Following recent news stories in Vidimus, two extremely rare stained glass panels designed by the nineteenth-century architect William Burges (1827–1881) have now been bought by Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment service. The cost was £125,000. The panels were once part of a set of twenty panels made for the chapel of Castell Coch, near Cardiff, and will go on public display at the fairytale castle in the summer.
The castle was rebuilt by Burges for the third Marquess of Bute in the late 19th Century and included a timber-framed chapel with images of saints in stained glass. The chapel was demolished sometime before 1891 and the whereabouts of the two missing panels had been a mystery until last year when they re-emerged at an auction in Salisbury (see Vidimus no. 41).
Dr Rick Turner, Cadw’s Inspector of Ancient Monuments, said “The panels show a variety of Welsh and British saints and key biblical figures and are of the highest quality Victorian stained glass. William Burges’ work attracts enormous worldwide attention and the price reflects the artistic genius of the man and the rare quality of these glass panels.”
Speaking about the acquisition, Alun Ffred Jones, the Welsh Heritage Minister, added “I am pleased Cadw has been able to secure these important glass panels which now means all twenty original panels are back in Wales for the first time for over a century.”