THE Bishop of Winchester has dedicated a stained glass memorial window in memory of Edward, Lord Montagu in Beaulieu.

A new stained glass window in his memory has been formally dedicated by the Bishop of Winchester at a special service in Beaulieu Abbey.

The design by Nicholas Bechgaard is based on one proposed to mark the Millennium in Beaulieu Abbey Church but was not installed.

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His son, Lord Montagu, said: "It is over eight years since my father died but his spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of those of us who knew and loved him.

"I know he would be pleased to see this design resurrected and I hope that even after all of us have left this earth, the imagery here will be an enduring statement about the church in our community."

Hampshire Chronicle: The commemorative stained glass windowThe commemorative stained glass window (Image: Beaulieu)

The Bishop, the Right Rev Philip Mounstephen, made his first visit to Beaulieu since taking office last year, to perform the dedication on Saturday, February 17.

He said: "This window is beautiful for its design, for its execution, and for its celebration of this place and its history.

"And there was beauty too in the very life that this window commemorates and celebrates. The 3rd Baron Montagu appreciated beauty and he appreciated history too."

A specially composed anthem by composer and conductor George Arthur was performed for the first time during the service.

The new window, made by the Salisbury Cathedral stained glass workshop, contains the inscription: "To the Glory of GOD and in loving memory of Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu and patron of this parish 1926-2015.

The imagery in the window symbolises different aspects of the Christian faith, presented in the context of the local landscape. At the top, the crown and crosier are taken from the badge of Beaulieu Abbey which was founded by Cistercian monks in 1204.

The dove in the quatrefoil represents the Holy Spirit, flanked by swans which are well known on the Beaulieu River and symbols of purity and grace. The central feature, an oak tree, represents Christ, the Tree of Life, rooted in the patchwork of fields which represent the parish.

A cross marks the position of the church of today at the head of the Beaulieu River and an anchor further downstream locates the maritime village of Buckler’s Hard, where naval ships were built from local oak in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the Solent, the ship Salvata is depicted as this was the vessel used by the monks who founded Beaulieu Abbey in 1204. The fish surrounding it are symbols associated with early Christianity.

A panel at the base commemorates Edward, Lord Montagu’s work as custodian of the Beaulieu Estate and patron of the parish for 63 years.

He championed heritage as an active member of the House of Lords and was the founding president of the Historic Houses Association, as well as the first chairman of English Heritage.

He also created the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where today’s visitors are welcome to view his memorial window.

The church door from the attraction is open from 1-3pm daily, subject to services. For more information see or call 01590 612345.