To help you find out more about stained glass we have gathered some information about the stylistic development of stained glass throughout history, as illustrated by examples from our collection, a glossary of stained glass terms to help familiarise yourself with useful vocabulary and also take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions about Stained Glass.

If you are documenting the stained glass of your local church or building you may like to look at examples of the international CVMA Numbering system for stained glass windows.


Capturing Magic: How Stained Glass is Made

This short film shows the materials and methods used for making stained glass from medieval times to now. The film has been made in partnership between The Stained Glass Museum, Ely and The Stained Glass Centre, York and produced by Historyworks. It was shot on location in Ely Cathedral, The Stained Glass Museum in Ely, York Minster, York Glaziers Trust, the Salisbury Stained Glass Studio, and the workshops at English Antique Glass in Wolverhampton. Filming was generously funded with assistance from the Barbara Whatmore Trust, the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, and ADeC.


Researching Stained Glass

We receive a number of enquiries from people who are trying to find out who made the stained glass windows in their local church or home. This Guide to researching Stained Glass Makers and Studios in the UK may help you find out where to look for information about the designer and/or maker of individual stained glass windows.


Conservation, Restoration and Protection of Stained Glass

We advise consulting with an ICON accredited conservation studio for all conservation work. For a comprehensive list of ICON accredited stained glass conservators go to the BSMGP website

The Council for the Care of Churches has some useful guidance on looking after stained glass in church buildings. Stained glass and leaded windows in churches do not normally require regular cleaning, but if you are concerned always seek the advice of a professional. cleaning stained glass windows

In 2020 Historic England published a new guidance document on how to care for stained glass windows and recognise the impact environmental factors have on the state of windows and leading. Stained Glass Windows: Managing Environmental Deterioration has been developed in close association with the glass conservation community, and is free to access online here.

The publication includes a chapter on Environmental Protective Glazing (EPG) based on extensive field and laboratory research prepared for Historic England.

A checklist and flowchart provides guidance to building professionals who do not have experience in assessing stained glass windows, but may have been asked to undertake a basic survey.

The Church Buildings Council also has guidance on working with conservators. Please be aware that most work within Anglican churches will also need DAC approval.

International guidelines for the conservation of stained glass are available on the CVMA website.


Commissioning a New Stained Glass Window

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division have a handy downloadable guide to introducing new art to churches and selecting an artist.

If the window is for an Anglican church, the parish will need to apply for a faculty from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC).


Find out More

The Stylistic Development of Stained Glass
Glossary of Stained Glass Terms
About Stained Glass - Frequently Asked Questions
Other useful resources
Spitfires (2019.2)  (c) Stained Glass Museum

Spitfires (2019.2)


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The Stained Glass Museum is an independent accredited museum and registered charity no. 1169842.

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