St. Michael and All Angels Church of England, Waterford, Hertfordshire

St. Cecilia and a Listening Angel

St Michael & All Angels, High Road,  Waterford, Hertfordshire, SG14 2PS, England  (Map) Number of Windows: 2, Number of Lights: 1 Date:  1929

The window at Welwyn Water was commissioned by Mrs. Prentice to commemorate her daughter, Rachel, who died at age nineteen in March of 1919. Harry brought Mrs. Prentice to view his work at the Studios and at Terenure and sent her his designs for a two-light window.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee of St. Michael and All Angels at Waterford, Herts, rejected Harry’s designs and also his subsequent alterations. The Committee stated that the designs were not in keeping with the PreRaphaelite windows in the church, including those by Burne-Jones, William Morris, and Ford Maddox Brown. The commission was subsequently cancelled (Bowe: 1994). It was not until 1929 that Karl Parsons used Harry’s designs to make the St. Cecilia window. The window has three tracery lights. The panels at the top of the window depict the angel, bending over to whisper in Saint Cecilia’s ear. The main panels depict Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music. Saint Cecilia has dark red hair and is attired in silver-grey robes. The lower panel is inscribed with a quote from Revelations (14.4): The first fruits unto God.


Bowe, N. Gordon, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke, Irish Academic Press, 1994 Photos by Michael Cullen (for prints/sales - Text by Lucy Costigan