Corsock Kirk Stained Glass Windows

James Clerk Maxwell Memorial Window


James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was born in Edinburgh but lived as a child and adult at Glenlair in the Parish of Kirkpatrick-Durham.

 He was undoubtedly the greatest genius Scotland has ever yet produced.

 He was the first director of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge and held chairs in Aberdeen Edinburgh Kings College London and Cambridge.

 Einstein regarded him as a genius and the founder of modern physics.

 His Father, John Clerk Maxwell, through his generosity enthusiasm and continuing support

was largely responsible for the building of the Corsock Parish Church in 1839.

 The original site of the James Clerk Maxwell memorial window is clearly seen on the facing gable in this illustration.

When the Church was closed in 1947 both the Window and the memorial plaque were transferred to the Free Kirk.

 The Parish Church was converted into a private dwelling in 1951 by James Martin. .

 Such was the strength of feeling at the time between the Free Church and the established Church of Scotland

 there was considerable resistance from some members of the Free Kirk Session to the enlargement of the window space

 to incorporate the memorial window in the current church.

 Some of the session threatened” to throw a hammer through it

However the Minister Dr G.B.Burnet (1946-1957) a strong character prevailed.

 A Plaque to John Clerk Maxwell, the scientist’s father can be seen on the north wall just inside to the left  as you enter .


The window is an equilateral arch on the south wall.

 It shows the three wise men standing, gazing at the star with rays from it bearing down onto a village in the distance behind palm trees.

 Each wears a golden crown and has his hands aloft in astonishment. The central figure in a red cloak carries a gold container.

The two other kings are decorated in rich cloaks in varying shades of gold white and blue.

 Around the image is a wide border of saltires, sacred monograms, with myrrh, frankincense or thistles as spacers. 

 The window was made and installed in the Parish Church in 1921 by Arthur J Dix Berners Street London

 It was transferred to the present Corsock church in1947



At the foot in Greek capitals are the words," Every good gift and every perfect gift ", but room did not permit the remainder of the clause,"is from above ."