Stained Glass Violence!

Stained Glass at Gloucester Cathedral


While investigating Gloucester Cathedral last week I noticed this little image displayed in the cloisters.  I have literally no idea as to the actual event it is portraying, whether or not the events portrayed actually happened or if they even relate to the cathedral itself.

I am fairly sure the image is not Biblical, I doubt medieval knights were wandering around beheading people 2000 years ago.

In fact, as I look at it more I am wondering if this an image representing something of the Crusades?  The tower in background has a vaguely Islamic look to it and the warriors helmet looks like something a Saracen might have worn. Maybe.


It certainly seems someone saintly is about to lose his head.

I’m oddly depressed now. I’m not a fan of violence, even that displayed upon very old stained glass.


Thanks for looking.



3 thoughts on “Stained Glass Violence!

  1. It would be depicting the martyrdom of a saint. If you can get a closer look there may be plaque with a title like…”the matyrdom of St. John” If there is a care-taker they may know or at least where you can find out.
    Dying by a violent death was unfortuately the way many Christian evangalists and leaders died, especially during the Crusades. If you look through the lives of saints most of them were martyred. It seems to be in part how one becomes a saint.

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