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This summer a collection of the Cathedral’s earliest and most important surviving examples of stained glass will go on public display.

The Ancestors will exhibit a series of life-size figures representing the Ancestors of Christ, which date to the 12th and early 13th centuries.

These beautiful examples of medieval stained glass have been temporarily removed from the Cathedral’s Great South Window, while conservation work is carried out on its crumbling stonework.

Recent research indicates that amongst the late Romanesque glass there may even be a few survivors that pre-date the great fire of 1174. This would make them by far the oldest painted windows in Britain. Detailed examination has always been hard as such windows are installed at a high level. Their removal has created a unique opportunity to see the dazzling medieval art displayed at ground level.

After two hugely successful exhibitions in the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the exhibition now gives British and continental audiences the opportunity to ‘meet the Ancestors’ face-to-face, before they return to the re-built Great South Window later this year.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of Friday evening lectures.

The Ancestors will run daily from Monday 18 May – Sunday 23 August 2015. (The exhibition will take a short break Monday 13 – Friday 17 July for University graduation week)

Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 16.00 and Sunday 12.30 – 15.00.

Entrance to the exhibition is free but Precinct charges will apply.

The Ancestors Exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous