Stained Glass Windows

Managing Environmental Deterioration

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This Historic England technical conservation advice note is aimed at building owners and managers caring for stained glass windows, but it will also be of interest to their professional advisors, and to conservation officers, diocesan advisors and other statutory authorities. It is intended to help readers recognise the symptoms that indicate a decorative window might be suffering from environmental deterioration, and to understand and alleviate the impacts this may be having on the stained glass.

The document is not a complete guide to the deterioration of stained glass (the complexity of which demands the expertise of an experienced accredited stained glass conservator), but instead outlines in general terms the process of making decisions about the conservation of stained glass in danger of environmental deterioration. It explains how internal and external environmental conditions can damage decorative windows, and gives pointers for determining whether a window requires specialist attention.

The benefits of good building maintenance and repair are the first consideration in the preservation of stained glass, and for all historic building conservation. This may still be insufficient to arrest deterioration to a level that accords with the significance of the glass, however, so the document presents a number of specific interventions, most notably Environmental Protective Glazing (EPG). Detailed information is given about the use and detailing of EPG, based on research undertaken by Historic England. It should be read alongside the Historic England Research Report 43/2017, Conserving Stained Glass Using Environmental Protective Glazing.


  • Introduction
  • Identifying problems
  • Managing problems
  • Environmental protective glazing
  • Appendix: CVMA numbering system
  • Glossary
  • Further reading
  • Where to get advice
  • Acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 56
  • Product Code: HEAG195


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