Firm plays pivotal role as glass orb goes on display

The Orb at York Minster.
The Orb at York Minster.

A north Northumberland firm has played a pivotal role in the latest dramatic chapter of stained glass in York Minster.

Wooler-based IWF are specialists in displaying, storing and lighting stained glass.

Their invention is at the heart of the iconic orb in the Minster’s East aisle, cradling and illuminating the restored medieval stained glass.

The Orb, which is 10 metres wide and three metres tall, displays five newly-conserved stained glass panels from the minster’s medieval Great East Window. The restoration of the Great East Window is scheduled for completion by summer 2016 and The Orb will remain in place until the window is unveiled.

The Orb allows visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the restored panels up close during the course of the project, which is part of York Minster Revealed, a five-year project supported with a £10.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project is the largest restoration and conservation project of its kind in the UK.

Neil Wilton, managing director of IWF, who began working with stained glass more than 30 years ago, designed and developed the unique framework to support and display stained glass whether in its original window or in another setting.

Each month one of the panels will be displayed in the central position, which posed an extra challenge because the panels are of different sizes.