Sunday, December 12, 2021

British Pathé : Stained Glass Windows ( 1956 )

The Christmas season is upon us and, for many, that means attending Christmas Eve and Sunday mass services at church. No matter which church you attend, you will probably see a stained glass window somewhere in the building. Have you ever thought about how these windows are made? 

Whether you did or not, it's a fascinating process, and this month's featured British Pathé newsreel gives a glimpse of just how this process is quite tedious! An artist first makes a detailed drawing of exactly how the window will look. This drawing is then enlarged to full size and numbered so that craftsmen can cut and lay pieces of colored glass over the individual segments much like a mosaic. The glass pieces are held together while the artist adds shading to the backside of the glass and then the whole arrangement is secured with lead ( which replaced the use of iron ). 

As usual, we have a few suggested clips to watch if you enjoyed this one and we highly recommend checking them out. Cemented Stained Glass gives a preview of the new style of stained glass windows: cemented glass chunks instead of thin glass panels held by iron, while Stained Glass ( 1963 ) shows a more in-depth view of both of these methods. 

Ready to watch Stained Glass Windows? Simply click on the link below:

Stained Glass Windows ( 1956 ) - 2:24 minutes

Similar British Pathé newsreels:

Cemented Stained Glass ( 1956 ) - 2:28 minutes

Stained Glass ( 1963 ) - 2:55 minutes


  1. When my wife and I visited Great Britain in the 1980s, we went to York to tour the Minster and see its incredible stained glass window. It's hard to believe it was taken apart during World War II and then reassembled later.

    1. It's amazing what work the churches in London did to protect their buildings during the war...but after seeing these clips, I think that was a wise move! I imagine it was much easier to reassemble the windows then have them recreated.