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Burges' stained glass panels return home to Castell Coch

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BBC Wales History BBC Wales History | 11:28 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

The future of two extremely rare William Burges-designed stained glass panels has been secured following their purchase for £125,000 by Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government's historic environment service.

Cadw's Inspector of Ancient Monuments , Rick Turner, with the two panels

Cadw's Inspector of Ancient Monuments , Rick Turner, with the two panels

The panels, which were once part of a set of 20 for the chapel at Castell Coch near Cardiff, will go on public display at the fairytale castle in the summer.

Burges designed a timber-framed chapel springing out of the roof of the Well Tower which was fitted with the stained glass panels. The chapel was demolished sometime before 1891 and the 20 panels were recorded as being stored on site in 1901.

Castle Coch, near Cardiff

Castle Coch, near Cardiff

Ten of those panels are on display in a gallery at Cardiff Castle while eight more are displayed in a model of the chapel in the attic room of Castell Coch's Well Tower. The whereabouts of the two missing panels had been a mystery until they failed to sell at an auction last year.

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, Heritage Minister, added:

"I am pleased Cadw has been able to secure these important glass panels which now means all 20 original panels are back in Wales for the first time for over a century."

Find out more about Welsh castles on the BBC Wales History website.


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