The Nativity with the Adoration of the Kings and the Shepherds, with Sts. Brigid, Fachtna and Barrahane (tracery lights)
St. Barrahane’s Church of Ireland, Castletownsend, Co. Cork (MAP) Number of Windows in Castletownsend: 3 : Number of Lights in this Window: 3 Date 1926
The nativity window is positioned on the east wall of the beautiful church of St. Barrahane. The window was commissioned in 1917 in memory of Thomas Somerville and his wife, Henrietta Townsend of Drishane House.
Harry received the commission from the Somerville family, who were represented by the writer, Edith Oenone Somerville (Bowe: 1994).
The tracery lights depict three saints. Saint Brigid is one of the patron saint of Ireland; Saint Fachtna, founder of the diocese of Ross, and St. Barrahane, patron saint of the parish (Castlehaven Parish).
The first light depicts the shepherds paying homage to the Christ child. Their raiment is highly decorated in various shades of blue, pink, green, red, purple and gold. The second light depicts the holy family. Mary kneels over the baby while Joseph stands behind them, holding an elaborate lantern.
The third light depicts the magi, attired in even more elaborate garments of blue, green, magenta and gold, with the sheen of silks and satins. Each holds his gift with reference and adoration. The window is signed in the lower panel of the right light: Harry Clarke 1918 Dublin.
Photos by © Michael Cullen (for prints/sales www.irishimages.org) - Text © by Lucy Costigan
Bowe, N. Gordon, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke, Irish Academic Press, 1994
Castlehaven Parish, County Cork, Church of St. Barrahane