Period Lead Windows Alderbury



Period Lead Windows Alderbury
While there are many beautiful types of windows, perhaps what we think of as the quintessentially English period lead windows are those we see in Medieval or Tudor structures - Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire is a well known and loved example. Closer to home for customers in Alderbury looking for period lead windows is Winchester City Mill, which contains perfect examples of period lead windows. The period lead windows seen in these buildings are often in a diamond pattern. This wasn’t just because they looked pretty – the diamond shapes gave greater stability than square shaped panes. It almost meant less glass was wasted when cutting the shapes.
Lead windows are also known as leaded lights or leadlights. They consist of small sections of glass supported in a metal framework known as cames. The cames were usually lead but could also be zinc, brass, or copper. The first recorded instance of using camework to join pieces of glass is the book De Divers Artibus, by a Benedictine Monk called Theophilus Presbyter. Presbyter died around 1125, demonstrating that lead windows have been in use for at least 900 years!
Lead was the usual choice for camework, hence why it came to be known as lead windows. Lead is softer, more flexible, and easier to work than other metals. However, over time, this very softness caused sagging, which created the buckled, wobbly effect seen in some very old windows. Modern techniques mean that the chemical composition of lead used in windows is different, making it stronger, and other materials are also used in construction to ensure windows are watertight.
Sash windows came into fashion in the late 1600s, and accordingly, lead windows declined in popularity. The Gothic Revival in the mid-1800s brought period lead windows back into style, assisted by the later Arts & Crafts Movement. Shapes expanded from the utility diamond shape into those including lily and tulip motifs, and small panes with painted glass.
Following the turn of the century, the Art Nouveau movement, taking inspiration from shapes in nature, incorporated long curved sections of glass in lead windows. Many public buildings used these types of windows – maybe you have seen some beautiful surviving examples of period lead windows in Alderbury? Styles evolved from Art Nouveau to Art Deco, as designers such Louis Comfort Tiffany, Alphonse Mucha and Charles Rennie Mackintosh entered public consciousness. Many houses of the 1920s and 1930s have mock tudor elements, including leaded windows in the popular diamond pattern that are the most easily recognisable type of period lead window for customers in Alderbury.
Following WW2 however, possibly due to the massive amounts of metal being needed for the war effort, lead windows again fell from favour. This changed again in the late 20th Century and beautiful period lead windows, this time benefiting from modern technology and techniques, can again be seen in our homes. If you are a customer looking for period lead windows in Alderbury, County Glass & Glazing Ltd are experts in all types of glass and would be a perfect choice.

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