The Henleaze Society  
Serving the Henleaze community in North Bristol
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The story of Stained Glass in Henleaze

Henleaze boasts some spectacular stained glass windows.  This one on the right fitted to a house in Phoenix Grove is a good example.

Though some of those windows have since been replaced by plain glass double glazing units, many of the original art deco styled windows survive.

Built as speculative ventures in the1920s and 30s those houses featured, (or as Estate Agents would say �Boast�) stained glass windows such as the patterns shown the sales brochure below which could be fitted to order.
 

These could be selected by the builders as ready-made sets of leaded lights from Bristol�s own Metal Agencies Company, (their catalogue ran to over 1300 pages).

However in addition to these, the older and larger houses of Henleaze Gardens and Avenue contain more elaborate porch screens and fanlights - like the one illustrating a bird below.

It is likely that many of the earlier and larger windows were designed and made by Bristol�s own stained glass artists such as  Joseph Bell. He founded his studio in the 1840s and later the firm as �Joseph Bell and Son - Artists in Stained Glass� operated until 1996 from their studio above The Guild at 68 Park Street.

Most of our churches feature their work and their busiest time was probably repairing and redesigning windows destroyed in the blitz of World War II.  Records of their designs and customers can still be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum archives.

However there are also some stunning modern designs such as these being both fitted to new houses and as enhancements - see the spectacular mountain vista below.

In addition to Bristol Blue Glass Studio in town we are lucky to have a number of art glass design studios in Bristol, such as Opus Glass Design in nearby Chandos Road, who in addition to stained glass windows and screens in contemporary designs also have perfected the technique of fusing sheets of coloured glass in layers, which with the addition of a silvered backing enables the realisation of   kitchen or bathroom splash backs that positively glow with colour. We had one of these made and fitted back in 2005 as the finishing touch to our new kitchen.
 

There are local firms who are able to maintain and, when necessary rebuild, the windows when they inevitably suffer from age - making them as good as new.

These colourful windows are a special feature of architecural history in Henleaze.  Long may they remain so.

Julian Lea Jones
julianleajones@blueyonder.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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