Cost: Free

Out-of-London Meeting in York

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

'The conservation of a medieval masterpiece: John Thornton’s Great East Window of York Minster'

by Sarah Brown FSA

Between 2011 and 2017 the York Glaziers Trust conserved John Thornton’s Great East window of 1405-8 as part of the Chapter of York’s HLF-funded York Minster Revealed project. Following extensive conservation trials, the potentially controversial decision was taken to dismantle the window from its heavy post-war leading in order to recover the legibility and iconographic coherence of the window. This involved extensive art historical and antiquarian research as well as a forensic examination of the glass in the conservation studio. A panel of expert advisers, the East Window Advisory Group, worked closely with the conservation team throughout the project, which was complemented by a programme of public engagement, culminating in the exhibition at ground level of conserved panels from the window and a series of publications that have made the entire window accessible for the first time through high resolution photography. This has been a landmark project for York Minster, promoting and sustaining the close collaboration of conservation and academic art history and catalysing further HLF investment in the Minster’s stained glass. It was also the subject of a highly successful University of York research impact statement in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.


This will be a full Society of Antiquaries meeting, attended by the President and General Secretary of the Society, with an opportunity for Fellows to be formally admitted. The evening's lecture will follow formal admissions and an introduction on current work at the Society.

Please contact Jola Zdunek (admin@sal.org.uk) if you wish to be formally admitted to the Society at this meeting.

Meeting held in Philip Rahtz lecture theatre, Kings Manor, York.

Tea in refectory, adjacent to the lecture theatre
Ordinary Meeting of Fellows and evening lecture
Sherry in the refectory, where tea was served

Directions for Kings Manor, York, can be found here.

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