Early English Architecture

  • AD 1190-1275 (+/- 25 years)
  • Pointed arches
  • Clusters of small columns to form pillars
  • Favourite style for Cistercian Abbeys
  • Roche Abbey
  • Wells Cathedral
  • Salisbury Cathedral
Information: This page is under construction and has limited information.

The round arches of the earlier designs gave way to the pointed arch in the nave, the windows and the doorways. The new Gothic style is attributed to the area surrounding Paris in France. The abbey church of St. Denis was the first example of the new style and was the creation of Abbot Suger.

The pointed arch not only looks better than a round arch, but it is a much stronger construction distributing stress more efficiently. This also allowed the builders to put a vault over the nave and dispence with the wooden rooves that were likely to catch fire.

The piers also became more complex and thinner in construction. The capitals at the top of the piers take the form of inverted bell shapes either moulded or carved into foliage. The walls of the church became much thinner and the windows much bigger allowing more light to enter. The arches have alernating rolls and hollows that soften the shape.