Restoration of the Henry III Coronation window
Posted: 15th May 2012
Gloucester Cathedral, 12 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LX
Gloucester Cathedral has a number of very fine windows and is very proud of the fact that it has stained glass dating from the 14th century right up until the end of the 20th century.
The Henry III Coronation Window, although Victorian, from 1860 (by Clayton and Bell), illustrates a very important event in the Cathedral's history: the only Coronation to be held outside of Westminster Cathedral.
At the time that King John died, the then Archbishop, Stephen Langton was in Rome and the situation in England was a dire. It was decided to bring the young king to Gloucester (still a city with important royal associations) to have him crowned, in order to establish the succession. The Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches, and the Papal Legate, Cardinal Guala then performed the ceremony.
When political stability was restored and the young king was back in the capital, another coronation was held in Westminster Abbey in 1220.
The restoration work on the Coronation window is a very important part of the ongoing work on the South Aisle which is being carried out over a number of years. The Coronation window was singled out by the Cathedral Architect in his Quinquennial report of 2009 as a project needing urgent attention.The glazing was deemed to be in poor condition and needed specialist conservation and re-leading, which has been undertaken by Graham Dowding, a specialist glass conservator who has worked on the Cathedral stained glass since 1983. The window itself is very special to Gloucester Cathedral, as it portrays a unique part of the history of the city.