New project’s vision is vital for chapel

Conservation work gets underway at Rosslyn Chapel
Conservation work gets underway at Rosslyn Chapel

The final part of Rosslyn Chapel’s long-term conservation programme is underway to protect 16 ground floor stained glass windows.

An environmental protective glazing is being fitted on the external face of the windows to protect their painted decoration.

Mark Bambrough, a partner with Scottish Glass Studios, explained: “This conservation approach was required due to excessive paint loss found within the ground floor windows and the need to arrest further decay.

“Over the past two years, a test bed has been in place to establish if the proposed installation would function and, following rigorous sampling and monitoring, both technical parameters and an exterior aesthetic appearance has now been agreed by Rosslyn Chapel Trust, Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council.”

As part of the main conservation project, all ground floor windows were removed and taken to the Scottish Glass Studios, in Glasgow, for conservation repair and cleaning.

The stained glass will be relocated back into its original glazing groove and the window protection will sit within the exterior masonry, with a 30mm cavity.

Ian Gardner, director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: “The most important conclusion to be drawn from the test is that the environmental protection system works as intended with no condensation being detected on the painted surface of the stained glass. Without this, it is clear that further damage would be caused to the stained glass windows and so this work will help ensure the long-term conservation of the windows, which are an important feature of the chapel.”