One of the Nash Staircase’s most striking features is the stained glass inner skylight.
As part of the Through the Roof Project we have been investigating its provenance and having the both this lantern and the outer protective lantern repaired and conserved. We have been using a company called Holywell Glass to provide the conservation services to restore the stained glass.
In September the outer skylight was removed allowing us access to the inner skylight, the first access for several years.
It soon became apparent how dirty the glass was.
In fact it was so dirty the only way to clean the dirt off ready for removal was with the gentle suction setting of a Henry hoover.
The glass was carefully removed and stored to allow key building and restoration work to take place surrounding the skylight and for the glazing bars to be restored.
During November, Steve Clare from Holywell Glass came back to site to reinstate the stained glass lantern. The wooden frame had been refurbished and painted and a temporary deck was installed on the Nash Staircase scaffolding so that Steve could install the glass safely.
The first job was to carefully clean the glass revealing a beautiful pink colour scheme.
Cracks were carefully repaired, or, where repairs could not be made, replacement new pieces of glass were cut and installed. Lead repairs were also made to the existing frames.
After the glass had been repaired and cleaned it had to be taken up the scaffold to the skylight. There is only one way to do this safely – each piece has to be carried up by hand!
Each piece was carefully installed and fitted.
When the stained glass was all in place, it was covered with wood to protect it until the refurbished outer lantern is installed.
In total it only took two days for all the glass to be cleaned and reinstated. Looking at the two images below you can see what a difference a simple clean can make! I can’t wait to see the effect of the cleaned skylight when the scaffolding in the Nash Staircase comes down!
All the photos is this post were taken by our lovely Volunteer Roof Photographers Richard and Angela Knisely-Marpole.