Stained Glass from Welsh Churches

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Attributing windows by J. Wippell & Co. of Exeter

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I have been able to attribute a small set of windows in the Swansea area to Wippell’s of Exeter after looking at them again in the light of other attributed windows.

stained glass window depicting Charity.

J. Wippell & Co., Faith, Hope and Charity, 1917, Church of St Sannan, Bedwellty

A correspondent recently drew my attention to his research on the First World War memorial window by the firm at Bedwellty, where there is also another three-light window by the firm, depicting Faith, Hope and Charity, of a similar date.

Only a few weeks previously I was looking again at a group of windows at the Church of All Saints, Kilvey Hill (now closed), and the Church of St Mary, Briton Ferry, that I realised were all by the same maker. This was most clearly seen in the lettering but also the manner of the paintwork and the hint of an Arts & Crafts style.

stained glass window depicting St Micheal.

J. Wippell & Co., Faith, Hope and Charity, c.1918, Church of All Saints, KIlvey

Realising that the heads in the Faith, Hope and Charity window at Bedwellty had similarities with some of the saints in the Kilvey Hill chancel windows, and comparing the lettering and colouring, it became clear that the two pairs of saints at Kilvey Hill and the east window and a south aisle window at Briton Ferry were clearly all by Wippell’s as well. This includes the impressive Ascension at Briton Ferry of about 1922, a three-light east window, that I would probably have included in Stained Glass from Welsh Churches if I had been able to identify the maker. I had been unable to discover the identity of the maker from archival work, or of the saints at Kilvey Hill, so the discovery is very welcome, and hopefully will provide the basis for further attributions.

stain

J. Wippell & Co. Ltd, The Ascension, c.1922, Church of St Mary, Briton Ferry

It has also become clear that there may well be more windows of the period by the firm in the south Wales area, not all that far from its base in Exeter, as I found two more recently when visiting the Church of All Saints, Barry (one of which is signed), and another of the the mid-1920s can be seen at the Church of St Hilda, Griffithstown.

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