Report on Serendipity Group Meeting - St Martins-on-the-Hill, Friday, 17 May 2019

St Martin on the Hill

A fascinating day trip to Scarborough started with actually finding the square towered St Martin’s on the Hill, not to be confused with the adjacent tall steepled St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, in amongst all the road closures, but we all got there in the end.

After coffee and biscuits we were treated to a Power Point presentation illustrating the history of the church with many interesting old pictures, and some close up detail of some of the windows we were going to see.

Although old looking the church was completed in 1863 thanks to the generosity of a local resident, Miss Mary Craven. She commissioned George Frederick Bodley, of Hull to design the church and he commissioned Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co to complete the decoration and stained glass windows. Thus it was that the interior of this church is now a masterclass in the Pre Raphaelites.

A High Anglican church, the windows reveal many emblems and images more closely associated with Catholicism. These were pointed out and explained to us by our guide.

Work by William Morris, whose designs also grace the ornately painted east wall, Sir Edward Burn Jones, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Philip Webb and Ford Madox Brown feature in the many biblical stories depicted. Amongst the faces so beautifully recreated in glass were those of many of the artists themselves together with those of their friends, wives and mistresses which gave us a real insight into the lives and work of the Pre Raphaelite artists.

A hearty lunch was provided in the church after which several of us took a bracing stroll along the seafront noting the work being done to defend against further landslides.

Many thanks to Margaret Newton for arranging the visit to St Martin’s and to Mike and Sabrina for the guided tour and lunch.

If you were there and have any images to add to the gallery, please email me your images.

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