Approval for blue plaque in memory of renowned Warwick stained glass maker

By James Smith

11th Feb 2024 | Local News

The plaque can now be installed at the Old Glassworks on Priory Road (image by Michael Dibb)
The plaque can now be installed at the Old Glassworks on Priory Road (image by Michael Dibb)

District planners have signed off on a proposal to install a blue plaque celebrating the work of a renowned stained glass maker from Warwick.

Warwick Town Council has been given listed building consent to memorialise the work of William Holland, on the Old Glassworks building on Priory Road.

The house itself was built by Holland in 1847, and included a glass workshop where he employed 26 men and boys, before it was taken over by the Warwickshire Yeomanry in 1913.

Having become grade II listed in 1985, the town council now wants to add a blue plaque to recognise a little-known slice of the town's history.

"The plaque would record the residence of William Holland, a 19th century British maker of stained glass who founded his firm of 'Holland, William and Son, St John's Warwick. Designers and Producers. Stained glass of the twelfth century representing scriptural events' and established his studio in the rear workshop," the application to Warwick District Council said. 

"He trained family members such as his sons and his nephew, Frank Holt. 

"The business later became known as 'Holland and Holt'."

Holland lived at the Old Glassworks from 1851 to 1873, before dying while living with his daughter in Leamington Spa in 1883 aged 78 - the application explained.

Plans also said Holland's stained glass was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851, alongside the work of 24 other stained glass makers invited.

He was then known as a stained glass painter by appointment of Queen Victoria.

Examples of his work can be seen at St Mary's, All Saints in Leamington and St Peter's in Barford.

Signing off on the scheme, a district council report said: "The blue plaque will give a further layer of interest to this heritage asset, recognised for its historic and architectural value.

"As a craftsman with examples of work which are visible in the district, as well as the existence of the workshop to the rear, this is considered to positively enhance the character of the conservation area by encouraging a greater interest in not only the historic buildings in the district, but also their former inhabitants, as well as the relationship between craftsmen and heritage assets throughout the wider district.

"The plaque provides an example of the changing narratives of historic buildings and illustrates that inhabitants of heritage assets are both homeowners and custodians, with their own legacies which can contribute to the existing special historic and architectural value of listed buildings."

The house also has some examples of the stained glass work.

The Old Glassworks was put on the market for £1.3 million last year with property agent Fine & Country.

See the full plans here.

(Header image by Michael Dibb via


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