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Title: English Church Architecture of the Middle Ages - An Elementary Handbook
Author: Smith, A. Freeman
Language: English
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                          ENGLISH CATHEDRALS


     By Mrs. S. VAN RENSSELAER. Illustrated with one hundred and
     fifty-four Drawings by JOSEPH PENNELL. Also with Plans and
     Diagrams. Fifth Edition, revised and corrected. Cloth, 20s. net


     By Mrs. S. VAN RENSSELAER. Illustrated with Drawings by JOSEPH
     PENNELL. Also with Plans and Diagrams. Cloth, 10s. 6d. net

                     T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD., LONDON

                            ENGLISH CHURCH

                          OF THE MIDDLE AGES

                       _AN ELEMENTARY HANDBOOK_

                         _By_ A. FREEMAN SMITH

_For many years Art Master and Instructor in all Architectural Subjects in the
                 Municipal School of Art, Birmingham_

                          WITH TWELVE PLATES

                         T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD.
                        LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE

                      _First published in 1922._

                        [_All Rights Reserved_]


The object of this little work is to give an outline of the leading
characteristics of Gothic Architecture, as found in churches of the
Middle Ages in England. And it is hoped that it may be found useful to
those visiting those noble buildings, whose antiquity and inseparable
connection with the history of the country in their growth and
development, in addition to the highest purpose for which they were
erected by the faithful followers of the Founder of the Christian Faith,
entitle them to veneration and careful study in the realms of history,
art, and religion.

Its purpose as a handbook is to explain the origin and use of some of
the forms which are presented to the eye of the visitor to these ancient
monuments, not as being the result of caprice, or mere æsthetic motives,
but as derived originally from a deep conviction of the living truth
which their founders professed, and which they attempted to express in
all their constructive work.

It is intended that the book may also be found useful as an elementary
introduction to the study of Gothic Architecture through the many
elaborate and exhaustive treatises which are published on the subject.
To such students, literary study should be supplemented by personal
acquaintance with buildings recognised as standards of excellence.

The Introduction deals with symbols as the motive of Gothic design. In
the following pages the various periods of English Gothic are defined by
their predominating forms and ornaments dating from the seventh to the
sixteenth centuries. Simple examples have been chosen in order to avoid
the confusion which might result from the choice of more complex

In the preparation of the illustrations the works of Agincourt, Didron,
Owen Jones, and the late Jethro A. Cossins, have been consulted for
those of Plate I. Of the remaining, Plate II., Fig. 5, and Plate V.,
Fig. 1, are from works of Parker and Rickman respectively. Five details
are from photographs; the remainder are from original sketches and
studies by the Author.


PLATE                                                               PAGE

   I. BYZANTINE AND EARLY CHRISTIAN                                   13

  II. ANGLO-SAXON                                                     21

 III. NORMAN                                                          27

EARLY ENGLISH)                                                        35

   V. EARLY ENGLISH                                                   39

  VI. DECORATED                                                       45

 VII. DECORATED                                                       47

VIII. PERPENDICULAR                                                   53

  IX. PERPENDICULAR                                                   55

   X. ENGLISH GOTHIC ROOFS                                            63

  XI. VAULTING                                                        71

 XII. VAULTING                                                        73


The popular classification of English Gothic Architecture divides the
style into four periods, thus:

    Norman           William  I., 1066, to Richard  I., 1189.
    Early English    Richard  I., 1189, to Edward   I., 1272.
    Decorated        Edward   I., 1272, to Richard II., 1377.
    Perpendicular    Richard II., 1377, to Edward  VI., 1547.

These terms are useful, but not sufficiently descriptive. They were
superseded by the late Edmund Sharpe’s “Seven Periods,” the terms of
which are derived from the forms of the windows and their tracery, but
are applicable to other details.


    Saxon                           1066.
    Norman                  1066 to 1145.
    Transitional            1145 ”  1190.
    Lancet                  1190 ”  1245.
    Geometrical             1245 ”  1315.
    Curvilinear             1315 ”  1360.
    Rectilinear             1360 ”  1550.



[Illustration: PLATE I]

English Church Architecture of the Middle Ages




The term Gothic was applied originally as one of contempt in the
fifteenth century by the architects of the Renaissance, who attempted to
reproduce the ancient architecture of Rome, and considered Mediæval Art,
which had ruled all departments of design throughout Europe during the
three preceding centuries, to be no better than the invention of the
Barbarians, the Goths, and the Vandals, who overran the Roman Empire in
the fourth century. During the three previous centuries the persecuted
converts to Christianity were driven to take refuge in any hiding-place
available. In Rome they descended to the _Catacombs_, the underground
workings of the ancient Roman stone quarries, consisting of narrow, low
passages, their aggregate lengths amounting to hundreds of miles. There
they quarried out of the rock their chambers for assembly, where they
gathered for worship in the light of torches or lamps, and excavated
recesses for the burial of their dead. These chambers were imitated in
the form of the _Crypts_ (hidden chambers) existing under some churches
and cathedrals. (Compare Plate I., Figs. 1 and 2.) The walls of the
catacombs have rude incised inscriptions and carvings revealing the
Christian Faith by symbols, such as the _cross_, suggesting the
Crucifixion--the emblem of sacrifice; the _circle_, the line without
end, the symbol of Eternity (Plate I., Fig. 3); the _triangle_,
_trefoil_, and _triquetra_, symbols of the Trinity (Figs. 6, 7, and 8);
the _quatrefoil_ of the four evangelists (Figs. 9 and 10). The _fish_
was adopted as a symbol of the Redeemer, because the letters of the
Greek word _icthys_, when used as an acrostic, gave the initials of the
words--Jesus, Christ, God, Son, Saviour (Plate I., Fig. 11). This symbol
was extensively adopted in the decoration of baptismal fonts.

The _Vesica piscis_ (Latin, the bladder of a fish) (Plate I., Fig. 5)
was used as a nimbus or glory to surround the figure of a sacred
personage in sculpture and in painting. Its name shows the use of Latin
terms in the Roman Church as distinguished from the Greek in
_Byzantium_, which was an ancient Greek city adopted by Constantine, the
Christian Emperor, as the capital of the eastern division of the Roman
Empire under the new name of Constantinopolis--the modern
Constantinople. But the term “Byzantine” has been retained in matters
relating to art. Plate I., Figs. 15 and 16, show the Greek Cross, which
is a version of the Greek letter _chi_ combined with the letter _rho_
(similar to the English _P_). This symbol represented the name Christ,
and was the _Christian standard, the Labarum_, chosen by the Emperor

Plate I., 3A. The sacred monogram generally found in church decoration
stands for the Latin phrase _Jesus hominum Salvator_--“Jesus, the
Saviour of men.” The Greek letters IHS (_iota, eta, sigma_) gave the
first three letters of the name _Jesus_.

In the plan of an English cathedral or cruciform church, the symbol of
the Latin Cross is made the basis of its form (Plate XI., Fig. 1). (The
_Byzantine_ or Greek Cross has the four limbs of equal length.) The
Nave, N. (Latin, _navis_, a ship, a symbol of the Church), is built from
west to east. The Choir or Chancel, which is screened off by a
_Cancellum_ or lattice, is in continuation of the Nave to the east end.
This in some cathedrals includes the Lady Chapel, which was in mediæval
times dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

In several churches and some cathedrals the head of the Cross, the
Chancel or Choir, is not in line with the Nave, but is slightly inclined
to one side--not in all cases the same side. Two explanations are given
for this, one being its _orientation_--_i.e._, the axis of its length
points to the rising of the sun on the day of its foundation, which does
not coincide with that of the Nave, the Chancel having been commenced at
an earlier or later date and different season of the year. The other
theory is that it symbolises the head of Christ falling on one side in

Plate I., Fig. 14 (from the “Grammar of Ornament”), shows an ornamental
design composed entirely of early Christian symbols. Plate I., Figs. 12
and 13, carved ornament and a capital bearing crude resemblance to an
ancient Ionic capital. Both Figs. 12 and 13 are under the influence of
Greek and Roman Art without reference to symbolism.

Plate I., Fig. 4, shows a _chevron_ (a French military ornament), a
decoration dating back to ancient Egypt, where it symbolised the waves
of the Nile, and was adopted in many later periods, and became
conspicuous in the Norman arches of English architecture.



[Illustration: PLATE II]



There can be no doubt that Christianity found its way into Britain early
during the Roman occupation, but was suppressed through the violent
persecutions by the Pagan tribes who ruled following the Roman departure
A.D. 410, to be revived and further developed after the mission of St.
Augustine, A.D. 597, from Rome to the Anglo-Saxons, who occupied Britain
between the fifth and eleventh centuries.

The church of Greenstead, in Essex, is one of the most ancient in the
country, and was built by Anglo-Saxons. Its walls are of substantial
logs of timber placed upright upon a foundation of rude stonework. This
method appears to be a survival of their method of building their

Of stone buildings, the church tower of Barton-on-Humber (Plate II.,
Fig. 6) is a good example of Anglo-Saxon work. In it the external
angles of the tower and of the door and window openings have their
_quoins_ (corner stones) of _“long-and-short” work_, the name applied to
Saxon masonry of this kind, in which long stones are placed on end with
short stones laid flat, suggesting their origin to be the work of
carpenters who would place timbers in such positions, contrasted with
that of masons, who would place all stones horizontally or at
right-angles to pressure.

In this example and the very fine one at Earls Barton, Northamptonshire,
this “long-and-short” work is carried over the exterior of the wall as a
kind of surface decoration.

Plate II., Fig. 3, shows the present-day manner of framing timbers in a
partition with _sill_ (s.), posts or _studs_ (p.), lintel (l.), inclined
_struts_, and _corbel-blocks_ (c.b.).

Saxon timber framing would be on similar lines, and this manner was
perpetuated traditionally in their stone walls. The practice of
imitating woodwork in stone and vice versa is one to be found in the
works of all ages from remote antiquity. The heads of Saxon door and
window openings were either semicircular (Plate II., Figs. 7, 8, and 9)
or formed by placing two stones inclined to each other thus--ʌ, and a
short column or rude baluster was sometimes placed between two windows.

[_Note._--The window over the clock face (Plate II., Fig. 6) is an
insertion of a later period.]

The interesting little church at Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, shows the
same manner of building (Plate II., Fig. 1).

Anglo-Saxon bell-towers appear to have been generally covered with a
roof of the form shown in Plate II., Fig. 5, as at Sompting, Sussex.


NORMAN, 1066-1189

[Illustration: PLATE III]


NORMAN, 1066-1189

The Norman period dates from A.D. 1066, though the Norman manner of
building had been adopted after the year 1000, when church building was
revived after suspension in anticipation of the Millennium, which was
expected to bring the end of the world. That dreaded year having safely
passed, church building was vigorously revived. Timber construction had
led to frequent disaster by fire, and as larger buildings were now
required, better construction became imperative. Masonry must supersede
carpentry in wall construction, and the necessary skilled labour came
from Normandy.

The influx of superior talent following the Norman Conquest resulted in
great improvement in every department of building. Stately _cathedrals_
were founded, each for the reception of the _cathedra_ or throne of the
bishop. Abbeys and monasteries and parish churches for the clergy were
built throughout the land, as proved by the existence of Norman work in
most parts of the country.

Every period of English Gothic architecture has certain forms appearing
in the general composition and details which help to fix the period to
which they belong. In the Norman the _square_ and the _circle_, the
right angle and the semicircle, are the prevailing figures suggestive of
strength and severity so evident in the impressive naves of Ely,
Peterborough, Norwich, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, and the fortress-like
cathedral of Durham.

Plate III. gives a few details of work of the Norman period. The term
_pier_ (Plate III., Fig. 1) defines the pillars or masses of masonry
supporting the arches between the nave and aisles of a church. This
example (Plate III., Fig. 1), from St. John’s Chapel in the White Tower
of London, William the Conqueror’s residence, is circular with a square
capital chamfered down to the circular pier, and has a slightly moulded
_abacus_ (the crowning moulding of a capital).

Plate III., Fig. 2, the _cushion capital_, is the simplest kind of
Norman capital. It is cubical, with its square faces rounded down to the

[_Note._--The _shafts_ of all English Gothic columns are
cylindrical--_i.e._, without any diminution towards the top, in contrast
with Greek and Roman shafts, which are always diminished.]

Plate III., Fig. 3, is the capital of a _respond_--a half-column
attached to a wall and carrying an arch or part of a roof.

Plate III., Fig. 4, the _corbel-table_, or cornice underneath the eaves
of a roof (_corbel_--a bracket).

Plate III., Fig. 5, the _base_ of a pier with _spur_ ornaments.

Plate III., Fig. 6, fragment of a Norman arch of _four orders_, each
order being a separate arch, three of which are enriched with the Norman
_chevron_. The _dripstone_ or _hood-moulding_ (d.s.) encloses the arch
as in Plate III., Fig. 8, though its original function--to protect the
moulding under it from weather--is not needed here, but it is generally
introduced to give effective finish to the arch. The capitals in this
group are _scallop capitals_. A small portion of a similar capital is
shown at the right hand of Plate III., Fig. 3.

Plate III., Fig. 7, is a Norman font of the simple bowl form enriched
with carved Norman heads connected by Byzantine ornament and surrounded
with a _Norman arcade_ of intersecting arches--a feature often
introduced in the walls of churches and cathedrals.

Plate III., Fig. 8, is a double-recessed window with an arch of three
orders. The columns in the positions shown are called _jamb-shafts_ or
_nook-shafts_; those on the right are _detached_ and may be removed,
leaving the bases and capitals remaining. On the left the shafts are
_engaged_--_i.e._, form part of the masonry of the wall. These two
varieties are never found together as here, but are thus shown for
convenience. The capitals are a variety of the cushion capital.

Plate III., Fig. 9, is a _cushion capital_ with the _triquetra_ symbol
of the Trinity (Plate I., Fig. 8).

Byzantine influence is evident in the ornament of the capitals (Plate
III., Figs. 1, 3, and 9), in the chevron (Plate III., Fig. 6), and the
decoration of the font (Plate III., Fig. 7).

Norman walls depended for their strength upon their thickness, with the
slight addition at intervals, where lateral pressure occurred, of thin
pilaster-like buttresses projecting only a few inches equally from
bottom to top.




[Illustration: PLATE IV]



The period of Transition from Norman to Early English dates from 1145 to
1190, in the reigns of Stephen and Richard I., the period when
architecture gradually passed from the massiveness and severity of
Romanesque, as expressed in the Norman, to the delicate refinement of
Early English Gothic. In its general character there is much that is
common to both periods. It is easily distinguished in its details as
capitals, arches, carving, etc.

Plate IV., Figs. 1 and 3, show Transitional capitals in which the square
abacus of the Norman remains and the concave surface of the body or bell
contrasts with the convex of the Norman (Plate III., Figs. 2, 3, 6, and
9). Rude carving suggestive of foliage was sometimes introduced. The
placing of two pointed arches under a semicircle (Plate IV., Fig. 2) is
especially indicative of the Transitional period.

In the Transitional period the _pointed_ or _Gothic arch_ was first
introduced, and established as the most characteristic feature of the
Gothic style on account of its superior strength and fitness. In the
Transition, hollows were introduced separating the rounds in mouldings
(Plate IV., Fig. 4). In other respects Transitional work differs little
from Norman.



LANCET, 1190-1245
GEOMETRICAL, 1245-1315

[Illustration: PLATE V]


EARLY ENGLISH, 1189-1272

In the Early English period knowledge of the true principles of
architectural design and construction advanced considerably--mouldings
and carving attained the highest refinement, and the work of the Early
English period is admitted to be the purest of the Gothic style.

Improved scientific construction is most evident in the walls. The
development of stone-vaulted roofs (a protection against fire) carried
by arched ribs brought down the incumbent load on to the walls,
producing thrusts upon them which had to be provided against. The old
manner of making the wall of great thickness was wasteful and
unsatisfactory. The happy idea of the Gothic _buttress_ fulfilled all
the requirements, and produced one of the most beautiful features of the
Gothic style. It was built in diminishing stages, its outline enclosing
the graceful parabolic curve of nature--the path of the combined
thrusts and their opposing reactions. This structure was carried to
perfection when combined with the _flying-buttress_ (Plate VII., Fig.
10), which conducted the thrust from the lofty wall of the nave over the
external roof of the aisle by an arch on the _wall-buttress_, which was
strengthened to do its work by the addition of a heavy _pinnacle_. Plate
V., Fig. 9, from Lichfield Cathedral, shows two buttresses of the Lancet
period built to meet the thrust of the ribs carrying the vaulting of the
Chapter-house and Library over. In one of these the approximate
direction of the thrusts is indicated by the arrows _a_, _b_, which, if
unopposed, would cause a collapse; the ultimate deflection of their path
by the weight of the superincumbent masonry is indicated by dotted lines
within the _buttress_, thereby producing equilibrium through the
opposing resistance from the foundations along the same path.

In Plate V., Figs. 10 and 11, the piers had columns surrounding them
whose shafts in the Lancet period were _detached_, but connected at
their extremities by moulded _stone bands_ (A, B), and at the bases and
capitals. These piers were sometimes carried to a great height, as
those in Westminster Abbey, which have three of these _stone bands_ in
their height. In the Geometrical period the shafts formed part of the
main pier, were not detached, and resembled mouldings (Plate V., Fig.
11). Such shafts were described as _engaged_.

Plate V., Fig. 7, shows a tower with a _broach-spire_ belonging to the
Early English period. In the figure the four broaches are the small
pyramids covering the _squinch arches_ or _squinch corbels_, which
carried four of the eight sides of the octagonal spire across the angles
of the tower.

Plate V., Fig. 4, shows three _Lancet windows_ under a single arch or
dripstone. This grouping of the windows soon suggested the design of
tracery windows, in which the lights are separated by _mullions_, the
simplest form being as represented in the Lichfield Chapter-house in
Plate V., Fig. 9. Geometrical arrangements were invented from the simple
one (Plate V., Fig. 5) to the elaborate windows and arcades of
Westminster Abbey. Cusps (_spear points_) were formed in the tracery,
the _Soffit-cusp_ (s.c.) projecting from the underside of the mullion,
indicating early work and uncommon. All other cusps were worked on the
_chamfer_ (c.c), their points being variously shaped.

In Plate V., Fig. 8, the capitals were either moulded, or carved with
_stiff-leaf foliage_, being _conventional_--_i.e._, designed on natural
principles, but not in imitation of nature, and sometimes of great
beauty, but never so delicate as to suggest its unsuitability to the
material in which it was wrought. Hollows in the arch and other
mouldings were enriched with the _tooth ornament_ (Plate V., Fig. 12),
which occurs in the Lancet period only.

Plate V., Fig. 2, shows the decoration of gables with _crockets_ and

Plate V., Fig. 3, shows _diaper_ ornaments used in wall decoration.

Plate V., Fig. 6, shows a _string course_ and _dripstone_. All mouldings
consist of large rounds and deep hollows, separated by fillets (a, b),
and are frequently arranged in extensive groups, as in doorways,
arcading, etc.

The Cathedral of Salisbury is the only one which is throughout belonging
to the Early English period.


DECORATED, 1272-1377

GEOMETRICAL, 1245-1315
CURVILINEAR, 1315-1360

[Illustration: PLATE VI]


DECORATED, 1272-1377

[Illustration: PLATE VII]


DECORATED, 1272-1377; GEOMETRICAL, 1245-1315; CURVILINEAR, 1315-1360

The term “decorated” is applied to the work of this period because of
the superfluity of its ornaments. Almost every feature was enriched with
carved ornament. The predominating form is the _curvilinear_ line, the
_ogee_ or _ogival_ (Plate VI., Fig. 2), Hogarth’s “line of beauty and
grace,” which occurs in the lines of tracery, the shape of arches,
sections of mouldings, and of foliated ornament.

The Geometrical period, 1245-1315, is the overlapping of Early English
and Decorated. The term Geometrical is applied on account of the window
tracery, which is made up of circles and triangles more or less
elaborate. The change from _Geometrical_ to _Curvilinear_ or _flowing_
tracery is demonstrated in Plate VII., Figs. 1, 2; Plate VII., Fig. 2,
being a slight alteration of Plate VII., Fig. 1.

Plate VII., Fig. 5, _reticulated_--_net-like_--is a common example
produced in the same manner as Plate VII., Fig. 2, and is adaptable to
all shapes of windows. Many elaborate and beautiful designs were
produced on these principles by extension of such elements as in Plate
VII., Fig. 3.

Plate VII., Fig. 4, is a common type of window; an extension of the
simple two-light window (Plate V., Fig. 9), frequently enriched with
cusps and ball-flower (Plate VI., Fig. 3) in the hollows of the

In Plate VII., Fig. 10, the buttresses are decorated with niches for
statuary. A _flying-buttress_ is shown (F.B.), carrying the thrust of
the stone-vaulted roof of the nave over the external roof of the aisle
into the main buttress, whose weight and consequent stability are
increased by the heavy _pinnacle_. The smaller buttress (C.) resists the
thrust of the window arches. Norwich Cathedral displays an interesting
array of flying-buttresses.

Plate VI., Fig. 6, shows a tower and spire at the crossing of nave and
transepts. The base of the spire and its _broaches_ (Plate V., Fig. 7)
are concealed by a _parapet wall_, with battlements protecting a
footway round the spire, which could be used as a place of observation.
Mouldings in the Geometrical period attained the greatest refinement.
Many can be favourably compared with those of the best Greek periods.

Arches continued to be built in square orders (Plate III., Figs. 6 and
8), and consisted of round mouldings, generally separated by deep
hollows and fillets (Plate VII., Fig. 7).

In mouldings of the Curvilinear period (Plate VII., Fig. 8) the _ogee_
superseded the round, and the hollows were shallower. Towards the end of
the period the square _orders_ ceased, and the planes of the _orders_
were at about 45° with the vertical (Plate VII., Fig. 9; compare with
Plate VIII., Fig. 12).

The _wave-moulding_ (Plate VII., Fig. 9) and the _scroll-moulding_
(Plate VII., Figs. 9, 12, and 13), supposed to resemble a parchment
scroll, are conspicuous in the Curvilinear. The general character of the
ornament is indicated on Plate VII., in most of which the _ogee_ line is

The _ball-flower_ (Plate VI., Fig. 3) is a distinctive feature of the
Decorated period superseding the tooth ornament of the Lancet (Plate V.,
Fig. 12). It was applied to hollow mouldings of arches and tracery of
windows, vaulting, and spires.

Capitals were moulded as in the section (Plate VII., Fig. 13), or
carved, as Plate VI., Fig. 4, generally in imitation of natural foliage,
varying from a bold conventionalism (Plate VI., Fig. 5) to a close
imitation of nature, as Plate VI., Fig. 1 (a.a.). Animal forms and small
human figures were occasionally introduced. Figure sculpture reached its
highest degree of excellence in this period.

Construction was further advanced, but in design the climax had been
attained in the Geometrical period, and a very gradual decline set in,
as shown in excessive ornamentation and literal imitation of natural
forms in stonework, which is unsuitable for such delicate treatment on
account of its fragility.

The increasing wealth of the nation during this period is indicated by
the grandeur of the buildings and the redundancy of ornament.



RECTILINEAR, 1360-1550

[Illustration: PLATE VIII]



[Illustration: PLATE IX]



RECTILINEAR, 1360-1550

The term “perpendicular” was applied to the work of this period, the
last of English Gothic, on account of the predominance of vertical lines
in the whole architectural design, and especially in window tracery.

A comparison of Plate VII., Fig. 5, net tracery, with Plate IX., Fig. 5,
rectilinear, will explain how the latter was developed from the former
by extending the sides of the _meshes_ of the _net_ by straight lines
into the summit of the window. But as the term _perpendicular_ is only a
_relative_ one, not necessarily meaning vertical, the term _rectilinear_
was substituted, being descriptive of the general character of the whole
design in mass and detail. In this work, however, the term
“perpendicular” is preferred as the one most generally known. Windows
became so large, chiefly for the display of stained glass, as to reduce
the wall spaces between them to little more than piers, and _transoms_
(horizontal mullions) had to be introduced to strengthen the vertical
_mullions_. [See Plate IX., Figs, 1 and 2 (a.b.), belfry windows in
these examples.]

Loftiness is a special trait of the Perpendicular period. Walls were
carried to a greater height than previously. The external roof was
frequently covered with lead, and inclined at an angle easy to walk
upon. The roof-timbers were supported by ornamental principals exposed
to view from the interior, or there was a stone-vaulted internal roof of
rich design, the increased thrusts upon the walls being counteracted by
larger buttresses.

Tall towers were built, such as those of York Minster, Gloucester,
Worcester, and the churches of Boston (Lincolnshire), Wrexham, Taunton,
and many others of magnificence. Plate IX., Figs. 1 and 3, give
varieties of smaller parish church towers. In these the Tudor arch and
square-headed window are shown. Spires are not so common as in the
preceding periods. _Buttresses_ were placed _diagonally_ at all
corners, scientifically the best position (Plate IX., Figs, 1 and 2).

In large churches external wall surfaces were enriched with panelling,
covering in some cases the whole from ground to summit, and combined
with open tracery in the battlements. In the interior the same kind of
decoration prevailed, and in some cases the window tracery was carried
below the glass down to the floor as panelling.

Plate IX., Figs. 4A and 4B, gives the comparative shape of

Arch-mouldings (Plate VIII., Fig. 12) generally included the large
hollow also common in the window jambs. The plane of the arch-mouldings
was inclined to the vertical 45° (Plate VIII., Fig. 12). The usual
dripstone (d.s.) and some of their _corbels_ are shown in Plate VIII.,
Figs. 1 and 3. Piers (Plate VIII., Fig. 11) were of the simple form
shown with columns at the angles, single, or in groups, as Plate VIII.,
Fig. 13, the general contour of the pier being a rhombus or lozenge in

The _ogee_ arch with crockets and finial was continued from the
Decorated period.

The _Tudor_ or _four-centred_ arch (Plate IX., Figs. 1 and 6) belongs to
the late Perpendicular period.

Plate VIII., Fig. 4, shows a common form of Tudor door-head with the
_label_ or _square dripstone_ and carved _spandril_ (a triangular
space). Columns were circular, with octagonal bases and capitals, the
latter moulded or carved with oak-leaf foliage or conventional ornament,
resembling that in Plate VIII., Fig. 9. Corbels with shields (Plate
VIII., Fig. 9), armorial bearings, and the Tudor rose (Plate VIII., Fig.
2), frequently occur.

Many Perpendicular churches are rich in ornamental woodwork: choir
stalls with lifting seats (misereres), under which are grotesque
carvings; poppy-heads (Fr. _poupée_, a doll), the bench-end ornaments
which sometimes carried a small carved figure among foliage; panelled
screens crowned with brattishing (Plate VIII., Fig. 5), and other
ornaments. The term _brattishing_ is also applied to the open tracery of
some battlements of the Perpendicular period.

The Perpendicular is the longest of the English Gothic periods. In it
Gothic construction attained its climax; ornamentation declined from a
refined realism to coarse conventionalism, coinciding with the decline
of spiritual life in the Church. Cathedrals and churches increased in
all dimensions, and everything showed the tendency towards the
renaissance of classic art which was flourishing on the Continent.
Classic mouldings were imitated, and carved ornament of pure Italian
design was applied to decorate Gothic forms--notable instances being the
tomb of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey, and the Salisbury Chantry in
Christchurch Priory near Bournemouth. Both were the work of Torregiano,
a contemporary of Michael Angelo.

The English people clung to their Gothic style for a century after the
same had almost disappeared from the Continent, and in the Elizabethan
period, 1558-1603, classic details, including the _five orders_, were
completely incorporated into Gothic design. The pointed arch
disappeared; the Roman semicircle took its place. Brickwork superseded
masonry, roof construction was concealed, and all kinds of shams were
introduced. Then came a period of close imitation of Greek and Roman
temples, until the Gothic revival under its pioneer, A. W. Pugin (_b._
1812, _d._ 1852), whose literary works are very instructive and
interesting reading. The present-day (1922) tendency is towards a
revival of Byzantine architecture.



[Illustration: PLATE X]



Next in importance to the construction of substantial walls comes the
necessity of weather-proof and storm-proof roofs, such as should
preserve the stability of the walls, or their disintegration would be
hastened by that which should be their protection.

The nature of the covering and the action of weather are the principal
factors affecting their design and construction. The rigours of the
English climate require a covering to be such as to prevent the
penetration of rain, and their support to be strong enough to resist the
pressure of snow and the hurricane. The high-pitched roof (of steep
inclination) is common to all periods of English Gothic. The average
Norman roof was _pitched_ about 45°, its apex being about a right angle
composed agreeably with the semicircular arches in the gables. The
higher-pitched roofs came simultaneously with the introduction of the
pointed arch, sometimes at a pitch of 60°, ultimately declining to about
20° or less in the late Perpendicular period. The outer covering is
generally of boards overlaid with tiles or sheet-lead, the latter being
imperative in the low-pitched roofs. The whole of the covering is
carried by _common rafters_ or _spars_ rising from the walls to the apex
of the roof.

Plate X., Figs. 1 and 2, show two ordinary _principals_ or _trusses_.
These are in no sense Gothic, but are here given to more clearly explain
the principles of roof construction. The common rafters (c.r.) bearing
the covering are of light timber, tending to bend under the weight; to
prevent this _purlins_ (P.), stout beams, are placed at suitable
intervals, and these are carried at their ends by the _roof trusses_.
The _tie-beam_ (t.b) is the chief beam of the truss. The _principal
rafters_ (p.r.) are framed into it and into the heads of the _King_ and
_Queen posts_. In the _Queen-post-truss_ the _collar_ unites the Queen
posts; _struts_ and _cross-braces_ complete the structure. In a properly
constructed roof-truss all the stresses are neutralised in the truss
itself, and the whole framework rests as a dead weight upon the walls
without any lateral thrust to force them out of the vertical. The
King-post-truss is suitable to roofs up to 30 feet span, the
Queen-post-truss to 40 feet.

_Open timber roofs_ have their construction visible from the interior.
Plate X., Fig. 8, shows a crude _Queen-post-truss_ in an old
Worcestershire church, in which the tie-beam has been chosen from a bent
log so as to prevent its bending under the roof load. In the trusses
(Plate X., Figs. 1, 2) the King and Queen posts act like the keystones
of an arch, so that by bolting or strapping up with ironwork at points
s.s. these _posts_ are put into a state of tension, the tie-beam (t.b.)
is pulled up to a _camber_, or curve, and is also in tension. In the
crude Queen-post-truss (Plate X., Fig. 8) these conditions are reversed,
for the tie-beam _supports_ the Queen posts. In Plate X., Figs. 1 and 2,
all the spaces in these trusses are triangular, a fact which ensures
stability where the parts are of proper strength and properly united.
Plate X., Fig. 4, is a trussed rafter roof requiring no purlins nor
principal--each common rafter is a truss. This kind of roof is suitable
only to small spans; its weakest part is from a. to b.

In the roof-truss, or principal, the Gothic architects objected to the
tie-beam as an obstruction to the sense of loftiness, so desirable in
the church interior, and therefore invented the _hammer-beam_ principal
(Plate X., Fig. 7), which resembles a Queen-post-truss, having a collar
and King post. The hammer-beams (h.b.) are substitutes for the tie-beam.

In this principal the space between the collar and the apex of the roof
is satisfactorily trussed, but from the collar downwards the _Queen
posts_ (Q.p.) and _wall posts_ (w.p.) with their _braces_ (b.) become
mere brackets supporting the small King-post-truss above, bringing its
load as low as possible on to the walls, so that their weight of masonry
and buttresses may effectually resist the lateral thrust of the roof
upon them.

Plate X., Fig. 5, shows a _collar_ principal with curved braces. The
tendency of all roof principals is to _spread_ at the walls; this has
been met by modern church-builders by introducing an iron tie-rod in
place of a tie-beam, thus forming a triangle, the only form of absolute
stability, for the whole of the principal, as indicated by the dotted
line connecting the hammer-beams in Plate X., Fig. 7.

Plate X., Fig. 6, shows a low-pitched Perpendicular roof with principals
and half-principal. The common rafters are concealed by a panelled
ceiling, the panels being formed by principal rafters and purlins. The
arched trusses bring part of the thrust low down on to the walls, which
are strengthened by heavy buttresses on the outside. The
_half-principal_ is placed over a window arch.

Plate X., Fig. 3, shows a low-pitched roof and ceiling supported by a
tie-beam only, strengthened at its bearings by _wall posts_ and



[Illustration: PLATE XI]



[Illustration: PLATE XII]



Stone-vaulted roofs became necessary in church building early in the
Norman period for security against fire. They were made after the Roman
manner, semicircular, with similar vaults intersecting at right angles.
The lines of their intersections are the _groins_. When two intersecting
vaults are of equal semicircles, each groin is a semi-ellipse. This
groin is the weakest part of the vault; in order to strengthen it the
Normans built an arch called the _groin rib_, underneath the groin, to
support it. Difficulties were met in forming intersecting vaults of
unequal span, clumsy contrivances were resorted to, until, in the
Transition period, 1145-1190, the introduction of the pointed arch
solved the problem, and led the way to the development of Gothic
vaulting. The Roman and Norman vaults were built upon temporary
_centering_. A _centre_ is a timber frame made like a roof-truss shaped
to the form of the arch; a series of _centres_ were placed at convenient
distances apart and covered with strong boarding upon which the vault
was built. After the masonry was completely _set_, the temporary
centering was removed, leaving the vault to carry itself.

As the system of vaulting developed, _cross ribs_ and _wall ribs_ (Plate
XI., Fig. 3) were added, and much of the temporary centering was
dispensed with; ornamental arrangements were designed by introducing
more ribs, and _the web_--the covering surface of masonry--was reduced
to small panels in the Decorated and Perpendicular periods. In the Tudor
period, 1485-1558, the _web_ became the principal part, the ribs being
mere mouldings worked upon its surface in the form of _fan-vaulting_, a
simple example of which can be studied in the south porch of Chester
Cathedral, and the most elaborate in the roof of the Chapel of Henry
VII., Westminster Abbey.

A _bay_ of a cathedral is one of the spaces into which its length is
divided by the supports of the roof as piers, arches, or principals. The
bays of the aisles are usually square--those of the nave, choir, or
transepts rectangular on account of their greater width.

Vertically each of the bays of the nave, etc., is divided into three
stories (Plate XI., Fig. 2), the _groundstory_ rising from the floor;
the _triforium_, or _blindstory_, having no windows, is over
the aisles, and the _clerestory_ over the triforium. The prefix
_clere_--bright--indicates the brilliancy of its light.

In the Norman period these three divisions were nearly equal in height.
In the succeeding periods the groundstory attained about half of the
total height of the bay, the clerestory was extended downwards, and the
triforium reduced, until, in the Perpendicular period, it entirely

Plate XI., Figs. 3 and 4, show a few square bays of Gothic vaulting in
skeleton diagrams with the forms of plan indicated by dotted lines upon
their base-planes. All the lines represent ribs.

Plate XI., Figs. 2 and 3, show _quadripartite_ vaulting--_i.e._, having
four compartments in one bay. This is the simplest form of Gothic vault,
and belongs chiefly to the Early English period. The ribs ah, bh, ci, di
are wall ribs; bg, cg, ag, dg, are cross ribs; ae, ce, be, de, are the
diagonal ribs. The ridge-ribs eg and h, e, i, are horizontal, and
intersect the summits of the cross ribs and diagonals. At every
intersection there is generally a carved keystone or _boss_.

In the vaulting of a nave the breadth across is about twice the breadth
of the aisles, so that the nave bays are not square, but rectangular.

Plate XI., Fig. 4, and Plate XII., Fig. 2, show _lierne_-vaulting,
having _lierne-ribs_, the short ribs joining and supporting all the
ascending ribs as h, k, l, m, g.

Plate XII., Figs. 2 and 3, are lierne vaults. That shown in Fig. 3 is
under the belfry of a church tower at Coventry, with circular opening
for hoisting the bells.

The detail at B shows the method of collecting the three ribs into one
at the _springers_ in the corners A, B, C, D, by small arches in the
tracery of ribs.

Plate XII., Fig. 1, shows fan-vaulting having no ribs. The lines shown
indicate mouldings on the masonry imitating ribs. The structure is built
up of slabs of stone, accurately joined together forming concave
half-cones, their vertices being the springers of the vault. The dotted
lines show some of the jointing; the other lines represent the imitation
ribs. The crown of the vault is the flat surface gh, gi, generally
richly ornamented.


Abacus, Pl. III., Fig. 1

Arcade (Norman), Pl. III., Fig. 7

Ball-Flower, Pl. VI., Fig. 3

Band, Pl. V., Figs. 10, 11

Base, Pl. III., Figs. 1, 5

Battlements, Pl. IX., Figs. 4A, 4B

Bay, Pl. XI., Fig. 2

Belfry Windows, Pl. IX., Figs. 1, 2

Boss, Pl. XII., Figs. 2, 3

Braces, Pl. X., Figs. 2, 7

Brattishing, Pl. VIII., Fig. 5

Broach-Spire, Pl. V., Fig. 7

Buttress, Pl. V., Fig. 9; Pl. VII., Fig. 10

Buttress (Diagonal), Pl. IX., Figs. 1, 2

Byzantine, Pl. I., Figs. 3 to 16

Byzantium, p. 17

Camber, Pl. X., Figs. 1, 2, p. 67

Catacombs, Pl. I., Fig. 1

Cathedral, p. 29

Centering, p. 75

Chamfer-Cusp, Pl. V., Fig. 5

Chevron, Pl. I., Fig. 4; Pl. III., Fig. 6

Chrism, Pl. I., Figs. 15, 16

Clerestory, Pl. XI., Fig. 2

Collar, Pl. X., Figs. 2, 5, 7, 8

Conventional, p. 44

Corbel Blocks, Pl. II., Fig. 3

Corbel-Table, Pl. III., Fig. 4

Crocket, Pl. V., Figs, 1, 2; Pl. VII., Figs. 10, 11, 14

Crypt, Pl. I., Fig. 2

Cushion Capital, Pl. III., Figs. 2, 8, 9

Cusp, Pl. V., Fig. 5

Cylindrical Shafts, Pl. III., Fig. 2

Detached Shafts, Pl. III., Fig. 8

Dripstone, Pl. III., Figs. 6, 8

Engaged Shafts, Pl. III., Fig. 8

Fan-Vaulting, Pl. XII., Fig. 1

Finial, Pl. V., Fig. 2; Pl. VII., Figs. 6, 10, 11; Pl. VIII., Fig. 6

Fish Symbol, Pl. I., Fig. 11

Flowing Tracery, Pl. VII., Figs. 2, 3

Flying-Buttress, Pl. VII., Fig. 10

Font (Norman), Pl. III., Fig. 7

Geometrical Tracery, Pl. V., Fig. 5; Pl. VII., Fig. 1

Gothic Arch, Pl. IV., Fig. 2; Pl. V., Figs. 4, 5

Groin, Pl. XI., Figs. 3, 4, p. 75

Groundstory, Pl. XI., Fig. 2

Hammer-Beam, Pl. X., Fig. 7

Hood-Moulding, Pl. III., Figs. 6, 8

I.H.S., Pl. I., Fig. 3A

Jamb-Shaft, Pl. III., Fig. 8

Labarum, Pl. I., Figs. 15, 16

Label, Pl. VIII., Fig. 4

Lancet Windows, Pl. V., Fig. 4

Lierne-Vaulting, Pl. XI., Fig. 4; Pl. XII., Figs. 2, 3

Long-and-Short Work, Pl. II.

Mullion, Pl. IX., Figs. 1, 3, 5, 6

Nave, Pl. XI., Fig. 1

Ogee or Ogival, Pl. VI., Fig. 2

Open Timber Roof, Pl. X., Figs. 3 to 8, p. 67

Orders of Arches, Pl. III., Figs. 6, 8

Parapet, Pl. VI., Fig. 6; Pl. IX., Figs. 1 to 4

Pier, Plate III., Fig. 1

Pinnacle, Pl. VI., Fig. 6; Pl. VII., Fig. 10; Pl. IX., Figs. 1, 2, 3

Pitch of Roof, Pl. X.

Pointed Arch, pp. 37, 38

Principal and Principal Rafter, Pl. X., all Figs.

Purlin, Pl. X., Figs. 1, 2

Quadripartite Vaulting, Pl. XI., Fig. 3

Quatrefoil, Pl. I., Figs. 9, 10

Queen Post, Pl. X., Figs. 2, 7, 8

Quoin, Pl. II., Figs. 6 to 9

Rafters, Common, Pl. X., Figs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8

Respond, Pl. III., Fig. 3; Pl. XI., Fig. 2, p. 31

Reticulated Tracery, Pl. VII., Fig. 5

Sacred Monogram, Pl. I., Fig. 3A

Scallop Capital, Pl. III., Fig. 6

Scroll-Moulding, Pl. VII., Figs. 12, 13

Shaft, Pl. III., Fig. 2, p. 31

Sill, Pl. II., Fig. 3

Soffit-Cusp, Pl. V., Fig. 5

Spandril, Pl. VIII., Fig. 4, p. 60

Springer, Pl. XII., Fig. 3, detail

Spur, Pl. III., Fig. 5

Square and Circle, Pl. III., p. 30

Squinch Arches, p. 43

Stiff-Leaf, Pl. V., Fig. 8

String Courses and Dripstones, Pl. IV., Fig. 4;
    Pl. V., Fig. 6; Pl. VII., Fig. 12; Pl. VIII., Fig. 8

Strut, Pl. X., Figs. 1, 2, 7

Studs, Pl. II., Fig. 3

Symbols, Pl. I.

Tie-Beam, Pl. X., Figs, 1, 2, 3, 8

Tooth Ornament, Pl. V., Fig. 12

Tracery Development, Pl. V., Figs. 4, 5; Pl. VII., Figs. 1 to 5

Transitional, Pl. IV.

Transom, Pl. IX., Figs. 1, 2, p. 58

Trefoil, Pl. I., Fig. 7

Triforium, Pl. XI., Fig. 2

Triquetra, Pl. I., Fig. 8; Pl. III., Fig. 9

Truss, Pl. X.

Tudor Arch, Pl. VIII., Fig. 4; Pl. IX., Fig. 6

Tudor Flower, Pl. VIII., Fig. 2

Vaulting Ribs, Pl. XII., Figs. 2, 3; Pl. XI., Figs. 3, 4

Vesica Piscis, Pl. I., Fig. 5

Wall Post, Pl. X., Figs. 3, 7, p. 68

Wave--Moulding, Pl. VII., Fig. 9

Web (Vaulting), Pl. XI., Figs. 3, 4, p. 76

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