Stained Glass Harry Clarke Windows – at St. Kierans College, Kilkenny
St. Kierans College, Kilkenny was built between 1836–1840 and the Chapel was extended and re-ordered in 1927–1930 at which time a new altar and sanctuary panelling were fitted and three stained glass windows were commissioned from the Harry Clarke Studio. These window feature the deep lustrous colours and heavy-guage leadwork of Harry Clarke’s work.
Unfortunately, the weight of lead endemic to his style resulted in problems of buckling of the wider panels over the years with some cracking of stained glass and water ingress as a result. An initial programme of repair involved releading the worst affected panels using lighter lead cams and additional support bars.
However, the main sanctuary window will be subject to restoration on the basis of minimum intervention or replacement of original fabric.
Although generally regarded as the secondary material in stained glass work, the buckled leadwork will be gradually and carefully flattened and re-cemented as being intrinsic to the aesthetic intentions of the designer. In line with best practice, existing polycarbonate storm glazing will be removed and the windows left exposed externally or in the case of the sanctuary window, which is in a more exposed location, screened by black powder coated steel mesh.