Gothic Architecture in England and France

By George Herbert West | Go to book overview

PART II. HISTORICAL

CHAPTER VIII
SAXON ARCHITECTURE

THERE are two types of pre-Conquest architecture in England, that introduced by Augustine directly from Rome, and therefore of Roman or Basilican type, and that derived indirectly from the British Church, through the Celtic or Scoto-Irish Church. The chief church of the former type was the Cathedral of Canterbury but though this was rebuilt by Lanfranc, several others remain in a more or less perfect condition.

At Lyminge, near Folkestone, the foundations of a Romano-British church have been found, which, like Canterbury, had a western apse between the aisles which terminated squarely. This was rebuilt in the time of Augustine by Ethelburga, sister of Ethelbert, with three parallel apses at the east end (as was also the church of St. Frideswide at Oxford), and, according to Rivoira, it was again rebuilt by Dunstan with a square east end in 965, but it seems a little far-fetched to say that he adopted this non-Roman arrangement because he delighted in disobeying the Pope.

In Canterbury and its neighbourhood are found the remains of several other churches with apsidal or basilican ends, usually, however, without aisles. The most complete of these is St. Martin, but, like most of the others, it has been greatly altered or possibly rebuilt.

In the ruins of St. Pancras, Canterbury, in the foundations of a church at Rochester, and at Reculvers and Brixworth, we find that the apse, which was much longer than the original semicircle, was separated from the nave by a screen of two columns carrying three arches, or at Brix

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