Rare glass fragments returned

17 April 2015

By Richard Vamplew


MEDIEVAL stained glass that was removed from a church 70 years ago, and almost forgotten about, is to be returned.

The rare fragments of glass (right), which date from the 14th century, came from St Andrew's, Heckington, near Sleaford, Lincs. The pieces were taken away in 1946 during the restoration of a stained- glass window, and never returned.

Keith Barley discovered the fragments at his glass studio in York, where they had been stored. "This is a chronicle of the destruction of the period of the Reformation, and Puritanism subsequently," he said. "That makes these pieces such a remarkable survival."

The fragments date back to when the church was founded by Richard de Potesgrave, a chaplain to Kings Edward II and Edward III.

The church is intending to raise funds to install a new window to display the find, which they hope will attract visitors. Lesley Pinchbeck, of St Andrew's, said: "The Vicar felt that we need to encourage visitors - it's a very important church. . . We really want to make the heritage of the church enjoyable for visitors."

There is no arrival date yet for the lost glass, which dates from the time when King Edward III made an unexpected visit to Heckington.

An art-history lecturer at the University of Lincoln, Dr Jim Cheshire, said that such fragments were very rare: "We probably have about five per cent of the stained glass we had in the Middle Ages."

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