In the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath the original cottages are slowly disappearing. We are losing something special….beautiful old windows with  coloured glass panes or leadlights. Some are  very simple; an inexpensive way of adding a little elegance to a humble home.  Light is  the operative word of course. When  the rays of the sun hit the  small glass panes in the example below they glow like  jewels. They are at either end of a  classic, Aussie bullnose verandah. The decorative woodwork is another feature of the era.

Coloured glass panes in cottage at Blackheath NSW
Such a simple  but effective decoration at the end of a verandah.

Look at the more  subtle colours in the  next window. Once the leaves of the liquidamber come out this one will be obscured from view.

Coloured pnes of glass in a cottage at Blackheath NSW

Here is another example. When the sunlight strikes it will come alive. The style  dates from what is known as the Federation Era in Australia, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Coloured glass widow at Blackheath NSW

Recently I photographed an old house in Govett’s Leap Road. It’s in a terrible state, and about to be demolished I suspect. Let’s hope someone rescues the windows.

Decortive glass windows at Blackheath.


Once the windows entered my consciousness I began to notice just how many there are, and how much they add to the character of the village.

Coloued glass windows at Blackheath NSW
Leadlights under wooden awning
Pretty under its corrugated iron  awning.

The following photo was not taken at Blackheath, but it’s a lovely image of  a similar style of cottage, taken in the 1940s.

Photo courtesy of Lyn Blair.

Some home  owners deliberately  choose paint colours  to complement the windows;

Coloured glass at Blackheath NSW
Shades of green

It was surprising  to discover that the majority of this decorative glass was imported from England. Here is some information from  the website House Histories;

The sky blue colour in this ‘verandah window’ is really unusual.  And how perfect is that white picket fence? Not to mention the fame of autumn leaves.

Stained glass in a veranda at Blckheath NSW.

This verandah window is a little more complex.

There are some more substantial, brick homes in the village. Here is one with  a simple  but  more sophisticated, Art Nouveau style  leadlight, in a bow window. The sinuous, floral motifs  are mirrored  in the foliage of the street trees .

Leadlight window at Blackheath NSW
Wentworth Street cottage.
Leadlight windows at Blackheath NSW
Leadliht windows at Blackheath NSW

Leadlight casement windows at Blackheath
So elegant.

The window below  has a similar design.

Leadlight windows at Blackheath NSW are a delight.


Frosted, glass panelled front doors were common too. Sadly, there are not many left.

Leadlight glass at Blackheath NSW
More effective than a welcome mat.
Leadlight door with sidelights. It's not only windows that are beautiful..
Complete with sidelights.

And now for  the finale. The leadlights in the  famous old guesthouse Glenella, in Govett’s Leap Road, are a sight to behold.

Stained glass windows at Genella, Blckheath NSW
Stained glass window at Glenella.

The font door is a little masterpiece.

Stained glass door at Glenella, Blackheath NSW

The goddess of Blackheath?

Almost all of these photographs were taken in Wentworth Street and Govett’s Leap Road. There must be countless other examples around Blackheath….and in other Blue Mountains villages for that matter.

These days the trend is for vast expanses of clear glass and my own home  under construction in the village is no exception. I appreciate the natural light and as a passionate bird watcher an unobstructed view  will be wonderful. However, we do lose the cosy, more individual charm of old cottages. Perhaps I can find  place for at least one leadlight. A design featuring the native waratah flower  that grows around Blackheath would be perfect .

Leadlight featuring a waratah bloom. A popular subject for stained glass windows.

UPDATE – Since publishing this piece I have discovered that Blackheath has its own, highly respected stained glass artist. His name is Rod Marshall. Below is a  dining room window  Rod made for his wife, Osa. The design was inspired by their china collection.  Rod can be contacted at or via his website.

Modern stained glass windows at Blackheath are also beautiful.
The art form lives on.
  1. What stunning windows. I love the last one most. I live in a modern house in Ireland but had doors with stained glass in the door I use most. It is not bespoke but I love it when the sun shines on it casting coloured shadows on the floor and very occasionally on a wall. Thank you for making me more aware of these beautiful windows.

    • Pauline

      Thanks Lorraine. I do love them. And yes, you are right about the beautiful shadows they cast.

  2. Wonderful!

  3. Wonderful!

  4. Beautiful! I have always loved old-fashioned things, and these windows are no exception. You don’t see much of this where I live, but I think I have seen an occasional house with stained glass. I must be more deliberately observant about this. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your articles and look forward to them.

    • Pauline

      Thanks Diane. I only began to really ‘see’ my surroundings when I started to carry a pocket camera with me. Local residents often thank me for reminding them about the history of the village. Then they tell me more stories, which is wonderful.

  5. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.