VISITORS to one of England’s most famous tourist attractions will catch a glimpse of York craftsmanship after a local firm created two striking new handmade windows.

The windows, each consisting of more than 50 individual pieces of glass, will be installed in the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in June, when there will be a service of celebration.

The windows are the first commissioned by the Abbey for more than a decade, and have been designed by British artist Hughie O’Donoghue, and made at Dunnington-based Barley Studios.

Helen Whittaker, creative director at Barley Studios, said: “I was delighted to be chosen to create this artwork in collaboration with Hughie O’Donoghue.

“After all the hours of hard work making the windows, the Barley Studio team are very excited about going to Westminster Abbey to fit them next week. As a Yorkshire firm, we are proud to be keeping the art and craft of stained glass, both creation and conservation, alive, especially as we are celebrating 40 years in business this year.”

The Lady Chapel was commissioned by Henry VII and built between 1503 and 1519. The new panels will be placed either side of the Chapel’s East Window, which was installed in October 2000, and is the most recent stained-glass commission in the Abbey.

The panels incorporate emblems related to the Virgin Mary, including several varieties of lily, the symbol of the Annunciation and of purity, as well as stars and the fleur-de- lys. The windows are designed to be one complete work, surrounding the East Window, and whose blue colours will complement the golden ceiling.

Mr O’Donoghue said: “My strong feeling was that my design should be in line with the Gothic tradition of carrying the eyes upward.

“The ceiling is golden, literally, with the gilded Tudor emblems, which are close in tone and colour to the warm stone of the vaults.”

The Very Rev Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, said: “Sadly, the glass was blown out in the Second World War, and it is exciting to receive this further re-glazing of the Chapel in sympathy with the existing glass and as a tribute to its status as a Chapel in honour of Our Lady.”