Heritage

Stewart & Hutchinson sees the light

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Stained glass and leadlight specialist Stewart & Hutchinson has restored a historic piece of artwork to its former glory.

The company painstakingly restored four irreplaceable stained glass windows at St Cardoc’s Church in Glynneath after two of the window lancets were identified as requiring urgent attention. The work was completed in January 2012 and has helped to revitalise an important area of the church.

Each window lancet measures 9ft high and contains two medieval stained glass panes surrounded by a section of Victorian glass. The medieval panes were painted in the 16th century and feature images of abbots, monks and saints. Previous attempts to repair the windows had left the historic glazing showing visible signs of wear and tear so specialised restoration work was therefore required to protect the artwork from further damage.

Stewart & Hutchinson removed all of the glass panels from the lancet in order to enable conservator Bryony Benwell to clean, repair and restore the medieval panes. To ensure that the hard work will continue to payoff for future generations, Stewart & Hutchinson then employed a technique called Isothermal Glazing to help preserve the life of the windows.

The Isothermal Glazing process involved repositioning the medieval panes so that they sit 30mm in front of the background glass. A sheet of plain glass was then placed in front of the medieval panes to create a space within the lancets where air could comfortably circulate around the frame. The external face of the medieval glass is now protected from acid erosion and other external damage.

Stewart & Hutchinson Managing Director, Gordon Stewart, said:

“Once we had completed the project I really couldn’t believe the difference that we had made by restoring the windows.

“This was the perfect job and we couldn’t have completed it any better if we had tried. The work was finished on time, within budget and to a very professional standard.

“At Stewart & Hutchinson we really enjoy being involved in work of this nature. Projects like this come up only once every so often, so we were very lucky to be a part of the restoration of such an important piece of history.”

 

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