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ARCHITECTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCULPTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14


PAINTING - Part 1, 2




see also:
Architecture in England


Main front of Lincoln Cathedral


Lincoln Cathedral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. Mary's Cathedral) is a historic Anglican cathedral in Lincoln in England and seat of the Bishop of Lincoln in the Church of England. It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 249 years (1300–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt. It is highly regarded by architectural scholars; the eminent Victorian writer John Ruskin declared, "I have always held... that the cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have."

Lincoln Cathedral


Remigius de Fécamp, first bishop of Lincoln, ordered the first cathedral to be built in Lincoln, in 1072. Before that, St. Mary's Church in Lincoln was a mother church but not a cathedral, and the seat of the diocese was at Dorchester Abbey in Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Lincoln was more central to a diocese that stretched from the Thames to the Humber. Bishop Remigius built the first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site, finishing it in 1092 and then dying two days before it was to be consecrated on May 9 of that year. In 1141, the timber roofing was destroyed in a fire. Bishop Alexander rebuilt and expanded the cathedral, but it was destroyed by an earthquake about forty years later, in 1185.

After the earthquake, a new bishop was appointed. The new bishop was St Hugh of Lincoln, originally from Avalon, France; he began a massive rebuilding and expansion programme. Rebuilding began at the east end of the cathedral, with an apse and five small radiating chapels. The central nave was then built in the Early English Gothic style. Lincoln Cathedral soon followed other architectural advances of the time — pointed arches, flying buttresses and ribbed vaulting were added to the cathedral. This allowed the creation and support of larger windows. The cathedral is the 3rd largest in Britain (in floor space) after St Paul's and York Minster, being 484 feet (148 m) by 271 feet (83 m). It is Lincolnshire's largest building, and until 1549 the spire was reputedly the tallest medieval tower in Europe, though the exact height has been a matter of debate. Accompanying the cathedral's large bell, Great Tom of Lincoln, is a quarter-hour striking clock. The clock was installed in the early 19th century.

There are thirteen bells in the south-west tower, two in the north west tower, and five in the central tower (including Great Tom). The matching Dean's Eye and Bishop’s Eye were added to the cathedral during the late Middle Ages. The former, the Dean's Eye in the north transept dates from the 1192 rebuild begun by St Hugh, it was finally completed in 1235. The latter, the Bishop’s eye, in the south transept was re-constructed 100 years later in 1330. A contemporary record, “The Metrical Life of St Hugh”, refers to the meaning of these two windows (one on the dark, north, side and the other on the light, south, side of the building):

For north represents the devil, and south the Holy Spirit and it is in these directions that the two eyes look. The bishop faces the south in order to invite in and the dean the north in order to shun; the one takes care to be saved, the other takes care not to perish. With these Eyes the cathedral’s face is on watch for the candelabra of Heaven and the darkness of Lethe (oblivion).

After the additions of the Dean’s eye and other major Gothic additions it is believed some mistakes in the support of the tower occurred, for in 1237 the main tower collapsed. A new tower was soon started and in 1255 the Cathedral petitioned Henry III to allow them to take down part of the town wall to enlarge and expand the Cathedral, including the rebuilding of the central tower and spire. They replaced the small rounded chapels (built at the time of St Hugh) with a larger east end to the cathedral. This was to handle the increasing number of pilgrims to the Cathedral, who came to worship at the shrine of Hugh of Lincoln.

In 1290 Eleanor of Castile died. As his Queen Consort of England, King Edward I decided to honour her with an elegant funeral procession. After embalming, which in the thirteenth century involved evisceration, Eleanor's viscera were buried in Lincoln cathedral, and Edward placed a duplicate of the Westminster tomb there. The Lincoln tomb's original stone chest survives; its effigy was destroyed in the 17th century and replaced with a 19th-century copy. On the outside of Lincoln Cathedral are two prominent statues often identified as Edward and Eleanor, but these images were heavily restored in the 19th century and probably were not originally intended to depict the couple.

Between the years 1307 and 1311 the central tower was raised to its present height of 83 m (271 feet). The western towers and front of the cathedral were also improved and heightened. At this time, a tall lead-encased wooden spire topped the central tower but was blown down in a storm in 1548. With its spire, the tower reputedly reached a height of 525 feet (160 m) (which would have made it the world's tallest structure, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza, which held the record for almost 4,000 years). This height is agreed by most sources but has been doubted by others. Other additions to the cathedral at this time included its elaborate carved screen and the 14th century misericords, as was the Angel choir. For a large part of the length of the cathedral, the walls have arches in relief with a second layer in front to give the illusion of a passageway along the wall. However the illusion does not work, as the stonemason, copying techniques from France, did not make the arches the correct length needed for the illusion effect.

In 1398 John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford founded a chantry there to pray for their souls, and in the 15th century the building of the cathedral turned to chantry or memorial chapels. The chapels next to the Angel Choir were built in the Perpendicular style, with an emphasis on strong vertical lines, which survive today in the window tracery and wall panelling.

Magna Carta
The Bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells, was one of the signatories to the Magna Carta and for hundreds of years the Cathedral has held one of the four remaining copies of the original which is now securely displayed in Lincoln Castle. There are three other surviving copies; two at the British Library and one at Salisbury Cathedral.

In 2009 the Lincoln Magna Carta was loaned to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Little Saint Hugh
In August of 1255 the body of an 8-year old boy was found in a well in Lincoln. He had been missing for nearly a month. This incident became the source of a blood libel in the city, with Jews accused of his abduction, torture, and murder. Many Jews were arrested and eighteen were hanged. The boy became named as Little Saint Hugh to distinguish him from Saint Hugh of Lincoln.

The cathedral benefited from these events because Hugh was seen as a martyr, and many devotees came to the city and cathedral to venerate him. Chaucer mentions the case in "The Prioress's Tale" and a ballad was written about it in 1783. In 1955 a plaque was put up near “the remains of the shrine of ‘Little St Hugh’” in the cathedral, that decries the “Trumped up stories of ‘ritual murders’ of Christian boys by Jewish communities.”

The Lincoln Imp
One of the stone carvings within the Cathedral is the Lincoln Imp. There are several variations of the legend surrounding the figure.

According to 14th-century legend, two mischievous creatures called imps were sent by Satan to do evil work on Earth. After causing mayhem elsewhere in Northern England the two imps headed to Lincoln Cathedral where they smashed tables and chairs and tripped up the Bishop. An angel appeared in the Angel Choir and ordered them to stop. One of the imps sat atop a stone pillar and started throwing rocks at the angel whilst the other imp cowered under the broken tables and chairs. The angel turned the first imp to stone allowing the second imp to escape. The imp that turned to stone, the Lincoln Imp, can still be found, frozen in stone, sitting atop his stone column in the Angel Choir.

Wren library
The Wren Library houses a rare collection of over 277 manuscripts, including the text of the Venerable Bede.

Rose windows
Lincoln Cathedral features two major rose windows, which are a highly uncommon feature among medieval architecture in England. On the north side of the cathedral there is the “Dean’s Eye” which survives from the original structure of the building and on the south side there is the “Bishop’s Eye” which was most likely rebuilt circa 1325-1350. This south window is one of the largest examples of curvilinear tracery seen in medieval architecture. Curvilinear tracery is a form of tracery where the patterns are continuous curves. This form was often done within pointed arches and squared windows because those are the easiest shapes, so the circular space of the window was a unique challenge to the designers. A solution was created that called for the circle to be divided down into smaller shapes that would make it simpler to design and create. Curves were drawn within the window which created four distinct areas of the circle. This made the spaces within the circle where the tracery would go much smaller, and easier to work with. This window is also interesting and unique in that the focus of the tracery was shifted away from the center of the circle and instead placed in other sections. The glazing of the window was equally as difficult as the tracery for many of the same reason; therefore, the designers made a decision to cut back on the amount of iconography within the window. Most cathedral windows during this time displayed many colorful images of the bible; however at Lincoln there are very few images. Some of those images that can be seen within the window include saints Paul, Andrew, and James.

Wooden trusses
Wooden trusses offer a solid and reliable source of support for building because through their joints they are able to resist damage and remain strong. Triangles are the strongest shape because no matter where the force is being placed on them they are able to use their three joints to their fullest extent in order to withstand the forces being placed on it. Making trusses with triangles inside of larger triangles adds even more strength, as seen in Lincoln’s choir. The design of all wooden trusses is a tedious task as there are many different things that need to be considered while building these supports. There are many different ways that the trusses can fail if they are not designed or built properly, therefore it is crucial to design trusses that suit a specific building with specific needs in mind. The simplest form of a truss is an A frame; however, the great amount of outward thrust generated here oftentimes causes the truss to fail. The addition of a tie beam creates a triangular shape, although this beam can sometimes sag if the overall truss is too large. Neither one of these examples would have been suitable for Lincoln due to the sheer size of the roof. They would have failed to support the building, therefore collar beams and queen posts were added to the design in order to help prevent sagging. To protect against wind damage, braces were added. Secondary rafters were also added to the design to ensure that the weight was equally distributed. Saint Hugh’s Choir has a total of thirty six trusses keeping the roof in place, and it is held up entirely by using its own weight and forces.

One major architectural feature of Lincoln Cathedral are the spectacular vaults. The varying vaults within the cathedral are said to be both original and experimental. Simply comparing the different vaults seen in Lincoln clearly shows that a great deal of creativity was involved when designing the cathedral. The vaults especially, clearly define the experimental aspect seen at Lincoln. There are several different kinds of vaults that differ between the nave, aisles, choir, and chapels of the cathedral. Along the North Aisle there is a continuous ridge rib with a regular arcade that ignores the bays. Meanwhile, on the South Aisle there is a discontinuous ridge rib that puts an emphasis on each separate bay. The North West Chapel has quadripartite vaults and the South Chapel has vaults that stem from one central support columns. The use of sexpartite vaults allowed for more natural light to enter the cathedral through the clerestory windows, which were placed inside of each separate bay. Saint Hugh’s Choir exhibits extremely unusual vaults. It is a series of asymmetrical vaults that appear to almost be a diagonal line created by two ribs on one side translating into only a single rib on the other side of the vault. This pattern divides up the space of the vaults and bays, perfectly placing the emphasis on the bays. The chapter house vaults are also interesting. It is a circular building with one column where twenty ribs extend from. Each separate area of Lincoln can be identified solely by the different vaults of the space. Each vault, or each variation of the vault, is fresh and original. They illustrate innovative thinking and great creativity. There is no doubt that these vaults, and all of the other experimental aspects of Lincoln came with a slight risk; however the results are truly wonderful.

Interior view, at the eastern end of St. Hugh's ChoirAccording to the cathedral website, over £1 million a year is spent on keeping the cathedral in shape; the most recent project completed has been the restoration of the West Front in 2000. About ten years ago it was discovered that the flying buttresses on the east end were no longer connected to the adjoining stonework, and repairs were made to prevent collapse. The most recent problem was the discovery that the stonework of the Dean's Eye window in the transept was crumbling, meaning that a complete reconstruction of the window has had to be carried out according to the conservation criteria set out by the International Council on Monuments and Sites.

There was a period of great anxiety when it emerged that the stonework only needed to shift 5mm for the entire window to collapse. Specialist engineers removed the window's tracery before installing a strengthened, more stable replacement. In addition to this the original stained glass was cleaned and set behind a new clear isothermal glass which offers better protection from the elements. By April 2006 the renovation project was completed at a cost of £2 million.


Lincoln Cathedral

Main door, Lincoln Cathedral

Main door, Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral.
In the nave
Lincoln Cathedral. Aisle at the east end


Westminster Abbey


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, London church that is the site of coronations and other ceremonies of national significance. It stands just west of the Houses of Parliament in the Greater London borough of Westminster. Situated on the grounds of a former Benedictine monastery, it was refounded as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. Legend relates that Saberht, the first Christian king of the East Saxons, founded a church on a small island in the River Thames, then known as Thorney but later called the west minster (or monastery), and that this church was miraculously consecrated by St. Peter. It is certain that about ad 785 there was a small community of monks on the island and that the monastery was enlarged and remodeled by St. Dunstan about 960.

Edward the Confessor built a new church on the site, which was consecrated on December 28, 1065. It was of considerable size and cruciform in plan. In 1245 Henry III pulled down the whole of Edward’s church (except the nave) and replaced it with the present abbey church in the pointed Gothic style of the period. The design and plan were strongly influenced by contemporary French cathedral architecture.

The rebuilding of the Norman-style nave was begun by the late 1300s under the architect Henry Yevele and continued intermittently until Tudor times. The Early English Gothic design of Henry III’s time predominates, however, giving the whole church the appearance of having been built at one time. The chapel of Henry VII (begun c. 1503), in Perpendicular Gothic style, replaced an earlier chapel and is famed for its exquisite fan vaulting. Above the original carved stalls hang the banners of the medieval Order of the Bath.

The western towers were the last addition to the building. They are sometimes said to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren, but they were actually built by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James and completed about 1745. The choir stalls in the body of the church date from 1847, and the high altar and reredos were remodeled by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1867. Scott and J.L. Pearson also restored the north transept facade in the 1880s. The abbey was heavily damaged in the bombings that ravaged London in World War II, but it was restored soon after the war.

Since William the Conqueror, every British sovereign has been crowned in the abbey except Edward V and Edward VIII, neither of whom was crowned. Many kings and queens are buried near the shrine of Edward the Confessor or in Henry VII’s chapel. The last sovereign to be buried in the abbey was George II (died 1760); since then they have been buried at Windsor Castle.

The abbey is crowded with the tombs and memorials of famous British subjects, such as Sir Isaac Newton, David Livingstone, and Ernest Rutherford. Part of the south transept is well known as Poets’ Corner and includes the tombs of Geoffrey Chaucer, Ben Jonson (who was buried upright), John Dryden, Robert Browning, and many others. The north transept has many memorials to British statesmen. The grave of the “Unknown Warrior,” whose remains were brought from Flanders (Belgium) in 1920, is in the centre of the nave near the west door.

Beside the abbey is the renowned Westminster School. In 1987 Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church, and the Houses of Parliament were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Westminster Abbey



Westminster Abbey, the site of coronations, royal funerals, and other state ceremonies, is dutifully treated in the 2nd edition (1777–84) of Encyclopædia Britannica. It forms part four of the “London” article’s unsigned chapter on public buildings. The following text is presented in modern typography for ease in reading but otherwise retains the original spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and italics—including typographical errors.

Westminster abbey was founded in 610, but soon after ruined by the Danes. It was rebuilt in 1053 by the recommendation of a religious hermit, who pretended to bring a commission for that purpose from God himself. It was endowed with great privileges by king Edward the Confessor; who had them confirmed by a bull from pope Nicholas. The king also thought proper to insert that bull of confirmation in the charter granted by himself; in which bull and charter there is a remarkable clause, setting forth, “That the place where the said church and monastery were built, was anciently the seat of kings: therefore, says the pope, by the authority of God and his holy apostles and this Roman see, and our own, we grant, permit, and most solidly confirm, that hereafter for ever, it be the place of the king’s constitution or coronation, and consecration; the repository of the royal crown and ensigns of majesty; and a perpetual habitation of monks, who shall be subject to no other person at all, but only to the king himself.”

Westminster abbey is at present a collegiate church; and the dean and 12 prebendaries were incorporated by the name of the dean and chapter of the collegiate church of St Peter, Westminster, by queen Elizabeth, who also placed therein a school. The church is a magnificent pile of Gothic building, and has been adorned on the outside with the statues and figures of all the princes that have contributed towards the finishing of it. But this abbey suffered so much at the dissolution of the monastery, and during the civil commotions in the time of Charles I. that it gradually decayed almost to the present time, when the parliament ordered a thorough reparation at the national expence. In consequence of this interposition, the whole fabric has been new-coated, except that part called king Henry VII.’s chapel, and the west end has been made more magnificent by the addition of two towers rebuilt in as masterly a manner as any other part of the abbey, but the beautiful carving and the statues with which it was once adorned are now lost.

The extent of this building is 360 feet within the walls, 72 feet broad at the nave, and 195 at the cross. The Gothic arches and side ailes are supported by 48 pillars of grey marble, each composed of clusters of very slender ones, and covered with ornaments. The grand entrance into the choir is by a pair of fine iron gates, on each side of which is a very magnificent tomb. The floor is paved with the handsomest blue and white marble. The stalls are covered with Gothic acute arches, supported by small iron pillars, and painted purple. At the east end is the altar, made of a beautiful piece of marble, the gift of queen Anne, inclosed by a curious balustrade, and upon a pavement of porphyry, jasper, Lydian, and serpentine stones, laid in the Mosaic stile, at the expence of abbot Ware, A. D. 1272; and is said to be one of the most beautiful of its kind in the world.

On each side of this altar a door opens into St. Edward’s chapel; round which are ten other chapels, ranging from the north to the south cross ailes, and are dedicated, 1. To St Andrew. 2. To St Michael. 3. To St John Evangelist. 4. Islip’s chapel. 5. To St John Baptist. 6. To St Paul. 7. Henry V.’s chapel. 8. To St Nicholas. 9. To St Edmund. 10. To St Benedict.

In St Edward’s chapel are still to be seen the remains of his shrine; which, though now in obscurity, and robbed of all its riches and lustre, was once esteemed the glory of England, so far as art and riches could make it. Here are the tombs of king Edward I. and several other kings and queens of England; and here also is shown the famous chair in which the kings of Scotland used to be crowned at Scoon. Henry V.’s chapel is divided from St Edward’s by an iron screen, on each side of which are statues as big as life.--St Andrew’s chapel, which is next the north cross, and the others which surround the choir, are crowded with the monuments of noble personages, worth the attention of the curious.--At the corner of St Benedict’s chapel, an iron gate opens into the south cross aile; which from the number of monuments erected therein to celebrated English poets, has obtained the name of the poets corner: though here we find a most magnificent monument erected at the south end in memory of the late John duke of Argyle and Greenwich; another to William Camden the antiquarian; and others to the celebrated divine Dr Isaac Barrow, to Thomas Parr who died at the age of 152 years, &c.

The south aisle is adorned with 19 curious monuments of the pious, the brave, and the learned. Amongst whom, next the entrance at the west end, is a noble monument, erected by order of parliament, in honour of the brave captain Cornwall. And turning northward from the west door, we view 48 more monuments worthy of notice.

On the east of the abbey, and which, though separate from the other chapels in the choir, seems to be one and the same building with the abbey, stands the chapel of king Henry VII. which that king founded in the year 1502, and was at that time styled the wonder of the world, and is now one of the most expensive remains of the ancient English taste and magnificence. There is no looking upon it without admiration: it conveys an idea of the fine taste of Gothic architecture in that age: and the inside is so noble, majestic, and of such curious workmanship, that it would take a volume to describe each part with justice and propriety.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Westminster Abbey. The Great West Door and towers, as seen from Tothill Street
The north entrance of Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey. Ten Christian martyrs depicted in statues above the Great West Door

Westminster Abbey. Ten Christian martyrs depicted in statues above the Great West Door

Westminster Abbey. Interior

Westminster Abbey with a procession of Knights of the Bath, by
Canaletto, 1749.


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