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Preserving Cuthbert: The Conservation of the York Minster Window (with Prof Sarah Brown)

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This summer, two talks by experts will offer the opportunity to explore the St Cuthbert Window at York Minster, as part of a series of activity at the cathedral to mark the start of a major project to conserve the medieval window, which is one of the largest surviving narrative windows in the world.

For centuries, Cuthbert was the most important saint in northern England. During his lifetime he guided kings, abbesses and ordinary people alike, and was renowned as a preacher, healer and hermit. The medieval St Cuthbert Window shows the story of Cuthbert’s life on a monumental scale. Made around 1440, the window is a rare surviving example of a narrative window, making it an important source for understanding medieval devotion, politics and storytelling, as well as past approaches to restoration.

In this talk, Professor Sarah Brown, director of the York Glaziers Trust, will explain the programme of conservation and protection now underway, ensuring the preservation of the window for many generations to come.

The essential repair of the stone of the south-east transept has created a once in a lifetime opportunity to conserve the St Cuthbert window, last restored following the Second World War. A programme of cleaning, repair and stabilisation will be complemented by the introduction of a state-of-the-art environmental protective glazing system, creating a dry and stable environment that will ensure the window’s preservation for many generations to come. This illustrated talk will take you into the studio to learn about the meticulous conservation processes. It will also show how approaches to the conservation of stained glass have been transformed since the post-war era, a development in which the conservators and scholars of the city of York have played a crucial part.

Free tickets for the event IN PERSON are available HERE


The talks are part of a programme of activity at the cathedral to mark the start of the major project to conserve the St Cuthbert Window, which includes a new exhibition – Light, Glass & Stone: Conserving the St Cuthbert Window – which will open at the cathedral in June.

Learn more about the conservation project here or support the work by adopting a piece of the window’s stained glass.

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