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The Studio at Canterbury Cathedral

Cleaning Glass under a microscopeModern stained glass conservation follows ethical guidelines that emphasise the long-term preservation of all historic materials (glass, lead, and structural support). A holistic view of windows within their architectural setting requires custom solutions for each project. The specification of materials and preventive measures such as protective glazing have to be tailored to respond to the environmental conditions and to the aesthetic, structural and liturgical requirements of each specific location.

All methods employed should be reversible and all steps undertaken must be fully recorded for the benefit of future generations.

Based on the guidelines set by the Church Building Council and the international Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi, the Cathedral Studios at Canterbury strive to achieve best possible standards in conservation by:

 

  • Providing a condition report on the stained glass with recommendations for its preservation
  • Careful cleaning of the glass
  • Consolidation and stabilising of the glass, paint pigments and leadwork
  • Recording of all steps undertaken
  • Design and manufacture of a protective glazing system where appropriate

 

 

The methods to achieve this are as numerous as the problems which confront the conservator

Cleaning Glass with a cotton SwabFor this reason each panel deserves a special treatment. The provision of the necessary facilities, knowledge and expertise is thus the raison d'être of the Cathedral Studios.

In doing so, the studio has gained a high reputation in the field of conservation. Its team of eight highly trained conservators care not only for the glass of Canterbury Cathedral, but has also worked on the windows of other churches and cathedrals throughout the country, e.g. Lincoln Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford, Gloucester Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, St. Mary's Church Lydiard Tregoze, St. Michael's Church East Hampstead and St. Gwenllwyfo Church Llanwenllwyfo, to name but a few.

The studio shares its expertise with clients ranging from private collections to institutions like The National Trust and English Heritage