One of Salisbury Cathedral’s magnificent stained glass windows has been restored, thanks to fundraising by its Friends association.
The money was raised at the Friends’ 2019 open gardens event and matched by the sales of paintings and a book by Salisbury Florilegium Society.
A group of the Friends visited the cathedral’s glaziers’ workshop earlier this year to learn about the restoration process.
The window, one of 12 by Clayton & Bell, was erected by ‘grateful patients and friends’ in memory of William Martin Coates in 1886.
Senior conservator Sam Kelly said water had been pouring through the window.
“When we put up the scaffolding, we discovered that the top was hanging out and could have fallen out,” he said.
During the 16th century a huge amount of glazing and blacksmithing was being done and most of the bar work of the nave windows was 16th century.
However, the bars above the 16th century ones were medieval and this explained why water was pouring in: in medieval times handmade blacksmith’s nails would have been used and when these fail, the bars that held the glass in place also fail, letting in water.
He explained that when a window is brought to the workshop, two rubbings are made of it and all the details of the work to be done are marked on the rubbings: the one on brown paper is the working document and the one on white paper is kept forever to enable future glaziers to know what materials had been used.
“After this is done, we strip the old leadwork out and re-lead,” he said.
“We take it apart and lay it out like a jigsaw. Everything has to fit to the bar work.
“It is impurities that make bars rust, so the more it is worked, the more impurities are worked out of the metal.
“Nowadays stainless steel is used – we cannot afford to have bars blacksmith-made!
“Every light has at least a couple of bars on it to hold it totally in place.”
The window was returned to the south nave aisle during March, just before the cathedral was closed to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
1. S26, the stained glass window, which has been refurbished thanks to a grant from the Friends. Picture by Sam Kelly.
2. Glazier Tom Clarke gets to work on the restoration. Picture by Sam Kelly.
Secret Gardens of the Close takes place on Sunday 9th June and runs from 1pm to 5pm.
It is the Friends’ major fundraising event of the year: the money raised last year is being used to sponsor a pinnacle on the north-east corner of the Cathedral.
Eleven gardens in Salisbury Cathedral Close will be open and tea and homemade cakes will be served in the garden of South Canonry – the home of the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam and his wife, Helen.
Proceeds from the teas will go to the Sudan Medical Link.
There will be an exhibition of botanical art by Salisbury Florilegium Society in the Medieval Hall, artist Cliff Topping will be sketching in a number of the gardens and recorder group Close Consort will be playing.
There will be stalls on Choristers’ Green, including the Friends’ plant stall.
Friends’ chairman Captain Duncan Glass said the public’s response to the previous Secret Gardens of the Close afternoons had been overwhelming and he hoped visitors would support this year’s event in even larger numbers.
He said: “Once again many of those who live in the Close have kindly agreed to support the Friends’ charity by opening their, usually unseen, gardens to the public for our special day.
“Each year this event attracts more interest from locals and visitors, with more than 1,100 attending last year.
“This event enables the Friends to make additional grants to the Cathedral and we look forward to welcoming everyone on 9th June.”
• Entry to the Secret Gardens of the Close event is £10, with children under 16 free.
The donation includes an entry programme and admission to all featured gardens. It is payable on the day from the Friends’ gazebo on Choristers’ Green.
For more information contact the Friends at 33a The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EJ, telephone 01722 335161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garden visitors are advised to use city centre car parks, as parking in the Close is for disabled badge holders only and a charge is payable.
The Organ Restoration Project
The project to restore Salisbury Cathedral’s magnificent Father Willis organ is well underway.
The work, which began in January, will take 14 months.
It was 50 years ago that the organ last underwent such a comprehensive restoration.
Some of the pipes will be cleaned on site, with the remainder taken away for cleaning. The mechanics, bellows and reservoir will be repaired.
The work is being carried out by Harrison and Harrison, renowned organ builders and restorers from Durham who have cared for the Cathedral’s organ since 1978.
The team is led by Ian Bruce, who has 30 years’ experience working with pipe organs.
“Salisbury Cathedral’s Father Willis is one of our flagship organs,” he said.
“We work on a lot of his organs, but this one is really top of the tree musically and very well respected, due to the high-quality workmanship and the way it is all put together.”
Salisbury’s Father Willis organ was built in 1877 at a cost of £3,500, a sum given by Miss Chafyn Grove of Zeals.
It has just under 4,000 pipes, ranging in size from ones as small as a matchstick to others that stand 32ft high.
The project will cost about £700,000. The Friends of Salisbury Cathedral has given a substantial grant towards the restoration project and the Cathedral received a grant of £82,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration and the organ exhibition, pulling out the Stops, which is in the north transept and runs until November.
It explores the history of the organ and includes a virtual organ with stops. Visitors are able to play a keyboard and pull out stops on a touch screen to recreate the unique sound of the Father Willis organ.
If you would like to make a donation towards the restoration of the organ, please make cheques payable to Salisbury Cathedral and send to Jilly Wright, development manager at Wyndham House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN. Donations can also be made online at www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/get-involved/donate-now/donate.
Why not join us on Wednesday October 3rd 11am in Holy Trinity Church. Making doves to decorate the church for the Remembrance day service.
If you can’t join us on the day then please fold some doves at home. You could use this video tutorial to help with the folding.
or follow these printed instructions:-
Saturday 8th December. Christmas coffee morning 10am to 12.30 host Francine Rough
I hope that I am in time. Best Wishes. Jean. Palmer. 01258 450544
Notice of Future Benefice Services
29th July 9.30am St Nicholas, Durweston
Reverend Belinda Marflitt
Dorset DT11 8TA
T: 03330 118 088