrie, 1933
Reason for highlighting
At one point Herbert Hendrie was the most proliﬁc British stained glass artist of the time. The church at Caddonfoot in Selkirkshire contains a ﬁve-piece window which was a personal favourite of his. Hendrie’s compositions have a bejeweled iconic stillness and repose to them in contrast with Strachan’s strongly gestural compositions. A product of Christopher Whall and the Royal College of Art (ARCA) he took charge of the Stained Glass course at ECA before becoming head of the Design School there. At Caddonfoot we can see the chiselled features of his ﬁgures with their drapery echoing the forms of post-Reformation Flemish Painting, the model for many glass painters of the early 20th century. To the rather graphically exaggerated details of form he added a mobile deﬁnition by way of line, stipple and dry brush with ﬁne wet line-work to ﬁnish. At Caddonfoot the right-hand lancet is the only known memorial in stained glass to Sir Walter Scott. It includes a local landscape reference to the estate of Bemersyde from where the famous Scott’s View looks across to the Eildon Hills and beyond.
Hendrie’s studio at ECA produced a number of student glass-painters who worked there on his windows. These included John Blyth and John Cook who, after Hendrie’s death in 1946, continued on their own working in their similarly mannered styles. Their work carries the almost identical style of Hendrie but their meticulous modelling looks drier and the outcome more arid than their master. As Hendrie’s assistants, Blyth would paint a bee in the border, the mark of Cook being a ﬂy as identiﬁcation. Hendrie’s largest work, revered by many, is at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. I ﬁnd this huge window a disappointment : it comes across, uncharacteristically, as dull, inappropriately scaled and ill-deﬁned for its setting.
Another student, Walter Pritichard, went on to teach stained glass, mosaics and murals at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). The Hendrie style of glass painting taught by Walter Pritchard brought about another west coast diﬀerential which can be seen in the work of Sadie McLellan, his wife. Her remarkable set of windows for the Robin Chapel Chapel at Craigmillar in Edinburgh, nine of which reference incidents in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”, shows a personally advanced form and freer composition. Crear McCartney also studied under Pritchard at GSA. In the sharp, ﬁnely detailed work at either side of the entrance to Peebles Parish Church vestiges of the Hendrie can still be seen in lyrical landscape terms. Interestingly a contemporary of mine John K Clark also studied at GSA under George Garson (ex ECA), and has taken a very tight technical approach to his work. In his recent set of small windows at the Barony Hall, opposite Glasgow Cathedral, his exactingly precise technique can be seen.
This is the fifth part of a 10 part essay, to continue reading please follow the link below
Alternatively the whole essay, without pictures, can be read as a PDF here, or to go to the beginning of the essay click Part 1 – St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, Edinburgh.
Herbert Hendrie (1887-1946) was born in Manchester and moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art and the Slade School. His work in London included a period at The Glass House in Fulham. In 1923 he moved to Scotland as Head of the School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art, following Alexander Strachan, brother of Douglas Strachan. He would stay for 20 years working not only as a teacher, but also as a practitioner, with his College studio producing, amongst many other commissions, his famous windows for Liverpool Cathedral.
Arts & Crafts Stained Glass by Peter Cormack (Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2015)
Scotland’s Stained Glass Making the colours sing by Michael Donnelly (Historic Scotland, 1977)
200 Scottish Stained Glass Artists by Rona H Moody in The Journal of Stained Glass, Scotland Issue, Volume XXX, 2006