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Romanesque architecture, architectural style current in Europe from about the mid-11th century to the advent of Gothic architecture.A fusion of Roman, Carolingian and Ottonian, Byzantine, and local Germanic traditions, it was a product of the great expansion of monasticism in the 10th–11th century.The nave is in the Norman, or Romanesque, architectural style.
These intermediate ribs are known as tiercerons, and signify a further development into the more complex and decorated vaults that are an integral part of the English Decorated and Perpendicular Gothic styles.
As a whole or in its individual parts, Southwell Minster is a brilliant example of medieval architecture in England and its rapid development over 200 years.
The east end held the altar and choir, or quire, which were used by the clergy during daily masses. Although medieval British churches are basically oriented east to west, they all vary slightly.
When a new church was to be built, the patron saint was selected and the altar location laid out.
Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire, England, is not as famous as some of Britain’s other great medieval churches, and neither is it as large.
However, it presents superb examples of both Romanesque or Norman and Gothic architecture in a building that suffered little damage during the turbulent years of the British Reformation, Civil War, and World War II.
But as you move further east and enter the quire, the uncomplicated architecture and decoration gives way to pointed arches and curlicue embellishments.
The sense of moving to a different building and place are somewhat confusing at first, until you are fully inside the east end and find yourself enveloped in the Gothic style.
On the saint’s day, a line would be surveyed from the position of the rising sun through the altar site and extending in a westerly direction. In clerical terms, Southwell Minster is a cathedral; but rather than rummage in ecclesiastical definitions, this essay will look at the architectural styles.
Nave of Southwell Minster (photo: Steve Cadman) On entering Southwell Minster, the sense of space feels logical and follows a well-defined and rhythmic order.