Stained glass windows or as they are sometimes called leaded lights are pieces of coloured glass made up into windows and joined by soldered lead sections their history is fascinating and the mode of construction allowed for small pieces of expensive coloured glass to be joined together in fantastic decorative patterns.
The history of stained glass windows in Cardiff goes back to a time when massive wealth was being generated in the valleys. The beneficiaries of that wealth used their money to build lavish Gothic buildings decorated in the most expensive ways possible these buildings range from the exotic Catell Coch to see lavish surroundings of Cardiff Castle and even to the functional Norwegian church on the edge of Cardiff docks now better known as Cardiff Bay.
Castell Coch was a rebuilt gothic castle in Tongwynlais, North Cardiff, Wales it sits above cliffs and was rebuilt by William Burges for 3rd Marquis of Bute in 1890 as a country retreat. The castle was built on earlier foundations of a medieval structure its external appearance is reasonably authentic.
Stained glass windows in Cardiff Castle
Stained glass windows in Cardiff Castle are numerous and the design for which was sketched out by William Burges who was employed by the Marquess of Bute to construct some fantastic buildings in Cardiff at the time.
Churches and cathedrals have always known to be exponents of stained glass windows, none more so than St Davids Metropolitan Cathedral in Churchill Way Cardiff. The stained glass windows in this cathedral had to be reconstructed after the Cathedral was destroyed in 1941 by a bomb during the second World War.
Stained glass windows in Cardiff Pubs
Other major exponents of stained glass windows in Cardiff buildings have been occasionally called, ‘cathedrals of entertainment’, but are more easily recognised by the euphemism pubs !
There are several examples of stained glass being used both for decorative purposes with function thrown in, the sanction comes in the form of signage, both to designate the name of the brewery in this instance Cardiff’s Brains Brewery, but also the designation of the use of the room. In this instance the leaded lights have been used to good effect on one of Wales is most easily recognised icons. The dragon has been immortalised in stained glass windows in a whole variety of ways. It seems that the Welsh dragon is a creature that lends itself to be displayed in a number of splendid ways, with reds and oranges predominating.
Stained Glass Windows – Modern
Stained glass windows are not restricted to the old Victorian buildings when wealth was so abundant in Wales but even today find many modern uses.
The Norwegian church had a modern design of stained glass windows commission to commemorate its relocation in Cardiff Bay and public offices in Merthyr have in recent times taken on the use of stained glass windows to add colour and decoration to functional buildings such as the civic town Hall.