Larbert Old Parish Church Windows

Larbert Old Parish Church (1)(SMR 127)

(1) The Transfiguration of our Saviour.  A large three-light window, highly coloured with a large figure in the bottom of each light looking upwards to the scenes above.  In the upper section of the middle light is the figure of Jesus with his arms outstretched.  He is wearing a white robe and has long fair hair.  To his right is a kneeling man with a roll of parchment – Moses with the tables of the law.  To his left another kneeling man looks on in awe – Elias.  At the feet of Christ is John, the beloved disciple.  Below Moses is James the brother of John; and below Elias is Peter.  The apexes are filled with geometric shapes that include chalices.  Written across the centre in a banner is “THE LAW HAVING A SHADOW/ OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME”.  This comes from Hebrews 10.1.  The banner separates the two sets of three figures.  In the centre are the words “LO! I COME”.  At the base the dedicatory panel, in small letters, states “BY HENRY DAWSON OF LIVERPOOL/ PRESENTED TO LARBERT CHURCH/ AS A MEMORIAL 1859/ OF JOSEPH DAWSON OF CARRON/ DESIGNED BY FRANK HOWARD OF LIVERPOOL/ PAINTED BY R.B. EDMUNDSTON & SON MANCHESTER”

Henry Dawson was the brother of Joseph.  Cost £300.

In 1911 the chancel was reconfigured and the window moved back.  The upper portion had not been present in the old chancel and the opportunity was taken to fill the new ones with stained glass in memory of Miss Dawson of Powfoulis to the design of Alfred Webster of Glasgow.  The four central lights were filled with angelic figures with the text “This is my beloved Son”.  A cross appears at the very top.

Location: chancel.


All of the ground floor windows in the nave have stained glass.  Each is composed of two-lights and they will be described from the SE corner westward, then from the NW corner eastward.

South Side:

(2) Colour is sparsely used to good effect, helping to create the illusion of depth.  AnLarbert Old Parish Church (2) angel is shown in each light representing Prayer and Praise; that on the left has its hands clasped in prayer and that on the right carries a tablet and has two birds set on a branch in the foreground.  Below each is a small scene (a) a man in a black cloak raising his arms skyward with a long winding mountain path in front of him “From the end of the earth will/ I cry unto thee when/ my heart is underwhelmed” Psalm 61:2; (b) a man carrying a wheat sheaf in front of a church set in a ripe cornfield “Let every thing that hath/ breath praise the Lord/ Praise ye. The Lord” Psalm 150:6.  The dedicatory panel at the base reads “To the Glory of God and in memory of the/ Reverend John McLaren” and continues “Born 15th September 1823.  Inducted minister of the/ united parishes of Larbert and Dunipace/ 16th September 1847.  Died 1st January 1898/ Erected by/ members of. The Congregation/ and Friends.”  The whole is surrounded by a border composed of small vignettes.

The artist was Alfred Alexander Webster of Glasgow and the use of the device of a bishop dates it to 1911.

(3)  A colourful two-light window portraying an indoor scene with purple Larbert Old Parish Church (3)fan vaulting and a square paved floor.  The left hand light has a couple with haloes – the bearded man holding a caged bird being admired by a kneeling boy.  The light on the right has a group composed of a bearded man holding a baby and a woman placing a reassuring hand on an adolescent child.  The subject is that of Simeon taking the child Jesus in his arms and uttering the words “LORD NOW LETTEST THOU/ THY SERVANT DEPART IN PEACE/ ACCORDING TO THY WORD” Luke 2:29.  Mary and Joseph are shown passing through the Temple court with priests in the background.  They are met by Simeon and Anna.  The text continues “FOR MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THY/ SALVATION which THOU hast PREPARED/ BEFORE THE FACE OF ALL PEOPLE” Luke 2:30.  The dedicatory panel is spread across the two lights “In Memory of/ George Ure D.I. of Wheatlands/ Died 3rd January 1910. Aged 89 years./ A — — —/ lifelong friend of this church”.

The window is by R. Dickson & A Walker of Edinburgh, 30th March 1913.

(4)  A single richly robed figure stands in a Gothic arched surround in each of the twoLarbert Old Parish Church (4) lights.  That on the right holds an orb and an open book signifying God’s power, majesty and will.  Jesus on the left has his arms outstretched at the foot of the Throne represented by a canopy.  He welcomes the good servants.  The background is schematic and shows a path on a balustraded terrace with the green foliage of trees beyond.  The theme is announced in a ribbon at the feet of the figures “Well done thou good and faithful Servant/ Enter thou into the joy of the LORD” (Matthew 25:21) and “And GOD shall wipe away/ all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4).  The border is punctuated by squares containing the letters “ihs”.  The dedication at the bottom is “In memoriam/ Janet Reid Ure/ Born at Carron July 1st 1819/ Died at Wheatlands October 15th 1890” “Erected by/ Her Husband George Ure/ of Wheatlands Bonnybridge”.

Erected July 1891 by Dickson & Walker, Frederick Street, Edinburgh.

(5)  The left light shows a blond long haired Larbert Old Parish Church (5)bearded man looking to the right light where a group of three people stand.  He wears a red cloak and has a halo containing a Constantine cross – identifying him as Jesus.  The group of three is fronted by a bearded man with a blue cloak and head scarf.  Behind him is a woman and a man in a red turban.  There are grass and flowers at their feet and a tree and distant buildings higher up.  The border is made up of white lilies emanating from yellow pots.  In the spandrel are two angels supporting banners “THESE ARE THEY WHICH/ CAME OUT OF GREAT/ TRIBULATION” and “THEREFORE ARE THEY/ BEFORE THE THRONE/ OF GOD” (Revelation 7:14-15). The text at the base is spread across both lights and reads “Abide with us/ for it is toward/ Evening and the/ day is far spent”.  The subject is the meeting of Christ and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:29) at which they beseech Him to tarry with them.  “THIS WINDOW IS PLACED HERE TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY/ OF CATHERINE DICK WHO DIED 15TH DEC 1899/ BY HER HUSBAND ROBERT DOBBIE BEECHMOUNT LARBERT”.

Artist:  Stephen Adam & Son of Glasgow and it is dated 1902.

North side:

(6)  Each light contains an arch containing three figures.  On the left is a bearded man Larbert Old Parish Church (6)pouring water from a ewer into a bowl with a woman seated at his feet having a naked child on her lap.  On the right are two old bearded men with wooden staffs with a younger man kneeling in prayer in front.  All of the figures look into the centre of the picture.  Incidental features include a caged bird, a basket of food and a castle.  The spandrels have winged souls over (1) a coronet and (2) a burning heart.  “— —/ the — east” and “of three — — / — — —“.  Within the scenes are small lettered panels “I was an hungered,/ and you gave me meat:/ thirsty, and ye gave/ me drink:” “sick,/ and ye/ visited/ me.”.  Larbert Old Parish (6) Detail

The dedication at the base is “TO THE GLORY OF GOD and in LOVING MEMORY/ of ROBERT DOBBIE, IRONFOUNDER, J.P. AND/ DEPUTY LIEUT OF THE COUNTY. DIED 3d JANY 1908” “THIS TRIBUTE to his MEMORY IS PLACED/ HERE by the BROTHER and SISTERS of/ his WIFE (CATHERINE DICK). 1910.”  The border shows oak leaves, acorns and tendrils.

Artists:  Stephen Adam and Alfred Alexander Webster, 1910.

(7)  This window is dominated by shimmering blue and over-painting.  Larbert Old Parish Church (7)The left light shows a man wading through fish filled water; in his left hand he has a staff, and a young child perches on his right shoulder.  Above the child looms an angel.  The right light has a woman facing the boy Jesus who carries a drinking flask and a saw (with wood shavings on the floor).  The upper part of the window is darker blue with white clouds, latticed with lead.  The dedication is at the base “To the Glory of God and in memory/ of J.P. Smith J.P.  who was a member/ of this Church for over sixty years” “Born October 5.1852/ Died December 19.1929/ Erected by his brothers”  The artist’s name is shown in Larbert Old Parish Church (8) (Detail)a panel on the left side containing a bishop’s emblem; executed by Gordon McWhirter Webster of the Stephen Adam Stained Glass Studio, Glasgow in 1930.

It is of two lights and represents earthly work and achievement.  The left-hand light depicts the famous incident of St Christopher bearing the child Jesus across the river.  The saint is wearing the brown robe of a pilgrim and carries a green water bottle slung across his shoulder.  Under the ever increasing strains of his divine burden he leans on his staff.  The Christ child is clad in the white robe of immaculate purity, while the little scarlet halo behind His head foreshadows his suffering and symbolises His sacrifice.  The angel in the group, with left wing extended protectingly, represents the Heavenly Presence of protection.  His robe of green is embroidered with the vine pattern of Jesus.  Further down is the Dove, shown in pale red tone, the alternative colour of the Holy Spirit.  Below is to be seen a mooring post with a metal ring, while bulrushes spring out of the adjacent water.  In the water are depicted two fishes, the early Christian symbol of the Spirit.  On the far bank of the river are thorns, typifying the numerous trials through which Saint Christopher had to pass during his earthly life.  Above the thorns and behind the left wing of the angel rise steep cliffs of purple hue while conventionalised clouds float above.Larbert Old Parish Church (7) Sketch

The right-hand light is devoted to a pictorial study of the Virgin Mary, the mother of the Divine Child, who is seen with her Son in the carpenter’s workshop.  The purple curtain at the rear screens a window so that the light is concentrated on the little window on the right and pours through in a beam full on the head of the boy Jesus Christ, who wears a brown working robe, holds a saw in His hand and is looking steadfastly up at the light.  There is a water bottle at his side.  His hue is of white, showing thereby that His radiance is bright even against the sun’s beams, and its cruciform type foreshadows the great Passion to come.  Mary, His mother, is clad in blue and the embroidery on her cloak consists of thorn stems encircling flaming hearts and Maltese crosses, symbols of love and of Jesus.  Her arm is extended towards the boy in motherly protection.  Behind her is a yellow pot containing Madonna lilies, the symbol of her purity.  On the wall above the lilies are depicted chisels and a plumb-line, while on the floor and against the left side are chips, wood shavings, a sledge hammer and planks, all suggesting the interior of a carpenter’s workshop. The blue background above the purple curtain again suggests the sky with clouds floating in it.

The window was unveiled by Fred Johnstone in August 1930.

Larbert Old Parish Church (8)(8)  The window has figures wearing colourful costume, which contrasts with a black and white background.  Each shows Jesus with a bearded man kneeling in prayer at his feet. The left light illustrates Christ’s charge to Peter – “Feed my/ Sheep.”  The left hand of Christ points towards the little group at the foot of the panel which indicates the lost sheep found, or the return of the prodigal to his father’s home.  The angel at the top holds the muletra or pail, symbolising spiritual pabulum.  “G/ REMEMBRANCE”.  In the right-hand light Christ is shown with a communicant.  He holds the chalice of suffering  and remembrance.  The kneeling figure symbolises the Faithful of Humanity, the recipients of divine grace and mystic communion with the Father.  Christ blessing little children is shown at the foot of this window.  The word “CARITAS” occurs next to this scene.  The angel at the top of this panel has a Latin cross denoting spiritual ecstasy. Larbert Old Parish Church (8) (Detail) The inscription at the base says “TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND/ IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF/ REV. JOHN FAIRLEY -/ MINISTER OF THE UNITED PARISHES/ OF LARBERT AND DUNIPACE/ FROM 1902 TO 1931/ ERECTED BY THE/ CONGREGATION AND FRIENDS 1933.”

Artist: William Meikle & Sons, Wellington Street, Glasgow, 5 November 1933.

(9)  Heavily latticed window with shimmering Larbert Old Parish Church (9)green and blue colours.  There is a deliberate geometric background to the latticing and the figures are shown in the modern style.  The main scene has Jesus standing on the left with his right hand raised in blessing.  In front of his are three standing figures, two kneeling and one boy.  Below this is a large vignette showing the three kings visiting the stable with gifts; Mary and Joseph on the right and animals inside.  “Let your LIGHT so/ SHINE before MEN/ that THEY shall SEE/ your GOOD WORKS” “As you would that MEN/ should DO to YOU/ DO YE also unto/ THEM likewise.”

Artist: Gordon McWhirter Webster, March 1962.  The window was dedicated to Andrew and Jessie McCowan and their sons Andrew and Douglas.

G.B. Bailey (2019)