Redeemer Central – Rose Window

The original church on this site was completed in 1860, with further additions made on either side of the building in 1871 by Luke Macassey. Extensive renovations were completed in 1898 before it was largely destroyed by fire in 1931. The church was later rebuilt in 1932 to designs by the Belfast-based architect John Seeds, and again in 1955 by Samuel Stevenson & Sons following extensive bomb damage during the Belfast Blitz of World War II in 1944.

Rose Window

The stained-glass concentric-rose window dominates the west facing façade onto Donegall Street. Rose windows, sometimes known as wheel windows, are typical of Gothic architecture during the twelfth century but have their origins in Ancient Roman architecture.  Rose windows can be found of the most prestigious cathedrals in northern Europe including Notre Dame (France), Canterbury Cathedral (England) and the Cathedral of Modena (Italy). They are named after the design of the window itself which is made up of several small circles which stem out, like rose petals, from a central point. Most cathedral windows have symbolic meaning attached to them and the rose window, in particular, represents the consensus that many parts make a whole due to its geometry design. So that whatever the design of each of the windows they come together to reveal the overall Biblical symbolic message.

The rose window at Redeemer Central serves as a reminder to the legacy of the Belfast Blitz after the bombing damage. The rose window can be seen as a monument of beauty that arose from the ashes of destruction; a beacon of hope that continues to have a presence on the street today. The presently under construction University of Ulster campus hugs the gable of the Donegall Street Congregational Church building, meaning the rose window has the potential to be enjoyed, not only by its current neighbours but also by thousands of students that will influx into the area over the coming years.

Members Involved

YEAR: 1934

Location: Donegall Street