Bring Your children to St.Leonard's Church, Apethorpe, Northamptonshire, to look at this window as they will love the simple art and the wonderful colours.

The heading shows the sun, moon and stars just a small section of the 1621 painted stained glass window in St. Leonard's Church Apethorpe Northamptonshire. With the naked eye in early times only six stars may have been seen.  Modern science confirms a seventh star which can be detected by the telescope.   How did these writers know this fact?  The Pleiades  star cluster, M45 is in the  constellation of Taurus, one of the brightest star clusters visible.   Note the similar positions of the stars in the window and the actual telescopic photograph. Wikipedia photograph.    These photograph took hours to produce with a film camera and scaffolding so that they could be taken in sections. 

A Unique Window.  In 1982.the writer had been restoring the Apethorpe Church Clock and dial made by John Watts of Stamford in 1704.   It was during this time he was distracted by a window in the east side of the Mildmay Chapel.  Transfixed by the unusual colours, especially early in the morning, he returned again and again to see in pictures the story of the Alpha and Omega.  This work of art dated 1621 had been completed by an artist in stained and painted glass who had a great imagination.  He must have had children as it is like an early  painting book with many illustrations.  Its beauty is in simple and not so simple coloured drawings.    How the window survived the Civil War and who cared for it is explained herein.  The South Chapel was built in 1621 to house the Mildmay Monument over the tomb of Sir Anthony Mildmay (d.1617) and his wife Lady Grace Mildmay (d. 1620).  He was knighted in 1596 when he was appointed ambassador to the French King Henry IV.  Sir Anthony was the son of Sir Walter Mildmay, Knight, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Privy Counsellor  to Queen Elizabeth I.  The writer thinks the window could be attributed to the Flemish artists Bernard or Abraham Van Linge, working in stained and painted glass between the years 1600-1642


If we had clear minds like children there would be no excuse not to go into other religious denominational churches.  In the church of England we understand that all pre-reformation churches in this country were once Roman Catholic, but we have no problem.

Religious items are displayed in this window among a wealth of creatures the artist had never seen. An elephant and a tiger with human ears, sea monsters all intertwined with the story of the Bible from Adam and Eve to the mysterious Revelations. They are all in the window shown on the left.


In the picture of the complete window right at the top is a small piece of stained glass in which there is a kind of code.   It is difficult to see the Hebrew lettering in black.  The same letters appear in the centre of the Sun in the right hand section. To show them clearly to the left (in black) is the same sign taken from the front decorative page of the King James Bible at Fotheringhay.   This word (the ‘sacred Tetragrammaton’) was  to be considered too sacred for utterance.  The Sun is the symbol of the Glory of God  - the Shekinah of the Jews.    Here the cloud is removed and the symbol of glory revealed.  It shows Christ in the Glory represented as a lamb of sacrifice. The surrounded by the Apostles and patriarchs all bowing down in worship (see The Revelation of St. John). 

The Interpretation.   YHWH in Roman script and here shown in Hebrew script reading from right to left  Here it is written more clearly HWAY.   We do not know how they pronounced it.  In early times Hebrew had no vowels and when the reader came to the word in the Bible he read it out as ADONAI - the Lord.  The vowels became muddled with YHWH - so in English it became Jehovah or Jah.   The name of God was all that the Jews could know about him  they were not allowed any graven image.  Its essential meaning is ‘I AM’  This is most extraordinary because it is the same idea as that of the Greek philosophers who said that God is the essential Being from whom everything is derived.  This means that the philosophers who started from considering mankind arrived at the same conclusion as that of the Jews who believed that God had revealed His Holy Name to them.   The writer remembers the late Canon Fred Stallard once vicar of All Saints Peterborough.  A friend and gentleman without whom this text would not exist.     

These four panels are at the base sections of the complete window. 

Henry Penn cast a bell for Apethorpe but it had no inscription. The design and the wire marks were a proof of authenticity.  It was purchased by an interested party for Kimbolton Church where it now hangs.

Apethorpe church clock made by -

 John Watts of Stamford signed and dated IW.1704.

The clock is still wound by Sue Lister and keeps good time.

The text cut into the stone beneath the dial -


And again in 1983 by Michael Lee when it had not worked in living memory.

Strictly copyright. Please note that all items on this site are strictly copyright. Any request for their use must be made to Michael Lee who would be pleased to answer questions