In the beginning..........

On:20-05-2018 / By: Tracey Kesterton


There was an old, abandoned brick building on the towpath at      Stoke Bruerne which had been used to rest horses. They used to tow the narrow boats in the days before they had engines (the boats, not the horses) In May 2015 Martin Farrant took over the building and began the huge task of transforming it for its new lease of life: Ark Stained Glass, custom made commissions, 

Transforming it was no mean task as the Old Stables has no gas, electric or water and is an incredibly damp building. We began by lime washing the walls. A lot. Partly to cover graffiti, some of which dated back over 50 years: you don’t expect such behaviour from narrow boat horses do you?

Also the building needed to be secured, so custom made doors were handmade and fitted for it.  Next came electric to run the lighting and tools which all run off 12 volt leisure batteries.

Mart needed a space to lay out his sometimes huge pieces of glass work, so a custom-made bench had to be made next....

...And gradually Mart moved in the glass and equipment he needed to create his glass masterpieces. He also has a knack of finding broken and damaged Tiffany-style lampshades which he buys, repairs and restores to their former glory. The advantage of this is, after he’s restored them, he can then sell them for much less than they would cost if he’d made them from scratch.

Mart has also filled the Stables with smaller items such as sun-catchers (hanging on the ‘sun catcher tree’ outside), stained glass trinket boxes, dichroic glass pendants made in the kiln (every necklace is unique because of that kiln firing) and original Turkish hanging lanterns plus much more to browse at so well worth a visit! 

Visitors are always welcome to browse, rest on the benches outside (or inside if it’s raining!) and hold any glass item up to the light outside – stained glass only truly comes to life when you do that. Ark is open every day (except Tuesdays) from 12pm. 


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