Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Wells Cathedral (Part Four).


Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.




Fan-Vaulting in
Wells Cathedral.
Image: SHUTTERSTOCK




The West Front,
Wells Cathedral,
Somerset, England.
Photo: 30 April 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
(Wikimedia Commons)



About 1310, work commenced on The Lady Chapel, to the design of Thomas Witney, who also built the Central Tower, from 1315 to 1322, in the Decorated Gothic Style. The Tower was later braced internally with Arches by William Joy. Concurrent with this work, in 1329–1345, Joy made alterations and extensions to the Choir, joining it to The Lady Chapel with the Retro-Choir, the latter in the Flowing Decorated Style.



English: Wells Cathedral's Great West Front
Photo: 27 October 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ad Meskens.
(Wikimedia Commons)



Later changes include the Perpendicular Style Vault of the Tower and construction of Sugar's Chapel, 1475–1490, by William Smyth. Also, Gothic Revival Renovations were made to the Choir and Pulpitum, by Benjamin Ferrey and Anthony Salvin, in 1842–1857.

Wells Cathedral has a total length of 415 feet (126 m). In common with Canterbury, Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedrals, it has the distinctly English arrangement of two Transepts, with the body of the Church divided into distinct parts: Nave, Choir, and Retro-Choir, beyond which extends The Lady Chapel.



The Stairs leading from the North Transept
of Wells Cathedral to the Chapter House.
Photo: 9 July 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
(Wikimedia Commons)



The façade is wide, with its Towers extending beyond the Transepts on either side. There is a large projecting Porch on the North Side of the Nave, forming an entry into the Cathedral. To the North-East, is the large Octagonal Chapter House, entered from the North Choir Aisle by a Passage and Staircase. To the South of the Nave, is a large Cloister, unusual, in that the Northern Range, that adjacent the Cathedral, was never built.

In Section, the Cathedral has the usual arrangement of a large Church: A Central Nave, with an Aisle on each side, separated by two Arcades. The Elevation is in three stages, Arcade; Triforium Gallery; and Clerestory.



Wells Cathedral's North Transept,
with its Mediaeval Clock Face,
the North Porch,
and the North-West Tower.
Photo: 26 June 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Olaf Tausch.
(Wikimedia Commons)



The Nave is 67 feet (20 m) in height, very low compared to the Gothic Cathedrals of France. It has a markedly horizontal emphasis, caused by the Triforium having a unique form, a series of identical narrow openings, lacking the usual definition of the Bays. The Triforium is separated from the Arcade by a single horizontal String Course, that runs unbroken the length of the Nave. There are no vertical lines linking the three stages, as the Shafts, supporting the Vault, rise above the Triforium.

The Exterior of Wells Cathedral presents a relatively tidy and harmonious appearance, since the greater part of the building was executed in a single style, Early-English Gothic. This is uncommon among English Cathedrals, where the Exterior usually exhibits a plethora of styles.



The Organ,
Wells Cathedral.
Photo: 9 July 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.
(Wikimedia Commons)



At Wells Cathedral, later changes in the Perpendicular Style were universally applied, such as filling the Early-English Lancet Windows with simple Tracery, the construction of a Parapet that encircles the roof, and the addition of Pinnacles, framing each Gable, similar to those around the Chapter House and on the West Front. At the Eastern End, there is a proliferation of Tracery, with repeated motifs in the Reticulated Style, a stage between Geometric and Flowing Decorated Tracery.

The West Front is 100 feet (30 m) high and 147 feet (45 m) wide, and is built of Inferior Oolite of the Middle Jurassic period, which came from the Doulting Stone Quarry, about 8 miles (13 km) to the East. According to the architectural historian, Alec Clifton-Taylor, it is "one of the great sights of England".



English: A Gallery of Royalty fills the Niches
of the North-West Buttresses
of Wells Cathedral,
with Clerics on the South-West Buttresses.
Nederlands: Beelden aan de muur van Wells Cathedral.
Photo: 27 October 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ad Meskens.
(Wikimedia Commons)



West Fronts, in general, take three distinct forms: Those that follow the Elevation of the Nave and Aisles; those that have Paired Towers at the end of each Aisle, framing the Nave; and those that screen the form of the building. The West Front at Wells has the Paired-Tower form, unusual in that the Towers do not indicate the location of the Aisles, but extend well beyond them, screening the dimensions and profile of the building.


PART FIVE FOLLOWS


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