When you visit Arley Hall in Cheshire, you may wonder whatever happened to the second of six magnificent stained glass windows which tell the story of a medieval hunt …
Well, this time it was not the fault of Thomas Cromwell, because that was the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, and these windows (and the Hall itself) are nineteenth century.
But this time – as then – it most likely was an English soldier.
Yes, this time – which is sometime during the Second World War – the Hall was requisitioned by the Army.
Whose soldiers needed target practice …
All six windows originally came from France and were made by Andre Lusson: exquisite quality – look at this:
Lusson – who spent so much of his life designing and making stained glass for churches whose windows had been destroyed by French Revolutionaries: somehow these windows of his arrive in England where one of them is shot to pieces by an English rifleman.
Credo: the five’s survival must be down to intervention from On High (not bad shooting – the English are good shots; they just don’t take much care of their stained glass, is all).
And the missing window?
Well, by a miracle, Lusson’s sketch survives. I have seen it with my own eyes.
You’re in for a treat here.
Look at this historic document and marvel:
Lusson was a consummate master of his craft – he knew exactly where he would go with this sketch. When someone has real confidence, less is always more.