Birkenhead Town Hall | Stained Glass Conservation in Wirral | Recclesia Stained Glass

The Full Story

Recclesia Stained Glass have completed several phases of repair work to the stained glass at Birkenhead Town Hall, one of the Wirral's most iconic buildings. Grade II* listed, the Town Hall was built in 1887. The building is currently used as offices for Wirral Borough Council as well as being a very grand wedding venue.

Recclesia were called in to survey the stained glass at Birkenhead Town Hall after damage was noted to several windows. Several very desperately needed repair and were scheduled for immediate removal to the workshop.

Each panel was recorded both photographically in various light and mechanically by creating a rubbing of the lead net. A thorough assessment of each panel was carried out section by section, examining the condition of each material and the stability of the glass and the paintwork, in order to guide the conservation and repair process before releading was sanctioned.

As well as a time-expired lead net, there were several sections of painted glass that were missing altogether. These were replaced by reference to the repetitive design elsewhere, and reproduced by our very talented glass artists. In order to inform any future conservation programme, each of the new sections was subtly marked with the date and name of the artist, thereby identifying it as a replacement section. Our artists, Kat Walton and Elizabeth Sinkova are adept at recreating historic painted glass, meaning that once the new sections have been incorporated into the originals around them, it is very difficult to spot any difference.

There were also a number of broken section of painted glass, which were repaired in a variety of different ways. The objective was always to retain as much of the original glass as is possible, so every fragment was laid out like a jigsaw, assessed, then where possible bonded back together using specialist adhesives. Where required, some sections were plated to protect the repair, using kiln-slumped optical glass to mirror the original.

Once the repairs to the glass were complete, the panels were rebuilt into new lead came of the same size and profiles as that of the original lead net before being reinstated into the frames which were repaired in-situ whilst the windows were at the studio.