Re: Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

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On the subject of old glass (which just came up on the Pearse Street thread), Trinity College are refurbishing all of the sash windows in the Front Square of the college at the moment. That’s fine, but a lot of old glass is being lost during the work. And, worse, I believe they’re using fake-old glass in place of destroyed actual-old glass. The whole of the northern block of the square has been completed so far.

Almost all of the windows in Front Square are the original 1760s ones (apart from a few in the centre of the College Green block, which had been replaced with plate-glass sashes 100 years or more ago, then replaced back to multi-pane sashes again in the 1960s) and they contain a lot of old glass.

Here are a couple of panes of incredibly old crown glass (in the top left of the sash) in Front Square. The circular pattern indicates that they were cut from a disc. This type of glass stopped being made in the middle of the 19th century, so these panes are at least 150 years old.

Then this is the more commonly-seen old glass, called cylinder glass, made from the mid-19th up to roughly the mid-20th century (when it became possible to make perfect, blemish-less glass). It is ripple-y and often contains pock-marks.

This is one of the sash windows that has already been refurbished in the north block of the square. There are no panes of old glass left except for the one on the left in the middle, which I believe to be fake-old, as it has a different appearance; it’s really just a normal pane of glass with deliberate ripples.

I’m going to try and speak to the Conservation Officer about this, because it is not really acceptable that irreplaceable historic hand-made glass is being destroyed and possibly replaced with pretend-old glass in a key historic institution of the city like this. Trinity’s original sash windows & old glass are famous – they appear on the front of a book on the history of Irish windows and glass by Nessa Roche.

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