Thursday, July 14, 2022

Stained Glass Window Tours @ 2022 Weekend In Norfolk

Norfolk, Connecticut is home to some remarkable stained glass windows, ranging from works of art created in the United States to those commissioned and created in Germany.  It is thought that the art of stained glass originated in the Middle East.  The use of stained glass spread to the United States from France and England where the colored glass was used in religious buildings as early as the 7th century.

Stained glass lovers, rejoice! Three of Norfolk’s churches, the Immaculate Conception Church, the Battell Chapel, and the Summer Chapel at the Church of the Transfiguration will be open at various times during the Weekend in Norfolk, a townwide celebration taking place on Friday, August 5, Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7. There will be a walking tour of the three churches available online and at the hub.

Stained Glass Tours of the Immaculate Conception Church, located on 4 North Street will be offered on Friday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Sunday, August 7 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Tours of the stained glass windows at the Battell Chapel located on 12 Litchfield Road will take place on Friday, August 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, August 7 from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Tiffany Stained Glass Windows @ Battell Chapel

The Battell Chapel, part of the Church of Christ Congregational Church has stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Maitland Armstrong. The Tiffany windows, located in a curved wall, depict the four seasons, two on either side of a woodland stream scene.  The windows were given in memory of Joseph and Sarah Battell Stoeckel in 1888 by their daughter. At the west end of the chapel are stained glass windows made from opalescent glass designed by D. Maitland Armstrong. Opalescent glass is known for creating a great depth of field and a beautiful shimmering effect when the sun hits it.

This splendid window by Meyer and Co. adorns the Church of Immaculate Conception

The Church of Immaculate Conception is a wood-framed church finished in stucco and covered in a cross-gabled roof. Alterations of the original church were completed in 1925 by Alfredo S.G. Taylor and typify his work with a somewhat Spanish Revival appearance.  The Immaculate Conception Church has stained glass windows created by Franz Meyer & Co. of Munich, Germany. The windows were shipped to Norfolk from the factory in the mid-1920s. 

Window in memory of Olivia Clemens, notice her name is misspelled.

Nestled in the woods of Norfolk, the summer Chapel of the Church of the Transfiguration is a simple brown shingled-style church with magnificent stained glass windows that are known locally as the "chapel of ease."  Inside this wood-paneled chapel, which has a wood-beamed ceiling, the stained glass windows gleam. Early members of this chapel included heirs of the Lord and Taylor Department Store, a physicist on the Manhattan Project, and many New Yorkers that spent their summer in Norfolk. The most prominent members included Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, and his wife Olivia, and their family. A window near the front of the chapel is dedicated to the memory of Olivia from her daughter Clara.

A walking/driving tour of Norfolk's three churches.

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