Bradford Cathedral reveals history of its stunning William Morris stained glass windows

As a dramatic force for Victorian Britain, the work of artist and designer William Morris was to change the fashions and ideologies of the era.

Now, shining a light on some "marvellous" examples of his company's early work, Bradford Cathedral is to open its doors to share an insight into its stunning stained glass windows.

Morris, born 1834, was to become one of the most significant figures in the arts and crafts movement, founding Morris & Co from a group of like-minded artists.

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The firm was to become highly fashionable and much in demand, with Morris designing tapestries, wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, and stained glass windows.

Helen Elletson, curator of  William Morris SocietyHelen Elletson, curator of  William Morris Society
Helen Elletson, curator of William Morris Society

Bradford Cathedral, as well as early stained glass by Morris & Co, is also home to "stunning" works by other Victorian Designers.

Now visitors can discover more on Saturday, September 9, as the cathedral opens its doors to mark Heritage Open Days and celebrate 'Creativity Unwrapped'.

Liam Montgomery, projects manager for Heritage Open Days, said: “Whether it’s art, music, writing, or another outlet, creativity moves us and shapes our history and culture.

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"We’re excited to put the spotlight on the people and places who give England’s heritage the X-factor and inspire festival-goers to engage with thousands of years of creativity."

Bradford Cathedral stained glassBradford Cathedral stained glass
Bradford Cathedral stained glass

Bradford Cathedral has stood for some centuries on the hillside above the 'broad fort' that gave Bradford its name.

The site itself has been a place of Christian worship for nearly 1,400 years, with the current church believed to be the third church in this location.

This year marks the 160th anniversary since the first stained glass window was installed here at the cathedral, created by Morris & Co.

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Along with renowned artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Albert Moore, and Peter Paul Marshall, Morris created many pieces of stained glass, some of which are on display here in the cathedral today.

Morris & Co also produced religious textiles, an example of which is on display in the Lady Chapel, while one figure in the glass is recently discovered to have been designed by Morris' lifelong friend William De Morgan.

As the cathedral prepares to opens its doors for the special afternoon of activities on September 9, there are to be tours, children's events, and a special talk.

Helen Elletson, of the William Morris Society, will share the society’s insights into some of the stained glass created here by the famous artist and designer.

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Her talk will cover the life, work and ideas of this late “great Victorian polymath”, who was a designer, craftsman, writer, poet, socialist and printer.

To book tour or talk places visit

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