Conserving Felbrigg's stained glass

The stained glass panels refitted following conservation work
Published : 29 Mar 2016 Last update : 09 Apr 2020

Over the winter months of 2015/16 the windows of the west bay in the Great Hall could be seen glazed with only clear glass for the first time since the mid-nineteenth century.

Necessary preservation

Two tiers of stained glass panels were removed from the window in the west bay of the Great Hall as part of a conservation project. This was done to provide an environment for the stained glass that will slow the mechanisms of decay which are affecting it, as well as working on the stained glass itself.

The work

The project work was undertaken by stained glass specialists Jonathan & Ruth Cooke Ltd of Ilkley, West Yorkshire. After removing the panels from the window Jonathan carefully packed and boxed them into wooden crates for transportation back to the workshop in Ilkley.

Back in Ilkley work was carried out to provide sufficiently stable lead work to keep the stained glass secure and to ensure that it isn't put at future risk of damage by weakness in the lead matrix. The glass was cleaned where deemed necessary in order to reveal the original beauty and delicacy of the design that may have been hidden under years of accumulated dirt.

The stained glass panels already have existing external protective glazing but this is sealed meaning that cleaning the interspace and maintenance isn't usually possible, but with the panels removed we were able to carry out these important tasks.

Back together again

Back in its rightful position
The Great Hall at Felbrigg
Back in its rightful position

The panels were expertly reinstalled in one and a half days, ready for the Great Hall to look its best for 2016 with the sun shining through the now clean and conserved glass.