– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Chapel glass restoration

 Where are the windows?

Balliol people and visitors will be wondering where some of the Chapel’s stained glass has disappeared to. The short answer is that two windows have been removed for conservation work at the studios of York Glaziers Trust. Temporary translucent glazing is in place until the windows are reinstated around Easter 2017.


The College’s ancient stained glass in the Chapel and Library is one of its greatest treasures, and in the case  of the Chapel windows, its most publicly displayed .

The two windows being conserved both comprise small panes and fragments of much abused but beautiful late medieval and early modern glass from the Chapel replaced in the 1850s by William Butterfield’s design, the present building. It includes a panel showing Master Thomas Chace and the Fellows at prayer (about 1430), a panel of 1636 van Linge glass, and representations of 16th century donors, one of them recognizable by his Arms as Sir William Compton (c1482-1528). All is in poor condition now; after restoration and reinstatement next year it will have state of the art external protection which will not affect the appearance from the inside .

– JHJ, September 2016


What’s missing? a brief description of the subjects of the two windows

CVMA nIV, 3 lights. Top: left, unidentified shield; centre, arms of Compton and Brereton; right, unidentified shield. Middle: left, Virgin & Child, 1529-30, probably with Lady Compton & daughter; centre, Thomas Chace, Master of Balliol, & Fellows, kneeling, 15th century; right, King (probably Hekeziah) receiving messenger, 17th century. Bottom: Kneeling donors. Left, probably John Hygdon, President of Magdalen; centre, Sir William Compton; right, probably Thomas, Subdean of York.

CVMA nV, 3 lights. Left upper, St John the Baptist, left lower St Michael the Archangel; centre top, Virgin & Child, centre middle, St Anthony of Egypt, centre bottom, St John the Evangelist; right upper also John the Evangelist, right lower St Margaret of Antioch.

More about the history of the stained glass in the chapel is here, with links to further images of the windows and the work of the York Glaziers’ Trust.

All photos in this post taken by Anna Sander.


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