THE ENGLISH TRANSITION, 1175-1200
WE may take Peterborough as having been the last of the great Norman cathedrals (choir begun 1118, nave finished 1193). By the last quarter of the twelfth century the problem, of which the solution had been indicated in the nave vault of Durham and of St. Denis, of how to cover a three-aisled church with a stone roof, had been finally settled both for France and England. But while in France the builders of the thirteenth century went boldly and logically forward, unhampered by traditions, and free from the trammels of custom and association imposed by an already vigorous art, the English never quite shook themselves free from those which the wonderful building energy of the Norman period had laid upon them. Nor indeed did they wish to do so. Their noble round-arched style, though capable of refinement and improvement, was well suited to their requirements and aspirations, and as soon as the two races, Saxon and Norman, had begun to be welded into one, it became the symbol to each of their newborn national unity. From each, though much was cast aside, some traditions remained which influenced all later buildings.
From the Saxon came (1) the square east end, the fondness for which had been greatly increased by the Cistercian incursion in the middle of the twelfth century, as their churches always had square-ended aisleless chancels. From the Saxon also came (2) the tendency to divide off the separate parts of the church by screens; (3) the western tower and (4) the side entrance porch, generally the "suthwest" door, as in Ernulf's Canterbury. From the Norman, from Lombardy by way of Cluny, came (1) the fully developed cross-plan with central tower; (2) the long nave with choir