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and two left for its centre walk, the complete distribution of the nave is also given.”
Whilst noticing the relative proportions of buildings in this style of architecture, it may be desirable to cite the following remarks of Browne Willis, although unconnected with any presumed similitude of arrangement between the works of Greciau and ancient English architects:
“ In most of the stately abbies, the height was equal to the breadth of the body and side-aisles;
“ The steeple and towers were frequently built equal in height to the length of the whole fabric, or rather the crossaisle from north to south, as is the case in Bristol, Chester, and St. David's;
“ The cross-aisles often extended half the length of the whole fabric, as did the nave or western part, viz, from the great door al the west-end to the lower great pillars that supported the steeple;
“ And the side-aisles were just half the breadth and height of the uave, insomuch that both added together exactly answered it."*
Several modern writers have attempted to simplify the study of Pointed, or English, architecture, by dividing its specimens into distINCT CLASSES. But it is to be regretted that the terms respectively adopted by these authors, partake of that want of uniformity which is so perplexing to the enquirer, in regard to the great distinguishing appellation of this style.
Among the earliest attempts to divide the pointed style into determinate classes, must be mentioned that of Mr. Warton, in his well-known Observations on the Fairy Queen of Spenser. This writer describes those first rude attempts in pointed archi. 2 1 3
.. B. Willis's History of Mitred Abbies, &c. Vol. II. Pref. p. 8.-I am pot aware that the merit of the remarks thus extracted, has been ascertained by actual ro-measurement.
tecture, which immediately succeeded to the Anglo-Norman mode, as a "sort of Gothic-Saxon.” The character of buildings to which he alludes will be noticed in a subsequent page; but he certainly errs (as has been remarked by several commentators) in placing the cathedral of Salisbury in such a class.
The pointed style, when formed by successive efforts into an acceptable order, he divides into three classes, which he thus denominates:
The Absolute Gothic ; " which began with ramified windows of an enlarged dimension, divided into several lights, and branched out at the top into a multiplicity of whimsical shapes and compartments, after the year 1300.” Of this fashion he considers the body of Winchester cathedral to afford a just idea.
The Ornamental Gothic; of which be names, for examples, the choir of St. Mary's church at Warwick; the roof of the divinity school at Oxford; and the chapel of King's College, Cambridge.
The Florid Gothic; of which the chapel of St. George at Windsor, and the chapel of Henry the Seventh at Westminster, are conspicuous specimens.
Mr. Britton, in the judicious "Sketch of a Nomenclature of Ancient Architecture," contained in the first volume of his Ar. chitectural Antiquities, proposes to divide the pointed style into three classes, which he thus designates, and appropriates to respective dates and reigns:
English, from 1189 to 1272, embracing the reigns of Richard the First, John, aud Henry the Third.
Decorated English, from 1272 to 1461, including the reigns of Edward the First, Second, and Third ; Richard the Second; and Henry the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.
Highly decorated, or Florid English, from 1461, to 1509, including the reigns of Edward the Fourth and Fifth, Richard the Third, and Henry the Seventh.
“ From this era,” observes Mr. Britton, “ we lose sight of all flyle and congruity; and publick buildings erected during the reigns of Henry the Eighith, Elizabeth, and James the First, may be characterized by the terms of Debased English, or AngloItalian.”
Dr. Milner* also considers the vicissitudes of fashion in points ed architecture, to have led to the formation of three perceptible orders in this style, “as distinct from each other as are the orders of Grecian architecture, having their respective members, ornaments, and proportions; though the essential and characteristi. cal difference among them consists in the degree of angle formed by the pointed arch.”+
The First Order, that of the acute arch, he considers to have been perfected before the end of the twelfth century, and to have continued till near the conclusion of the thirteenth century. Example, interior of the east end of Canterbury cathedral.
The Second Order, Dr. Milner terms that of the perfect, or equilateral arch; but adds, in an explanatory note, that “it is not meant that all the arches of this second order are of the proportion in question; it is sufficient that they come near to it, and are all elegantly turned.” He states this order as prevailing from the disuse of the former, till after the middle of the fifteenth century. Example, interior of York minster.
The Third Order, or that of the obtuse arch, obtained from the date at which the preceding was rejected, down to the middle of the sixteenth century, when the style itself was exploded. Example, chapel of Henry the Seventh, Westminster.
2 I 4
* Treatise on the Ecclesiastical Architecture of England during the Middle ages.
+ Antiquaries are not decided as to the propriety of such a criterion in en deavours to ascertain the age of an erection. Mr. J. A. Repton, in a letter to Mr. Britton, printed in the fourth volume of Architectural Antiquities, asserts that he has “communicated a paper to the Society of Antiquaries, contaming observations on the progress of English architecture from the Conquest to the reign of Henry the Eighth, elucidated by drawings of capitals, arch-mouidings, cornices, &c. by which it will be shewn that the shape of the arch alone is not to be depended on, to puint out the dates of buildings." This paper is not yet given to the public.
Mr. Dallaway* divides the pointed style into four classes, which he thus names, and applies as to dates of prevalence:
Lancet Arch Gothic, from 1220 to 1300.
Mr. Millers, in some observations prefixed to his Description of the Cathedral church of Ely, presents a “Sketch of the Characteristics of English church Architecture,” containing the following scheme of divisiou in regard to this style:
Early ENGLISH; from 1200 to 1300, comprehending the reigns of John, Henry the Third, and Edward the First.
ORNAMENTED English; from 1300 to 1460, comprehending a small part of the reign of Edward the First, and those of Edward the Second, Edward the Third, Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth.
Florid English; from 1460 to 1537, the dissolution of religious houses; comprehending the reigns of Edward the Fourth, and Fifth, Richard the Third, Heury the Seventh and Eighth.
Notwithstanding a disagreement as to the application of terms and dates of prevalence, it will be observed that nearly the whole of the above writers coincide in believing that English architecture is amenable to three divisions in point of character; and it is presumed that an illustration of the justness of such an opinion will be afforded by the examples and remarks presented in succeeding pages.
Convinced that the terms applied by Mr. Britton are sufficiently appropriate and expressive, I have ou the present, as on other occasions, adopted lis Nomenclature (with one slight alteration, suggested by Mr. Millers) and shall proceed to a brief statement of the characteristical features of these three fashions,
• Observations on English Architecture.
or orders. To the description of each style will be appended an enumeration of specimens, placed under the reigns embraced by the era of its prevalence, together with occasional observations on peculiarities that bave been ascertained in such stages of its progress.
But it will be evident, on examination, that no architectural fashion has grown suddenly into general use. All, indeed, have gained on public notice and approbation by progressive steps; and a consequent intermixture of modes is often seen, in such buildings as were erected in those unpropitious years which intervened between the rejection of one style and the adoption of another. The necessity of bearing this fact in recollection, has been suggested to the reader in my remarks on the architecture of the Anglo-Normans. But the preservation of a cousistent chronological link, requires that it should be again presented to his consideration, and should be here applied to ages immediately preceding the entire establishment of this new mode.
It will be observed that the following list of examples commences with the reign in which the pointed style is usually believed to have first assumed the appearance of a separate and uniform order. But it has been shewn that the characteristical arch of this style was introduced at a date considerably anterior. The indeterminate mode which obtained in consequence of such a partial and immethodical use of the pointed form, is obviously that species of architecture which Mr. Warton, most inappropriately, denominates Gothic-Saxon. It will be recollected that the arches in such buildings are very irregular and rude; in some instances extremels acute, and in others ungracefully obtuse ; while the pillars, and many other architectural members, commonly retain the fashion of the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman eras.
We have seen that, according to the opinion of Dr. Milner, the pointed arch was first used in the ecclesiastical architecture of this country, towards the close of Henry the First's reign. Buildings in which this arch was exhibited were frequent in the seigns of Stephen and Henry the Second. Parts of the follow