The stained glass in Durham Cathedral varies considerably in date, although most is from the 19th century. Some medieval glass from Durham Cathedral still survives in the building, other fragments were acquired through purchase.
The disappearance of most of the Cathedral’s medieval stained glass is because much of it was destroyed by iconoclasts during the Reformation (they considered the depiction of saints blasphemous). The English Civil War, in the mid seventeenth century, did not help, and probably led to further destruction.
The Rose Window
Originally glazed in the 15th century by Richard Pickering, the present glass dates from the late nineteenth century, and depicts Christ surrounded by the apostles, in turn surrounded by the 24 elders from Revelation.
The 15th century glass was removed in the late eighteenth century by James Wyatt, an architect nicknamed the destroyer for his heavy-handed interventions in the Cathedral.
In the surrounding windows, some of Durham’s key bishops are depicted, including the first Prince Bishops, St Calais and Flambard, and Van Mildert, the last.
For more information, refer to The Stained Glass of Durham Cathedral, By Roger Norris (Jarold 2001).