The late fifteenth-century stained glass at Long Melford parish church has long been recognised as one of the most splendid schemes to have survived from late medieval England. Best-known, for its extensive sequence of so-called ‘donor’ figures depicting various relations of John Clopton, a wealthy wool merchant who was the principal bene-factor behind the rebuilding of the church from around 1480, the windows also include an array of saintly, angelic, devotional and heraldic subjects.
Thanks to an extraordinarily generous donation by one of Clopton’s descendants, this exceptional scheme is now the subject of a major restoration project that will clear away centuries worth of grime, allowing visitors to appreciate its beauty and the skill of the craftsmen responsible for it to its full extent once again.
But the church has not stopped here. Efforts are underway to raise a further £500,000 to finance crucial further work, including the installation of protective glazing, to preserve the restoration efforts for generations to come.