Stained glass is one of the great glories of Salisbury Cathedral, which has a gallery of styles and one of widest range of medieval patterned glass in Europe.
From the Brazen Serpent in the Wilderness by the 17th century Irish glass painter, James Pearson, to the Pre-Raphaelite windows, designed by Edward Burne-Jones and realised by William Morris, the collection is as various as it is surprising.
At the East end, the magnificent Prisoners of Conscience window created by Gabriel Loire, is characterised by the startling blue glass of Chartres, a perfect companion piece to the 1215 Magna Carta housed in the beautiful Chapter House with its soaring 19th century windows.
This tour sheds new light on the Cathedral’s history and its community. The stories embedded in the glass are both personal and reflections of the nation’s history, from the scandal of the medieval glass abandoned in a ditch during the late 1700s to windows commemorating wars, suffrage and even a Cathedral cat.
Our Dean, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, who took part in the very first stained glass tour says, “From glass that is older than the building that houses it, to glass installed in the 21st century, a tour of Salisbury Cathedral’s stained glass windows is a remarkable journey through the creative life of our country.”
Stained glass guide, Mike Deeming, says, “Come and enjoy these stories. We can find links for you for wherever you’re from – whether it’s Salisbury, France, Germany or as far afield as New Zealand”.
Tours take place every Monday at 12 midday from 8 April and lasts approximately one hour. The tour is one of a range of free tours and demonstrations on offer daily. These include demonstrations of the world’s oldest working mechanical clock (Every Tuesday, Thursday after 11:00 and 10:30 on Saturdays) and ‘meet the stonemason’ demonstrations (Wednesday 10:30 - 16:00) in the Cloisters.