A History of Architecture in London: Arranged to Illustrate the Course of Architecture in England until 1800

By Walter H. Godfrey | Go to book overview

A HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE IN LONDON

I.
INTRODUCTION. THE RISE AND GROWTH OF ARCHITECTURE IN EUROPE UNTIL THE END OF THE TENTH CENTURY.

IT would take long to describe all that comes to the mind at the mention of the word architecture: the temples and churches built in the service of religion; the great halls of justice and the city gateways in honour of civic life; and the palaces and mansions which have been the pride of nations and the homes of men of the greatest dignity. These are the things we first seek out when we leave our home to visit other cities and other countries, not merely out of idle curiosity, but because we know that they are among the greatest achievements of their time and of their land, and because we know also that there is something in them which will ennoble our views of life, and will show us the fulfilment of many of our deepest aspirations.

The reason for the spell which architecture casts over us is twofold. In the first place it belongs to the highest order of creative art, that is to say, it is not concerned merely in producing things of more or less obvious utility, nor in decorating these useful things in order to make them more pleasant to the eye. It is infinitely more than that, for out of these structures

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