By Peter Hildebrand
Earlier this month the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the BSMGP launched a new website, www.visitstainedglass.uk, aimed at encouraging us all to visit some special stained glass.
The windows highlighted on the site have been selected by a number of leading artists, conservators and authors, who have each selected 10 windows which they think are particularly worthy of a visit.
Typical is a continental glass panel from 1631 (Fig. 1) at the Church of St Mary and All Saints, Lambourne, Essex, recommended by Vidimus co-editor Chris Parkinson. The panel is one of 5 exquisite enamel painted panels dating from 1623-1637. Originating from Basle and installed in 1817, the panels depict: doubting Thomas, the difference between Good and Evil, the Adoration of the Magi, Christ and St Peter in the sea and the Adoration of the Shepherds. The panels contain several other smaller scenes. While continental panels are not uncommon, being collected by the wealthy mainly during the nineteenth century, panels as fine as these are rare.
Demonstrating the wide variety of styles covered by the website is a window by Crear McCartney, the celebrated Scottish artist (Fig. 2) at the Church of St Eval, near Newquay, Cornwall. This extremely powerful memorial window is dedicated to the memory of the lives lost by Coastal Command in the Second World War. It was selected by Michael Swift, who is renowned for his work on stained glass in Cornwall, more details of which can be found at
The individual recommendations are supplemented by a number of themes covering the great cathedrals and museums, as well as more specialised topics, such as a feature by Arthur Rope on the Two Margaret Ropes, and a fascinating essay by Douglas Hogg on Scottish stained glass.
An important feature of the site is the map, which allows the location of highlighted windows to be quickly established, and helps in planning visits. The website has been designed with visits in mind, so only windows in buildings that are regularly open, or where access can be achieved through an email to the church wardens, have been included.
The many hundreds of windows featured, with supporting high quality images, make this an interesting site to browse, but hopefully most of all it will encourage its readers to Visit Stained Glass.