This beautiful stained glass window, the property of the Dublin Shakespeare Society(DSS) will be installed in the Teachers’ Club in the next few months.
It was originally thought to have been a Harry Clarke window but it was later determined that it came from the “Joshua Clarke Stained Glass Works”.
It was mounted in the wall of the Capitol cinema in Prince’s Street – the former La Scala Theatre. It is quite large measuring 70 x 71 in. (177.8 x 180.3 cm.)!
When the cinema was doomed to be demolished to make way for the British Home Stores – now occupied by Penney’s – the window was in peril of being demolished along with the building. Representations were made and it was agreed that the window would be donated to the Dublin Shakespeare Society, and we accepted it gratefully.
At that time however, the DSS was in the throes of losing our premises at No. 50 North Great George’s Street and there was nowhere to install a window of such proportions. For some years it languished unmounted in the basement of No. 50 and when the DSS moved to No. 41 on the same street, the window moved too.
As the lease on No. 41 was only a short one (3 years) that time quickly passed and the DSS was back at square one. When the lease expired the window was moved to temporary storage and subsequently, thanks to the efforts of a past President, Mr. Paul Maher, was accepted into the Dublin City Library in Ballyfermot for safe keeping. We are very grateful to Dublin City Library for looking after it so well over the years.
It is wonderful to see the window coming back to the Shakes and many thanks are due to the staff and management of the Teachers’ Club for giving it a new home where it will be enjoyed by future generations.
Whilst the COVID-19 lockdown has put paid to many plans, Tadhg at the Teachers’ Club has been busy.
With the guidance of Paul Maher, the “Shakes window” was rescued from the basement of Ballyfermot library and brought to what many of us now see as our “home base”.
A prime location was chosen at the top of the first flight of stairs and the old window and surround removed. A custom frame was built with supports for the large window.
Some additional lighting has been fitted to ensure that the window can be viewed in all its glory.
A bespoke surround was created and augmented with a beautiful brass rail which protects the window from accidental forces.
The window was officially unveiled by the Lord Mayor in April 2023.
Some interesting documents available at The Digital Repository of Ireland HERE
and at Digital Collections The Library of Trinity College Dublin, Page 149 order 1112 HERE