Treasurer and Patron of St Mary’s Church writes:

Many people have remarked that our windows look better than ever. It was a job really well done and I would have no hesitation in recommending this firm to anyone who needed reassurance of their excellence. [See full text of testimonial].

Aiano’s was contacted by the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Farnham about their church window guard renewal.  Aiano’s first made traditional church window guards for St Mary’s in 2013, and we wrote about this wonderful grade II listed church in our Aiano Jewels series of occasional articles about churches that hold a special place in our hearts. The church of St Mary the Virgin is in a rather lonely spot surrounded by fields and sheep, about a third of a mile from the village of Farnham in Essex. 

We were delighted, therefore, when St. Mary’s approached us again in with a new and much larger project for traditional woven mesh church window guard renewal. When we first visited the church in 2013 it was shrouded in mist. But when Aiano engineers returned to the church for the new project, the day was fine and bright.

Church window guard renewal at St. Mary’s

Church window guard renewal is a process of evolution and when Aiano’s returns to churches for new projects, it is interesting to have the opportunity to see work we completed in earlier years. When Aiano engineers arrived at St Mary’s they were pleased to revisit the window guards we made five years ago and gratified to see that they look as though they were installed yesterday.

AIANO traditional window guards at St Mary's church installed in 2013

Aiano made church window guards for St. Mary’s in 2013. This photo was taken on completion of the installation.

Stained glass windows at St. Mary's church are guarded by AIANO

And here is the same guard five years later, looking as if it was installed yesterday

The original window was on the south side of the church and comprised a group of two trefoil headed lights a main quatrefoil tracery and some small infill traceries.

St Mary’s now wanted to commission Aiano’s to guard another two windows on the south side, two windows on the north side and the large east window.

The south side windows include a set of two lights and a main quatrefoil tracery similar and adjacent to the windows guarded in 2013, and the south chancel lancet featuring two lovely stained glass images of the Good Shepherd.

The two window groups on the north side of the church portray pairs of saints, specifically, St. George and St. Alban, St. Robert and St. Edward and, like the south aisle windows, comprise two trefoil lights and a quatrefoil tracery. Each window commemorates members of the Gosling family who helped to rebuild the church in 1858, and of whom the present Treasurer and Patron of the church is a descendant.

The east window above the altar is comprised of 3 trefoil main lights, 6 main traceries and 6 infill traceries. Aiano handcrafted guards for each separate element. The lower tier shows Christ crucified in the centre flanked by, on the right, the Garden of Gethsemane with the sleeping disciples at the feet of Christ in prayer, and on the left, the Resurrection where Christ first appears to Mary Magdalene.

Installing church window guards on the great east window at St. Mary’s

Stained glass windows at St. Mary's church are guarded by AIANO

East window at the church of St. Mary the Virgin with AIANO window guards

The removal of old church window guards

Projects for church window guard renewal frequently involve the removal of old window guards or polycarbonate covers that may be in a poor state of repair.  

In the case of polycarbonate guards, there are very often multiple fixings that have to be removed very carefully. Old wire mesh window guards and polycarbonate guards have been frequently installed with ferrous fixings. With age they corrode and stain the stonework, and they also become brittle and difficult to remove.

This is precise and delicate work, and Aiano engineers have many years experience in removing old and corroded guards and fixings.

In the case of St. Mary the Virgin, the old guards had been fixed to the wall with ferrous wire that was ‘cemented’ into holes in the wall with some kind of mastic that had blackened with age. The work of AIANO engineers is not to restore stonework which should always be done by specialised craftsmen, but to ensure that old guards and fixings are removed cleanly.

church window guard renewal at St Mary's included protecting the chancel window on the south side

Stained glass on the south chancel window at St. Mary’s

Church window guard renewal on the north side of St Mary's

Can you spot the Aiano window guards on the north aisle at St. Mary’s?

Full testimonial from St Mary’s Church, Farnham

It was our Architect who, in 2013, recommended that C. Aiano & Sons should install the guard for the stained glass window on the South side of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The work was done to our entire satisfaction and it was, therefore, obvious to us that Aiano should be asked, in 2018, to replace the guards on all our stained glass windows. Not only were the guards replaced but the stonework was’ tided’ as opposed to ‘cleaned’ and the result was – in a word – amazing. Since then, many people have remarked that our windows look better than ever. It was a job really well done and I would have no hesitation in recommending this firm to anyone who needed reassurance of their excellence.

Treasurer and Patron

St Mary the Virgin, Farnham

C. Aiano and Sons – traditional window guards

Aiano’s are the leading craftsmen for wire mesh window guards in the country with an unrivalled tradition stretching back nearly 160 years.. We have been making traditional window guards for churches and heritage buildings continuously with pride since 1860. The production techniques have changed little in this time and our knowledge and expertise has been passed down through generations. We have expertise in measuring, producing and fitting complex-shaped window guards. 

Church window guard renewal for a church comprises a whole palette of important elements including:

  • taking accurate templates of the windows,
  • designing the guards to be in sympathy with existing guards or the architecture of the church,
  • handcrafting the new church window guards in our workshop using the quality raw materials produced in the UK and EU,
  • skilful removal of old and frequently corroded church window guards, and
  • installation of the new AIANO window guards where possible using our trademark AIANO invisible fixings.

A large number of churches and cathedrals around the country protect their treasured stained glass and leaded light windows using Aiano’s custom-made hand-crafted window guards.

For more information about AIANO traditional church window guards do not hesitate to contact us. We can make guards to all sizes and requirements, and also offer site services. AIANO makes a wide range of guard products for churches, including radiator guards, pipe guards and tubular heater guards, and floodlight guards. Please call Lana or Sarah on 020 7987 1184 or email us if you would like to discuss your requirements, or require further information or advice on AIANO guards.


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