The presentation watercolour for three stained glass windows in St Peter’s in Cowfold by Powell and Sons. Image credit: Abbott and Holder/Horsham Museum.

The Edwardian designs were created at Powell and Sons’ Whitefriars glass works.

The museum has purchased the picture for £350 with funding from the Friends of Horsham Museum and Cowfold Local History Society.

Jeremy Knight, museum and heritage officer at Horsham District Council said: “It is great that Abbott and Holder invested the time and effort in seeing the potential in the archive to photograph the artworks and ensure the locations were given and then offer them at prices that museums and local societies could afford to acquire.

“Without their work and dedication, this wonderful work of art and important historical record could have been lost to the community it was originally created for.”


St Peter’s in Cowfold, between Billingshurst and Haywards Heath, in West Sussex, has some stained glass windows by Powell and Sons. Image credit: Antiquary via Wikicommons.

Image licence via Wikimedia Commons.

Whitefriars was founded in the early 18th century and bought by entrepreneur James Powell in 1834 and a stained-glass department was established in 1844 by his sons.

According to Abbott and Holder, the firm “created glass that was as close as possible in texture and colour to mediaeval stained glass” and the quality of their techniques attracted artists of the calibre of Edward Burne-Jones (between 1857-61), Henry Holiday and Walter Crane.

Its “aggressive marketing department meant few churches, institutional buildings and indeed houses across the British Empire, and North America, escaped a Powell window”.

Powell and Sons continued to make stained glass until 1973.

Cowfold church and local area also has wider links to stained glass windows as the Glasby family of renowned stained-glass artists lived in the area and the church has some of the earliest stained-glass in the country.

Read more about Abbott and Holder's collection of these presentation watercolours here.