Stand Two| The end of the world?
This window represents the last 15 days of the world. It was inspired by an anonymous 700-year-old poem ‘The Pricke of Conscience’. The viewer is encouraged to reflect and repent to save their soul when the world ends.
The Pricke of Conscience
Our window is unique. It was made about 100 years after the poem was written. It is the only window to show part of this popular 10,000-line poem in both images and text. The poet wrote it in English, and not Latin, because of
“....the lewd [clueless] men of England that can nought but English understand.”
Who paid for it?
The kneeling figures at its base represent the Henryson and Hessle families, who paid for this window. They believed the world was going to end soon.
When was it made?
William Hessle was made Baron of the Exchequer (a court judge) in 1421. The window may date from around this time.
Did you know?... The fallen church spire in day 7 may be inspired by this church’s spire. It was built 15 years before the window.
The end of the world
Each panel represents one of the last 15 days of the world as described in the ‘Pricke of Conscience’ poem. They lead us through the physical destruction of the earth, the fate of humans and the end of the world.
What message or stories do you see?
- The sea floods the land
- The sea falls revealing the sea bed
- The sea returns
- Fish leap out
- The sea catches fire
- Fruit drops off the trees
- Earthquakes destroy buildings
- Fire swallows the rocks
- People take refuge in caves
- Just the earth and sky remain
- People come out of caves praying
- Graves open up
- Stars fall from heaven
- All life dies
- Everything is in flames
- St Peter lets those who have repented into heaven
- Demons take the damned to hell