Page images


their successive reigns; and it is evident that the churches attached to them were the mo decorated parts, as respected their architecture. The six principal of these were, &

Germain's, in Cornwall; Ca
chester, in Essex ; Tewke
bury, in Gloucestershire; s
Frideswide and St. Alban
already mentioned ; and Gl:
tonbury, in Somersetshir
King selects the western po
tion of Tewkesbury as t
grandest in England for effe
and extent. The characteri
tics of Anglo-Saxon Archite
Ture are detailed in the follov
ing paragraph,
390. Arches.

Always s

micircular, often plain ; som Fig. 181

times decorated with a varie

of mouldings on the sofite well as on the face, the former being often entirely occupied by them. They are four double, triple, or quadruple, each springing from two columns, and generally cased with

different moulding, which is frequently double, thi making six or eight concentric circles of them; ar as each of them projects beyond that under it, moulding is placed under them, generally the same that used upon the face. (See fig. 181.) Columns. Single, cylindrical, hexagonal or octagonal, on squa plinths ; very few diameters in height. Shafts ofte ornamented with spiral or fluted carving, wje'. zenge, herring-bone, zigzag, or hatched work. (FH 182.) Capitals.— Indented with fissures of differer lengths and forms, and in different directions. TI divisions thus formed are variously sloped off, hollowed out towards the top. (See the two exan ples, fig. 183., from the conventual church at Ely, Occasionally the capitals have rude imitations some member of a Grecian order, as in the crypt : Lastringham in Yorkshire, where volutes are uses (Fig. 184.) In their ornaments much variety is di: played, but the opposite ones are mostly alikt Windows. — Semicircular-headed, extremely narro in proportion to their height, being sometimes ac more than six or eight inches wide to a heigt of more than three feet, and splayed or bevelle off on the inside through the whole thickness

the wall. Walls.— Of very great thickness, an without any buttresses externally. Masonry of solid construction. Ceilings and Roof - Almost always open timbering. In crypts, as at York, Winchester, and a few othe




Fig. 182.


[graphic][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Fig. 181.

places, vaulting is to be found. Ornaments, except in capitals, in arches and of shafts of columus are very sparingly employed. (See Norman Ornaments also, it the following section on Norman Architecture, par. 397.) Plans, — Rectangula and parallelogrammic; being usually divided into a body and chancel, separated by ornainented arch The chancel sometimes of egnal, and sometimes of less breadth ihal

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

We adopt,

is a nave and two side aisles, the latter being divided from the former by ra sks

range of Windows

the nave, and terminatel towards the east in a semicircle. In larger chus lumas; but no transepts appear till towards the latter part of the period. ther," observes Mr. Millers, in his account of Ely Cathedral, whose system * their cliurches were ever higher than one tier of arches and zbore (as at Ely), may be questioned. Richard, prior of Hexham, speaks of three stories, sbieh implies another tier of arches; but if he is rightly so understood, this seemns an exseption from a general rule, for the church at Hexham is spoken of by all writers who mention it, as the glory of Saxon churches in the seventh century. Afterwards, about 970, a considerable change took place ; transepts came into general use, with a square tower at the intersection, rising but little above the roof, and chiefly used as a lantern to give light to that part of the church. Towers were also erected at the west end: the use of thein eoineides with the introduction of bells, at least of large and heavy ones." The churches of this period were of small dimensions, and the comparative sizes of the Saxon and the Norman churches which followed is almost a criterion of their age.

391. King (Munimenta Antiqua, vol. iv. p. 240.) gives three æras of the Saxon style, From Egbert, 598, to the Norman conquest. It has been questioned by antiquaries wbether

any Saxon remains actually exist in this country; but, admitting their arguments, which are founded on references to records—10 mean authorities,-it must be recollecte i that, on their own showing, some of these trench so close upon the period of the Conquest as to show that the Saxon style might bave prevailed in them, for the general change of style in any art is not effected in a day. If we look for examples coeval with the Saxons themselves, and without controversy to be attributed to them, they will, perhaps, be found only in crypts and baptismal fonts; for many churches were rebuilt by the Normans, who left these parts untouched. The principal characteristics of the style now called Anglo-Saxon, are a debased copy of Roman details, comprising long and short masonry, the absence of buttresses, semicircular and triangular arches, rude balustres in the window openings, hammer dressed work and unchiselled sculptures. Also the occasional use of a rude round staircase to the west of the tower. A list of portions of about one hundred and forty buildings is given by Godwin, in English Archæologist's Handbook, 1867. The castles of Roman or Saxon foundation were, Richborough, in Kent ; Castletown, in Derbyshire ; Porchester, in Hampshire; Pevensey, in Sussex ; Castor, in Norfolk; Burgh, in Suffolk; Chesterford, in Essex; Corfe, Dorset ; Exeter Castle gateway; Dover, in Kent ; and Beeston, in Cheshire.' (See also Proportion in Architecture, Book III.)

Sect. II.


392. From the landing of William in 1066, architecture received an impulse, indicated in various styles, which lasted till the time of the Tudors; when, as we shall hereafter see, it

gave way to one altogether different. That called the Norman style, which continued from 1066 to nearly 1200, comprised the reigns of William I., Williain II., Henry I., Stephen, Henry II., and Richard I. The twelfth century exhibited a rage for building in Britain more violent than has been since seen. The vast and general improvements that were introduced into fabrics and churches in the first years of this century are thus described by a contemporary writer (Orderic. Vital. Hist. Eccles., lib. x. p. 788.): -“ 'The cathedrals, and abundance of churches, newly built in all parts of the country, the great number of splendid cloisters and monasteries, and other residences for monks, that were there raised, sufficiently prove the happiness of England under the reign of Henry I. Peace and prosperity were enjoyed by the religious of all orders, who lent their whole power to increase the magnificence and splendour of divine worship. The ardent zeal of the faithful prompted them to rebuild their houses, and especially their churches, in a more suitable

Thus the ancient edifices raised in the days of Edgar, Edward, and other Chris

were taken down, and others of greater magnitude, beauty, and more elegant workmanship, were reared in their stead to the glory of God.” As an example of the fervour with which these objects were carried into effect, we cite the following instance, quoting from Dr. Henry, upon whom we have drawn, and shall draw, rather largely. “When Jotlred, ahbot of Croyland, resolved to rebuild the church of his monastery in a most magnificent manner (A.D. 1106), he obtained from the archbishops of Canterbury and York a bull disprensing with the third part of all penances for sin to those who contributed any thing towards the building of that church. This bull was directed not only to the king and people of England, but to the kings of France and Scotland, and to all other kings, earls, barons , archbisnops , bishops, abbots , priors, rectors

, presbyters, and clerks, and to all true believers in Christ, rich and poor, in all Christian kingdóms. To make the best use of


tian kings,

this bull, he sent two of his most eloquent monks to proclaim it over all France and Fla ders ; two other monks into Scotland; two into Denmark and Norway; two into Wali Cornwall, and Ireland ; and others into different parts of England. By this means (sa the historian) the wonderful benefits granted to the contributors to the building of th church were published to the very ends of the earth; and great heaps of treasure, ar masses of yellow metal, flowed in from all countries upon the venerable abbot Joffred, ar encouraged him to lay the foundations of his church. Having spent about four years collecting mountains of different kinds of marble from quarries, both at home and abroa together with great quantities of lime, iron, brass, and other materials for building, he fixe a day for the great ceremony of laying the foundation, which he contrived to make a ver effectual mean of raising the superstructure ; for on the long-expected day, the feast the holy virgins Felicitas and Perpetua, an immense multitude of earls, barons, an knights, with their ladies and families, of abbots, priors, monks, nuns, clerks, and person of all ranks, arrived at Croyland to assist at this ceremony. The pious abbot Joffred bega by saying certain prayers, and shedding a flood of tears on the foundation. Then each of th earls, barons, knights, with their ladies, sons, and daughters, the abbots, clerks, and other: laid a stone, and upon it deposited a sum of money, a grant of lands, tithes, or patronages or a promise of stone, lime, wood, labour, or carriages for building the church. After thi the abbot entertained the whole company, amounting to five thousand persons, to dinner To this entertainment they were well entitled; for the money and grants of different kind which they had deposited on the foundation stones were alone sufficient to have raised : very noble fabric." This spirit extended throughout the island; for, in Scotland, David I raised thirteen abbeys and priories, some of them on a scale of considerable magnificence besides several cathedrals and other churches.

393. The common people of the country, and the burgesses in the towns, were not much better lodged than in the previous age; their condition, indeed, was not improved. In London, towards the end of the twelfth century, the houses were still built of timber, and covered with reeds or straw. The palaces, however, or rather castles, of the AngloNorman kings, nobility, and prelates, were on a very superior construction. William of Malmesbury says that the Anglo-Saxon nobility squandered their ample means in low and mean dwellings; but that the French and Norman barons lived at less expense, though dwelling in large and magnificent palaces. The fact is, that among these latter the rage for erecting fortified castles was quite as great as that of erecting ecclesiastical buildings among the prelates. The system became necessary, and was induced as well by the previous habits of the country they had left, as by their situation in the island. Surrounded by vassals whom they held in subjection, and whom they depressed and plundered in every way, they were so detested by them that deep fosses and lofty walls were necessary for their security. The Conqueror himself, aware that the want of fortified places had no less assisted his conquest than it might his expulsion, resolved to guard against such a contingency by the strong castles which he placed within the royal demesnes. Matthew Paris observes that William excelled all his predecessors in the erection of castles, in executing which he harassed his subjects and vassals. So much was the practice a matter of course, that the moment one of the nobility had the grant of an estate from the crown, a castle was built upon it for his defence and residence; and this spirit was not likely to be diminished by the disputes relative to the succession in the following reigns. William Rufus, according to the statement of Henry Knighton, was as much addicted to the erection of royal castles and palaces as his father, as the castles of Dover, Windsor, Norwich, and others sufficiently prove ; and it is certain that no monarch before him erected so many and noble edifices. Henry I. followed in his taste; but in the reign of Stephen, 1135 to 1154, says the author of the Saron Chronicle, every one who had the ability built a castle, and the whole kingdom was covered with them, no fewer than 1115 having been raised from their foundations in the short space of nineteen years; so that the expression is by no means stronger than is justified by the fact.

394. It will be proper here to give the reader some concise general description of these structures, which served for residence and defence. The situation chosen for a castle was tisually on an eminence near a river. Its figure on the plan was often of great extent, and irregular in form; and it was surrounded by a deep and broad ditch, called the fosse which could be filled with water. An outwork, called a barbican, which was a strong and lofty wall, with turrets upon it, and designed for the defence of the great gate and draw. bridge, was placed before the latter. Within the ditch, towards the main building, was placed its wall, about 8 or 10 it. thick, and from 20 to 30 ft. high, with a parapet and embrasures, called crennels, on the top. At proper intervals above the wall square towers were raised, two or three stories in height, wherein were lodged some of the principal officers of the proprietor of the castle, besides their service for other purposes ; and, inside, were apartments for the common servants or retainers, granaries, storehouses, and other necessary offices. On the top of the wall, and on the flat roofs of the towers, the defenders were placed in the event of a siege; and thence they discharged arrows, darts,

on the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and stones on their assailants. The great gate was placed in some part of the wall Aanked with a tower on each side, with rooms over the entrance, which was closed with massive oak folding doors, frequently plated with iron, and an iron grate, or portcullis, which, by machinery, was lowered from above. Within this exterior wall, or ballium, was, in the more extensive castles, the outer ballium, which was a large open space or court, wherein a church or el apel was usually placed. Within the outer ballium was another ditch, with wall, gate, and towers, inclosing the inner balliuin or court, in which was erected the large tower, or keep. It was a large fabric, some four or five stories high, whose enormously thick walls Fere pierced with very small apertures, serving barely as windows to the gloomy apartments upon which they opened. This great tower was the dwelling of the owner of the castle ; and in it was also lodged the constable, or governor. It was provided with anderground dismal apartments for the confinement of prisoners, whence the whole building received the appellation of dungeon. In the keep was also the great hall, in which the friends and retainers of the owner were entertained. At one end of the great halls of castles, palaces, and monasteries, a low platform was raised a little above the rest of the floor, called the dais, on which stood the principal table whereat persons of higher rank vere placed. The varieties which occurred in the arrangement and distribution of castles vere, of course, many, as circumstances varied; but the most magnificent were erected nearly on the plan we have just described, as may be gathered as well

from their ruins as from an account by Matthew Paris of the taking of Bedford Castle by Henry III., A.D. 1224. This castle, we learn from him, was taken by four assaults. In the first was taken the bar. bican ; in the second, the outer ballium ; in the third attack, the miners threw down the wall by the old tower, where, through a chink, at great risk, they possessed themselves of the inner ballium ; on the fourth assault, the miners fired the tower, which thereby became so injured and split that the enemy thereon surrendered. The keeps of which we have spoken are such extraordinary edifices, that we think it right to place before the reader, the following table of some of the principal ones of the Norman æra, as given in Dalla. way's Discourses upon Architecture,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]






Robert D'Oiley.

1070. Vault supported by a 1100.

single octangular pil.

By internal arches and 1080. Robert, son of
door cases in Nor. William I.
man style.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

395. Gundulph is said to have introduced the architectural ornaments of the Norman ityle into the interior as well as on the exterior of castles. The use of battlements, loop.


bolea, and open galleries, or machicolations, was certainly, as our author above quoted remarks, known to the Romans.

Troes contra, defendere saxis

Perque cavas densi tela intorquere fenestras. Æn. I. ix. 533. 'The architects and artificers by whom the Norman works were planned and executed were men of great science and skill, and the names of several have most deservedly obtained a place in history. Gervase of Canterbury records that William of Sens, the architect of Archbishop Lanfranc in building his cathedral, was an artist of great talents; and that he not only made a complete model of the cathedral upon which he was employed, but of all the details of sculpture necessary for its execution, besides inventing machines for loading and unloading the vessels, and conveying the heavy materials, many whereof were brought from Normandy. Of Walter of Coventry, another architect of the age, Matthew Paris speaks in the highest terms, saying that “so excellent an architect had never yet appeared, and probably never would appear in the world." Dr. Henry on this very properly observes, “ 'That this encomium was undoubtedly too high ; but it is impossible to view the remains of many magnificent fabrics, both sacred and civil, that were erected in this period, without admiring the genius of the architects by whom they were planned, and the dexterity of the workmen by whom they were executed.” (See par. 321 et seq.)

396. Of the twenty-two English cathedrals, fifteen retain parts of Norman erection, whose dates are pretty well ascertained ; and by them the Norman manner was progressively brought to perfection in England. We subjoin the following enumeration of Norman bishops, who were either patrons of the art, or are supposed to have practised it themselves. A. D.

Bishop. 1059 to 1089 Aldred, Bishop of Worcester. St. Peter's, Gloucester. 1077 to 1107 Gundulph, of Rochester.

Rochester, Canterbury, and Peterborough. 1086 to 1108 Maurice, of London.

Old St. Paul's Cathedral. 1093 to 1133 William de Carilepho.

Cathedral of Durham, but completed by Ra.

nulph Flambard. 1080 to 1100 Lanfranc, of Canterbury. 1107 to 1140 Roger, of Salisbury.

Cathedral at Old Sarum. 1115 to 1125 Ernull, of Rochester.

Completed Gundulf's works at Rochester. 1123 to 1147 Alexander, of Lincoln.

Rebuilt his cathedral. 1129 to 1169 Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester. Conventual churches of St. Croes and Rum

sey, in Hampshire. 1158 to 1181 Boger, Archbishop of York. Of Norman architecture the principal characteristics are subjoined in the following subsection. (See also Book III., chap. iii.) 397. Arches.—Generally semicircular, as in the nave of Gloucester, here given (fig. 185.).

Of larger opening than the
ДЕДЕН ДДДДІ. Saxon, and their ornaments

less minute ; often bound-
ed by a single moulding,
though sometimes by more
than one; occasionally with-
out any moulding at all;
the soffitt always plain.
In the second story, two
smaller equal arches under
one larger, with a column
of moderate size, or even
comparatively slender, be-
tween them. In the third
story (see fig. 186.), gene-
rally three together, the
centre one higher and
broader than the others, and
opened for a window ; but

the whole three only ocFig. 183.

cupy a space equal to that of the lower arch. Arches of entrance are profusely decorated (fiy. 187., from Ely) with mouldings, foliage, wreaths, masks, figures of men and animals in relief, and all the fancies of the wildest imagination, in which every thing that is extravagant, grotesque, ludicrous, nay, even grossly indecent, is to be found. Before the end of the period — and we may almost say early in it — it exhibits examples of pointed arches. They are, how

Fig. 186. ever, sparingly introduced : one or more tiers appear in the up

y stories of a building, whilst all the lower ones are circular. Sometimes they are intro




« PreviousContinue »