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Parts of the church of St. Mary Redcliffe, 1
......... S Choir of the church of St. Mary, War-) wick....
.................... S St. Stephen's chapel, Westminster, now)
the House of Commons, and de.
REIGN OF RICHARD THE SECOND, FROM 1377 To 1399.
Few deviations of importance from the previous mode are noticed as occurring in this reign, except that the pointed arch, in many instances, vow began to droop in height, or depart from those regular triangular proportions which constituted its purest and most beautiful form.
Wykeliam's work, comprising great party
Hampshire, P. 53–56. of the nave, Winchester Cathedral... S College at Winchester, founded by ?
Ibid, P. 81-85.
? Kent, P. 834, 872+3. cloisters, Canterbury Cathedral.......) Some remains at New College, Oxford.... Oxfordshire, P. 178–188. An elegant specimen of the architecture
of this reign is afforded by the tower and spire of St. Michael's church, Warwickshire, P. 127, with Coventry; begun 1373, completed!
1a print. 1395 ...... .............................
Reign Of HENRY THE FOURTH, From 1399 TO 1413; AND
REIGN OF HENRY THE FIFTH, FROM 1413 to 1422.
No variations in eccelesiastical architecture, requiring notice
in a work treating on general characteristics, are distinguishable in these martial reigns. An enumeration of examples is, therefore, unnecessary.
REIGN OF HENRY THE SIXTH, FROM 1422 to 1461.
In this reign the decorated style of English architecture proceeded to the verge of that redundance in embellishment, which constitutes a new era in the progress of the art. The line of boundary, however, is not passed. The ornaments are disposed with a judicious as well as munificent hand; and extreme lightness is united with that solidity necessary to an effect at once august and fascinating. The wonderful skill in construction displayed at this era, and the delicacy with which the ornamental particulars were executed, rendered superfluous the aids of paint and gold-leaf. But, while these adjuncts of magnificence were in a great measure abandoned by the architect and mason, painted glass was retained, and was found a powerful assistant in the production of that splendour of effect for which all possible means were exercised, consistent with a refinement in art and purity of. taste. Many saperb buildings remain,* to evince the height of decorative excellence attained by the pointed style iminediately previous to the rise of that fondness for exuberant ornament, which led to a neglect of symmetry, and deprived our sacred ar.. chitecture of a great portion of the impressive air of solemnity invariably cultivated in more early ages.
• Mr. Dallaway mentions it, “as a singular fact, that, during the come motions between the houses of York and Lancaster, and their adherents, so prejudicial to the progress of the arts of civilization, architecture in Enga land flourished in a greater degree. The superior ecclesiastics were confined to their cloisters, as few of them had taken an active part in the dispute; and some of the fairest structures which remain, arose in consequence of wealth accumulated by instigating the noble and afluent to contribute to the general emulation of splendid churches, built under their own inspection.” Obser. vations on English Architecture, p. 37-38.
Reign of HENRY THE SIXTA CONTINUED.
Noticed in the Beauties. The chapel of King's College, Cam- , Cambridgeshire, P. 48–60. bridge ........
................ S with a print. Beaufort's Chantry, Winchester Cathe->
Hampshire, P. 72. dral......... The chapel of the Virgin, Canterbury
Cathedral .............. The Divinity School, Orford ...............Oxfordshire, P. 231-232. The Beauchamp chapel, at Warwick...... Warwickshire, P.201-205.
CHARACTERISTICS AND EXAMPLES OF THE FLORID, OR HIGHLY-DECORATED ENGLISH STYLE, PREVAILING IN THE REIGNS OF EDWARD THE FOURTH, AND FIFTH ; RICHARD THE THIRD; AND HENRY THE SEVENTH.
The English style of architecture, which had arisen in dignified simplicity, and, in its mature ages, was marked by a degree of sublimity at once awful and attractive, assumed a fresh character of beauty before that period at which (" doom'd to hide its banish'd head")* it yielded to the encroachments of false refinement, and left no efficient substitute, for sacred purposes.
• The Florid English style of architecture is calculated to elicit effusions of poetry. The following lines have been frequently cited, but their merit prevents repetition from becoming tedious:" Doom'd to hide her banishid head
For ever, Gothick architecture filed
Fosbrooke's Economy nf Monastick
Life, p. 78.
Emulous of novelty, and convinced, as we may infer, that grandeur, on principles strictly chaste, had been carried to the greatest attainable elevation by the mode perfected in the time of Edward the Third, and which we have denominated the Decorated English, the architects of this era produced a variation in the pointed style, striking, original, and magnificent.
Those who have critically examined the progress of our ancient architecture, maintain that its advancement towards perfection, and its tendency to decline and disrepute, are denoted by the degree of elevation possessed by its great distinctive feature, the pointed arch. Such a position would, indeed, appear to be incontrovertible, however seductive may prove the minute embellishments, and dazzling the general splendour, of its last stage, the Florid style. It has been observed that, notwithstanding “ the architects of these ages displayed more art and more professional science than their predecessors, they did this at the expence of the characteristical excellence of the style itself which they built in. They consulted more their own reputation than the proper effect of their works. The spectator, in viewing these was amazed at the sight of huge masses of stone, called pendent capitals, hanging in the air, which, instead of supporting the vast groins in which they are fixed, are supported by them. But this taste betrayed a disregard for the aspiring arch, the curvature of which was henceforward discernible at its springing, rather than at its point. Ingenuity more than sublimity was now affected, and curiosity more than devotion gratified."*
But, whilst we deplore the want of an august temperance of display in structures of this class, the fancy is enchanted by the variety of combinations; the judgment is overpowered by the superb profusion of enrichments! Magnificence, ingenuity, and delicacy, the alleged characteristics of this order of buildings, are, indeed, presented in so captivating a form that the mind is filled 2 L
• Ecclesiastical Architecture of England during the Middle ages, p. 113 -114.
by the gorgeous scene; and we recollect without displeasure the hyperbolical remark so often repeated, that the work would seen to have been knit together by the fingers of ungels.*
The Florid, or Highly-Decorated, English style is chiefly marked by the depressed, obtuse, form of its arches; its large wide windows, divided by numerous inullions, and ornamented with an intricate redundance of tracery; the inexpressible richness of its vaulting, over which the most delicate fret-work is thrown,“ like a web of embroidery," interspersed with ponderous and highly-wrought pendent capitals ; and by the profusion of tracery-work, sculpture, armorial devices, and other ornamental particulars which embellish every part of the structure.
'The lineaments of this style are so peculiar and strongly. marked, that it is scarcely necessary to enter on an individual notice of the principal architectural members. This, however, is done, in attention to the custom adopted in the two preceding sections.-lutended to act as a manual of remembrance, repeti. tions may be pardoued in such a delineatiou of characteristics.
The ARCHES, as has been mentioned, are wide, and flat, or obtuse.
The Roop has been briefly noticed as displaying a scene of unparalled splendour and delicacy. The ribs of the vaulting, which had before been large, and apparently intended to add to the strength and support of the groins, were now divided into zumerous parts, and enriched with a profusion of armorial cog. nizances, badges, rebuses, and various sculptured devices. Clusters of pendent ornaments, resembliug stalactites, or, to use the words of Mr. Bentham, “ the works nature sometimes forms in caves and grottos,” hang dowu from these elaborate roofs, and impart to them an air of imposing beauty. Windows.- The point of the arch flat; the window extremely
Ward's London Spy --The whole passage in this enthusiastic author 4.nds thus : “ Henry the Seventh's chapel is the wonder of the universe, :0 far exceeding human ability that it appears knil together by the fingers of ungils, under the direction of omnipotence.”