On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of helping chaperon a tour of two churches in York, exploring some of the oldest and the newest stained glass in the city. The glass in St. Denys, Walmgate and All Saints, Pavement collectively covers a history stretching over 800 years of the craft of stained glass production.
The tour was organised by York’s Stained Glass Centre and presented by local experts in the field of stained glass. Phil Thomas, Church Buildings Officer at Diocese of York, began the tour in St. Denys church, Walmgate, with a fascinating insight into the intricate details which can be found in medieval fragmentary glass. In one window we have a donor figure, Robert de Skelton, citizen of York, depicted giving a window in c.1340.
Other fragmentary glass across the church contains interesting figures and details, such as an angel playing a harpsicord. All in all the glass in this church rewards detailed inspection of its contents.
The tour of All Saints, Pavement was lead by Keith Barley, local stained glass conservator of Barley Studios, Dunnington, who gave an interesting description relating to his conservation of the medieval glass some decades ago. Furthermore he described the fabulous Kempe windows in this church as well as the interesting west window, which is now quite fragmented.
Helen Whittaker, stained glass artist and painter at Barley Studios, Dunnington, concluded the tour with a detailed description of her new stained glass window, designed for the church and installed in July 2015. The window commorates three soldiers from the area, as well as all the local men and women who died serving in the Afghanistan war. It is a fabulous window and displays a thoughtful treatment of subject.
To find out more about the events held by the Stained Glass centre in York, and similar tours visit http://www.stainedglasscentre.org/.