Windows: Dunfermline Abbey

The third in my photo-series is this beautiful stained glass window by Douglas Strachan in the old nave of Dunfermline Abbey.

It was commissioned in 1916 by the famous Dunfermline-born businessman Andrew Carnegie in memory of his parents, William Carnegie and Margaret Morrison.

The image symbolises the dawn of a new age, and features a red-robed poet or seer sitting on the ramparts of a ruined fortress, gazing over a city towards distant hills that are lit by the rays of sunrise.  Above him, two female figures representing East and West are meeting in peace, beneath the encircling wings of an angel.   A banner in gold script (about a third of the way down) reads:  “The work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”

The colours are stunning, blending richness with subtlety.   The window is set within the wonderful architecture of David I’s 12th century abbey church.

You can read more about Dunfermline Abbey here on The Hazel Tree.

More information:

Photo copyright © Jo Woolf


  1. Wonderful! Love that Norman architecture.

  2. Jim Rule says:


  3. Absolutely beautiful, thanks for sharing. And greetings to you, Jo, from Andrew Carnegie’s other home, Pittsburgh, PA!

  4. Douglas Strachan, I love his windows, I really must visit. Beautiful photo Jo 🙂 We got up as far as Dornoch this last trip and visited the lovely little cathedral, it has some wonderful windows.

    • Thanks, Lynne. Yes, you have found lots of Strachan’s windows yourself! His colours are amazing. Never been to Dornoch but it sounds lovely.

      • Dornoch and all the coast along that part of Scotland is beautiful. We went to meet a blogging friend there, she said I would like and she was right.

  5. Wonderful piece of art!

  6. Jim Rule says:

    We could use a new dose of righteousness this figure symbolizes!

  7. What a stunning conflation of exquisite stained glass design with a perennially resonant message…Thanks for sharing… Would love to visit and experience it with its scale and luminosity…

    • I know, well said, Jo! I shall have to look more closely at the other windows next time I visit. I was delighted to find the story behind this one. Dunfermline Abbey and Palace are magnificent. I’ve never seen anything quite like the interior of the nave, with those columns.

  8. Never actually been inside the abbey but walked around the graveyard and the arcitecture is really nice.

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