Bill's Lecture - Romsley






Bill's Lecture

Brierley Hill


Dudley Wood

Cradley Heath










Additional Material



Bethesda, Cradley


Great Witley



St Kenolm’s. It’s almost the last item I'm doing. Because I know in St Kenolm’s church there are one or two fine windows but one in particular which was the work of Miss Florence Camm. And the cartoons for this window were exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1915. It was the story, the legend of St Kenolm in several little panels.

But look at this one, this is a very fine window, very widely regarded, William Morris made it. They call it the Faith window. Peace and Faith. And William Gladstone the politician gave the window, nothing very striking about it but it was the gift of William Gladstone.

But look here at the story of St Kenolm. And around all those pictures dealing with the legend of Kenolm is a banner with each describing a piece of the scene.



And it’s a real masterpiece, if ever you get up there take a pair of binoculars or field glasses with you and study the fine painting and detail on this. I've got several photographs of some of the panels.

St Kenolm is relating to his nurse the story of his dream, how he dreams that his uncle, the wicked Askobert, is going to murder him. And he's relating the story to his old nurse, who's there at the foot of the bed. And Kenolm's sister is trying to get this wicked Askobert onto the throne and she's tried to poison Kenolm (but he's into it) to arrange that Askobert's going to murder him. And according to the legend underneath it says Kenolm wearied of hunting, falls asleep. And the wicked Askobert is digging his grave. All described on these panels at the base.

And a strange thing, there's a white cow there, and a thorn bush on the spot where Kenolm was murdered. There he's holding his sword up, to cut Kenolm's head off as he prays there.


And there's that white dove who's going to fly to St Peters in Rome and inform the Pope of it.



And that was the writing – ‘Under a thorn, Kenolm king born, his head cut shorn’ - and that was on a banner edge which went to where the Pope was in Rome.
Devotedly of course. It’s all legend, superstition, myth. But very beautifully executed by Miss Florence Camm. And here they're taking Kenolm's body back to Winchcombe which is his birthplace and his home and they are met with opposition here at Hereford, somewhere by Pershore Bridge they think. Because the people of Gloucestershire are jealous that the relics should go to Winchcombe and the people of Worcester have got a battle going on here to retain Kenolm's relics, back at Clent.


And here are the people at Winchcombe and the Papal Legate who's been sent over from Rome to discover, they'd discovered where the grave was and here is a picture of it, they'd found the spot.

The white cow was still there and the thorn bush which is mentioned in the legend. And here is the last thing of all, there are several more but I'm skipping them a bit Kenolm on his natal day releases the beggar from the jail and he gives sight to the man, you see he has the mans two eyes in his hand, gives sight to the blind man here. Very, very lovely and beautifully done.
I can rave over things like that.