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ST. johk's square.


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North Transept,
"Winchester Cathedral.





Fall if ye must, ye Towers and Pinnacles,
With what ye symbolize; authentic story
Will say, ye disappear'd with England's glory.


- 0\DON :



C O N T E N T S.

Lecture Page

Introductory Letter 1

I. Architecture In general 8

II. English Church Architecture 22

Table showing the duration of the Stj'les of English Archi-
tecture 35

List of Technical Terms ib.

III. The Anglo-Norman Style, 1065— 1189 40

Anglo-Norman Churches in Sussex and Hants 51

IV. The Early- English Style, 1189— 1307 55

Early English Churches in Sussex 69

V. The Decorated Style, 1307—1377 75

Decorated Churches in Sussex 85

Decorated Churches in Hants 87

VI. The Perpendicular Style, 1377—1546 88

Perpendicular Churches in Sussex 99

Vll. Fonts and Altars 102

Vlll. Stained Glass 122

Illuminating Manuscripts 135

Conclusion 139

List of Works for Study 143


Jntrotiuctorj) Eettcr.


Elminghurst Rectory, May 29, 1842.

My DEAR Austin,

1 AM determined to be the first to announce to you
that Aunt Elmor is coming before the world as an
authoress ! Here is the history of the event. No
doubt, you remember my telhng you last January
that Aunt had been so kind as to draw up some
Lectures on Architecture for the children's winter-
evenings' amusement. Our neighbours at the Hall
heard of them, and begged to be present at the read-
ings. I believe the Hall was imcommonly dull just
then. The Irbys were at Brighton, the Lortons at
Paris, and the only visitors at Elminghurst Hall were
that agreeable trio, Messrs. Harbottle, Hubert, and
Tantivy. Mr. Dalton used to hunt all day, and sleep
on the sofa after dinner, so the girls were glad of an
excuse to spend an evening at the Rectory. The


lectures were found so amusing, that Aunt Elinor
continued them all through the winter ; and the
Daltons were so much delighted with the study —
quite a new one to them — that they have had a mania
for antiquities ever since, Agatha has made sketches
of all the interiors, fonts, &:c. for miles round, and
Miss Dalton has nearly succeeded in persuading her
father to give up his pew, and consent to the open
sittings. Nay, more, as soon as "the Squire" gives
in, they mean to go with me to lay siege to the
churchwardens and Mr. Oakley, and try whether the
united voices of three yomig ladies will be able to
talk over the old farmers, and persuade them that
they might attend church just as profitably without
shutting themselves up in deal boxes.

But to return to Aunt Elinor and her book. Who
should appear at the Rectory-gate last Wednesday
but dear old Dr. Spelman ! He took the journey to
see the relics of the painted window, which were
found in the churchyard. He pronounces them very
fine, and says that, with patience and judgment, the
fragments may be put together again ; and Aunt
Elinor and Agatha Dalton have spent the last three
mornings in trying to arrange the pieces, under the
old antiquary's superintendence. The doctor asked
to see Aunt Elinor's Lectures, and was so much
pleased with them, that he insisted on their being
published ; and Aunt Elinor has at last consented.
She intends devoting the profits to the fund we are
trying to raise towards restoring the church ; the
parish will grant a rate for the necessary repairs, and


we must exert ourselves to treble or quadruple the
sum, in order to restore the church to any thing like
its pristine beauty. Agatha Dalton proposed a
bazaar ; but of course we would not hear of such a
thincr. I told you lonjy ajjo that Mr. Dalton had
given £20, and the girls £10 each, towards the re-
pairs ; but since they have read and thought so
much on ecclesiastical architecture and local history,
they are beginning to feel how small a sum that is to
offer out of their abundance, in comparison with the
generous deeds of their ancestors. The girls have
both doubled their own donation, and Catharine has
told me (in confidence) that she means to give the
sum she had intended to spend on a musical work-
box in addition. They mean to attack their father
on the subject, and to tell him that they will give up
the visit to Leamington he promised them this sum-
mer, if he will devote the sum it would cost to the
church ; and they are sure he will willingly do it, as
he detests going to watering-places, and would give a
good deal to escape fulfilling his promise. Is not
this a change in the Daltons, dear Austin, delightful
to witness ?

I must tell you an anecdote of our little Lucy,
which will delight you. She told me, as a great
secret, that she wanted to give to the church the £3
her godfather sent her, and wished me to tell papa of
it for her, and to beg him not to say any thing about
it to her, especially before the other children, because
it makes her " so red and trembling."

Long as this letter is growing, I must tell you of

R 5


my triumph in gaining over farmer Bull to our side
about the pews. xA-t the vestry meeting last week,
papa proposed to demolish the clerk's desk, (you
know what an unsightly thing it is,) and substitute
for it a stool and letturn. Nobody at first seemed
willing to oppose papa's project (though he saw by
their faces they thought it nonsensical). At last
farmer Bull suddenly rose, and exclaimed in a loud
voice, (pronouncing the a in the word change as if
there were no final e,) " I don't like change ! I won't
have change ! ! and there shan't be change ! ! ! " con-
cluding with an energetic thump on the table. Several
of the other farmers called him to order ; and Mr.
Bull, recollecting himself, apologized to papa for his
warmth. I must give it to you verbatim. " I couldn't
very well be disrespectful to you. Sir, seeing as there's
not a man in the 'varsal world — no, not the duke
hisself — I esteems and respects more than the rector
of Elminghurst."' After this amende honorable horn.
Mr. Bull, the other fanners ventured to say, that
though they would not oppose any alteration, if Mr.
^Montague decidedly wished it, nevertheless and not-
withstanding, they would not pretend to say, but that
they thought it was putting the parish to a useless
expense, and that they disliked the new-fangled ways
of pulling the churches about, to make them look
pretty ! As papa thought a lecture on the sublime
and beautiful would be thrown away just then, he
resolved not to press the point for the present, and
leave Isaac Adams to continue a more prominent
object than the altar a little while longer.


When papa told us this, we began to be alarmed
for our favourite scheme of the open sittings. How-
ever, yesterday evening I went to see old Nanny
Ray, who, by the way, is better, and charged me to
send her duty to Master Austin when I wrote next,
and tell him she found the value of the " Bishop
Andrewes" he gave her more every day. I stayed
longer than I intended, and the sun was setting
as I crossed the brook-fields. There I encountered
Mr. Bull. He was surprised to see me so far from
home at that hour, and insisted on seeing me across
Walton Heath at least, though I had no fear myself.
I thought I would take the opportunity of trying my
eloquence upon him, and soon introduced the Arch-
deacon's remarks on the sad state of the interior of
our fine old church. Mr. Bull is not wanting in reli-
gious feeling, and it was ignorance, not stinginess,
which made him so averse to the proposed alterations.
I gave him a sketch of the rise and progress of the
pew system. I told him the date of the foundation,
repairing, and pewing of our church. I proved to him
that pews were an innovation, and very unchristian as
well as ugly articles. Finally, I described the con-
duct of the Puritans as detailed in the history of
Elminghurst ; their giving the font for a horse-trough
to the " Dalton Arms," from which degrading office
I reminded him that papa rescued it in his own
memory — their smashing all the beautiful painted
windows — tlieir turning the rector out of doors, and
putting a blacksmith in his place — their stealing the
comnmnion plate — and, finally, their erecting pews!


Farmer Bull's face showed he did not hear this tale
unmoved. When I came to that tragical part of the
history, of the rector's wife dying concealed in a loft
at Wood Farm, whilst her husband was in prison,
the farmer passed his hand across his eyes, and ex-
claimed, " The rascally villains ! hanging was too
good for them." As we came in sight of the church,
he said, " Thank you, Miss Margaret, for your story,
you've changed my notions altogether, and I'm not
too proud to own it. I shall never be able to 'bide
the sight of a pew again, and you may hurl down
mine to-night, if you please, and I'll pay my share
willingly towards the expense of the new-old sittings."
As Mr. Bull is the most influential farmer in the
parish, I think it is a great point gained. I must
really bring this letter to an end ; so believe me.
Dearest Austin,

Your affectionate Sister,
P. S. Will you send Aunt Elinor a sketch of the
fine Noi-man doorway you spoke of? She will also
be much obliged to you for any information respect-
ing the Somersetshire churches you can give her. Dr.
Spelman sends fifty kind messages to you. He says
he is half inclined to regret that your present curacy
suits you so well, as he w^ants to have you near him
in Devonshire ; but you, dear Austin, I know, would
never consent, for any selfish consideration, to quit a
spot where you are permitted to be useful, and where
the guiding hand of Divine Providence seems to have
led you.


2nd P. S. Agatha Dalton wants Aunt Elinor to
add two chapters on staining glass, and on embroider-
ing altar-cloths, fald-stools, &:c. ; as she thinks there
are many ladies who have the ability, time, inclina-
tion, and money, to execute such decorations, if they
did but know how to set about it. Give us your
advice on this point.

Rev. Austin Montague,
Kelvestone, Somerset,


" Firm was their faith, the ancient bands,
The wise of heart, in wood and stone ;
Who rear'd, with stern and tnisting hands,
The dark gi'ay towers of days unkno^^■n :
They fill'd those aisles with many a thought,

They bade each nook some truth recall,
The pillar'd arch its legend brought,
A doctrine came with roof and wall !"

British Magazine.

Architecture is the art of erecting edifices, whether
for worship, for habitation, for ornament, or for de-
fence. In these lectures, I shall confine myself to
English Ecclesiastical Architecture, which may
be considered as one branch of the style commonly
known by the name of Gothic.

However, for the sake of method, and for the
assistance of my juvenile hearers, I will first say a
few words on Architecture in general, and give a
slight sketch of the Classical Orders.

That architecture is of the first antiquity, is unde-
niable. The necessity of sheltering themselves from



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the heat of the sun, and the inclemency of the wea-
ther, would at once suggest to mankind the idea of
architecture ; and in the course of time, that love of
order and beauty, which seems implanted by Almighty
God in almost every human heart (though circum-
stances may either increase or deaden it), would lead
them to improve the forms of their rude buildings,
and to add such decorations as struck their fancy.
But a few strokes of the pencil will say more on
this head than pages of description, and I refer you to
Plate I. for an idea of the rise and progress of archi-
tecture. The study of these engravings, with their
accompanying explanations, having given you a clear
notion of architecture considered as an art, I will
describe the Antique Orders, as they are called.
They are five, of which three were invented by the
Greeks, and two more were in use amiong the Romans.
The Grecian orders are the Doric, Ionic, and Corin-
thian ; the Roman orders — the Tuscan and Com-

The Greek orders may claim the double merit of
originality and perfect beauty, the Roman orders
being imitated from them, but without improving
upon them ; for whilst it is universally admitted, that
the Doric and Corinthian orders approach as near
perfection as possible, many critics of refined taste
object to the Tuscan and Composite.

Before describing the orders, it is necessary to
explain the technical terms which must occur even
in the simplest description. There are three grand
divisions in a complete order, viz. : —


1. The Column.

2. The Pedestal, which supports the column.

3. The Entablature, the part immediately sup-
ported by the column.

These are again subdivided into three parts : —

1. The Pedestal, into base or lower mouldings —
dado or die ; the plain central space ; and sur-base, or
upper mouldings.

2. The Column, into base, shaft, and capital.

3. The Entablature, into architrave, frieze, and

These parts are again subdivided ; but I shall, not
enter into further detail on this head, wishing to avoid
needless technicalities at the outset.

The five orders of Classical i\.rchitecture then are,
the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Com-

1. The Tuscan is without any ornament, and
remarkable for strength and massiveness.

2. The Doric is an order of peculiar grandeur,
uniting simplicity with dignity, and boldness with
grace. The Romans made such considerable altera-
tion in this order, that it must be divided into Grecian
and Roman Doric.

In Greece, the columns of this order were generally
placed on the floor without pedestal or base ; tlie
capital had no astragal, a, but a few plain fillets, h, under
the ovolo, c, and a small channel under the fillets.
On diis ovolo was laid the abacus, which was only a
plain tile. The ornaments (in Greece) peculiar to
the Doric were, the projecting intervals in the frieze,


called triglyphs, with the guttse, or drops, (vide
Plate,) and the flutings of the column. The best
examples of Grecian Doric are, the Parthenon, or
temple of Minerva, at Athens ; the temple of Theseus
at Athens ; several other temples in Greece and
Sicily ; and the three famous temples at Paestum.
The Roman Doric I shall pass by, only remarking
that we have but one example of the Doric of an-
cient Rome, viz. the theatre of Marcellus, believed
to have been erected by Augustus. The style usually
called Roman Doric ought to be considered Italian
rather than Roman, being really the Doric worked by
modern Italian architects.

3. The distinguishing feature of the Ionic Order
is the capital, which has four spiral projections called
volutes, the idea of which is said to have been taken
from a ram's skull, placed at the top of a post, sup-
porting a roof (vide Plate).

The temple on the llissus at Athens Tnow destroyed)
was the most beautiful specimen of this order. The
aqueduct of Adrian is Ionic.

4. The rich and beautiful Corinthian is distin-
guished by the height of its capital, and the foliage and
volutes with which it is ornamented. The idea of the
Corinthian capital is said to have been taken from a
basket, with a tile on its top, which had been left in
a garden long enough for an acanthus plant to entwine
itself round it. The chief examples of Corinthian
are a portico, and the arch of Adrian, at Athens ; the
celebrated Sibyl's temple, at Tivoli ; and at Rome,
the temples of Vesta, Mars, and Antoninus ; the por-


tico of Severus, the forum of Nerva, the baths of
Dioclesian, part of the Pantheon, and two temples of

5. The Composite Order was formed from a mixture
of the Corinthian and Ionic capitals. The examples
of this order are the temple of Bacchus, the arch of
Septimius Severus, and the arch of the Goldsmiths,
all at Rome. The baths of Dioclesian, and the
arch of Titus, are a mixture of Corinthian and

In and near Athens are some small edifices which
possess great beauty, though they do not belong to
any one of the five orders. They are the Choragic
monument of Thrasyllus, the temple of the "Winds,
the lantern of Demosthenes, and the temple of Pan-
drosus. Having finished this slifjht sketch of the
Classical Orders, I proceed to the main subject of our
inquiries, viz. : —

(2rn$Ii5l) (l?ftlr5ia^ttfal ^rrljiterture.

Those architects who endeavour to separate Church
architecture from Church principles, make a mistake
at the very outset, which does not fail to place an
immovable barrier to their attaining any thing like
perfection in their art. Bishop Berkeley, comparing
a church with the Christian faith, says, " The divine
order and economy of the one seems to be emble-
matically set forth by the just, plain, and majestic
architecture of the other : and, as the one consists of
a gi-eat variety of parts united in the same regular


design, according to the truest art and most exact
proportion, so the other contains a decent subordina-
tion of members, various sacred institutions, sublime
doctrines, and soHd precepts of morality, digested into
the same design, and, with an admirable concurrence,
tending to one view, — the happiness and exaltation
of human nature." In a church every thing should
partake of a sacramental character, i. e. all external
things should have a hidden meaning; every part
should be a memorial of some great truth ; every
object that meets the eye should convey to the mind
a doctrine or a lesson. The wood and stone, which
the Gentiles rendered accursed by worshipping, may,
when blessed and consecrated by faith, be made to
speak of their Creator ; inanimate matter, when deli-
vered from the curse, which Adam's fall entailed on
the very dust of the earth, may join in the great
choir of the universe to celebrate the glory of God.

To those who look on a church as a building
raised to enable people to enjoy the eloquence of
popular preachers, the view I am taking of church-
building will appear fanciful, perhaps childish and
ridiculous : but to those who have accustomed them-
selves to a higher tone of thought, who can under-
stand Milton's

" Studious cloisters pale ;"

and Shakspeare's

" Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing ;"

whether they have any knowledge of ecclesiastical


history or not, whether they possess the blessing of
minds trained in sound church principles or not, such
persons will not fail to enter into the beauty and
reasonableness of making every portion of a sacred
edifice emblematical of some point of Christian doc-
trine. The Churchman takes higher ground. He
does not rest his argument for the duty of construct-
ing churches on this principle, solely on the beauty
and self-evident propriety of such an idea. He
brings forward the example of the most famed ser-
vants of God among the chosen nation, and the testi-
mony of history to the practice of the Christian
Church ; argiunents which cannot be controverted,
except by those sects of dissenters who profess to
make religion wholly spiritual, and who reject ordi-
nances of every kind, even the blessed sacraments
instituted by our Redeemer. The examples of Moses,
of David, of Solomon, and of Ezra, will not be with-
out weight to reflecting minds. True, it may be
objected, that the law is not binding on us, and that
the saints of the old dispensation are not in every
respect models for Christians to imitate. Still we can-
not doubt that those parts of their characters, which
were peculiarly pleasing in God's sight, may be safely
copied to the end of time ; and zeal in offering the
most costly and precious of their substance to enrich
the sanctuary, is certainly always mentioned in terms
of the highest commendation. And, surely, when we
recollect that our Creator deigned not only to instruct
Moses in the general design of the tabernacle, but
even condescended to describe the subordinate details


of the decorations, it is not for us to speak of the
smallest portion of the arrangement of a church as
beneath our attention. But to those who still fall
back upon our Christian liberty, and the different
spirit of the two dispensations, I would urge the
example of the early Christians. As soon as free-
dom from persecution allowed the Christians to build
churches, they constructed them on the following
plan : —

The church was built from west to east, its length
exceeding its breadth, and terminating in a semicircle.
This form was adopted to represent a ship, in refer-
ence to St. Peter's ship, from which our Saviour
taught the people, which was always considered a
type of the church. The early churches were divided
into three parts. First, the porch for catechumens
and penitents, — for those who were receiving the
church's teaching, and who might join in a portion of
her worship, but who had not yet been instructed in
that mysterious part of the Christian faith which
was so carefully veiled from the catechumens, viz. the
Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and for those who
were, whilst in penitence, forbidden to receive the
Holy Eucharist, and banished from the neighbour-
hood of the altar, till they had made satisfaction for
their sin. Next, was the body of the Church, or
the nave, for the communicants or perfect Christians,
as they were called : and still farther eastward was
the Sanctuary, containing the altar, and appropriated
to the clergy.

Each of these portions of the church was separated


from the other two by a screen or a veil, to intimate
the reality and importance of the distinction which
they signified between the different classes of Chris-
tians. The altar was not at the extreme east end,
the throne of the bishop being behind it, so that he
sat facing both the altar and the people. The priests
sat on either side of the bishop, in a semi-circle. The
deacons stood in the presence of the presbyters. It
appears not improbable, that the most ancient of our
minsters were constructed with a view to this primi-
tive arrangement.

Bentham, in his " History of Ely," says, "That the
apsis (or semi-circle) was a feature of most of the
ancient Saxon churches. The eastern ends of Can-
terbury, Norwich, Peterborough, and Westminster,
are semi-circular or elliptical. At Canterbury the
patriarchal chair of stone, now removed into the
eastern chapel, called Becket's crown, formerly stood
in the space behind the altar. The name of Pres-
bytery is still given in some clmrches to the eastern
part of the choir, beyond the stalls. In the abbey of
St. Denis, in France, the choir still occupies a semi-
circle behind the altar. But, after all, it must be
acknowledged that we have no positive proof that
the apsis ever formed the chancel in England, and it
is quite certain that the choirs were arranged as at
present, that is, to the west of the altar, from a very
early period. Though the plan of the primitive
churches was tolerably uniform, there were particular
variations arising from peculiar circumstances, of
which the most frequent, and in its effects the most


lamentable, was the conversion of heathen temples
into churches. These, of course, could only be
adapted to their holy use, as they best might ; and
would, after all, be wanting in some of the more
beautiful features of Christian architecture. In all
those temples which were converted into churches,
and even in those churches which were erected,
though for the purpose of Christian worship, before
architecture was christianized, so to speak, there was
a struggle between the structure and character of the
fabric and its sacred use. A temple erected to the
honor of Jupiter, or of Venus, could not be supposed

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Online LibraryNewman HallAunt Elinor's lectures on architecture : dedicated to the Ladies of England → online text (page 1 of 9)