Project: St Thomas Churh Stanhope. Type: Medieval Glass Conservation.

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We were asked by the church to provide a conservation report on the west window, thought to Victorian Glass with a view to stabilising it as it moved in the wind.  When we arrived on site and discovered this treasure trove of old glass, rare in the North East after the English Civil War, the parish especially the church wardens were very keen to have it properly conserved.

 

A full report was provided and the window digitally recorded. Having this quality of report enabled the parish to obtain grant aid from The Worshipful Company of Glaziers, Northumbria Historic Churches trust and others to enable the work to be carrid out to our specifications.

 

The windows were removed and new primary glazing in distorted float glass installed with lead condensation trays.

 

Where the panels were falling apart; notably the tracery lights, the lead was replaced but in most places we were able to conserve the Wailes lead matrix with the exception of mending and strap leads, which we removed.

 

The glass was carefully cleaned with air cleaning used to remove a percentage of the corrosion products and excessive hard cement from the medieval glass. Areas of lost paint were sympathetically replaced on fired backing plates to allow legibility and reversability. The centre light contained 14th Century glass in the border and a made up figure of a Bishop in the central medallion mostly from the same period.

The C17-18 arms in the tracery panels were a particular case as the red field had been lost completely making the arms unreadable. This was again solved by back plating.

 

Particular care was taken not to overstate the new line work as can be seen in the finished head in image 4.

 

The finished glass was bronze framed and fitted to the inside under isothermal conditions. Black powdercoated 316g stainless steel grilles were fitted to the outside to cut down the glare from the primary glazing and provide additional protection to this locally valuable collection of glass.

 

 

 

 

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