The Medieval Writer’s window, The Great Hall at The University of Sydney

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The Medieval Writer’s window, The Great Hall at The University of Sydney


Author, canopy, Education, Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), Gothic Revival, Great Hall, James I of Scotland (1394-1437), John Fortescue (1394-1476), learning, literature, medieval, neo-gothic, New South Wales, NSW, Quadrangle, Stained Glass, Sydney, The University of Sydney, university, university buildings, window, writer


An image of one of a series of colourful and elaborate figural windows with trefoil heads created especially for The University of Sydney by the London firm of Clayton & Bell (c. 1859-60). The window depicts three well-known medieval writers: Geoffrey Chaucer (l), the jurist John Fortescue (c), and James I of Scotland (r). Each of the three figures is fully ‘canopied,’ a self-conscious nineteenth-century ‘medievalism’ that lends an ecclesiastical dignity to the overall composition. The Great Hall at the University of Sydney is functionally a place of assembly, and its appearance is strikingly similar to the choir of a medieval church. The Hall is designed to invoke the ambience, seriousness, and sense of achievement of the great medieval seats-of-learning established at Oxford and Cambridge. The collection of windows gathered within its walls is one of the finest anywhere in Australia, and encompasses a variety of themes, including those of learning, patronage, royalty and corporate endeavour.

To view this and other stained glass windows from the Great Hall and Quadrangle, see:


White, David




© David White (photo)