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Winchester Cathedral Essay

1982 words - 8 pages

Explain the main influences on the development of Winchester Cathedral from 1066-1540.

In this essay I am going to explain the development of Winchester cathedral from 1066-1540 using my own knowledge, and the main influences, which are the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Crusades from 1190 to 1200, the Black Death in 1348, and the Reformation in 1538-39. Using the events and the factors that they affect, I will also be able to review the typicality of the cathedral.

A factor that was largely affected at the time of the Norman Conquest is power and control. After the battle of Hastings in 1066, was the arrival of William the Conqueror and the Normans. After defeating ...view middle of the document...

Consequently, the construction is simpler than contemporary church buildings in Normandy, and there are signs of it being a rushed job.

Following on from this the Norman fashion changed considerably, and remodelling meant there was a development in fashion and technology. This change was a result of the Crusades, as people travelling would bring ideas from other styles into the cathedral. From my own knowledge I know the gothic style came into Europe in the mid 1100's when Crusaders came back from wars in Arab lands and described the pointed buildings they had seen there. The monks chose a Frenchman to make a much larger east front in the new style. Arab architecture was better constructed and looked nicer than the plainer Norman style.

The Early English gothic style then came into fashion from 1200 to 1240, and can be seen in the East front of the cathedral. I know from my own knowledge that the Crusaders described the new buildings as much taller than the Norman ones. They had massive roofs with towers and spires that could be seen from miles around. Yet inside the pillars were slender and there often seemed to be hardly any solid wall. In the cathedral the painted arches of the Early English style are much stronger than the rounder Norman arch. As a result of this the roof vaulting has improved, and has a more delicate style than that of the Norman stone roves.

The Decorative gothic style was more elaborate than the Norman Romanesque and Early English gothic styles. The intricate carvings, pointed archers, and circular patterns used came in fashion in 1320. The architecture came about from the increase in stone masons' skill and understanding of technology. This is a good example to show technology was changing and in addition fashion changed. Another advance in this period of time was the flying buttress. A buttress was built to support the sidewalls of the cathedral, as the pressure of the building pushed the walls out.

In 1350 Winchester Cathedral's Nave was remodelled from the Norman style to Perpendicular gothic. From my own knowledge I know that the decision to remodel the nave may have been prompted by the poor state of the Norman fabric; such Romanesque work as survived gives a hint of the severe problems of subsidence that had affected this part of the building.

In around 1350 The Bishop William of Edington removed the massive west work that had been a feature of the Norman cathedral and began to rebuild the west front in the style of the age.

In 1394 Bishop William of Wykeham also turned his attention to the nave. Wykeham's architect the inspired William Wynford, devised a brilliant scheme whereby the Norman piers of the 11th century cathedral could economically be altered into the soaring perpendicular profiles of the day.

Working from the west to the east, the elevations were altered from the three storeys of the Norman work (such...

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