Christopher Whall at Claughton Church, Birkenhead

19th Century

St. Mark’s Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

Condition survey, photographic record and packing of a window in storage: a Christopher Whall Arts & Crafts East Window, dated 1906, formerly of St. Mark’s Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, Cheshire. Now demolished.

St. Mark’s Church, connected to the local St. John the Evangelist Church in Birkenhead was built in 1891, and became a separate parish in 1922. By 1991 it had closed, and the valued “Father Willis” organ transported to a new home in Leiden Cathedral in the Netherlands. The superb East Window, made in 1906 by celebrated Arts & Crafts stained glass artist Christopher Whall (1849-1924) was also saved from demolition, and put in storage at a private stained glass company in Weston Super Mare. Its storage was monitored by Arts and Crafts period expert and historian Peter Cormack, and under his supervision the window was transported to its current home, the Stained Glass Repository; a charitable trust that seeks to rescue good quality glass, and find an alternative home for it. This 7-light window, saved in its entirety apart from one missing bottom row panel, depicts Christ Enthroned with Angels and Saints. Whall’s distinctive style is demonstrated; and this is rightly considered to be among his masterpieces.