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Gothic architecture a style of architecture developed in northernFrance that spread throughout Euro

pe between the 12th and 16thcenturies; characterized by slender vertical piers andcounterbalancing b
uttresses and by vaulting and pointed arches
Introduction: The Gothic Cathedral
There is no better evidence of the quality of Christian art during the medieval era, than
the Gothic cathedral. The Gothic style first appeared at Saint-Denis, near Paris, around
1140, and within a century had revolutionized cathedral design throughout Western
Europe. The old style of Romanesque architecture, with its rounded ceilings, huge thick
walls, small windows and dim interiors had been replaced by soaring Gothic arches, thin
walls, and huge stained glass windows, which flooded the interiors with light. By
modifying the system of ceiling vaulting and employing flying buttresses to change how
weight was transferred from the top down, Gothic architects managed to radically
transform the interior and make it a far greater visual experience. Everything was taller
and more fragile-looking, and colonnettes often reached from the floor to the roof,
pulling the eye up with dramatic force. Outside, a mass of stone sculpture added
decoration as well as Biblical narrative, with statues of Saints on the walls, and complex
reliefs around the portals and doors. Add mosaics, carved altarpieces, fonts and pulpits,
vividstained glass art, exquisite Gothic illuminated manuscripts and precious
ecclesiastical metalwork, and you can understand why Gothic cathedrals amounted to
some of the greatest works of art ever made. Outstanding examples of these structures
include: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris (1163-1345), Chartres Cathedral (1194-1250) and
Cologne Cathedral (1248-1880).

Characteristics of Gothic Architecture

Gothic art evolved out of Romanesque art and lasted from the mid-12th century up to
the late 16th century in some areas of Germany. Architecturewas the main art form of
the Gothic, and the main structural characteristics of Gothic architectural design
stemmed from the efforts of medieval masons to solve the problems associated with
supporting heavy masonry ceiling vaults (arched roofs) over wide spans. The problem
arose because the stonework of the traditional arched roof exerted a tremendous
downward and outward pressure against the walls upon which it rested, which often
caused a collapse. Up to and including the preceding period of Romanesque architecture
(c.800-1150), building designers believed that vertical supporting walls had to be made
extremely thick and heavy in order to counteract and absorb the vault's downward and
outward pressure. But Gothic designers solved this problem around 1120 with several
brilliant innovations.
Ribbed Vaulting: Flying Buttresses: Pointed Arch
First and most important, they developed a ribbed vault, made up of intersecting barrel
vaults, whose stone ribs supported a vaulted ceiling of thin stone panels. Not only did
this new arrangement significantly reduce the weight (and thus the outward thrust) of
the ceiling vault, but also the vault's weight was now transmitted along a distinct stone
rib, rather than along a continuous wall edge, and could be channelled from the rib to
other supports, such as vertical piers or flying buttresses, which eliminated the need
for solid, thick walls. Furthermore, Gothic architects replaced the round arches of the
barrel vault with pointed arches which distributed the vault's weight in a more vertical
To put it simply, until Gothic builders revolutionized building design, the weight of the
roof (vault) fell entirely on the supporting walls. As a result, the heavier the roof or the
higher the roof, the more downward and outward pressure on the walls and the thicker
they had to be to stay upright. A Romanesque cathedral, for instance, had massively
thick continuous walls which took up huge amounts of space and created small, dim
interiors. In contrast, Gothic architects channelled the weight of the roof along the ribs of
the ceiling, across the walls to a flying buttress (a semi-arch), and then down vertical
supports (piers) to the ground. In effect, the roof no longer depended on the walls for
support. As a result the walls of a Gothic cathedral could be built a lot higher (which
made the building even more awesome), they could be a lot thinner (which created more
interior space); they could contain more windows (which led to brighter interiors and,
where stained glass art was used, more Biblical art for the congregation).
All this led to the emergence of a completely new type of cathedral interior, whose tall,
thin walls gave the impression of soaring verticality, enhanced by multi-coloured light
flooding through huge expanses of stained glass. Its exterior was more complex than
before, with lines of vertical piers connected to the upper walls by flying buttresses, and
large rose windows. As the style evolved, decorative art tended to supercede structural
matters. Thus decorative stonework known as tracery was added, along with a rich
assortment of other decorative features, including lofty porticos, pinnacles and spires.
Master Masons
Medieval masons were highly skilled craftsmen and their trade was most frequently used

in the building of castles, churches and cathedrals. A Master Mason was someone who
also had charge over carpenters, glaziers and other works (and work teams). Indeed, all
skilled and unskilled workers on a building site were under the supervision of the Master
Mason. He himself was based in what was known as the Mason's Lodge. All major
building sites would have a Mason's Lodge, from which all the work on the site was
History and Development of Gothic Architecture
Three phases of Gothic architectural design can be distinguished: Early, High, and Late
Early Gothic (1120-1200)
The fusion of all the above mentioned structural elements into a coherent style of
architecture occurred first in the Ile-de-France (the region around Paris), whose
prosperous inhabitants had sufficient resources to build the great cathedrals that now
epitomize Gothic architecture. The earliest surviving Gothic structure is the Abbey of
Saint-Denis in Paris, begun in about 1140. Cathedrals with similar vaulting and windows
soon appeared, beginning with Notre-Dame de Paris (c.1163-1345) and Laon Cathedral
(c.1112-1215). A series of four distinct horizontal levels soon evolved: ground-level,
then tribune gallery level, then triforium gallery level, above which was an upper,
windowed level called a clerestory. The pattern of columns and arches used to support
and frame these different elevations contributed to the geometry and harmony of the
interior. Window tracery (decorative window dividers) also evolved, together with a
diverse range of stained glass.
The eastern end of the early Gothic cathedral consisted of a semicircular projection
called an apse, which contained the high altar encircled by the ambulatory. The western
end - the main entrance to the building - was much more visually impressive. Typically it
had a wide frontage topped by two huge towers, whose vertical lines were
counterbalanced by horizontal lines of monumental doorways (at ground level), above
which were horizontal lines of windows, galleries, sculpture and other stonework.
Typically, the long outside walls of the cathedral were supported by lines of vertical piers
connected to the upper part of the wall in the form of a semi-arch known as a flying
buttress. This early style of Gothic architectural design spread across Europe to
Germany, England, the Low Countries, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
For an interesting comparison with Eastern architecture, see: the 12th century Angkor
Wat Khmer Temple (1115-45) and the 11th century Kandariya Mahadeva Temple (101729).
High Gothic (1200-80) "Rayonnant"
On the Continent, the next phase of Gothic architecture is known as "Rayonnant", whose
English equivalent is referred to as "Decorated Gothic". Rayonnant Gothic architecture
was characterized by new arrays of geometrical decoration which grew increasingly
elaborate over time, but hardly any structural improvements. In fact, during the
Rayonnant phase, cathedral architects and masons shifted their attention away from the
task of optimizing weight distribution and building higher walls, and concentrated instead

on enhancing the 'look and feel' of the building. This approach led to the addition of
many different decorative features including pinnacles (upright structures, typically
spired, that topped piers, buttresses, or other exterior elements), moldings, and,
notably, window tracery (such as mullions). The most characteristic feature of the
Rayonnant Gothic is the huge circular rose window adorning the west facades of many
churches, such as Strasbourg Cathedral (1015-1439). Other typical characteristics of
Rayonnant architecture include the slimming-down of interior vertical supports and the
merging of the triforium gallery with the clerestory, until walls are largely composed of
stained glass with vertical bars of tracery dividing windows into sections. The foremost
examples of the Rayonnant style include the cathedrals of Reims, Amiens, Bourges and
Late Gothic (1280-1500) "Flamboyant"
A third style of Gothic architectural design emerged around 1280. Known as
"Flamboyant", it was even more decorative than Rayonnant, and continued until about
1500. Its equivalent in English architecture is the "Perpendicular style". The
characteristic feature of Flamboyant Gothic architecture is the widespread use of a
flame-like (French: flambe) S-shaped curve in stone window tracery. In addition, walls
were transformed into one continuous expanse of glass, supported by skeletal uprights
and tracery. Geometrical logic was frequently obscured by covering the exterior with
tracery, which overlaid masonry as well as windows, augmented by complex clusters of
gables, pinnacles, lofty porticos, and star patterns of extra ribs in the vaulting.
The focus on image rather than structural substance may have been influenced by
political events in France, after King Charles IV the Fair died in 1328 without leaving a
male heir. This prompted claims from his nearest male relative, his nephew Edward III of
England. When the succession went to Philip VI (1293-1350) of the French House of
Valois, it triggered the start of the Hundred Years War (1337), which led to a reduction in
religious architecture and an increase in the construction of military and civil buildings,
both royal and public.
As a result, Flamboyant Gothic designs are evident in many town halls, guild halls, and
even domestic residences. Few churches or cathedrals were designed entirely in the
Flamboyant style, some notable exceptions being Notre-Dame d'Epine near Chalons-surMarne and Saint-Maclou in Rouen. Other important examples include the north spire of
Chartres and the Tour de Beurre at Rouen. In France, Flamboyant Gothic architecture
eventually lost its way - becoming much too ornate and complicated - and was
superceded by the classical forms of Renaissance architecture imported from Italy in the
16th century.
Gothic Architectural Sculpture
Gothic sculpture was inextricably linked to architecture - indeed it might even be called
"architectural sculpture" - since the exterior of the typical Gothic cathedral was heavily
decorated with column statues of saints and the Holy Family, as well as narrative relief
sculpture illustrating a variety of Biblical themes. It was a huge source of income for
sculptors throughout Europe, many of whom travelled from site to site. During the Early
Gothic, statues and reliefs were little changed from Romanesque sculpture in their stiff,
hieratic forms - witness the figures on the Royal Portal of Chartres Cathedral (1145-55).

But during the 12th century and early 13th century, they became more true-to-life, as
exemplified by the figures at Reims Cathedral (c.1240), who possess individual facial
features and bodies, as well as natural poses and gestures. Sculpture assumed a more
prominent role during the period 1250-1400, with numerous statues and other carvings
appearing on the facades of cathedrals, typically in their own niches. Then, from around
1375 onwards, the courtly idiom known as International Gothic Art ushered in a new era
of refinement and prettiness, which rapidly led to an over-the-top artificiality in all types
of art including International Gothic illuminations and painting as well as sculpture. From
about 1450, Gothic sculpture in France was increasingly influenced by Renaissance
sculpture being developed in Italy, although traditional styles - notably in wood carving persisted later in Germany and other areas of northern Europe.
See also: English Gothic Sculpture (from roughly 1150 to 1250) and German Gothic
Sculpture (from 1190 to 1280).
Gothic Revival Movement (19th Century)
Gothic architecture experienced a major revival during the 19th century, notably in
England and America. Championed by the art critic John Ruskin(1819-1900) and
employed principally for its decorative and romantic features, Gothic Revival architecture
was exemplified in England by buildings like: the Houses of Parliament (1840), designed
by Charles Barry and AWN Pugin; and Fonthill Abbey, designed by James Wyatt. In the
United States, the style is exemplified by New York's Trinity Church (1840), designed
byRichard Upjohn (1802-78), and St Patrick's Cathedral (1859-79), designed byJames
Renwick (1818-95). For the influence of Gothic architecture on modern buildings in
England and America, see: Architecture 19th Century.

French Gothic architecture

French Gothic architecture is a style of architecture prevalent in France from 1140 until about

Sequence of Gothic styles: France[edit]

The designations of styles in French Gothic architecture are as follows:

Early Gothic

High Gothic


Late Gothic or Flamboyant style

These divisions are effective, but still set grounds for debate. Because the lengthy construction of
Gothic cathedrals could span multiple architectural periods, and builders in each period did not
always follow wishes of previous periods, dominant architectural style often changes throughout
a particular building. Consequently, it is often difficult to declare one building as a member of a
certain era of Gothic architecture. It is more useful to use the terms to describe specific elements
within a structure, rather than applying them to the building as a whole.

Gothic styles

Early Gothic
This style began in 1140 and was characterized by the adoption of the pointed archand transition
from late Romanesque architecture. To heighten the wall, builders divided it into four
tiers: arcade (arches and piers), gallery, triforium, andclerestorey. To support the higher wall
builders invented the flying buttresses, which reached maturity only at High Gothic during the
13th century. The vaults were six ribbed sexpartite vaults.

High Gothic
This 13th-century style canonized proportions and shapes from early Gothic and developed them
further to achieve light, yet tall and majestic structures. The wall elevation was modified from four
to only three tiers: arcade, triforium, and clerestory. Piers coronations were smaller to avoid
stopping the visual upward thrust. The clerestorey windows changed from one window in each
segment, holed in the wall, to two windows united by a small rose window. The rib vault changed
from six to four ribs. The flying buttresses matured, and after they were embraced at Notre-Dame
de Paris and Notre-Dame de Chartres, they became the canonical way to support high walls, as
they served both structural and ornamental purposes.

Notable structures
Early Gothic:

Sens Cathedral

Lyon Cathedral

Toul Cathedral

The west facade of Chartres Cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris (started 1163)

The east end of the Abbey Church of St Denis

Notre-Dame of Laon

High Gothic:

The main body of Chartres Cathedral (11941260)

Amiens Cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris

Bourges Cathedral


The nave of the Abbey Church of St Denis

Reims Cathedral


Late Gothic:

The north tower of Chartres Cathedral

The rose window of Amiens Cathedral

The west facade of Rouen Cathedral

Church of Saint-Maclou, Rouen.

The south transept of Beauvais Cathedral

Notre-Dame de Caudebec-en-Caux

The north transept of Evreux Cathedral

In addition to these Gothic styles, there is another style called "Gothique Mridional" (or Southern
Gothic, opposed to Gothique Septentrional or Northern Gothic). This style is characterized by a
large nave and has no transept. Examples of this Gothic architecture would be:

Notre-Dame-de-Lamourguier in Narbonne

Sainte-Marie in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

Secular buildings
Many examples of secular structures in Gothic style survive in fairly original condition. The Palais
des Papes in Avignon is the best complete large royal palace and parts of the
famous Conciergerie, former palace of the kings of France in Paris. The house of the wealthy
early 15th-century merchant Jacques Coeur in Bourges, is the classic Gothic bourgeois mansion,
full of the asymmetry and complicated detail beloved of the Gothic Revival. [1] The living and
working parts of many monastic buildings survive, for example at Mont Saint-Michel.

English Gothic architecture

English Gothic is the name of the architectural style that flourished in England from about 1180
until about 1520.
As with the Gothic architecture of other parts of Europe, English Gothic is defined by its
pointed arches, vaulted roofs, buttresses, large windows, andspires. The Gothic style was
introduced from France, where the various elements had first been used together within a single
building at the choir of the Basilique Saint-Denis north of Paris, built by the Abbot Suger and
dedicated on 11 June 1144.[1] The earliest large-scale applications of Gothic architecture in
England are at Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Many features of Gothic
architecture had evolved naturally from Romanesque architecture (often known in England
as Norman architecture). This evolution can be seen most particularly at the Norman Durham
Cathedral which has the earliest pointed ribbed high vault known.
English Gothic was to develop along lines that sometimes paralleled and sometimes diverged
from those of continental Europe. Historians traditionally divide English Gothic into a number of
different periods, which may be further subdivided to accurately define different styles. Gothic
architecture continued to flourish in England for a hundred years after the precepts
of Renaissance architecture were formalised in Florence in the early 15th century. The Gothic
style gave way to the Renaissance in the later 16th and 17th centuries, but was revived in the
late 18th century as an academic style and had great popularity as Gothic Revival
architecture throughout the 19th century.
Many of the largest and finest works of English architecture, notably the medieval cathedrals of
England are largely built in the Gothic style. So also are castles, palaces, great houses,
universities, and many smaller unpretentious secular buildings, including almshouses and trade
halls. Another important group of Gothic buildings in England are the parish churches, which, like
the medieval cathedrals, are often of earlier, Norman foundation.

The Designation of styles in English Gothic architecture follow conventional labels given them by
the antiquary Thomas Rickman, who coined the terms in his Attempt to Discriminate the Style of
Architecture in England (181215). Historians sometimes refer to the styles as "periods", e.g.
"Perpendicular period" in much the same way as an historical era may be referred to as the

"Tudor period". The various styles are seen at their most fully developed in the cathedrals, abbey
churches and collegiate buildings. It is, however, a distinctive characteristic of the cathedrals of
England that all but one of them, Salisbury Cathedral, show great stylistic diversity and have
building dates that typically range over 400 years.

Early English (c. 11801275)

Decorated (c. 12751380)

Perpendicular (c. 13801520)

Early English Gothic

The Early English Period of English Gothic lasted from the late 12th century until midway through
the 13th century, according to most modern scholars, such asNikolaus Pevsner. According to the
originator of the term in 1817, Thomas Rickman, the period ran from 1189 to 1307; Rickman
based his defining dates on the reigns of certain English monarchs.
In the late 12th century, the Early English Gothic style superseded
the Romanesqueor Norman style (as it is better known in England, through its association with
theNorman Conquest). During the late 13th century, it developed into the Decorated Gothic style,
which lasted until the mid-14th century. With all of these early architectural styles, there is a
gradual overlap between the periods. As fashions changed, new elements were often used
alongside older ones, especially in large buildings such as churches and cathedrals, which were
constructed (and added to) over long periods of time. It is customary, therefore, to recognise a
transitional phase between the Romanesque and Early English periods from the middle of the
12th century.
Although usually known as Early English, this new Gothic style had originated in the area around
Paris before spreading to England. There it was first known as "the French style". It was first
used in the choir or "quire" of the abbey church of St Denis, dedicated in June 1144. Even before
that, some features had been included in Durham Cathedral, showing a combination of
Romanesque and proto-Gothic styles.
By 1175, with the completion of the Choir at Canterbury Cathedral by William of Sens, the style
was firmly established in England.

The most significant and characteristic development of the Early English period was the
pointed arch known as the lancet. Pointed arches were used almost universally, not only in
arches of wide span such as those of the nave arcade, but also for doorways and lancet

Romanesque builders generally used round arches, although they had very occasionally
employed slightly pointed ones, notably at Durham Cathedral, where they are used for structural
purposes in the Nave aisles. Compared with the rounded Romanesque style, the pointed arch of
the Early English Gothic looks more refined; more importantly, it is more efficient at distributing
the weight of the stonework above it, making it possible to span higher and wider gaps using
narrower columns. It also allows for much greater variation in proportions, whereas the strength
of round arches depends on semicircular form.
Through the use of the pointed arch, architects could design less massive walls and provide
larger window openings that were grouped more closely together, so they could achieve a more
open, airy and graceful building. The high walls andvaulted stone roofs were often supported
by flying buttresses: half arches which transmit the outward thrust of the superstructure to
supports or buttresses, often visible on the exterior of the building. The barrel vaults and groin
vaultscharacteristic of Romanesque building were replaced by rib vaults, which made possible a
wider range of proportions between height, width and length.
The arched windows are usually narrow by comparison to their height and are without tracery.
For this reason Early English Gothic is sometimes known as the Lancet style. Although arches
of equilateral proportion are most often employed, lancet arches of very acute proportions are
frequently found and are highly characteristic of the style. A notable example of steeply pointed
lancets being used structurally is the apsidal arcade of Westminster Abbey. The Lancet openings
of windows and decorative arcading are often grouped in twos or threes. This characteristic is
seen throughout Salisbury Cathedral, where groups of two lancet windows line the nave and
groups of three line the clerestory. At York Minster the north transept has a cluster of five lancet
windows known as the Five Sisters; each is 50 feet tall and still retains ancient glass.
Instead of being massive, solid pillars, the columns were often composed of clusters of slender,
detached shafts (often made of dark, polished Purbeck "marble") surrounding a central pillar,
or pier, to which they are attached by circular moulded shaft-rings. Characteristic of Early Gothic
in England is the great depth given to the hollows of the mouldings with alternating fillets and
rolls, by the decoration of the hollows with the dog-tooth ornament and by the circular abaci of
The arches of decorative wall arcades and galleries are sometimes cusped. Circles
with trefoils, quatrefoils, etc., are introduced into the tracery of galleries and large rose
windows in the transept or nave, as at Lincoln Cathedral (1220). The
conventional foliage decorating the capitals is of great beauty and variety, and extends
to spandrels, roof bosses, etc. In the spandrels of the arches of the nave, transept or
choir arcades, diaper work is occasionally found, as in the transept ofWestminster Abbey, which
is one of the best examples of the period.

At its purest the style was simple and austere, emphasising the height of the building, as if
aspiring heavenward.

Other notable examples[edit]

Early English architecture is typical of many Cistercian abbeys (both in Britain and France), such
as Whitby Abbey andRievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire. Salisbury Cathedral is a superb example of
the style; because it was built over a relatively short period (the main body between 1220 to
1258), it is relatively unmixed with other styles (except for its faade and famous tower and spire,
which date from the 14th century). Other good examples are the Galilee porch at Ely Cathedral;
the nave and transept of Wells Cathedral (12251240); the west front of Peterborough
Cathedral; and Beverley Minsterand the south transept at York. The style has also been used in
academic buildings, such as the old library of Merton College, Oxford, which constitutes a portion
of the so-called "Mob Quad."

Decorated Gothic
The Decorated Period in architecture (also known as the Decorated Gothic, or simply
"Decorated") is a name given specifically to a division of English Gothic architecture.
Traditionally, this period is broken into two periods: the "Geometric" style (125090) and the
"Curvilinear" style (12901350).

Elements of the style

Decorated architecture is characterised by its window tracery. Elaborate windows are subdivided
by closely spaced parallel mullions (vertical bars of stone), usually up to the level at which the
arched top of the window begins. The mullions then branch out and cross, intersecting to fill the
top part of the window with a mesh of elaborate patterns called tracery, typically
including trefoils and quatrefoils. The style was geometrical at first and flowing in the later period,
owing to the omission of the circles in the window tracery. This flowing or flamboyant tracery was
introduced in the first quarter of the 14th century and lasted about fifty years. This evolution of
decorated tracery is often used to subdivide the period into an earlier "Geometric" and later
"Curvilinear" period.
Interiors of this period often feature tall columns of more slender and elegant form than in
previous periods. Vaulting became more elaborate, with the use of increasing number of ribs,
initially for structural and then aesthetic reasons. Archesare generally equilateral, and
the mouldings bolder than in the Early English Period, with less depth in the hollows and with the
fillet (a narrow flat band) largely used. The ballflower and a four-leaved flower motif take the
place of the earlier dog-tooth. The foliage in the capitals is less conventional than in Early English
and more flowing, and the diaper patterns in walls are more varied.

Notable examples
Examples of the Decorated style can be found in many British churches and cathedrals. Principal
examples are those of the east ends of Lincoln Cathedral and of Carlisle Cathedral and the west
fronts of York Minster and Lichfield Cathedral. Much of Exeter Cathedral is built in this style, as is
the crossing of Ely Cathedral, (including the famous octagonal lantern, built between 1322 and
1328 to replace the fallen central tower), three west bays of the choir and the Lady Chapel.
In Scotland,Melrose Abbey was a noteworthy example, though much of it is now in ruins.

Perpendicular Gothic[edit]

The perpendicular Gothic period (or simply Perpendicular) is the third historical division of
English Gothic architecture, and is so-called because it is characterised by an emphasis on
vertical lines. An alternative name, the Rectilinear, was suggested by Edmund Sharpe, [2] and is
preferred by some as more accurate,[3] but has never gained widespread use.
The Perpendicular style began to emerge c. 1350. Harvey (1978) puts the earliest example of a
fully formed Perpendicular style at the chapter house of Old St Paul's Cathedral, built by William
Ramsey in 1332.[4] It developed from the Decorated style of the late 13th century and early 14th
century, and lasted into the mid 16th century. It began under the royal architects William
Ramsey and John Sponlee, and fully developed in the prolific works of Henry Yevele and William
In the later examples of the Decorated Period the omission of the circles in thetracery of windows
had led to the employment of curves of double curvature which developed into flamboyant
tracery: the introduction of the perpendicular lines was a reaction in the contrary direction. The
style grew out of the shadow of the Black Death which killed about half of England's population in
18 months between June 1348 and December 1349 and returned in 136162 to kill another fifth.
This had a great effect on the arts and culture, which took a decidedly morbid and pessimistic
direction. It can be argued that Perpendicular architecture reveals a populace affected by
overwhelming shock and grief, focusing on death and despair, and no longer able to justify
previous flamboyance or jubilation present in the Decorated style. The style was affected by the
labour shortages caused by the plague as architects designed less elaborately to cope.

This perpendicular linearity is particularly obvious in the design of windows, which became very
large, sometimes of immense size, with slimmer stone mullions than in earlier periods, allowing
greater scope for stained glass craftsmen. The mullions of the windows are carried vertically up
into the arch moulding of the windows, and the upper portion is subdivided by additional mullions
(supermullions) and transoms, forming rectangular compartments, known as panel
tracery. Buttresses and wall surfaces are likewise divided up into vertical panels. The
technological development and artistic elaboration of the vault reached its pinnacle, producing
intricate multipartite lierne vaults and culminating in the fan vault.

Doorways are frequently enclosed within a square head over the arch mouldings,
the spandrels being filled with quatrefoilsor tracery. Pointed arches were still used throughout the
period, but ogee and four-centred Tudor arches were also introduced.
Inside the church the triforium disappears, or its place is filled with panelling, and greater
importance is given to theclerestory windows, which are often the finest features in the churches
of this period. The mouldings are flatter than those of the earlier periods, and one of the chief
characteristics is the introduction of large elliptical hollows.
Some of the finest features of this period are the magnificent timber roofs; hammerbeam roofs,
such as those ofWestminster Hall (1395), Christ Church Hall, Oxford, and Crosby Hall, appeared
for the first time. In areas of Southern England using flint architecture,
elaborate flushwork decoration in flint and ashlar was used, especially in the wool
churchesof East Anglia.

Notable examples
Some of the earliest examples of the Perpendicular Period, dating from 1360, are found
at Gloucester Cathedral, where themasons of the cathedral seemed to be far in advance of those
in other towns; the fan-vaulting in the cloisters is particularly fine. Perpendicular additions and
repairs can be found in smaller churches and chapels throughout England, of a common level of
technical ability which lack the decoration of earlier stonemasonry at their sites, so can be used
for school field trips seeking evidence of the social effects of the plagues.
Among other buildings and their noted elements are:

nave, western transepts and crossing tower of Canterbury Cathedral (13781411),

late 15th-century tower, New College, Oxford (138086, Henry Yevele);

Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick (138191);

Quire and tower of York Minster (13891407);

remodelling of the nave and aisles of Winchester Cathedral (13991419);

transept and tower of Merton College, Oxford (142450);

Manchester Cathedral (1422);

Divinity School, Oxford (142783);

King's College Chapel, Cambridge (14461515) [1]

Eton College Chapel, Eton (14481482) [2]

central tower of Gloucester Cathedral (145457);

central tower of Magdalen College, Oxford (147580);

choir of Sherborne Abbey (1475c. 1580)

Collegiate Church Of The Holy Trinity, Tattershall, Lincolnshire. (c1490 - 1500) [3]

Notable later examples include Bath Abbey (c. 1501 c. 1537, although heavily restored in the
1860s), Henry VII's Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey (15031519), and the towers at St Giles'
Church, Wrexham and St Mary Magdalene, Taunton (15031508).
The Perpendicular style was less often used in the Gothic Revival than the Decorated style, but
major examples include the rebuilt Palace of Westminster (i.e. the Houses of Parliament), Bristol
University's Wills Memorial Building (191525), and St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney.