Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire: National Trust

17th and 18th Century

Job specification – to research and catalogue an important collection of 15th century heraldry, and enamelled glass from the 17th century, which had been in long term storage at the property, and advise on appropriate storage methods and materials for the glass.

Sudbury Hall is a Grade I listed late 17th century Jacobean house.  Owned by the National Trust, it also houses the National Trust Museum of Childhood. It is known as one of the most untouched, richly decorated and complete houses of the period. It was a smaller mansion before 1660 when it was inherited by George Vernon (1636-1702), who rebuilt it to the grand design we see today.

Upon inspection the many stained glass panels in storage in the Sudbury collection were found to be a mix of important late medieval heraldic panels, and superb quality painted and enamelled glass, dating from the 17th century. A number of them have a maritime theme.  In combination this collection is of national importance.  An interesting discourse with National Trust Curators and Art Historians resulted in a far better understanding of the provenance of the glass.  This exercise has enabled the client to consider the best solution for public display and interpretation of their collection, including the conservation, art historical research, and methods and materials involved in the original production of the stained glass, all of which will enhance the visitor experience, and raise awareness of stained glass.