The Making of Stained Glass

Historyworks has been commissioned to make a film that shows the materials and methods used for making stained glass from medieval times to now, a project which had been started several years ago by a previous media and curatorial team, which was now needing fresh eyes to produce it: edit the visuals, compose a script, record the narrative, and polish for completion. The film has been made in partnership between The Stained Glass Museum, Ely and The Stained Glass Centre, York.

It was shot on location in Ely Cathedral, The Stained Glass Museum in Ely, York Minster, York Glaziers Trust, the Salisbury Stained Glass Studio, and the workshops at English Antique Glass in Wolverhampton.

The film was completed by the Creative Director of Historyworks, Helen Weinstein, with Sound by Jon Calver and Edit by Ross Casswell of Historyworks. 

It would not have been possible to put together the script updates and sequences without the curatorial guidance of Jasmine Allen and Judy Frost of the two partnership institutions with their stained glass expert colleagues such as Sarah Brown and Tim Ayers.  We all learnt much in the process about the painting and firing methodologies for making medieval stained glass and the specific language of the materials such as that of lead cames, and the tricky balance of making a script that flows and explains but does not overwhelm the viewer with a flood of footnotes - we hope that all the volunteers and friends in the stained glass centres will find the film super useful for understanding the making and materiality of stained glass making from medieval times to the present day! 

The Stained Glass Centre, York

The Stained Glass Centre, York

The Stained Glass Centre is located in the Church of St Martin-cum-Gregory on Micklegate in York, North Yorkshire.  The Centre runs events, including learning workshops, demonstrations and talks, exhibitions, walking tours in the summer to explore the stained glass riches set in the medieval churches of York.  The Centre has a thriving volunteer and friends group to support the opening and running of the Centre and you can go to their website to find out more here

History of The Stained Glass Centre

Stained Glass Centre was established in 2008 by the recently-formed Stained Glass Trust, with the aim of providing an educational centre to encourage the study and appreciation of stained glass, as well as breathing life back into St Martin-cum-Gregory. This beautifully evocative Grade I listed building, which dates back to before the 11th century, is home to a rich range of historic glass, including some of the earliest logos to be seen in stained glass and memorials to celebrated glass-painters.

Set in the city of York, home to much of Britain’s surviving ancient glass and a focus for craft and creativity in the modern day practice of stained glass making, The Stained Glass Centre provides a unique point of interpretation for the city, with demonstrations, workshops, guided tours and lectures.

Founding Aims 

The Stained Glass Centre was established with five long-term aims for its future role

  • The Stained Glass Centre will be a national resource for the discovery and interpretation of stained glass.
  • Visitors will be able to participate in, and learn about, craft-skills, arts and industries that continue to play a vital role in the life of the city and region.
  • Practitioners from all over the UK will have a national centre of excellence for the study and development of their craft.
  • People of all ages will have the opportunity to learn about the historic importance of this beautiful art form as well as helping it to develop and flourish for the 21st century.
  • The creation of the Stained Glass Centre in the former church of St Martin-cum-Gregory will give new life to one of York’s most beautiful ‘lost’ buildings.

To Join the Friends or Volunteer

In November 2014 the Stained Glass Centre founded the Friends Community. Through a modest annual subscription the Friends help to support the continuing aims of the Centre and receive the following benefits and opportunities:

  • Free admission to annual lectures
  • Friends Community Newsletter
  • Advanced notification of workshops for preferred enrollment
  • An invitation to all open Centre Events
  • Invitations to “Friends Community Only’ events

Standard subscription is only £15 and reduced Joint and Concession subscriptions are available. If you have any queries, or would like to know more, please contact Judith Frost, the Development Officer =


The Stained Glass Museum, Ely

Founded in 1972 and first open to the public in 1979, the Stained Glass Museum provides an insight into the history of stained glass as an art-form that has been practised in Britain for at least thirteen hundred years. The permanent gallery displays over 125 stained glass panels spanning eight hundred years of the discipline’s history. Their collection also contains preparatory designs, cartoons, maquettes, tools, and building materials.

A notable feature of the gallery is the eye-level display of their collection, enabling visitors the opportunity to view the works in close proximity.

The Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, drawing from the Museum's collections that are held in-store. Other events include regular programmes of lectures, practical workshops, cross curricular educational events for Key Stage 1 and 2.

Their website, found at, is also a useful resource, offering educational information, an illustrated history of stained glass, a searchable online catalogue of their collection, downloadable annual reports, a shop, and useful links amongst the usual visitor information that an interested person would need.


The Museum are also raising money to maintain and conserve four modern stained glass panels by Geoffrey Clarke, RA (b.1925-2014). So far they have raised the £15,000 needed to purchase the panels, but now they are raising a further £5,000 to fund the conservation work.

A blog, documenting the conservation of these panels, and the following plans for their display can be seen at:

If you would like to donate to the fund you can visit their website at:

York Glazier's Trust

York Glaziers Trust is the oldest and largest specialist stained glass conservation studio in Britain. As a charitable trust it is dedicated to the care of the York Minster's windows and the preservation of historic stained glass nationwide.

The Trust undertakes conservation projects at the request of owners and custodians of stained glass, irrespective of the period or scale. They work with glass from historic buildings and large Cathedrals to much smaller parish churches and the collections from museums and private collectors.

They offer expert advice on conservation plans, grant applications, glass preservation for 21st century, environmental protective glazing, and external protection.

Their website, accessible via,  has detailed information about the history of the Trust, the services it provides, past projects, ongoing projects at York Minster, its studio at Bedern Hall, as well as  resources such as reading lists, illustrations, useful links, and media packs.

A more detailed history of the Trust can be found here:

Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass

Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass work in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and Berkshire, restoring and conserving stained glass and lead lights with traditional materials and methods.

The workshop is based at Salisbury Cathedral and a team of three glaziers also design, create, and use protective glazing schemes for ancient glass.

On their website,, you can find out more about their history, access a gallery of images from past work, their recent projects, and view a case study which provides an interesting insight into the process of re-leading a stained glass window.

The Making of Stained Glass


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