Romanesque Vs Gothic Architecture Essay

The original east end of Southwell, and of many other medieval cathedrals, was found to be too small once the building was completed, so the old east end was pulled down and replaced with a larger extension in the latest fashion.Although the new east end was built within roughly one hundred years of the original building, architecture had moved on quickly.The ceiling of Southwell Minster is a wooden barrel vault.

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The east end held the altar and choir, or quire, which were used by the clergy during daily masses. Although medieval British churches are basically oriented east to west, they all vary slightly.

When a new church was to be built, the patron saint was selected and the altar location laid out.

The nave is in the Norman, or Romanesque, architectural style.

It is delineated by simple rounded – Roman – stone arches springing from heavy round stone columns.

Although the material is stone, its lack of detailed texture gives it a plastic quality, especially when seen in some lights.

The stone, Permian sandstone, has a warm cream color, while the heavy arches and massive walls impart a feeling of strength and permanence.

Construction of the current church building was begun circa 1108, and was essentially completed around 50 years later.

The basic layout for churches at that time was the shape of a cross, with the east end as the top, the transepts making the crossing arm, and the nave as the longer extension at the bottom of the cross.

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