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Introduction to the Archive

This web site was started in 2008 and now has well over 60,000 images of old stained glass and other ecclesiastical subjects at over 700 locations, mostly in England, France and Italy. The focus is on glass before c.1800 but some photographs of later windows up to the twenty-first century have also been included.

At this stage the purpose of the Archive is only to display windows and panels together with an identification of the subject matter and to give some dates. However, as the project evolves it is hoped that more basic information and more bibliographic references on each window will also be given.

Most of the photographs on the site are digital and are displayed in low resolution, although some are scans of transparencies. Many of them are available in high resolution by contacting Painton Cowen at

At the present state of the evolution of the website some of the pictures are not completely satisfactory at low resolution, but this will change as higher resolution files are substituted. Likewise, not all of the windows have been photographed at some of the sites but will be completed when possible.


The present search option is an interim solution and will eventually be superceded by an easier to use method: searches can be made by:

Religious subjects

Non religious subjects and objects

Biblical references

Country and location of windows

People and places in the windows

So far this website, the research, travel and photograph has been a labour of love. Please consider becoming a Friend or even a Patron and things will then be abe to develop at a much faster pace!

Contact Painton Cowen at paintoncowen@aol.com

For instructions on how to use the Archive click here

(c) Copyright Painton Cowen 2008