Langham Glass welcomes many thousands of visitors every year who come to witness the ancient craft of glass making - a craft that has changed little in the past three hundred years.
Glass is made from sand. However, for the top grade crystal we require at Langham, special high grade sand was used. To this sand was added lead oxide to create the lead crystal. Also added were soda, potash, and small quantities of other chemicals to assist the melt and establish the quality of the glass. This mixture is then known as 'batch'.
A good furnace is vital to the production of top-quality glass. The temperature must never drop below a certain level, and during its five year life the furnace is never allowed to go out.
Each weekend, to replace the glass used in production, the heat inside the gas-fired furnace is increased to 1,350 degrees centigrade, and about thirty hundredweight of batch is loaded into it. This is called 'charging' the furnace. Once the batch has completely melted the temperature is reduced to 1,100 degrees centigrade and the glass is ready for use.