Birmingham Cathedral is home to four exquisite stained-glass windows, designed by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edwards Burne-Jones. They are some of the finest pieces of art in the city, and considered by many to be some of the most precious stained-glass windows in the world.
The colour and manufacture of the windows was undertaken in the workshop of William Morris – who was a close friend of Burne-Jones for many years. Burne-Jones had a deep connection with St Philip’s – being baptised here and spending his childhood nearby on Bennetts Hill.
The four windows were installed over a 12 year period between 1885 and 1897 – before St Philip’s was given cathedral status. They depict four key scenes from the life of Christ – reflecting the religious beliefs of their designer. The first window to be installed was The Ascension window – showing Christ ascending into heaven forty days after Easter. Either side of this window in the chancel are windows depicting Christ’s birth through The Nativity and death through The Crucifixion. At the west end of the cathedral is a glorious window showing the final days through The Last Judgement.
Work is currently in progress to clean, repair and conserve these treasures for future generations, as part of the Divine Beauty project.
Explore our windows
The Last Judgement
The Last Judgement was installed in 1897 and is widely recognised as the finest example of Burne-Jones’ work. The scene depicts the return of Christ and his judgement on humanity. The window was a memorial to the Bishop Bowlby of Coventry who was Rector of St Philip’s from 1875 to 1894.