Church STAINED GLASS AND ITS PRESERVATION
|Massive losses of England’s medieval glass occurred during Puritan
ascendancy between the 1640s and 1660s. Records speak of iconoclast
enthusiasm such as that of Richard Culmer, a cleric at Christ Church Canterbury,
who describes how he climbed a ladder to batter down “the picture of God
the Father, and of Christ, besides a large Crucifix and the picture of
the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove and twelve apostles.” Afterwards
simple neglect took its toll. Long Melford’s original aisle and chancel
windows are lost. Images from the more elevated nave clerestory have
survived. During a 20th-century restoration they were reinstalled
in the north aisle openings. The juxtaposition of the figures, therefore,
is due to the restorer’s interpretation, not an original program.
Likewise the setting of the panels against a clear lattice ground is modern.
Originally the images would have been placed in frames of fictive architecture,
similar in composition to the window of The
Joys and Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1463, Sts. Peter and
Paul Church, East Harling. For discussion of destruction and restoration
see Richard Marks, Stained Glass in England during the Middle Ages
(Toronto, 1993), 236-246.