The fine window above the altar at Longworth Chapel in Bartestree, just outside Hereford, is set to return before Christmas.
Designed by the celebrated Birmingham firm of glass makers and church furnishers, Hardman & Co, the glass was carefully removed by HCT some years ago and kept safely in a crate until it could be restored and returned to its proper place. After three years of fundraising, restoration work finally got under way this Autumn thanks to many of our Supporters.
The stonework of the window tracery to which it will return will also be repaired as part of the project. The stained glass has been taken to the studios of Nick Bayliss who won the tender for restoration. Now in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter at the Bayliss workshop, the window is being restored less than a mile from the spot where the Harman & Co’s Birmingham Studios first made it in the 1860s. Simon Dawson, HCT’s Project Manager recently visited the studios to see work in progress along with members of the Longworth Chapel committee. He took these photos of work being done.
The window now requires comprehensive re-leading and repairs to many small areas of damage.
The windows of Hardman and Co of this period were celebrated for their fine painting and the beauty of the rich glass colours in a carefully limited range of hues.
Both the drawing style and colours were a painstaking recreation based on surviving medieval glass. Once back in situ at Longworth chapel the last part of the job is to protect the stained glass from accidental or deliberate damage by fitting external grilles – made to measure in black coated stainless steel – to minimise the visual impact.
Thanks are due to everyone who gave to our appeal for the Longworth Hardman window restoration for making this work possible.
We’ve almost reached our target – only £2400 to go for our beautiful window to be back in place
Longworth Chapel’s most significant feature is the East window, a fine example of Hardman & Co. stained glass.
Hardman & Co., founded in 1838, became one of the world’s leading stained glass manufacturers. The fruitful collaboration between Hardman, ANW Pugin and later his son Edward, helped to cement their reputation. The Longworth window was created during the firm’s heyday in the 1860s and 1870s. It has been described by a specialist as ‘of exceptional quality’.
The fragile window was removed for safe-keeping whilst funds were raised for its conservation and reinstatement.
The total cost of the conservation and reinstatement of the window and the repair of the stonework is £32,655.
Historic Chapels Trust has already raised £30,355 from Historic England and private donors and we are all working hard to raise the rest of the funds we need.
The chapel was originally dedicated to St James. The chapel is still used for an annual Mass. This year the Most Reverend George Stack Archbishop of Cardiff will again be the Celebrant assisted by members of the community at Belmont Abbey. Donations were made towards our window appeal at this year’s service, which was officiated by His Grace the Archbishop of Cardiff, assisted by the Abbot of Belmont accompanied by Brother Bernard and Brother Augustine.
Please help us to raise the £2300 that is still needed to enable us to conserve and reinstate the window, which is the glory of the chapel. Please do make a contribution – no matter how little.
Longworth Chapel was acquired by Historic Chapels Trust in 2001. Historic Chapels Trust rescues redundant Nonconformist and Roman Catholic places of worship. HCT is a Registered Charity (No. 1017321).