East Harling

 

East Harling church is the largest thing in its little market town, a 14th c. building that had a big 15th c. facelift; behind this makeover was Anne Harling (1426–98), an only child who became a rich heiress and who survived three husbands. Her father, Sir Robert Harling, died defending Paris in the Hundred Years’ War (1435); he left behind a rich daughter and instructions to found a chantry.

This was set up during the 1450s with work by the top mediaeval Norwich glass-makers, the John Wighton workshop. The glass survived the Reformation, was hidden from the Puritans, and what survives, together with glass from other windows, now fills the E. window of the chancel. Admire twenty and more scenes; at Gethsemane, you won’t miss a swarthy Judas, or Peter setting about Malchus, who’s carrying a lantern. At the Resurrection, Christ steps out of the tomb and displays wounds in his side, hands and feet, whilst in the Ascension, his feet still bearing the wounds disappear into cloud, leaving footprints behind on the mountain.

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