A CATHEDRAL concert by the Band and Bugles of the Rifles Regiment will take place on April 26 as part of a final push to raise £800,000 needed to preserve medieval glass of “exceptional significance” in the building’s Presbytery.
The current total of The Windows Appeal, run by the Friends of Winchester Cathedral, has already topped £550,000 after being launched a year ago.
Most of the cathedral’s stained glass was smashed by Parliamentary troops during the Civil War, who even hurled ancient royal bones interred in mortuary chests at the windows they couldn’t reach to destroy them.
Medieval glass in aisles either side of the Quire and at Clerestory – the very highest - level were the only areas to survive the savage assault.
A 2012 conservator’s report found the condition of the windows to be much worse than initially thought, with urgent work required to prevent them being lost forever.
Some have holes in them and the painted detail lost, while surrounding stonework has been eroded by centuries of weather.
Yet the report said the windows were of “exceptional significance”, pivotal to the nation’s understanding of glass-painting and design at that time.
The earliest examples date back to 1450, but the appeal also includes the conservation of the large East Window, a Victorian restoration of medieval glass taken from elsewhere in the building.
Chairman of the Friends Mo Hearn said: “We are astounded by people’s generosity and so grateful to all those who have contributed.
“To have come so far so quickly is a tremendous achievement. We are now working hard to raise the remaining funds.”
Parts of Winchester Cathedral, which draws around 300,000 visitors a year, date back to 1079.