The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Seven Periods of English Architecture, by Edmund Sharpe This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Seven Periods of English Architecture Defined and Illustrated Author: Edmund Sharpe Illustrator: T. Austin Release Date: February 14, 2012 [EBook #38879] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SEVEN PERIODS OF ENGLISH *** Produced by Chris Curnow, Diane Monico, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)
EDMUND SHARPE, M.A.,
TWENTY STEEL ENGRAVINGS AND WOODCUTS.
E. & F. N. SPON, 125, STRAND, LONDON.
NEW YORK: 12, CORTLANDT STREET.
"We have been so long accustomed to speak of our National Architecture in the terms, and according to the classification bequeathed to us by Mr. Rickman, and those terms and that classification are so well understood and have been so universally adopted, that any proposal to supersede the one, or to modify the other, requires somewhat more than a mere apology. To disturb a Nomenclature of long standing, to set aside terms in familiar use, and to set up others in their place which are strange, and therefore at first unintelligible, involves an interruption of that facility with which we are accustomed to communicate with one another on any given subject, that is only to be justified by reasons of a cogent and satisfactory nature.
"The sufficiency of Mr. Rickman's Nomenclature and Divisions, and their suitableness at the time and for the purpose for which they were made, are best evidenced by the fact that, although the attempts to supersede them have been both numerous and persevering, they have remained for nearly half a century the principal guide to the Architectural Student; and Mr. Rickman's 'Attempt to discriminate the Styles of Architecture in England,' is still the Text-book from which the greater part of the popular works of the present day have been compiled.
"In referring, however, to these attempts to supersede Mr.[Pg vi] Rickman's system, it is proper to remark that one observation applies to the whole of them;—although they propose to change the Nomenclature of his different styles, or to subdivide them, his main division of English Architecture into four great Periods or Styles, is adopted by all, and still remains undisturbed. No point, therefore, has been hitherto proposed to be gained by these alterations, beyond a change of name; and this may be taken as a sufficient reason why none of these attempts have been successful: men are not willing to unlearn a term with which they are familiar, however inappropriate, in order to learn another, which, after all, means the same thing.
"Although, however, Mr. Rickman's simple division of Church Architecture into four Periods, or Styles, may perhaps have been the one best suited to his time, and to the elementary state of the knowledge of the subject possessed by the best informed Archæologists of his day, it may with propriety be questioned how far such a division is suited to the exigencies of writers of the present day, or to the present advanced tastes of knowledge on the subject.
"Simplicity was doubtless the object Mr. Rickman had in view in his division of English Architecture into four Styles only. This is a recommendation, however, which can hardly be said to hold good at the present day: it behoves us to consider well, perhaps more especially at the present moment, whether Mr. Rickman's system fulfils all the conditions essential to one calculated for popular and universal use; and whether we should therefore seek to confirm and to perpetuate it, or whether the time has not arrived for the adoption of a more detailed and accurate division of the long and noble series of buildings which[Pg vii] contain the History of our National Architecture from the Heptarchy to the Reformation."[A]
No one can enter into an inquiry of this kind without eventually coming to the conclusion that there are two large classes of Buildings containing distinctive marks of peculiarity of character, which find no place in Mr. Rickman's system, but which nevertheless, from the number and importance of their examples, are pre-eminently entitled to separate classification. These two classes are those to which the buildings enumerated at pp. 24, and 31, 32 respectively belong, and which cannot, without circumlocution, be described in any of the terms prescribed by Mr. Rickman.
As regards the earlier of these two classes, the extent to which these distinctive peculiarities of detail exist, will perhaps at first scarcely be credited, and proofs of a much more extensive and satisfactory character than are contained in the following pages, or could be looked for in an elementary work of this nature, will probably be required before its title to separate classification will be universally conceded.
As regards the later of these classes, the same difficulty does not exist. Mr. Rickman divided the whole of the buildings of Pointed Architecture into three Styles or Classes, which he denominated "Early English," "Decorated," "Perpendicular." The titles of the two last he professed to derive from the character of their windows, conceiving, no doubt justly, that no[Pg viii] part of a Gothic building exhibits peculiarities of Style in so prominent and characteristic a manner as its windows. In strict accordance with this rule, which may be assumed to be a correct and valuable one, it has already been shown,[B] that had Mr. Rickman gone a step further and classed the whole of the buildings of Pointed Architecture according to the forms of their Windows under four heads, instead of three, he would have obtained a classification equally simple, but more intelligible and convenient; he would have obviated much that is confused and indefinite, and therefore perplexing to the Architectural Student, in his description of buildings which belong to the class to which we are now referring, and would have enabled us to compare the buildings of our own Country with those of corresponding character, and nearly contemporaneous date on the Continent, in a manner that would have established an analogy between them, which, according to the present classification, has no apparent existence.
The inability to describe, or speak of any of the buildings belonging to either of these two classes, including some of the finest in the kingdom, otherwise than as examples of an intermediate and anomalous character, exhibiting the peculiarities partly of one style and partly of another, but belonging specifically to neither, must be admitted to be a serious defect in all hitherto recognised systems of Architectural Nomenclature; and there are probably few Architecturalists who have not frequently felt the inconvenience arising from the want of more explicit and definite terms than at present[Pg ix] exist, by means of which to describe the buildings of these two classes.
It is to remedy these defects, and to provide for this want, that the following division of the History of our National Architecture into Seven Periods instead of Four, is now formally proposed, under the belief that some such Division as this, by whatever terms it may be characterised, will sooner or later force itself into universal adoption. With respect to the terms themselves it would be unreasonable to expect the same unanimity; the following considerations, however, would seem to bring their selection within narrow limits. It would appear, in the first place, unadvisable to designate any of the later Periods, except the last, by any of the terms hitherto in use, as tending probably to confusion and misapprehension, from the difficulty of limiting their signification to the extent proposed in the minds of those who have been accustomed to use them in a more ample sense: and to retain the last, if the others be abandoned, and a more appropriate or analogous term can be found, appears to be still less desirable.
At the same time it is much to be desired that the terms we use should be not altogether strange, and, if possible, self-explanatory. These two conditions are such as to render it difficult to find terms such as to be in all respects perfectly satisfactory; and perhaps no system of Nomenclature could be found so perfect as to be entirely free from objection.
The reasons which have caused the adoption of the terms made use of in the following system, are fully given in their proper place, and it only remains for the Author to notice that the terms "Curvilinear" and "Rectilinear" were first proposed[Pg x] by a writer in the "British Critic," some years ago, as a substitute for Mr. Rickman's terms "Decorated" and "Perpendicular;" and in a sense, therefore, as regards the former of these terms, essentially different from that in which it is here proposed to be applied. The rest must be more or less familiar to all who have been of late engaged in the study.
The Author desires to take this opportunity of acknowledging his obligations to Mr. T. Austin, by whom all the subjects, with one exception, have been measured and drawn from the buildings themselves; as well as to Mr. G. B. Smith, by whom the whole have been engraved on steel, for the accuracy and appearance of the principal illustrations.
[A] The preceding paragraphs, distinguished by inverted commas, formed part of the introduction to a Paper "On the Geometrical Period of English Church Architecture," read by the Author at the Lincoln meeting of the Archæological Institute in July 1848.
[B] "Treatise on the Rise and Progress of Window Tracery," by E. Sharpe, M.A. Van Voorst, London.
To present at a single glance a comprehensive view of the History of English Church Architecture from the Heptarchy to the Reformation, and to do this in a manner, which, without taxing too seriously the memory of the student, may enable him to fix in his mind the limits, and the general outline of the inquiry he is about to enter upon, is the object of the present treatise.
Instead therefore of entering, as is usual in elementary works of this nature, into a detailed account of all the parts of an Ecclesiastical structure, a certain portion only of such a building has for this purpose been selected, and so exhibited in the garb in which it appeared at successive intervals of time, as to present to the reader a means of comparison that will enable him readily to apprehend the gradual change of form through which it passed from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries, and at once to recognise the leading characteristics of the several Periods into which it is here proposed to divide the History of our National Architecture. Having thus fixed these leading characteristics in his mind, he will then be in a condition to follow us hereafter, if he pleases, into the detail of the whole[Pg 2] subject, and to become familiar with those niceties of distinction, the detection of which—escaping, as they do, the eye of the general observer—contributes so materially to the enjoyment of the study, and a perfect acquaintance with which is so absolutely essential to a correct understanding of the true History of the Art.
That this mode of approaching the study of this subject is a convenient one, will probably be admitted by those who may remember the difficulties they encountered, in their early attempts to acquire a general conception of the scheme of the History of Church Architecture, as given in most of the manuals now in use; and the complexity of detail in which they found themselves immediately involved on the very threshold of their inquiry.
It has been the practice in most elementary works on Church Architecture to derive the illustrations of the subject, indifferently from the smaller and the larger buildings of the Kingdom; and by implication to assign an equal authority to both. It will be readily admitted, however, that the History of an Art is to be gathered from its principal Monuments, and not from those the design or execution of which may have been entrusted to other than the ablest masters of the Period: in the choice, therefore, of the examples which have been selected to illustrate the series of changes which are described in the following pages, reference has been made principally to the great Cathedral, Abbey, and Collegiate Churches of the Kingdom, and occasionally only to some of the larger Parish Churches whose size or importance would seem to bring them under the above denomination.
Church Architecture in England, from its earliest existence down to the Sixteenth Century, was in a state of constant progress, or transition, and this progress appears to have been carried on, with certain exceptions in different parts of the country, very nearly simultaneously. It follows from this circumstance, first, That it is impossible to divide our National Architecture correctly into any number of distinct Orders or Styles; and secondly, That any Division of its History into a given number of Periods, must necessarily be an arbitrary one. It is nevertheless absolutely essential for the purpose of conveniently describing the long series of noble monuments which remain to us, that we should adopt some system of chronological arrangement, which may enable us to group, and to classify them in a distinct and intelligible manner: and although no broad lines of demarcation in this connected series are discernible—so gradual was the change—yet so rapid and so complete was it also, that a period of fifty years did not elapse without a material alteration in the form and fashion of every detail of a building.
Now it will be readily conceived that, even in the midst of this continual change, certain favourite forms would remain in use longer than others; and that this circumstance may possibly afford us the opportunity of which we are in search; and enable[Pg 4] us in the adoption of any such arbitrary Division so to define and to characterise the Architecture of its different Periods, as to render this Historical Survey and our future descriptions sufficiently intelligible.
One principal Division of Church Architecture has been recognised and adopted by all who have studied and written on the subject; that, namely, which separates Ecclesiastical Buildings into two classes, in the first or earlier of which the circular arch was exclusively employed; and in the second or later, the pointed arch alone was used. To the former of these two Classes, the term Romanesque has been given, and to the latter, the term Gothic.
This division is so simple, and at the same time so strongly marked, that without entering into a discussion as to the value or propriety of the terms themselves, and contenting ourselves with the fact that they are already in general use, we can have little hesitation in adopting this primary division as the groundwork of our system.
At the same time, it is manifest, that, for purposes of description, it is not sufficiently minute; and that a further subdivision is necessary: it is also clear, that it excludes a large class of buildings that were erected during the period which intervened between the first appearance of the pointed arch, and the final disappearance of the circular arch.
As regards the buildings of the Romanesque Period, no subdivision of them can be more satisfactory than that which has already been for some time in use, and which divides them into those which were built before and after the Conquest, and designates them accordingly Saxon and Norman.
As regards the buildings of that Intermediate Period just mentioned, to none can the term Transitional so aptly be applied as to those erected under influences created by that[Pg 5] remarkable contest between two great antagonistic principles, which, after having been carried on for a period of nearly fifty years, terminated in a complete revolution in the style of building at the end of the Twelfth Century.
Lastly, as regards the Gothic Period, no subdivision of it appears to be so natural and convenient, as that which is suggested by the four principal changes of form through which the Window passed from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Centuries.
These changes have been fully illustrated by the author in a former work,[C] and will be therefore only briefly recapitulated here.
For half a century or more, after the disappearance of the circular arch, the window appeared under a form, which from its general resemblance to a lancet, in its length, breadth, and principal proportions, rather than from any uniform acuteness in the shape of its head, led to the universal application of that term to all the windows of this Period. This observation applies equally to the window whether used singly, or in groups of two, three, five, or seven; and equally also to the later as to the earlier examples of this Period.
It is proposed therefore to denominate this the LANCET PERIOD of Gothic Architecture.
Towards the close of this Period the practice of combining a[Pg 6] plurality of Lancets, under one arch, or hood-moulding—and of piercing the solid spaces that intervened between the heads of these lancets and the underside of this arch in various ornamental ways, became common; by the adoption of which, a group of several lancets was converted into a single window of several lights. Out of this practice arose a novel and beautiful discovery; this was the invention of Tracery.
For nearly three-quarters of a century after its introduction the Tracery of windows contained forms in which that simplest of all Geometrical figures, the Circle, was principally conspicuous: and although, in the latter part of this Period, the Circle does not obtain the same prominent place, in the centre of the window-head, and as the principal feature of the design, that is generally allotted to it in the earlier examples, yet the important part that it bears in the construction of the design of even the whole of these later examples, fully justifies the application of the term, already pretty generally in use, to this class of windows; and entitles us to call this Period after that figure, and "par excellence," the GEOMETRICAL PERIOD.
At the close of this Period a feature began to make its way into the subordinate parts of the tracery, which had already[Pg 7] shown itself for some time previously in the mouldings, and which eventually exercised a most important influence on the Architecture of the next half-century.
This feature is the curve which mathematicians call the curve of contra-flexure, and which is known amongst architecturalists as the Ogee.
The flowing nature of this curve imparted to the Tracery a grace and an ease which the rigid outline of the Circle denied it: and affords us a strong point of contrast whereby to distinguish the Architecture of the two Periods. The sinuosity of form which characterises the tracery, pervades also the mouldings, the carved work, and all the details of this Period, and enables us to designate it appropriately as the CURVILINEAR PERIOD.
In the latter part of this Period, a horizontal bar, or transom, as it is called, was occasionally used in the lower part of the window. Whether this bar was introduced for the purpose of strengthening the mullions, or for the sake of proportion, it speedily grew into frequent use. At the same time also vertical lines presented themselves occasionally in the Tracery; a new principle, in fact, had made its appearance, which rapidly overran not only the windows, but the doorways, the arcades, and every part of the building. The straight line,[Pg 8] when once introduced, quickly superseded the curved line; square panels covered the walls; angularity of form pervaded even the mouldings and minor details, and to the round finish, the square edge was preferred.
This, the last of the four Periods of Gothic Architecture which extended over a term of nearly two Centuries, we propose accordingly to call the RECTILINEAR PERIOD.
The History of our National Architecture will thus be divided into Seven Periods, the order and duration of which are as follows:—
26 Vaulting Ribs (Transverse).
25 do. (Longitudinal).
23 Sill of C. Window.
22 Mullion of do.
21 Tracery of do.
20 Arch-mouldings of C. Arch.
19 Bases of Jamb of do.
18 Capitals of do.
17 Jamb-mouldings of do.
16 Clere-story String.
15 Capitals of Vaulting Shaft.
14 Tracery of Triforium.
12 Bases of T. Piers.
11 Capitals of do.
10 Pier of T. (Secondary).
9 do. (Primary).
8 Triforium String.
4 do. Band.
3 do. Base.
2 do. Capital.
26 Clere-story Buttress.
25 Flying Buttress.
24 Tracery of C. Window.
23 Window Arch.
22 Mullions of C. Window.
21 Sill of do.
20 Jambs of do.
19 Weather Table.
18 Aisle Roof.
17 Capping to Buttress.
13 Canopied Set-off.
12 Plain Set-off.
10 Window Arch.
7 Bases of Window Shafts.
6 Capitals of do.
4 Canopied Niche.
[C] "Treatise on the Rise and Progress of Window Tracery." Van Voorst, London.
The most perfect type of a church built in England, during the best ages of Church Architecture, may be said to contain the following essentials:—
1. The Ground Plan is after the form of the Latin Cross, and is divisible longitudinally into three portions; namely,
2. The Choir and the Nave, and occasionally the Transepts, are divided, by means of columns and arches, transversely into three portions, consisting of the
3. The Main Wall of each of the first-mentioned separate portions of the building is divisible, in the interior vertically into three portions, or Stories, consisting of
Now on viewing any of these Main Walls of a building, whether on the inside, or the outside, it will be at once seen[Pg 14] that they consist, in their entire length, of a series of single and separate portions, or Compartments, tied together, and connected by the horizontal lines, or String courses, which traverse them from end to end; and that each of these single Compartments embodies within itself the spirit of the whole design, and may be said to represent, individually, the MAIN IDEA of the Building.
It is this portion of such a building then—a single Compartment of the Exterior and Interior of the Main Walls of the Choir or Nave, and its adjacent Aisle—that we have selected for the purpose of instituting that comparison which will enable us to fix and define the characteristics of the Seven Periods of English Architecture.
Neglecting, therefore, for the present, the Gable Ends, the Towers and Turrets, the Porches, the Doorways, the Chapels, the Cloisters, and all the other adjuncts of an Ecclesiastical Building, and bestowing our entire attention upon these Exterior and Interior Compartments, we will proceed at once to a comparison of their several parts, and consider in order the mode of treatment they received at the hands of the builders, of each of these Seven Periods, commencing with the earliest and descending to the latest.
A.D. —— TO A.D. 1066.
Inasmuch as there does not remain to us a single Exterior or Interior Compartment in any Cathedral or Conventual Church of genuine Saxon Architecture, the comparative illustration of this Period is rendered impossible.
A few Piers and Arches exist indeed, in all probability, in the Churches of Brixworth in Northamptonshire, St. Michael's at St. Albans, and Repton in Derbyshire; but they differ considerably in their character from one another, and as widely probably in their date. We have also a few Chancel and Tower arches left, which appear to belong to this Period; as well as some singular and interesting Towers, a few Doorways and Windows, and some considerable portions of masonry. Altogether, however, these remains are not such as to enable us to define, with any degree of certainty, the nature and character of the Main Walls of a Saxon Cathedral, and are, therefore, not available for our present purpose.
|Brixworth||All Saints' Church||Nave, Tower.|
|Repton||St. Wistan's Church||Crypt, Chancel.|
|Barnack||St. John's Church||Tower.|
|Barton||St. Peter's Church||Tower.|
|Earl's Barton||All Saints' Church||Tower.|
|Whittingham||St. Bartholomew's Church||Tower and Pier-arch.|
|Cambridge||St. Benet's Church||Tower.|
|Deerhurst||Holy Trinity Church||Tower.|
|Stanton Lacy||St. Peter's Church||Nave.|
|St. Albans||St. Michael's Church||Nave.|
|Stow||St. Mary's Church||Transepts.|
|Worth||Parish Church||Nave, Chancel.|
|Wing||All Saints' Church||Chancel.|
THE UNIVERSAL USE OF THE CIRCULAR ARCH IN EVERY PART OF A BUILDING THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PERIOD.
The walls of a Norman building are usually strong and massive, and built of small stones. They have a plain Base-course, of little projection, and are generally finished above with a Corbel-table, consisting sometimes of a series of small arches, on rude heads, and sometimes of a projecting horizontal table resting on a series of rudely sculptured blocks. Upon this Corbel-table is a plain PARAPET and COPING where these are left, which is rarely the case.
The compartments are divided by a shallow Buttress or Pilaster Strip.
The Windows are low and broad, and have usually a single shaft set in an angular recess, carrying a cubical capital and a single roll.
The String-courses, when not plain, have frequently indented ornaments of different kinds—such as the billet, the saw-tooth, the star, and the chevron.
The Clere-story Windows, in the larger and richer buildings, are usually placed in an arcade, consisting of three or more arches, of which the centre one, filled by the window, is the largest.
The proportions of the interior are invariably heavy and massive.
The Piers consist either of a stout cylindrical column, or of a rectangular mass, having semicircular shafts attached to its different faces. They are sometimes, when circular, scored and ornamented with zig-zag, spiral, and other mouldings.
The Capitals are formed of a cubical block, rounded off on the lower side from the square to the circle, and are ordinarily of a heavy cumbrous character, and sometimes ornamented with rude sculpture of leaves and animals, carved in slight relief on the surface of the block.
The Pier-arches, in early examples, are perfectly plain, and square edged, without mouldings or ornament; but more frequently they carry one or more heavy rolls on the angle of each order of the arch; and are often ornamented richly with concentric rows of chevron, billet, and other Norman ornaments.
The Vaulting or Roof-shaft is usually a semicircular shaft rising from the floor—on the face of every alternate Pier—to the springing of the vault or roof.
In the earlier buildings the Triforium is generally occupied by one large arch, of somewhat less span and height than the pier-arch: but in the later examples, this arch is generally subdivided into two, and later still, into four small arches, carried on single shafts; the capitals, arch-mouldings, and other details, being all on a smaller scale, but of similar character, to those of the Ground-story.
In most Norman buildings of large size, the Triforium forms a very important part of the design of the Interior.
The Clere-story in nearly all large buildings carries a gallery made in the thickness of the wall, which passes between the[Pg 19] Clere-story Window and the inner face of the Main Wall. This inner face is accordingly carried on one or more arches. In Norman buildings, this Clere-story arcade usually consists of three arches, of which the middle one is the largest, and corresponds with the window. In some examples, this middle arch is stilted above the others, by being lifted on a second small shaft on each side, standing on the lower one which carries the side arches.
In almost all buildings of importance, an Arcade is carried along the walls of the Church below the side-aisle windows. In Norman buildings this usually consists of a series of single or intersecting circular arches, resting on small cushion capitals on single shafts.
The side-aisles are usually covered with a plain circular quadripartite Vault, having sometimes a diagonal rib, as well as a transverse band, moulded with single roll mouldings.
|Tower of London||White Chapel.|
|St. Albans||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Lincoln||Cathedral Church||West End.|
|Selby||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Southwell||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Christchurch||Priory Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Lindisfarne||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Romsey||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts.|
|Winchester||Cathedral Church||Tower, Transepts.|
|Castle Acre||Priory Church||Nave.|
THE CONTEMPORANEOUS USE, IN THE SAME BUILDING, OF CIRCULAR AND POINTED ARCHES.
On the outside the usual prevalence of the circular arch in the Windows and Doorways, gives still a Norman character to the building; but the Base-course and Buttresses begin to show greater projection, and the walls are lightened in proportion.
The invariable Billet moulding disappears from the String-courses.
The Windows are more elongated in form, and have lighter shafts.
The circular Corbel-table gives place to a regularly moulded Cornice, carried on a series of blocks of uniform profile; and a sloped Coping covers the Parapet.
In some of the latest examples indeed, the Buttresses have Set-offs, and, rising above the parapet, have also a pyramidal Capping.
An increasing lightness of proportion is perceptible in all parts of the buildings of this Period.
Except in the earliest examples of this Period, the heavy cylindrical column disappears; and the Pier consists of a lighter mass of semicircular shafts, and square edges; occasionally also, a shaft having a pear-shaped section is substituted for the semicircular shaft.
The Capitals consist still of a square block, moulded down to the circular form below; with this difference, however, that the lower part of the capital is hollowed down to the circle, instead of being left as in the Norman Period, full and round; the latter showing a convex, and the former a concave profile. Both the larger and the smaller Capitals have also very frequently an ornament peculiar to the Period, which consists of a small volute, forming the curled end of a plain leaf, which enfolds the bell of the Capital. This volute may be looked upon as one of the most characteristic features of the Period. The abacus of the capital is invariably square in plan, and has its upper edge (except in a few of the latest examples) also square in section.
In the later buildings of the Period, foliage, exhibiting considerable freedom of design, is occasionally to be seen.
The Pointed Arch first made its appearance in the Transitional Period; in the earlier buildings it is used in the Arches of Construction only, or those constituting the framework of the building, such as the Pier-arches and the Arches of the Vaulting, and of the Crossing; whilst the Circular Arch is used in the Arches of Decoration only, or those which may be said to constitute the panel-work, such as the windows, the arcades, the doorways, and such like. In the later buildings of the Period, however, the Pointed Arch is frequently found in some of the smaller arches also.
The Pier-arches, therefore, are almost invariably pointed, in[Pg 23] the earlier examples obtusely, and in the later examples often acutely; the mouldings, which have become much lighter, are few and plain; carrying usually a roll, or a pear-shaped moulding, at the angle of each order of the arch: they frequently have no Hood-moulding. All the usual rich ornaments of the Norman Style disappear, but the Chevron occurs occasionally, and another ornamental moulding somewhat resembling it, but peculiar to this Period, is frequently seen.
The String-courses do not usually carry any ornament, and have commonly a simple section peculiar to the Period.
The Vaulting or Roof-shaft has usually a pear-shaped section.
The Triforium-arcade has usually Circular Arches, but in the later examples the two forms of arch are frequently intermixed. The Shafts are of a much lighter character, and carry arches of simple mouldings.
The Pointed Arch, if found anywhere in the arches of Decoration, is generally to be seen in the Clere-story, the highest part of the building, and consequently the latest in point of construction.
Plain pointed quadripartite Vaulting not unfrequently covers the side-aisles, and sometimes the centre-aisle.
The contrast presented by the discriminate use of the two forms of arch before mentioned, is sometimes strikingly exhibited in the side-aisles, where it is by no means uncommon to find a large plain circular window placed immediately under an acutely pointed wall rib, forming part of the contemporaneous pointed Vaulting of the side-aisle.
|Northampton||St. Sepulchre's||Church Nave.|
|Fountains||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Kirkstall||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Buildwas||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Kelso||Abbey Church||West Transept.|
|Ely||Cathedral Church||West Transept.|
|Peterborough||Cathedral Church||West Transept.|
|St. Cross||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts.|
|Furness||Abbey Church||Transepts, Nave.|
|Ripon||Cathedral Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Brinkburn||Cathedral Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Llanthony||Abbey Church||Choir, Nave.|
|Oxford||Cathedral Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Roche||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|New Shoreham||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts.|
|Byland||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Hartlepool||Parish Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Glastonbury||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
|Glastonbury||Abbey Church||St. Joseph's Chapel.|
|Canterbury||Cathedral Church||Trinity Chapel, Becket's crown.|
|Chichester||Cathedral Church||Choir, North Chapel.|
|Wells||Cathedral Church||Transepts, Nave.|
THE LANCET WINDOW USED SINGLY, IN COUPLETS AND TRIPLETS, AND ARRANGED IN GROUPS OF FOUR, FIVE, AND SEVEN.
The Buttresses have considerable projection, are divided into stages, and have usually a plain pyramidal capping, and sometimes a plain pinnacle.
The Base-course Has also more projection and importance, and its upper members are frequently moulded.
Flying-buttresses often span the roof of the side-aisle to support the main vaulting.
The Windows in the earliest examples stand alone as single windows; they are also sometimes placed singly in a continuous arcade; later still in triplets under one arch, the centre one being the tallest, and in some instances two lancets are coupled under one arch,—the spandrel between them being frequently pierced with a quatrefoil, or other opening.
The Parapet has occasionally sunk ornaments upon it, and is carried by a cornice having a few deep mouldings, with a flower, or other ornament at intervals, or by a trefoiled Corbel-table, or by a series of blocks.
The Piers consist most commonly of a cluster of shafts, disposed in a circular form. These shafts sometimes stand entirely free, and surround a large circular or octagonal column, and are banded in the middle.
The Capitals have sometimes one or two rows of stiff projecting leaves, of a bulbous form, which appear to grow out of the neck of the capital, and sometimes a single or double series of minute deeply cut mouldings; the square form of capital, both in the plan and in the upper edge of the abacus, entirely disappears.
The Bases consist almost invariably of a deep small hollow, set between two rounds, standing on a square-edged plinth; and greatly resemble the ordinary Attic base.
The Pier-arches usually show three orders, of small deeply cut mouldings of alternate rounds and hollows, the number and depth of which give an exceedingly rich and characteristic appearance to all the arches of this Period. The peculiar ornament called the dog-tooth, which is formed by hollowing out the sides of a series of contiguous pyramids notched out of an angular projection, occurs constantly in the arch-mouldings, as well as in almost every other part of buildings where an opportunity of carving it presents itself.
The Hood-moulding, resting on small and elegant heads or bosses, is an almost invariable accompaniment of arches of every description.
The Vaulting-shaft sometimes rises from the floor in front of the principal Pier,—but more usually from a corbel-shaft, resting on a large ornamental corbel, placed immediately over the pier; it consists generally of a triple cluster of small elegant shafts, with hollows between them.
The Triforium-arch generally covers two smaller arches; but occasionally, a pair of principal Triforium-arches cover two pair of subordinate arches, which are sometimes plain, and sometimes trefoiled; the spandrel wall above them being ornamented with foliage, or a sunk trefoil, and sometimes pierced through with a quatrefoil or other opening. Sometimes, indeed, one large primary arch covers two secondary arches, which again contain two small tertiary arches; thus fully developing the principle of subordination in this part of the building.
The principal Triforium-piers generally exhibit a row of light shafts on the face of a solid pier, carrying arch-mouldings of three orders, and separated sometimes by a line of dog-tooth moulding, or stiff foliage.
The secondary piers are usually single, double, or triple detached shafts, carrying the smaller arches.
Where the Triforium contains three orders of piers, the tertiary pier consists of a single shaft only, carrying the third order of arch-mouldings.
The Vaulting-shaft usually terminates in an elegant capital, just below the Clerestory-string, the mouldings of which form in that case the impost mouldings of the capital. The Arcade generally corresponds with the windows, and consists either of a row of continuous arches, of equal height, or, as is commonly the case, of three tall arches carried on a triple shaft, of which the centre one is the loftiest: the mouldings and ornaments being similar to those of the rest of the building.
The Vaulting is generally simple, and acute, and usually of the quadripartite or sexpartite form.
The Aisle-arcade consists generally of a series of plain, or trefoil-headed arches on single shafts, carrying the usual mouldings and ornaments.
|Winchester||Cathedral Church||Lady Chapel.|
|Fountains||Abbey Church||Choir, East Transept.|
|York||Cathedral Church||N. and S. Transepts.|
|Lichfield||Cathedral Church||Chapter House.|
|Wells||Cathedral Church||West Front.|
|Peterborough||Cathedral Church||West Front.|
|Oxford||Cathedral Church||Chapter House.|
|Hereford||Cathedral Church||Lady Chapel.|
|Durham||Cathedral Church||East Transept.|
|Whitby||Abbey Church||N. Transept.|
SIMPLE GEOMETRICAL TRACERY IN THE HEADS OF THE WINDOWS, IN PANELS AND IN ARCADES.
The Buttresses have frequently set-offs, and canopies attached to their faces, carrying often a series of Crockets: these in the earlier examples are plain, stiff, and curled; but the later ones are formed by a gracefully disposed leaf. Towards the end of the Period, the buttresses became very bulky and massive, and carried little or no ornaments.
The Pinnacles have often the same ornament, and are crowned with finials composed of a bunch of foliage.
The Cornice often carries a large ornamental leaf in its hollow, and the projecting Corbel-table is no longer seen.
The earlier Windows exhibit tracery which consists almost exclusively of plain foliated circles; but in the later examples other simple geometrical forms were employed. The heads of the window lights, occasionally plain, were more frequently, even in the earlier examples, and invariably in the later ones, cusped or foliated.
The Clere-story usually contains a single window, or at most a pair, containing tracery similar to that of the side-aisle windows, and the Clere-story arcade altogether disappears.
The Cornice is usually similar to that of the side-aisles.
The Piers have occasionally, in the earlier examples, detached shafts; but they more usually consist of a solid mass of engaged shafts, separated by hollow mouldings, and disposed on the plan of a spherical triangle.
The Bases consist generally of a triple roll, standing on the usual plinth; and the Capitals carry foliage disposed much more freely and gracefully than in the preceding Period, and frequently of exquisite design.
The Pier-arches have usually mouldings in three orders of very elegant profile, not so deeply cut, however, as in the Lancet Period: the favourite dog-tooth is nowhere seen, but late in the period a substitute for it was found in the ornament called the Ball-flower.
All Bosses, Figures, and Sculptures of every kind are carved in the very best manner; and all String-courses and Hood-mouldings are moulded with the greatest care and elegance; indeed the art of carving in stone may be said to have attained its greatest perfection during this Period.
The Triforium in the earlier examples commonly contains a pair of double arches, carrying circular tracery in their heads: in the later examples, it becomes greatly reduced in size and prominence, and is made entirely subordinate to the Clere-story; and consists often of a low foliated arcade, or a band of plain tracery.
The inner arcade of the Clere-story altogether disappears, and in its place is sometimes found a plane of Geometrical Tracery, corresponding with that of the window; but more commonly a single arch spans the entire compartment; and sometimes the gallery is dispensed with altogether.
The Aisle-arcade is often very elegant; the arches are[Pg 31] usually foliated, and covered with a straight-sided canopy. Occasionally this arcade consists of a series of beautiful panels containing geometrical tracery, with mouldings of a very minute and elegant character.
Both the centre and side-aisles are generally covered with Vaulting of simple form, having characteristic bosses and rib-mouldings.
|Westminster||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts.|
|Westminster||Abbey Church||Chapter House.|
|Salisbury||Cathedral Church||Chapter House.|
|Ely||Cathedral Church||South Transept, Chapel.|
|Hereford||Cathedral Church||North Transept.|
|Grantham||Parish Church||North Aisle.|
|Chichester||Cathedral Church||Nave, North Aisle.|
|St. Albans||Abbey Church||Choir.|
|Tintern||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts.|
|Newstead||Abbey Church||West End.|
|York, St. Mary's||Abbey Church||Nave.|
|[Pg 32]Exeter||Cathedral Church||Lady Chapel.|
|Ripon||Cathedral Church||East End.|
|Chichester||Cathedral Church||Lady Chapel.|
|York||Cathedral Church||Chapter House.|
|Southwell||Collegiate Church||Chapter House.|
|Temple Balsall||Collegiate Church||Chancel.|
|Wells||Cathedral Church||Chapter House.|
FLOWING TRACERY IN THE WINDOWS, AND THE PREVALENCE OF THE OGEE CURVE IN ALL THE DETAILS.
As the Circle characterises the previous Period, so the Ogee marks the present Period. It is found not only in the principal outline of the tracery, but also in its smaller subdivisions; not only in the profiles of the mouldings, but also in the contour of the foliage and carved work.
The Windows are the most important features in the Churches of this Period. In the more important buildings they are frequently of great size and elaborate design, and in the smaller buildings, the rest of the work seems often to have been impoverished for the sake of the Windows.
The infinite variety of design that is contained in the Tracery of this Period is very remarkable, and distinguishes its Architecture, in a manner not to be mistaken, from that of other nations during the same Period.
The Base-course carries a series of mouldings in which the Ogee profile is almost invariably found. The String-courses, Hood-mouldings, and Set-offs exhibit it also.
The Buttresses are usually divided into a greater number of equal stages; their canopies, and those of their pinnacles, are[Pg 34] invariably richly crocketed, and have usually the Ogee form instead of the straight pedimental finish.
The Cornice carries usually a row of large square pateras of foliage, in a shallow hollow, and is often surmounted with a battlement, or a parapet pierced or panelled with a flowing trefoil or a quatrefoil.
The Ball-flower which appeared at the end of the previous Period, became a favourite ornament for a short time in the commencement of this Period.
The Piers are usually disposed in plan in the form of a diamond; and consist generally of four shafts with intervening hollows. The Bases and Capitals are not unfrequently octagonal in form; and the foliage of the latter consists of crumpled leaves, not growing out of the neck of the capital, as in the earlier Periods, but apparently attached to it, or bound round it.
The mouldings of the Pier-arches are fewer in number; they are shallower than those of the preceding Period, and often contain the double Ogee; the walls being thinner, the arches frequently carry, in this Period, as well as in the following one, only two orders of mouldings instead of three. The small square patera, consisting of four leaves, is a common ornament of the Period, and all the foliage is formed of peculiar crumpled leaves, which are easily distinguished from those of the preceding Period.
It is not uncommon in this Period to find the arch mouldings continued, without the intervention of impost or capital, down to the ground; or, inversely, the mouldings of the piers carried uninterruptedly upwards through the arch. This is the case as[Pg 35] well in the arches of the Ground-story, as in the windows and doorways.
The Triforium rarely occurs in its full proportions, and in such cases exhibits the usual window tracery of the Period: it oftener consists of a panel enclosed within the prolonged jambs of the Clere-story window, and is sometimes reduced to a row of quatrefoils.
The Clere-story has its inner arch sometimes foliated, but oftener the window is flush with the face of the inner wall, and the gallery is omitted.
The Vaulting exhibits much more intricacy; and a variety of ribs generally intersect the surface of the different cells.
The Aisle-arcade is not often seen.
|Ely||Cathedral Church||Crauden's Chapel.|
|Ely||Cathedral Church||Trinity Chapel.|
|Hingham||St. Andrew's Church||Nave.|
|Heckington||St. Andrew's Church||Chancel, Transepts, Nave.|
|Hawton||All Saints' Church||Chancel.|
|Ewerby||St. Andrew's Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Sleaford||St. Giles' Church||Nave.|
|[Pg 36]Chester||Cathedral Church||South Transept.|
|Coventry||St. John's Hospital||Chapel.|
|Carlisle||Cathedral Church||Choir (part).|
|Newark||St. Mary's Church||South Aisle.|
|Beverley||St. Mary's Church||North Aisle of Choir.|
|Selby||Abbey Church||Choir (part).|
|Chester||Cathedral Church||South Transept.|
|Nantwich||St. Mary's Church||Chancel.|
|Melrose||Abbey Church||Nave, Transept.|
|Boston||St. Botolph's Church||Nave.|
|Wells||Cathedral Church||Choir, Lady Chapel.|
|Bury St. Edmund's||Abbey||Gateway.|
|Hull||Holy Trinity Church||Chancel.|
THE PREVALENCE OF STRAIGHT LINKS, BOTH HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL, IN THE TRACERY OF WINDOWS, IN PANELS AND ARCADES.
The Walls and Buttresses of this Period present great contrasts, being generally perfectly plain, but occasionally, in the richer buildings, completely covered with rectangular panelling.
The Base-course is often deep, rises in several stages, and contains a few large bold mouldings.
The mullions of the Windows almost invariably rise vertically through the Tracery, and are often crossed at right angles by other straight lines, as well in the lower part of the Window as in the Tracery itself.
These Transoms in some of the larger East and West Windows, occurring at equal intervals, divide the entire design into a series of rectangular compartments, and give to the whole the appearance of a huge gridiron. They are sometimes ornamented with a small battlemented moulding.
The Clere-story Windows, as well as the side windows, where the aisle walls are low, are often square-headed.
The Cornice generally carries a large shallow hollow, filled at intervals with a square flat leaf, and grotesque sculptures. Gurgoyles, formed usually of the head and shoulders of some monster, and projecting from the cornice, for the purpose of[Pg 38] carrying the water from the gutters clear of the walls, which occur in the former Period, are now universal.
The Parapets are frequently ornamented richly, with rectangular foliated panelling, and covered with a Battlement. Both are sometimes pierced instead of being panelled.
The Piers are usually tall and light, and consist generally, as in the preceding Period, of four shafts with intervening hollows, which latter are continued uninterruptedly round the Pier-arch.
Frequently the entire Pier is moulded without shafts, and the whole of the mouldings are carried round the Pier-arch.
The Pier is frequently so disposed that its transverse section is greater than its longitudinal section, or, in other words, it is thicker from North to South than it is from East to West.
The Capitals are usually octagonal, but sometimes circular. Foliage is much more rarely seen in their hollows, and they contain plain mouldings of a more angular character generally than in the preceding Period. They are also taller, in comparison, to their diameter. They have sometimes a battlement moulding on their upper edge, which is in other cases often square.
The Bases are generally tall, narrow, and polygonal, and often of several stages.
In the Pier-arches occasionally a form occurs for the first time, which is seen in no other Period. This is the four-centered arch, so called from the circumstance of its being drawn from four different centres: its use, however, in arches of construction, except in the Vaulting, is by no means so common as in arches of decoration, where it continually appears. It is often enclosed in doorways, under a square head. The mouldings of Pier-arches,[Pg 39] Window-arches, and all others are usually plain, broad, and shallow; the double Ogee occurs continually, as well as a large shallow hollow, drawn from three centres, between a few small filleted members. Few Arches carry more than two orders.
In the String-courses, Cornices, and other hollow mouldings, flat square leaves at intervals, continuous training foliage, and the vine-leaf and grapes, frequently occur; but the relief is usually not considerable, and the amount of undercutting in foliage exhibited in the two previous Periods is never seen. The Tudor Rose and the Tudor Flower are frequent ornaments of this Period.
The Triforium is rarely seen, and in its place the Clere-story Window is often carried down in blank panelling to the passage or String-course over the Pier-arches. It is sometimes, however, represented by a band of panelling or pierced work.
The Clere-story attains considerable height and importance in this Period; the effect of which, in large buildings, is increased by the suppression of the Triforium, and the substitution in its place of the apparent continuation downwards of the Clere-story. In many buildings the Clere-story windows are in pairs, and so numerous that all blank wall entirely disappears; and the effect of the mass of light thus poured down into the Church is very striking and characteristic.
The Vaulting becomes much more complicated and enriched in this Period. Diverging ribs having bosses and shields at their points of intersection, cover the surface of the Vault: the plans of these vaultings are very various: some are called Fan-tracery vaults, and others Stellar vaults, terms which explain themselves.
Open wooden roofs of elaborate construction, and large span, become common in this Period. They spring frequently from Corbel shafts, resting on figures in the Clere-story wall; and[Pg 40] have rich cornices of mouldings and carved work, traceried spandrels, figures of angels, and richly moulded beams. The Aisle-arcade is not often found, but its place is sometimes supplied by the rectangular surface panelling, so characteristic of the Period, which in some of the richer buildings literally covers the whole of the walls, leaving no blank or unoccupied space.
|York||Cathedral Church||West Towers.|
|Wells||Cathedral Church||Central Tower.|
|Bridlington||Priory Church||West Front.|
|Howden||Collegiate Church||Chapter House.|
|Cambridge||St. Mary's Church||Nave.|
|Long Melford||Holy Trinity Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Saffron Walden||St. Mary's Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Lavenham||St. Peter and St. Paul's Church||Nave.|
|Doncaster||St. George's Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Bury St. Edmund's||St. James' Church||Chancel, Nave.|
|Rotherham||All Saints' Church||Nave, Transepts.|
|Hull||Holy Trinity Church||Nave.|
|Windsor||St. George's Chapel||Chancel, Nave.|
|Manchester||Cathedral Church||Choir, Nave.|
|Taunton||St. Mary's Church||Nave, Tower.|
|Warwick||St. Mary's Church||Beauchamp Chapel.|
|Westminster||Cathedral Church||Henry Seventh's Chapel.|
|Bath||Abbey Church||Choir, Transepts, Nave.|
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