Stained Glass of Buckinghamshire Churches


Introduction to this website, and its history

This Page details the origins of the Bucks Stained Glass website which was established by Cliff and Monica Robinson. It then covers its change of ownership to Michael G Hardy and renaming in 2015, its development in 2016, and then looks into our plans for the future.

For details of how to use this website now, see Notes

For current details of how many records and photographs are on this website, see Statistics

For details of latest amendments to information and photos, see Changes


2003 to 2013 (by previous owners Cliff and Monica Robinson)

Introduction (text from 2003 to 2013)

This record was inspired by the publication, in 1984 & 1989 of Birkin Haward's two volumes on the stained glass of Norfolk and Suffolk, and in 1996, of the book by M Seaborne of the details of the stained glass in Flintshire, followed in 1997, by the book by Paul Sharpling of details of the stained glass in Rutland. This led us to try to perform a similar task for the stained glass in Buckinghamshire. Looking at our predecessors work we resolved to try to record, for each window with stained or etched glass:-

We did feel however, that a serious survey of the stained glass is somewhat deficient without ready access to photographs. We therefore set about photographing every one of these windows, frequently with extra photographs of the details. Clearly, this research is of limited value, and will appeal only to few. Moreover the publication in book form would be prohibitively expensive. However modern technology has come to our aid, and Michael Robinson has skilfully converted our list of windows and library of photographs into web format, with full indexing by place, maker, dedicatee, etc.

(By 2013 the Robinson's website included 3369 photographs of 1634 windows. - MGH)

Where is Buckinghamshire? (text from 2003 to 2013)

The research for this web site is based on the English County of Buckinghamshire, as it was defined in 1970. Since then the county boundaries have shrunk but we did not want to discard the research related to the windows which have been deemed outside Buckinghamshire. That is why you will see references to buildings in neighbouring authorities. The 1972 Local Government Act removed Slough to Berkshire, Flaunden to Hertfordshire, and Buckland to Oxfordshire. In 1997 Milton Keynes was promoted (along with Slough) to be a unitary authority.

Acknowledgements (text from 2003 to 2013)

We are particularly grateful for the help we have had in allowing us to photograph so many windows. We have met with extreme kindness by churchwardens and the incumbents who have allowed us to interrupt their routines by giving access to the churches. We have not been able to choose ideal conditions for photography, still less to move obstacles in front of a window, (or trees outside) so the quality of some of the pictures leaves room for improvement. There will be many errors and even more omissions.

Attributions (text from 2003 to 2013)

We much appreciate the many sources of our attributions - all given in good faith. We have had to rely on a large number of sources for the attribution of a window to a particular maker. They include many books and archives, and individuals including Gordon Barnes, David Lawrence, Dr Dennis Hadley, Joyce Little, Michael Archer, Martin Harrison, and Peter Cormack.

We are particularly grateful to Robert Eberhard, who has carried out extensive searches of contemporary journals, papers and periodicals where new windows are listed at the time of installation, to Angela Goedicke whose experience and detailed records have been invaluable, and to Alfred Alderson for many attributions on stylistic grounds.

In extremis we have attributed a window ourselves on grounds of style (C & MR). Even so about a quarter of the windows have not yet been attributed, and we would welcome comments and amendments by e-mail on any window.

In many cases we have had information about the artist or designer as well as the manufacturer of a window. It is not always clear as to who did what. We have attributed a window to all of the names that appear to have had a hand in the making of the window. Such names appear separately in the list of makers. Sometimes the architect (Street, Lamb or Bodley) has been credited with the design.

Family names of makers appear from time to time (e.g. O'Connor, Nuttgens, Gibb). Sometimes we know if it is Michael or Arthur O'Connor, Joseph Edward or Joseph Ambrose Nuttgens, or Alexander Gibb senior or one of his sons. Where possible we identify the individual but otherwise the maker is listed under the family surname.

Some makers' names have lasted through many changes of style, or even ownership. We have referred to Kempe C E as the maker of Kempe windows before 1908, and to Kempe & Co for the later windows when the firm was in the hands of Kempe's nephew, Walter Tower, when a small black tower was put in the mark over the previously used wheatsheaf. All James Powell windows are listed as Powell, James & Co until 1962 when they became known as Whitefriars until closure in 1972. There are no marks on early Powell windows, but the White Friar mark was used from as early as 1923, before the change of name in 1962. (James Powell is not to be confused with Christopher Powell, Hugh B Powell, or J Hardman Powell.) All William Morris (1834-1896) windows are listed as Morris & Co although the firm embodies differing owners, addresses and styles from the time of the pre-Raphaelites (where a mark was unknown and a signature rare) to Morris of Merton. These Morris windows should not be confused with the entirely separate firm of Morris of Westminster listed as Morris W & Co (Westminster). No windows have been identified from another Morris firm known as Morris & Sons.


From October 2015 (by current owner Michael G Hardy)

A New Owner in 2015

In 2015 I was disappointed to find that the Bucks Stained Glass website was no longer available, although it had been loaded into the British Library's Web Archive, so can still be seen there. In August 2015 I contacted Cliff and Monica Robinson and they told me that they could not continue to keep it going any more. They had tried to find somebody to take it over, but without success. Before long I had asked them if they would consider handing it over to me, to get it back on line, with a view to expanding it in the future. I have to say they were absolutely delighted, and by the middle of October I had collected their vast amount of research material from them. After only 2 weeks the website was back on line in the same format as before. The only difference was that it had a new name, partly to reflect the fact that it will only cover the stained glass in churches and chapels, and not any other buildings.

Re-launch in April 2016

As soon as I had agreed to take over the old website, I was contacted by somebody else who was also very disappointed to find that the old website had disappeared. He is Peter Strutt, and I am delighted to say that we immediately started working together on restructuring the website. Peter has brought his extensive computer and software knowledge to the project, so that after just four months work we have been able to relaunch the website which is now based on a live database system, which Michael Robinson had started to develop, so every time a user seeks information, it will return our most up to date information and images. Peter has shown a great flair for restructuring our database and has never failed to come up with the page layouts that I have dreamed up for this website. At 3 pm on 23rd April 2016, St George's Day, we were able to re-launch the website in our new format.

Into the future

Peter is continuing to work on our database to make the searches as meaningful as possible. We know that they are used by genealogists who seek information on people remembered in windows, that is not as easily available as other sources such as gravestones and monuments. New information will always become available about the windows in Buckinghamshire Churches, and we will be happy to receive comments from anybody with new information. We will also try to include new windows as soon as we can, and will be grateful to be informed of any that have recently been installed.

My ambition is to continue upgrading our existing pages with the addition of church plans, and a greater number of photos of windows, particularly expanding the detailed images that we have available. I also intend to increase the number of windows with decorated patterns in coloured glass, of which we do not yet have many included. I would also welcome any offers of good quality photographs that we could consider for use on the website. I also wish to expand the website into more churches and chapels of other denominations in Buckinghamshire.

In time, I also plan that alongside it, I will include items on the architecture and history of Buckinghamshire Churches, something that has been an ambition of mine for many years. However, the Stained Glass information will always be kept as a separate entity, now under the name buckschurches.uk/glass

Buckinghamshire Boundaries

Cliff and Monica Robinson (see above) wrote that their original researches were based on the county boundary as it stood in 1970, before later changes in the 1970s and 1990s, but did not want to discard their research related to the windows that had been deemed to be outside Buckinghamshire.

I (Michael Hardy) take a rather stronger view, in that it was only the civil authorities that were affected by the boundary changes (ie County Councils, District Councils, Unitary Authorities). The old borders of Buckinghamshire still exist as a Ceremonial County, and as far as the Church of England is concerned the Archdeaconry of Buckingham still extends from Lavendon in the north down to Wraysbury in the south.

From a historical point of view, the boundaries of Buckinghamshire were fixed as a subdivision of the Kingdom of Mercia, and was recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as being divided into 18 Hundreds. So, with Buckinghamshire's earliest Saxon churches being founded eleven centuries before the changes of the 1970s, I will always consider them together, all part of one historic county. They will therefore all continue to be included on this website www.buckschurches.uk/glass

 

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Stained Glass of Buckinghamshire Churches

©2003-2013 Clifford and Monica Robinson

©2015-2017 Michael G Hardy