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Mapperley Church Stained Glass Windows

In 1922 the Mapperley Colliery Company built a new office block at the Simon Lane site. During this time, works buildings were not just seen as places of work, but designed as industrial monuments. To enhance the look of the new building, George Spencer the Works Engineer, decided to fit the windows with stained glass. Depicting scenes of early coal mining techniques, this allowed visitors to the colliery the opportunity to see how the industry had developed over the centuries.

Twelve illustrations from the book (a German publication) De Re Metallica by Georgius Agricola, published in 1556, was chosen. Excellent copies were made in yellow and brown glass, giving the new windows an 'aged' appearance. 

With the closing of the Colliery in 1966, the windows were removed and inserted into the office staircase at the NCB Headquarters at Eastwood Hall.

Many local miners resented their removal and relocation, protesting about the villages loss. Then in 1969 with the total disbandment of coal mining in the area, together with the closure of Eastwood Hall Headquarters, there was an opportunity for the villages to reclaim the windows and install them into their new church. This posed a serious problem to the Vicar, Rev. G.C.C. Spencer, who pointed out that the contemporary style church did not lend itself to stained glass panels being fitted. He finally decided that they should be returned but left free-standing, placing them near the entrance. This work was undertaken and they remained in store at the church for a considerable time. Finally, they were inserted into the main church doors, where they can still be seen today.

The press recorded this event saying:-

"It is ironic that the old church had to be demolished because of mining subsidence. The compensation money went to pay for the new church, which opened only a few weeks after the pit, which caused the trouble, was closed by the NCB. Now the Coal Board's administrative set-up has also been disbanded and just the church and panels remain. There must be a moral there some-where?" The twelve panels show surveying techniques, crank pumps, horse gins and shaft boring operations, with tools and equipment used during these early times."

Mapperley Church Windows

In 1922 the Mapperley Colliery Company built a new office block. During this time, works buildings were not just seen as places of work, but designed as industrial monuments. To enhance the look of the new building, George Spencer the Works Engineer, decided to fit the windows with Stained Glass. Depicting scenes of early coal mining techniques, this allowed visitors to the Colliery the opportunity to see how the industry had developed over the centuries.

Illustrations from the book (a German publication) De Re Metallica by Georgius Agricola, published in 1556, was chosen. Excellent copies were made in yellow and brown glass, giving the new windows an "aged" appearance.

With the closing of the Colliery in 1966, the windows were removed and inserted into the office staircase at the NCB Headquarters at Eastwood Hall. Many local miners resented their removal and relocation, protesting about the village's loss. Then in 1969 with the total disbandment of coal mining in the area, together with the closure of the Eastwood Hall Headquarters, there was an opport­unity for the villagers to reclaim the windows and install them into their new church. This posed a serious problem to the Vicar, Rev G.C.C. Spencer, who pointed out that the contemporary style of church did not lend itself to stained glass panels being fitted. He finally decided that they should be returned but left free­standing, placing them near the entrance. This work was undertaken and they remained in store at the church for a considerable time. Finally they were inserted into the main church doors, where they can be seen today.

The press recorded this event saying, "It is ironic that the old church had to be demolished because of mining sub­sidence. The compensation money went to pay for the new church, which opened only a few weeks after the pit, which caused the trouble, was closed by the NCB. Now the Coal Board's administrative set-up has also been disbanded and just the church and panels remain. There must be a moral there some-where?" The twelve panels show surveying techniques, crank pumps, horse gins and shaft boring operations, with tools and equipment used during these early times.

Roger Wood

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Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

He was a German Physician and Scientist, known as the Father of Mineralogy. DE RE METALLICA was published in 1556.  The text had been completed several years before his death, but the delay in publication was due to the many artists required to transfer his detailed drawings into woodcuts, ready for the press. Once printed, it became a standard book for metallurgy and mining students for over a century. Written in Latin, it was not until 1912 that Herbert Clark Hoover, and his wife Lou Henry Hoover, the former President and First Lady of America, translated the book into English.

Printing only a very limited first edition, it quickly sold out to Industrial Historians, book collectors and academics in Metallurgy and Mining.

When out of print, second hand copies of this edition soon started selling for several hundreds of pounds; a signed copy for several thousands.

The "Mining  Magazine" in London also published the work in 1912.

Following the Second World War there was considerable interest in industrial literature, and in 1950 Dover Publications of New York published another edition in a complete and unchanged translation.

It is from the 1912 publication that Mr. George Spencer selected his twelve illustrations, with these being used in the making of the windows for the colliery offices at Mapperley.

Roger Wood 2011 


Jubilee Fund 1977 and Interesting Church Timelines.

The fund was to cover the costs of screen curtaining to the alter, new flooring etc

Many thanks to Bill Skinner for this very interesting document


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