The design of the tracery of the Guildry window is a beautiful example of the richness of the imagination of medieval craftsmen. Much of medieval art is inspired and controlled by the mystical power of number symbolism, and an analysis of the geometry of this window shows that the whole design is controlled by the numbers 3 and 4. These numbers were the inspiration of the stained glass.
The dominant motif is the reversed 4, which is the merchants' mark that dates from the Middle Ages. The vertical and horizontal bars form the Sign of the Cross; an appropriate symbol for the Kirk of the Holy Rude. The window faces south, therefore this golden cross, surrounded by deep blues, will shine on the floor of the nave. Since the word "nave" derives from the Latin for a ship it is an appropriate place for a window donated by the Guildry of Stirling, long associated with merchant trade.
Crear McCartney, who designed the Guildry Window, was born in 1931 in Symington, Lanarkshire. He was educated at Biggar High School. After service in the Royal Air Force he studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1950-55 and was awarded the Diploma in Design (Stained Glass).
From 1955-60 he was Manager of the Stained Glass Studio at Pluscarden Abbey, Morayshire, then, following teacher training in Aberdeen, he was an art teacher in Elgin Academy and a principal teacher of art in Lesmahagow High School between 1961-88. Since 1988 he has been a freelance stained glass artist.
During his career Mr McCartney has carried out commissions for 79 stained glass windows in Scotland, England and the USA. His principal work can be seen in windows for Pluscarden and Prinknash Abbeys, the west window of the 850th Anniversary of St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney and Dornoch Cathedral, the south transept window in Linlithgow, and other churches and chapels in Indiana, USA, Biggar, Stonehouse, Law Hospital, Wishaw, Nairn, Peebles, Prestonpans, Ayr and Kirkconnel. Other commissions include a window for the offices of Scottish Malt Distilleries in Elgin and heraldic panels for the Norwich Union in Aberdeen. In 1989 he designed the RAF Memorial Window at St Eval, Cornwall.