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Richard III Windows at Leicester Cathedral

Fig. 2. Leicester Cathedral, Richard III window, detail of a single figure by trees. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Earlier this year, on Sunday 24 April 2016, two windows inspired by the life of Richard III were hallowed at the scene of the English king’s reburial, which took place in 2015. The windows, in the Chapel of St Katherine in Leicester Cathedral, were designed by Thomas Denny, who has produced over sixty stained glass commissions for churches and cathedrals, including the Traherne windows at Hereford Cathedral (2007), the Transfiguration Window at Durham Cathedral (2010), and the Wisdom Window at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (2012).

Fig. 1. Leicester Cathedral, the two Richard III windows. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Fig. 1. Leicester Cathedral, the two Richard III windows. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Fig. 2. Leicester Cathedral, Richard III window, detail of a single figure by trees. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Fig. 2. Leicester Cathedral, Richard III window, detail of a single figure by trees. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Fig. 3. Leicester Cathedral, Richard III window, detail of the road to Emmaus. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

Fig. 3. Leicester Cathedral, Richard III window, detail of the road to Emmaus. © Leicester Cathedral/Richard Jarvis

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The windows at Leicester previously contained plain glass installed in the 1850s, and the introduction of new, richly coloured stained glass represents the final instalment of the story of Richard III and Leicester Cathedral: the process of reburial ‘with dignity and honour’ has been completed. The windows combine themes taken from the life of Richard III, human experience and the Bible. As acting Canon Missioner Reverend Pete Hobson notes: ‘It’s not just telling Richard III’s story … it’s helping the person who sees the windows reflect on the questions of life and death that are raised by the life and death of Richard III.’

A video on the making of these windows can be seen on the Leicester Cathedral website.