Norman architecture

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Related to Norman architecture: Gothic architecture, Romanesque architecture

Norman architecture,

term applied to the buildings erected by the Normans in all lands that fell under their dominion. It is used not only in England and N France, but also in S Italy (Apulia) and in Sicily. The Norman buildings in England and France were largely Romanesque, chiefly based upon the Romanesque architectureRomanesque architecture and art,
the artistic style that prevailed throughout Europe from the 10th to the mid-12th cent., although it persisted until considerably later in certain areas.
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 of Lombardy in Italy. Churches, abbeys, and castles, the principal works, showed massive proportions, sparsely adorned masonry, and a frequent use of the round arch. The development of the style was confined chiefly to the period from 1066 to 1154, a period of tremendous building activity. Arising in Normandy, the style was quickly introduced into England, superseding the Saxon. It first appeared at Westminster Abbey, where only the foundations remain. In England and Normandy there was a closely parallel development. The great French works include the ruined abbey of Jumièges, near Rouen, the beginnings of the great fortified abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, and the two abbeys at Caen that were founded by William the Conqueror, all belonging to the middle and late 11th cent. The greatest activity, however, was in England, where after 1070 the Normans built hundreds of parish churches and commenced most of the great cathedrals. All underwent later restorations; the only intact early Norman design is the small St. John's Chapel (c.1087), built by William the Conqueror, in the Tower of London. In both England and Normandy church plans were cruciform. Over the crossing of nave and transepts was a prominent square tower, one of the most effective Norman features. Blind arcades, sometimes with interlacing arches, were the common adornment for walls. Moldings carved with the beakhead, zigzag, or chevron, or alternating lozenges are especially identified with the style. Increased skill and the adoption of the chisel resulted in grotesque sculptured animal forms and in the sculptured reliefs of the tympanums over doorways. Certain elements of Anglo-Norman construction pointed toward the development of Gothic architectureGothic architecture and art,
structures (largely cathedrals and churches) and works of art first created in France in the 12th cent. that spread throughout Western Europe through the 15th cent., and in some locations into the 16th cent.
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. Whereas in early Norman buildings wooden roofs prevailed, the cathedral at Durham (commenced 1093) was the first to employ a ribbed vault system with pointed arches (the nave was finished c.1133). Other great English cathedrals tended away from the early massiveness of wall construction and showed an increasing verticality, including those at Winchester (begun 1079), Ely (1083–1109), and Peterborough (begun 1118). The austere grandeur of the English and French Norman style was modified in S Italy and especially in Sicily by the mingling of Byzantine and Arabic elements.


See A. W. Clapham, English Romanesque Architecture after the Conquest (Vol. II, 1934); D. F. Renn, Norman Castles in Britain (1970).

Norman architecture

A Romanesque form of architecture that predominated in England from the Norman Conquest to the rise of the Gothic style. It was plain and massive, with moldings confined to small features; archways were plain and capitals devoid of ornament. As the style advanced, greater enrichment was introduced, and later examples exhibit a profusion of ornament. Windows resemble small doors without mullions. Pillars were slender and channeled.

Norman architecture

Norman architecture
The Romanesque architecture of England from the Norman Conquest (1066) until the rise of the Gothic around 1180.
References in periodicals archive ?
2 DURHAM CATHEDRAL Home of the shrine of St Cuthbert, the present cathedral was founded in 1093 and is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green.
Durham Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and is regularly cited as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe.
But once you venture around the breathtaking coastal paths, explore the exquisite beaches and take in the architectural mix of British and Norman architecture, you quickly realise you cos uld be thousands of miles away from home.
The castle is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Ireland and has some unique features for its time, including curtain walls and D-shaped towers to protect the North face of the castle.
Durham Cathedral's Norman architecture has survived largely intact.
e Cathedral is classed as one of the nest examples of Norman architecture in Europe and has what's believed to be the world's rst structural pointed arch, while the Castle was home for years to the Prince Bishops who governed the "bu$er zone" between England and Scotland from the late 11th Century until 1603.
It is a grand example of Norman architecture whilst being a warm and inviting building."