Almost 60% of York Minster’s irreplaceable stained glass has no protection from the elements, leaving it exposed to moisture which is causing the glass to corrode and cracks and holes to develop.
Three of these unprotected windows – the Pilgrimage Window, the Martyrdom Window and the Penancer’s Window - are in the North Nave Aisle. The windows, which date from the 14th century and would have been created as the current cathedral was being completed, are being conserved by York Glaziers Trust as part of a three-year programme of work.
The Trust is removing each window, recording its condition, cleaning the medieval glass and repairing any cracks or holes. The panels are then being reinstalled with new state-of-the-art environmental protective glazing, which will preserve the glass for generations to come.
The Penancers Window
The second of the three windows to be conserved is the Penancers Window. Nearly 700 years old, this panel shows a penance in action. A man kneels to be punished and forgiven for his sin. He is whipped by a priest, called a Penancer, giving the window its name.
We are grateful to the Friends of York Minster for sponsoring this window to mark their 90th anniversary in 2018.
The window is due to be returned to the cathedral in 2018, and work will begin on the final window, the Martyrdom Window.
You can support the work to preserve our historic glass here.