North Oculus

Oculus means ‘eye’; it is not a Rose window as it has no supporting internal stonework.

The window, standing in the north east transept, dates from about 1178. The great height and the exposure of this window resulted in the designer making a complicated three dimensional frame, like a space frame to hold this huge window, almost 20 feet in diameter that has clearly stood the test of time – over 830 years (Image 1).

Because of the exposure to the elements and also bomb blasts in WWII  some of the 12th century glass has been replaced or restored. The subjects of the glass are from the Old Testament.

What to see:

  • A haloed Moses holds the Law in the form of jewelled book and with him is a veiled woman, representing the Synagogue, holding the Stone Tablets of the Law in her hands. Forming a square around this central panel are four triangular panels representing: Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude (Image 2)
  • Outside these panels are four semi-circular compartments representing: four prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.
  • The outer part of the window contains modern figures of minor prophets, probably 19th century reproductions of the originals.