The nave and aisles were rebuilt between 1872 and 1874 by the architect Henry Woodyer in the grand and spacious 14th century Decorated style of the earlier chancel which was also built by Woodyer in 1868.
Below are some of the features you can find in the North Aisle.
The panel was installed on the wall of the north aisle in 2016 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. It was commissioned to complement the Diamond Jubilee Panel of Queen Victoria on the south aisle wall.
Arthur Powell was a member of St Martin’s Church from 1858 until his death in 1894. He was a senior partner at James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars, London who were a leading company of glassmakers, leadlighters and stained glass window manufacturers. The company existed from the 17th century but became well known as a result of the 19th century Gothic Revival and the demand for stained glass windows. Arthur Powell was responsible for much of the decoration of the rebuilt church, in particular the stained glass and the opus sectile monuments. Window 8 in the north aisle was donated by him and window 7 is dedicated to him by his son.
The memorial to Arthur Powell and his wife is made using opus sectile; a form of mural decoration which combines the techniques of mosaic work with the design features of stained glass. Opus sectile was developed in the ancient and medieval Roman world where materials were cut and inlaid into walls and floors to make a picture or pattern. The materials were cut in thin pieces, polished, then trimmed further according to a chosen pattern. Unlike tessellated mosaic techniques, where the placement of very small uniformly sized pieces forms a picture, opus sectile pieces are much larger and can be shaped to define large parts of the design.
Although the technique died out with the decline of the Empire, the technique was revived in England in the late 19th century by artists working in the Arts and Crafts movement. James Powell & Sons at the Whitefriars Glass Works were the leading firm using this technique.
The north aisle windows all show subjects from the the Old Testament and are the work of James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars. Arthur Powell, who was a senior partner in the company, lived in Dorking from 1858 until his death in 1894, and was responsible for much of the decoration of the rebuilt church. Window 8 was donated by him and window 7 is dedicated to him by his son.
The windows date from between 1889 and 1894, except for the two above the Children’s Corner which were fitted in 1939. All the windows are made up of three lights and tracery. They are listed below numbered from the west end by the children's corner:
Window 1: The subjects of these windows are King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (left), King Solomon building the first Temple (centre), and rebuilding the Temple (right). In the tracery there is a lamp with a seven-branched candlestick (Menorah) to either side. This window, together with Window 2, were made in memory of John Colegate Hargrave Barnes who died in 1924 and his wife, Laura Ellen Barnes who died in 1938. The windows cost £400.
Window 2: The subjects of these windows show Hannah offering her small son to Eli (left), the young Samuel being called by God (centre), and Samuel anointing David (right). In the tracery to either side there are two kneeling boys with scrolls, one with the word ‘Prayer’ and the other with ‘Praise’, and in the centre is the Holy Spirit. This window was made together with Window 1 in 1939 in memory of John and Laura Barnes. They were made by James Hogan who joined Powells straight from school in the 1890s and had started designing for them by 1908. From 1913 he was both their chief designer and salesman. He died in 1948. At this period Powells signed their glass with the tiny figure of a monk in a white habit which can be seen in the bottom right hand corner of the window.
Windows 3 & 4: Blank
Window 5: The subjects of these windows are from the story of Moses, first among the bulrushes (Truth), then Moses on Mount Sinai (Justice) and finally Moses looking at the Promised Land (Mercy). The tracery contains the Virgin and Child and the Magi. The cartoons were made in 1908 and cost £90.00. The window was given in memory of John and Caroline Young, who were well-established brewers in Dorking. They were the grandparents of 2nd Lieutenant Henry Young who was killed at Ypres in May 1915 and has a memorial in the church.
Window 6: The subjects of these windows are The Patriarchs, with the Sacrifice of Isaac, representing Faith, Jacob’s Dream, representing Hope, and Joseph receiving his brethren, representing Charity or Love. There are three parables in the tracery, showing the Good Shepherd, (Faith), the Sower (Hope), and the Good Samaritan (Charity). The cartoons were all made in 1903 by J. W.Brown and cost £90.00. The commission was in memory of Frederick Flood who died in 1901 and was given by his brothers and sisters.
Window 7: The subjects of these windows are ‘The History of the Flood’; one is entitled ‘By faith Noah prepared an ark’, the second 'A token of the covenant’, showing the rainbow, and the third ‘God is not the author of confusion but of peace’, showing the reconstruction following the Flood. It was commissioned in 1894 as a memorial to Arthur Powell by his son, Arthur Croft Powell, together with the opus sectile monument to him and his wife to the north and the clerestory windows showing Deborah and Caleb immediately above. The windows were all designed by J. W. Brown and cost £147. 15s. 0d.
Window 8: The subjects of these windows are ‘The History of the Fall’ with the Temptation, the Angel of the Lord and the Expulsion with the Crucifixion and angels in the tracery. It was commissioned by Arthur Powell of Milton Heath, who was one of the directors of James Powell & Sons, and cost £50.00. On the brass plate below the window Powell calls himself 'A Parishioner of Dorking', who a few years back was permitted to take part in the rebuilding of this church, now presents the above window 1889’. The wonderful designs are described in the firm’s archive as ‘from new cartoons by Brown’.