Guild Church of St Mary Aldermary, London EC4
AddressGuild Church of St Mary Aldermary, Watling Street, London EC4M 9BW
HighlightEast window of the Lady Chapel
Artist, maker and dateLawrence Lee, 1955
Reason for highlighting
A fusion of sacred and secular with St Thomas, St John the Baptist and Madonna and Child above and panels depicting important episodes from the dramatic history of the church below. The gothic church tower powerfully depicted appears engulfed in the flames of the Great Fire of London of 1666 with Sir Christopher Wren in historical dress kneeling to present his plans for the new church.
This window works as an impressive pair alongside the vast east window of 1952-53, also by Lawrence Lee, detailing the Crucifixion above and Annunciation below.
The large west window, 1950, by John Crawford commemorates the defence of London from air attack in World War Two. Below St Michael, in full swing in the process of defeating the dragon, is a recognisable skyline of City spires including the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The commissions for both the east and west windows had originally been given to Martin Travers, but following his unexpected death in 1948, the work was completed by his colleagues, John Crawford and Lawrence Lee.
Lawrence Stanley Lee (1909 – 2011) trained at Kingston Art School and the Royal College of Art before the war. After the war he worked for Martin Travers, and it was Travers’ unexpected death in 1948, which led to Lee forming his own studio. A wide range of commissions followed, including his famous windows at Coventry Cathedral, with Keith New and Geoffrey Clarke. Lee was also a teacher both formally at the Royal College of Art, and in his studio to a succession of assistants. He was notable in acknowledging the contribution of his assistants by including their initials on windows, along with his own.