Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

3. The triangular frette ; 4. The nail head; 5. The billet ; 6. The cable ; 7. The hatched 8. The lozenge ; 9. The wavy; 10. The pellet moulding ; 11. The nebule. The torus wa used, as was also the cavetto, which were both of Grecian extraction. The chief of thes ornaments, perhaps all, were used in the Saxon age, besides others which were og casionally employed, and which to designate by name would be difficult ; such, for in stance, as the corbel-table (12), which consists of small ranges of arches, resting on console sometimes decorated with carved heads, often introduced along the whole building in mediately below the eaves or battlement. Sometimes carved heads are observed in th spandrels of arches, and are also used as capitals of the ornamental pilasters, or as cor bels, to support what is called the can.ypy, or exterior semicircle of moulding on arche of entrance, or above the keystones of those arches. There are instances of whole figure over doors in mezzo-rilievo, which Millers observes was the nearest approach the Norman seem to have made to a statue. Plans. - The churches of this period are always with transepts, and a tower at the intersection, loftier than heretofore, but without spires ove them. There are rising from them stories of arches, one above the other; and the easteri ends are semicircular. Though much of the Saxon style is retained, there is, from th larger dimensions of the edifices of this period, a much more impressive air of mag nificence than had before appeared. Millers very truly says, that the churches wer " in all dimensions much ampler, with a general air of cumbrous massive grandeur The Normans were fond of stateliness and magnificence; and though they retained th other characteristics of the Saxon style, by this amplification of dimensions they made sucl a striking change as might justly be entitled to the denomination which it received a its first introduction among our Saxon ancestors, of a new style of architecture." Thi criterion between the Saxon and Norman styles, of enlarged dimensions, is too vagui to guide the reader in a determination of the age of buildings of this period; for it is only in large edifices, such as cathedral and conventual churches, with their transepts, naves, sidi aisles, and arches in tier above tier, that this can be perceptible. There are many paris! churches of this age, whose simplicity of form and small dimensions have been mistaker for Saxon buildings ; and which, from not possessing any of the grander Norman features have been assigned to an earlier age. The distinction ascertainable from heights of co Jumns, — namely, taking the height of the Norman column at from four to six diameter: and that of the Saxon at only two, - will, we fear, be insufficient to decide the question i cases of doubt; but it must be admitted this is one of the means which, in some measuri would lead us to an approximate judgment of the matter, and a careful observation an comparison of specimens would make it more definite. We shall here merely add, that th first Norman architects, by the lengthened vista of the nave, uninterrupted by any choi screen, produced a sublime and imposing effect by the simple grandeur and amplitude a dimensions in their churches.

398. Examples.--Examples of Norman architecture in English cathedral churches are to b found at Ely, in the western towers and nave; at Bristol, in the elder Lady Chapel, and Chap ter House; at Canterbury in the choir, and the round part called Becket's Crown; at Norwich

in the nave and choir ; at Hereford, in the transept tower and choir ; at Wells, in the nave and choir ; at Chester, in the Chapter House ; at Chichester, in the presbytery; at Peter. brough, in the transept. In the conventuul churches, for examples we may refer the reader to Llantony, near Monmouth ; the nave and west front of Fountains, Yorkshire ; the nave and chapel of St. Joseph, at Glastonbury; the west front at Selby, in Yorkshire ; many parts at St. Alban's; the choir at Wenlock, in Shropshire; Cartmell, in Lancashire; Furness; West End, at Byland, with the wheel window, and the south transept ; parts of Bolton, in Yorkshire ; part of Brinkbourn, in Northumberland ; part of Edmondsbury, in Suffolk; and St Juha's Church, at Chester. For examples of parochial churches, Melton, Suffolk ; Sotterton and Sleaford, Lincolnshire; Christchurch, Hampshire ; Sherbourn Minster, Dorset; Win. chelsea, Steyning, and New Shoreham, Sussex ; chancel of St. Peter's, Oxford ; Earl's Barton Tower, Northamptonshire ; West Walton Tower, Norfolk ; Ifley, Oxfordshire; Castle Rising Norfolk ; St. Margaret's Porch, at York; St. Peter's Church, Northampton ; besides several round or polygonal bell-towers, both in Suffolk and Norfolk, — may be referred to. Ex. amples of military Norman architecture, from 1070 to 1270, were at Launceston, Cornwall, Arande, Sussex; Windsor, in Berks (rebuilt); Tower of London ; the square keeps of Hlingham, Essex ; Caerphilly, Glamorgan ; Carisbrook, Isle of Wight; Porchester, Hants (1160); Guildford, Surrey; Bamborough, Northumberland ; Kenilworth, Warwickshire ; Richmond, Yorkshire; Cardiff, Glamorganshire; Canterbury, Kent ; Oxford (1071); Newcastle, Northumberland (1120); Gisborough, Yorkshire (1120); Castle Rising, Norfolk; Middleham, Yorkshire; Cockermouth, Cumberland ; Durham (1153); Lincoln (1086); Berkeley, Gloucestershire (1153); Lancaster; Orford, Suffolk, polygonal (1120); Ludlow, Salop (1120); Kenr'worth, enlarged (1220); Warkworth, Northumberland, square, with the angles cut off; Denbigh ; Beeston, Cheshire; Hawurden, Pembrokeshire.



399. The next period of architecture in Britain which comes under our consideration following, as we consider it, the sensible classification of the Rev. Mr. Millers, is that which he has denominated the early English style, whose duration was from about 1200 to 1300; extending, therefore, through the reigns of John, Henry III., and Edward I., during which the building of churches and monasteries was still considered one of the most effectual means of obtaining the pardon of sin, and consequently the favour of Heaven. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the churches built in Britain were almost innumerable.

400. We have already noticed (chap. ii. sect. xv.) the introduction of the pointed arch into architecture ; a feature which completely changed, from all that previously existed, the character of the edifices to which it was applied. If any service could be rendered to the history of the art, or if the solution of the problem, “who were its inventors ?” could throw any useful light on the manners and customs of the people that first adopted it, we should be the last to relinquish the investigation. The question has furnished employment to many literary idlers, but the labour they have bestowed on the subject has not thrown any lighs on it; and excepting the late Mr. Whitington and the late Prof, Willis, of Cambridge, on whose valuable enquiries we cannot sufficiently enlarge, they might have been more usefully engaged. This statement must necessarily be modified in consequence of the publica. tions of the learned labours of Mr. Fergusson, of which we have so largely availed our. selves in the above-named section; besides those of Thomas Rickman, of Mr. Sharpe, and of other ardent enquirers on this and kindred subjects.

401. During the reign of Henry III. alone, no less a number than 157 abbeys, priories and other religious houses were founded in England. Several of our cathedrals and conFentual churches in a great part belong to this period, in which the lancet or sharp-pointed arch first appeared in the buildings of this country, though on the Continent it was used nearly a century earlier. The great wealth of the clergy, added to the zeal of the laity, furnished ample funds for the erection of the magnificent structures projected; but it was with extreme difficulty that workmen could be procured to execute them. With the popes it was, of course, an object that churches should be erected and convents endowed. On the subject of the employment of Freemasons we have already expressed our views (par. 308, et req.), therefore we cannot coincide with Wren, Parentalia, in stating that they ranged from one nation to another, their government was regular, and they made a camp of huts; a surveyor governed in chief; every tenth man was called a warden, and over. looked each nine. “ 'Those who have seen the account in records of the charge of the fabrics of some of our cathedrals, near 400 years old, cannot but have a great esteem for their economy, and admire how soon they erected such lofty structures." It was in the


course of this period that sculpture was first made extensively available for architeeti decoration. The cathedral, conventual, and other churches built in Britain, began to ornamented on the outside with statues of various dimensions in basso and alto rilis They were not equal in execution to those of France, which have also had the additio good fortune to have been better preserved, from their exposure to seasons less inclemi and to an atmosphere unimpregnated with the smoke of coal.

402. Great improvements seem to have taken place in the castles of the time; they : continued to serve for the dwelling and defence of the prelates and barons of the coun The plans of them were generally similar to those already described ; but it must still conceded that the inhabitants and owners of them sacrificed their convenience to tt security, which seems to have been the chief concern in the construction of their cast whose apartments were gloomy, whose bed-chambers were few and small, whose passa were narrow and intricate, and their stairs steep and dark. The plan, however,

Mr. Dallaway observes. “ wh
allowed of enlarged dimensic
and greater regularity and bea
in the architecture of the tow
owes its introduction into E
land to King Edward I.
may, indeed consider his reign
the epoch of the grand style
accommodation and magnificei
combined in castle architectu
When engaged in the Crusades,
surveyed with satisfaction the sun
rior form and strength of the cast

in the Levant and in the H. Fig. 189

Land.” Of the five castles erect by him in Wales, Caernarvon (fig. 189.), Conway (fig. 190., showing the suspension bridz and the railway bridge beyond it), Harlech, and Beaumaris still retain traces of their a cient magnificence; but that of Aberystwith has scarcely a feature left. Caernarvon Cası

consisted of two distinct part one military, and suited to ti reception of a garrison; the oth palatial. The ground plan w vislong. unequally divided into lower and an upper ward. Or t1 towers, which are all polygona the largest, from some traditi called the Eagle Tower, h: threesmall angular turrets risin from it; the others having bz one of the same description “ The enclosing walls,” cont nues Mr. Dallaway, “are seve

feet thick, with alures and para Fig. 190.

pets pierced frequently wit willet holes. A great singularity is observable in the extreme height both of the gres entrance gate and that which is called the Queen's. Leland observes of the portcullises a Pembroke, that they were composed er solido ferro. In confirmation of the opinion that th royal founder adopted the form of such gates of entrance from the East, similar ones ar alınost universal in the castles, mosques, and palaces of the Saracens, which he had so fre quently seen during the Crusades. The tower of entrance from the town of Caernarvon i still perfect, and is the most handsome structure of that age in the kingdom. It is a least 100 ft. high; and the gateway, of very remarkable depth, is formed by a successio of ribbed arches, sharply pointed. The grooves for three portcullises may be discovered and above them are circular perforations, through which missile weapons and molte lead might be discharged upon the assailants. In the lower or palatial division of the castle stand a large polygonal tower of four stories, which was appropriated to Quee Eleanor, and in which her ill-fated son was born, and another which was occupied by the king, of a circular shape externally, but square towards the court. The apartments i the last mentioned are larger, and lighted by windows with square heads, and intersecter with carved mullions. There is a singular contrivance in the battlements, each of whic! had an excavation for the archers to stand in, pointing their arrows through the slits and, a curious stratagem, the carved figures of soldiers with helmets, apparently looking over the parapet. This device is repeated at Chepstow.” The ornamental character o the architecture at ('aernarvon and Conway is rather ecclesiastical, or conventual, thu military. At Conway, as has been well observed by an anonymous author, " what is


called the Queen's Oriel is remarkable for the fancy, luxuriance, and elegance of the workmanship. Nor is the contrivance of the little terraced garden below, considering the

history of the times, a matter of small curiosity, where, though all the surrounding country were hostile, fresh air might be safely enjoyed ; and the commanding view of the singularly beautiful landscape around, from both that little herbary or garden, and the bay window or oriel, is so managed as to leave no doubt of its purpose.”

403. The model of Conway Castle has little resemblance to that we have just left.

It resembles rather the fortresses of the last Greek emperors, or of the chieftains of the north of

Italy. The towers are mostly cir. Fig. 191.

cular, as are their turrets, with a single slender one rising from each; and machicolations, not seen at Caernarvon, are in. huduced. The greater part of the castles of Wales and Scotland for the defence of the

marches were built in the reign of Ed. ward I. On the subjugation of the former country, and its partition into lordships among Edward's followers, many castles

were reared upon Fig. 192. TRESOIL AND CINQUEFOIL KEADS. the general plan of those he had erected, though varying in dimensions and situation, according to the means of defence proposed to be secured to their founders and possessors. We may here observe, that in the castle at Conway Edward I. erected a hall 129 ft. by 31, and 22 ft. high, which is formed to suit the curvature of the rock; and that from that period no residence of consequence, either for the nobility or feudal lords,

was erected with-
out one, varying,
however, of course,
in their minuter
parts, according to
circumstances, and
in degree of mag-

404. Caer-Phil.
ly Castle, in Gla-

morganshire (fiy. Piz. 191.

Fig. 193.

191.), was another of the castles of this period. It was the strong-hold of the De Spencers in the reign of the second Edward. Its vallations and remains are very extensive. The hall was much larger than that at Conway. 405. The characteristics of this style are, that the arches are sharply (lancet) pointed, and

lofty in proportion to their span. In the upper tiers two or more are comprehended under one, finished in trefoil or cinquefoil heads ( fig. 192.) instead of points, the separating columns being very slender. Columns on which the arches rest (fig. 193.) are very slender in proportion to their height, and usually consist of a central shaft surrounded by several smaller ones (fig. 194.). The base takes the general form of the cluster, and the capital (fig. 195.) is frequently decorated with foliage very elegantly composed. The windows are long, narrow, and lancet shaped, whence some writers have called this style the Lancet Gothic. They are divided by one plain mullion,






Pag. 195.


« PreviousContinue »