The Outside of Stained Glass / by Sasha Ward

 The Vyne (NT, near Basingstoke) and some of its heraldic glass

The Vyne (NT, near Basingstoke) and some of its heraldic glass

Fantastic fenestration at The Vyne, those glazing bars that form octagons, triangles, lozenges and diamonds also contain some great heraldic glass. You can tell how good it is - and well restored - from the outside (above).  My favourite panel on the right, the arms of Henry VIII, has lions painted and scratched back in such a way that it is easy to imagine the painter's hand at work. 

 C16th glass : the base of the Crucifix and Henry VIII panel

C16th glass : the base of the Crucifix and Henry VIII panel

Inside the chapel there is a rare opportunity to get close to the exceptional 16th century glass by climbing the scaffolding that is there while the glass panels are conserved. The crucifix panel (above left) is already in place and the one featuring Henry VIII is on display on a light box in the house, also great for a close up view. Adjacent panels feature Queen Margaret of Scotland (his sister) and Catherine of Aragon.

panel 2.jpg

It easy to see where these three figures, together with gorgeous canopies and name Saints, will go by looking at the leading pattern in the clear glazing installed in the chapel windows before the coloured ones arrive back. Curious idea, but It looks good from the outside (above right) while protecting the precious glass inside. 

 How good to get so close up to Henry VIII, portrait at about 30 years old. Glass possibly by Flemish glaziers, commissioned by Lord Sandys of The Vyne in the 1520s.

How good to get so close up to Henry VIII, portrait at about 30 years old. Glass possibly by Flemish glaziers, commissioned by Lord Sandys of The Vyne in the 1520s.