UK first for York Minster as state of the art protective glazing is fitted into the Great East Window
A significant milestone in the restoration of York Minster's Great East Window will be reached this week when conservators and glaziers of the York Glaziers Trust (YGT) begin the delicate task of fitting protective glazing to the restored tracery of the Great East Window.
The stained glass and its outer protection were carefully removed in the spring and summer of 2008 allowing the conservation of stone and glass to proceed. More than 600 years after the stained glass was designed and installed by master glazier John Thornton, the first panel of a newly manufactured protective glazing - essential to the long-term future of Thornton's medieval masterpiece - will be installed this week.
The ventilated protective glazing system, made with an innovative UV-resistant glass manufactured by the world-famous Glasshϋtte Lamberts in Germany, will provide state-of-the-art environmental protection for the UK's largest expanse of medieval stained glass. York Minster will be the first building in the UK to use this extraordinary new material.
Sarah Brown, Director of the York Glazier's Trust commented, "This is an important milestone in the story of the Great East Window. The protective glazing is manufactured using the most up-to-date glass technology available in the world. The protection offered by the new UV resistant glazing system could extend the life of the stained glass well into the next century and hopefully beyond - meaning that Thornton's astonishing work will be available for many future generations of visitors to York Minster."
The medieval panels of Thornton's dramatic Apocalypse cycle will begin to return to the window in the summer of 2015.
The conservation of glass and stone, a collaboration between the York Glazier's Trust and the Minster's expert team of stone masons, carvers and conservators, has been part of York Minster Revealed - a five-year project generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and scheduled for completion by spring 2016. It is currently the largest restoration and conservation project of its kind in the UK and will transform York Minster as a visitor attraction whilst conserving its world-class stonework and stained glass for generations to come.