The History of Our Stained Glass Window

The History of Our Stained Glass Window

One of the newest additions to The Forbidden Corner is our castle tower, which houses a beautiful stained-glass window that was due to leave Coverdale. Tupgill Park rescued this amazing and beautiful piece of history that has now found a permanent home.

Did you know that this wonderful piece of art was originally housed in the Carlton Church, just 3 miles down the road from us. The window survived the church been sold and was offered to the Wall’s family whose ancestors paid for the window, as they had nowhere suitable to house the window it went to auction. The Forbidden Corner decided to purchase the window and house the window in our brand new castle.

We were recently contacted by Valeria Slater, who told us how the window is in memory of her 3x great grandfather William Walls. She told us how she was concerned that it might leave the area, but is so happy that it will continue to shine in Coverdale, as it has since 1875.

Valeria very kindly sent the following information about the window and we hope you find the history of this wonderful addition to our attraction as fascinating as we do.

The Walls Family Stained Glass Window

The dedication reads -“ To the Glory of God and in loving memory of her parents William and Mary Walls of Carlton who died in 1839 and 1807, this window is erected by their daughter Elizabeth Taylor, wife of Richard Taylor, Clayton Bridge, 1875.” 

So who were William and Mary Walls? 

The first sighting we have of them is in Coverham Parish Register when William Walls of Ashgill married Mary Metcalfe of Brecongill, by licence, at Holy Trinity Coverham on 5 July 1791. 

Both Ashgill and Brecongill were farms and horse racing establishments near Coverham Church owned by John Mangle, a trainer and jockey.

William and Mary would have been employees but the fact that they married by licence suggests they had a bit of money and some pretensions to middle class life. They could both sign their names and were probably senior servants of Mr Mangle. 

They had five daughters – the last two being born in Carlton because by then William was the licensee of a public house. He bought the property from the estate of Roger Dawson, late of Middleham, in 1797. There is a family story that William won enough money to buy the pub by betting on the horses! 

William’s wife Mary died on 30 January 1807 and was buried at Coverham.

William married again in November of the same year to Isabella Heseltine and the couple went on to have two sons. Their elder son, also William, would succeed his father as landlord in 1839 and rename the inn ‘The Foresters Arms’.

By 1831 William and Mary’s daughter Elizabeth Walls had moved to Lancashire where she married Richard Taylor, the owner of a calico printing works in Failsworth. Richard did well in business, at one time employing over 200 people in his factory – including Elizabeth’s half-brother Christopher, as a bookkeeper. 

After her father died in 1839 Elizabeth arranged for an impressive ‘triptych’ memorial stone to be placed in Coverham churchyard in memory of both her parents.

The Taylors were wealthy, enjoying life in their large detached residence with a number of servants. Elizabeth not only paid for the stained glass window in Carlton church but also gifted a harmonium and made a donation to the appeal for the schoolroom extension. Richard and Elizabeth had previously subscribed towards the rebuilding of St Botolph’s church in Horsehouse, so they were keen benefactors to the dale. 

Elizabeth died in 1878 followed by her husband Richard in 1880. When their only daughter Martha died in 1899 she left an estate worth over £34,000 – equivalent to several millions today. Most of it went to hospital and religious charities but no more made its way to Coverdale.

Elizabeth’s half brother William Walls continued at The Foresters Arms until his death in 1892 when his son Joseph took over. The Walls family sold the pub to Theakston’s brewery in 1923. 

When the Church of the Good Shepherd was due to be sold and the diocese had no use for the window, it was offered to the Walls family – but we had nowhere suitable to put it. Aside from any controversy about the construction of the tower, the family is very pleased that this beautiful window is still shining in Coverdale, facing towards The Foresters Arms and close to the spot in Coverham churchyard where William and Mary Walls are taking their final rest. 

The window in our castle as it stands today
The window in Carlton Church
before it was removed
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