Picking a top 10 (or even 12) is not easy considering the vast array of magnificent stained glass on display in Norfolk It ranges from works of art made by medieval craftsman through to beautiful windows produced in the modern era. Eventually the choice is personal and everyone is likely to have different favourites, but let us tempt you with our selection which we hope will encourage visits to both secular and religious buildings to view superb art often in outstanding settings. Enjoy some wonderful collections of some of the finest artwork to be found in Norfolk.
Generally accepted as the finest stained glass in Norfolk in a superb parish church.
Remarkable and extraordinary with an even stranger story of the "blessed girls"
For lovers of Pre-Raphaelite art, superb windows designed by Henry Holiday.
An exceptional example of modern stained glass in glorious colours.
One of the finest collection of Victorian stained glass from differernt artists
East Anglia's most impressive collections of 16th/17th fragments
A fine exampmle of the Europen glass that John Hampp imported into Norfolk
One of several Pre-Raphaelite windows by different artists
This Dance of Death panel is the only surviving example in England made in glass
Only St Peter Mancroft compares with this medieval masterpiece
One of several superb medieval windows in Norwich's 15th C. Guildhall.
The ascension in an expressionist style in glorious bright colours
The beautiful church of St Peter Mancroft contains what is generally accepted as the finest stained glass in Norfolk. The bulk of the churches’ surviving medieval glass is now located in the east window where forty two panels are all of medieval date. Although many have been “patched” they are remarkably intact. It is especially interesting to "spot" the Victorian replacement panels which despite the huge technological advances of the intervening years do not match the delicacy of touch and design achieved by the medieval craftsman.Visit the Church
In our opinion everyone should visit Booton Church. We are not saying you will like it but you will definitely have an opinion on this “ Gothic Revival extravaganza… raised from banality by the roof & glass.” (Simon James) The nave windows are superb. They depict a procession of angels walking through verdant fields and flowers said to have been portraits of “blessed girls” with whom Elwin (the Church’s creator and rector) was “an affectionate, almost intimate counsellor.” Individually the windows are beautiful en masse they create a stunning scene.Visit the Church
For lovers of Pre Raphaelite art, the highlight of a visit are three superb windows designed by Henry Holiday. They are so good that the east window picturing the Madonna and Child was selected to feature as the Post Office’s 2009 1st Class Christmas stampVisit the Church
This striking window dominates the church. It was designed and made by workers on a Manpower Services Commission programme, who restored the church during the 1980s. It dramatically illustrates Christ’s victory over Death at his resurrection. The eye at the apex of the window represents God the Father overseeing events. On the left the skeleton represents Death whilst on the right we see angel who rolled away the stone complete with magnificent wings. You are either going to love it or hate it - but never be indifferent to it .Visit the Church
The beauty of the Victorian glass at Garboldisham is that it was all produced by one workshop : J Powell & Sons. Although no one window is outstanding, as a group of windows it is unique described by Birkin Haward as a collection “...of works of national consequence” It differs from the Garboldisham “Blessed Girls” in that all the windows differ in design and were made over a relatively long period (approximately 35 years) . We particularly like these lovely angels which contrast greatly with their medieval counterparts.Visit the Church
We hope we have done justice to this eclectic collection of glass which has been described by Birkin Haward as “one of the most impressive collections of 16th/17th fragments remaining in East Anglia” and by David King as being “the most exuberant and in some ways the most interesting” patchwork of miscellaneous fragments to be found in Norfolk. It is an extraordinary window and one we all enjoyed discovering, and we hope you do as well.Visit the Church
Thanks to the activities of John Christopher Hampp the county contains many examples of early European glass which he purchased and brought back to Norfolk. However, this window has been accredited by David King as being “the most impressive”. We like it becuase of the contrast it makes with English designed windows of the same periodVisit the Church
The church contains a number of windows by Pre-Raphaelite artists. Particularly rare is the south chancel window made by Morris 7 Co. from a cartoon designed by Ford Maddox BrownVisit the Church
This macabre 16th century panel depicting the "Dance of Death" is one of many fascinating windows found here. The panel was originally part of a series in the south clerestory and is believed to be the only surviving example of this theme in England made in glass. It depicts a skeleton leading away a bishop and reflects the late medieval preoccupation with the possibility of sudden death, particularly pertinent when plagues were prevalent. Not only is it unique but it is beautifully made.Visit the Church
It is believed that the window was made over the period c1465 – c1480. Accredited to the Norwich school of glassmakers, as a collection of glass it is second only to the East window of St Peter Mancroft (Norwich). According to David King many of the designs at the two locations are the same in particular decorative motifs and painting styles are similar.Visit the Church
One of several mmedieval windows in Norwich's 15th C Guildhall. These 15th century angels are not only beautifully crafted and contain exquisite detail but they also bring a smile to one's face. This gorgeous example wears a feathered suit, which was the costume worn by actors representing angels in the medieval mystery plays, and holds the bagpipes.Visit the Church
This beautiful window was installed in 1967. It depicts the ascension in an expressionist style using glorious bright colours. It was designed by Michael King of G King & Sons. The design contrasts with the Window depicting St Margaret which was also installed in the 1960s. Although this is obviously a modern example the firm (set up in 1927) was renowned for its maintenance of medieval stained glass and worked on prestige collections across the country including Winchester and King’s College CambridgeVisit the Church