Wrexham Cathedral, Wrexham
AddressCathedral Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Regent St, Wrexham LL11 1RB
Comments byMartin Crampin
The church was originally designed by E. W. Pugin and built in 1857. It was designated as the pro-cathedral of the diocese of Menevia in 1907, and has been the cathedral church of the diocese of Wrexham since 1987. Most of the stained glass dates to the later nineteenth century and early twentieth century, some of which can be attributed to John Hardman & Co. The stained glass in the east window is the work of Joshua Clarke of Dublin. A typically lively example of the work of Trena Cox can be found at the church as well as an abstract window by Pamela Bubb, who was a student at Wrexham College of Art.
For further information see: Stained Glass in Wales – Wrexham Cathedral
HighlightWindow at the west end of the south aisle - The Entombment
Artist, maker and dateHardman & Co., c.1860
Reason for highlighting
One of the earliest windows in the cathedral is a relatively small memorial to the industrialist Richard Thompson, the original patron of the church. It is a fine example of the curvilinear late thirteenth-early fourteenth design developed by John Hardman Powell in deep colours, the figure group redolent of the sorrow of loss. The collection of coloured glass fragments in the lower panel is a mystery. It looks like the assemblages of late medieval glass found at medieval churches in the area, but the date and provenance of the glass is unknown.
Hardman & Co. was founded in 1838 to manufacture ecclesiastical metal work to the designs of AWN Pugin (1812-52), who encouraged the firm’s expansion into stained glass in 1845. Pugin acted as its chief designer until his death, when he was succeeded by his nephew John Hardman Powell.
John Hardman Powell (1827-95) a deeply religious Roman Catholic, was trained as an apprentice by Pugin. A rare privilege given Pugin’s reluctance to employ clerks or take on pupils. The Hardman firm continued to flourish under his leadership, due in part to the individual attention given to commissions and the originality of each design, a contrast to other firms that would often reuse designs numerous times.
Hardman of Birmingham, Goldsmith and Glasspainter by Michael Fisher (Landmark Publishing, 2008)
The Stained Glass of John Hardman and Company under the leadership of John Hardman Powell from 1867 to 1895 by Mathé Shepheard, which can be downloaded as a 3 volume PDF Hardman Powell PDF