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plete monuments of it I can at present recollect are, the church of St. Cross near Winchester, built by Henry de Bloys, 1130; and the abbey church at Rumsey, in Hampshire : especially the latter, built by the same princely benefactor. Another evidence of this style, is a circular series of zig-zag sculpture, applied as a facing to porticos and other arches. The style which succeeded to this was not the absolute Gothic, or Gothic simply so called, but a sort of Gothic Saxon, in which the pure Saxon began to receive some tincture of the Saracen fashion. In this the massy rotund column became split into a cluster of agglomerated pilasters, preserving a base and capital, as before ; and the short round-headed window, was lengthened into a narrow oblong form, with a pointed top, in every respect much in the shape of a lancet; often decorated, in the inside, with. Nender pillars. These windows we frequently find, three together, the center one being higher than the two lights on each side. This stile cammenced about 1200. Another of its marks is a feries of small, low, and close arch-work, sometimes with a pointed head, placed on outside fronts, for a finishing; as in the west end of Lincoln and Rochester cathedrals, and in the end of the southern transept of that of Canterbury. In this stile, to mention no more, is Salisbury cathedral. Here we find indeed the pointBb 2


ed arch, and the angular, though simple, vaulting ; but still we have not in such edifices of the improved or Saxon Gothic, the Ramified Window, one diftin. guishing characteristic of the absolute Gothic *. It is difficult to define these gradations ; but still harder to explain conjectures of this kind in writing, which require ocular demonstration, and a conversation on the spot, to be clearly proved and illustrated.


The ABSOLUTE GOTHIC, or that which is free from all Saxon mixture, 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. The crusades had before dictated the pointed arch, which was here still preserved; but besides the alteration in the windows, fantastic capitals to the columns, and more ornament in the vaulting and other parts, were introduced. Of this fashion the body of Winchester cathedral, built by that munificent encourager of all public works, William of Wykeham, about the year 1390, will afford the juftest idea. But a tafte for a more ornamental stile, had, for some time before, began to discover itself. This appears

They then feem to have had no idea of a Great Eaftern or Western Window,


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from the choir of St. Mary's church at Warwick, begun*, at least, before Wykeham’s improvements at Winchester, and remarkable for a freedom and elegance

unknown before. That certain refinements in architecture began to grow fashionable early in the reign of Edward III. perhaps before, we learn from Chaucer's description of the structure of his House of Fame.

And eke the hall and everie boure,
Without peeces or joynings,
But many subtell compassings
As habenries and pinnacles,
Imageries and tabernacles,
I sawe, and full eke of windowest.

And afterwards,

I needeth not you more to tellen,

Of these yates flourishings,
Ne of compaces ne of carvings,
Ne how the hacking in masonries,

As corbetts and imageries I.
And in an old poem, called Pierce the Plowman's
Creede ), written perhaps before Chaucer's, where the
author is describing an abbey-church.

* Viz, 1341. finished before 1395. Dugdale's Warwicksh. p. 345. + B. 3. fol. 267. col. 2. edit. Speght. I Ibid, fol, verso. col. 2. § See more of this below,


Than I munte me forth the MINSTRE for to knowen.'
And awayted a woon, wonderly well ybild;
With arches on everich half, and bellyche ycorven
With crochetes on corneres, with knottes of gold.
Wyd windowes ywrought, ywriten full thicke.

Tombes upon tabernacles, tyld opon loft,
Housed in hornes, harde sett abouten
Of armed alabaustre.

These innovations, at length, were most beautifully displayed in the roof of the divinity-school at Oxford, which began to be built, 1427. The university, in their letters to Kempe, Bishop of London, quoted by Wood *, speak of this edifice as of one of the miracles of the age : They mention, particularly, • Ornamenta ad naturalis coeli imaginem variis pic“ turis, fubtilique artificio, cælata: valvarum fingu

larissima opera: Turricularum apparatum, &c." Yet even here, there is nothing of that minute finishing which afterwards appeared : there is still a masliness, though great intricacy and variety.' About the same time the collegiate church of Fotheringay in Northhamptonshire, was designed ; and we learn from the orders † of Henry VI. delivered to the architect, how much their notions in architecture were improved. The ORNAMENTAL Gothic, at length received its consummation, about 1441 *, in the chapel of the fame king's college at Cambridge. Here, strength united with ornament, or substance with elegance, seems to have ceased. Afterwards, what I would call the FLORID Gothic arose, the first confiderable appearance of which was in the chapel of St. George, at Windsor, begun by Edward IV. about + 1480; and which lastly, was completed in the superb chapel of Henry VII. at Westminster.

* Hift, Antiq. Univ. Oxon. lib. 2. pag. 22. * In Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. 3. pag. 163.


The FLORID Gothic distinguishes itself by an exuberance of decoration, by roofs where the most delicate fretwork is expressed in stone ; and by a certain lightness of finishing, as in the roof of the I choir of Glocefter, where it is thrown, like a web of embroidery, over the old Saxon vaulting. Many monu

* It was not finished till some years after : but a description and plan of the intended fabric may be seen in the king's Will. Stowe's Annals, by Howes, 1614. pag. 479. feq.

+ Ashmole’s Order of the Garter, sect. 2. ch. 4. pag. 136. | About the year 1470. The words of the Inscription on the infide of the arch by which we enter the choir, are remarkable.

Hoc quod DIGESTUM specularis, opufque POLITUM,

Tullii hæc ex onere Seabrooke abbate jubente. The tower was built at the same time. The lady's chapel soon after,

about 1490.


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