Stained glass, dating back over 700 years to medieval times has been found in a studio in York and is set to be returned to its original home of St Andrew’s Church in Heckington.
In 1946, at the west end of the church, the last stained glass window was added to St Andrew’s. In doing so fragments of the old medieval window were removed.
Unbeknown to everyone in Heckington the fragments were kept and put into store. They were catalogued in 1996 by Hegbin-Barnes who noted, “the quality of the glass-painting … suggests that the glazing of the windows from which they came was of the same high-standard as the architecture of Heckington church” and dated mostly from the 14th century.
In February this year the Rector of St Andrew’s, Rev Chris Harrington, received a phone call from Barley Glass Studios in York to ask if he wanted these fragments back. Amounting to thirteen and a half square feet they are quite substantial in size.
Being unaware of their existence the church was overjoyed at this discovery, especially as plans are underway to restore a chancery chapel on the north side of the church attributed to Richard de Potesgrave the previous rector 700 years ago. The church is hoping to place the glass in this side chapel.
A new group is being launched to develop St Andrew’s appeal to visitors. The church is listed as one of the grandest of its kind in the country and people already travel from far and wide to see it for themselves.
Andrew Key will be heading up the new tourism and marketing group and said: “We have lots of ideas to develop our wonderful church and to promote its beauty and importance as a place of worship for over 700 years. An open meeting is being held on Saturday March 14 at 11am in the church for anyone interested in joining us. The discovery of the medieval glass is the perfect way to launch our plans for the future.”