Historic Building Restoration & Convservation

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Cliffe Castle

3rd March 2019

Stone Edge was delighted to attend the celebration of the newly restored Butterfield Stained Glass Window at Cliffe Castle this weekend.

The well-to-do Butterfield family lived at Cliffe Castle, near Keighley West Yorkshire from the 1840’s. They rebuilt the house into something resembling a palace and decorated it in High Victorian style. Since the 1950’s, the house has been run as a museum in the care of Bradford Council. It is a fascinating treasure trove, with rooms presented as the Butterfield family would have known them and all manner of unusual curiosities to discover.

The impressive main staircase is dominated by the spectacular Butterfield stained glass window. The condition of the delicate stone tracery had deteriorated, due to water ingress. The metal fixings had corroded, resulting in the structure becoming unstable and distorted. Panels of stained glass had been replaced with plain in the 1950’s so it was in need of repair for both structural and aesthetic reasons.  Specialist stained glass conservators removed and cleaned the remaining panels and, using the sole surviving panel, re-created the missing stained glass to replace the plain.

Careful preparation for new tracery elements

Hand-carving of stonework

Stone Edge carefully consolidated and repaired the window’s stone tracery. This included the hand-carving of some replacement elements, required where the stone was too badly damaged to repair.

During the works, remnants of the original paint scheme around the window were revealed and carefully conserved. What can be seen now is a glorious representation of the original stained-glass window, much as it would have looked in the time of the Butterfields.

The window restored

Conserved remnants of decorative paintwork

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