Sunrise Stained Glass Ltd, 58-60 Middle Street, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 4BP UK +44 (0)23 9275 0512

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Sunrise Stained Glass Studio

Stained glass window artists achieving high standards of design and craftsmanship.

Stained Glass design studio

We can supply  top quality custom made wire mesh grilles that are powder coated for a weather-proof sealed finish, and fitted to the masonry with stainless steel fixings.  All protective glazing is custom made and fitted by our specialist team.


Wire mesh reinforced glass. Must be fixed with lead calme edging to allow for thermal expansion and contraction and to prevent water penetration and subsequent condensation and mould growth. Green tints should be avoided, although less expensive.


 Exterior is easily cleaned.

 Complete covering of the opening improves thermal insulation.

 Protects the historical glass from some forms of vandal attack or forced entry.


 Changes the external appearance of the building, creating a blank and highly reflective surface.

 Fixing requires a glazing groove to be cut or widened into the stonework, damaging the proportions and moulding of the window frame.

 Is very difficult to remove for cleaning and maintenance and to examine the exterior of the glass it protects.

 If totally sealed into the mullions moisture can be drawn from within the building through the window. This method of fixing is never recommended.

 Large missiles can cause a breakage to the heavy exterior sheets that themselves then pose a threat to the window.


Two main types on the market, acrylics and polycarbonates. They must be fixed to the architecture to allow for adequate ventilation and using all stainless steel fixings, and allowing for expansion and contraction in response to temperature fluctuations.


 Are relatively inexpensive.

 Deter persistent vandals and deflect small stones and shotgun pellets.

 If properly fixed will offer superior deterrence to thieves.

 Specialist fitters can accurately fit the sheeting to the shape of the window openings.

 Act as draught excluders and thermal insulators.

 Lighter in weight than glass.

 If a good fixing method is used they can be removed for maintenance to the stonework or glass.

 Can be installed with horizontal divisions of lead corresponding to the saddle bars to give an external appearance appropriate to the glazing scheme.

 The superior grades of polycarbonate sheeting are UV resistant and are 'long life', being resistant to surface crazing and a loss of translucency.

 Do not intrude upon the legibility of the glass from the interior, and much less than wire mesh grilles or certain types of isothermal glazing schemes from the exterior.

UV-stabilised long life polycarbonate with stainless steel fittings is cut to the shape of the window and fixed to allow for adequate ventilation and for maintenance work. There is minimal external visual disturbance and none from the interior.




 Inferior types can surface craze and take on a milky appearance.

 Lichens and moulds can accumulate on these surface scratches if not adequately maintained.

 The effect on the exterior of flat reflective sheets can be detracting.

 If inadequately fixed or cut the sheets can damage the masonry by expansion or corrosion, and can be difficult to remove for the cleaning and maintenance of the glass and stonework. Only experienced specialists should supply and fit polycarbonate protection to a building.

Custom made wire mesh grilles Powder coated for long-life

Stained Glass Protection

Methods for protecting stained glass in an architectural context


The protection of stained glass windows  must always be considered with regard to the architecture of the building, to preserve as far as possible the architectural integrity of the structure.  Ideally there should be little or no detraction from the overall appearance of the windows themselves when viewed externally or from the inside.  However this is rarely possible to achieve and so a compromise must usually be made, balancing the advantages offered by the existing methods against visual appearance and cost and effectiveness against a range of causes of breakage.

External protection is installed firstly to protect the glass from vandalism or breakage from the outside by adjacent trees, and secondly to protect fragile or conserved glass from the weather, atmosphere and fluctuations in temperature.

There are relative merits and disadvantages of the methods currently in use, a brief summary of which are included below as a guide for the custodians of buildings with leaded and stained glass windows.


Will deflect large missiles, not small stones or shotgun pellets. Wire mesh grilles should be made to templates and galvanised after fabrication, and fixed by specialist glaziers.


 The exterior of the glass is exposed to the cleaning action of the rain and wind.

 Relatively inexpensive.

 Can be removed for cleaning / maintenance.

 Can be cut to shape of tracery / window openings.

 No removal / reinstatement of the windows is necessary.


 Copper and iron wires corrode and discolour stonework when incorrectly maintained.

 Do not deter persistent thieves or vandals.

 Look unsightly from the inside and outside, and reduce the level of light coming through the window.

 Birds can nest in between the grilles and the window.

 Need regular renewal and maintenance.

 Intrude upon the legibility of the glass from the interior.

Conservation of Stained Glass Church windows often involves protective measures against accidental or deliberate damage. Owners or custodians of historic stained glass windows can be reassured of the highest standards of protection, fitting and sensitivity to the architectural context.