Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1.
1384.  But the situation was unhealthy, and the new comers had therefore little difficulty in persuading its occupants to remove to the convent of St. Julien, which they inhabited conjointly till the revolution.  At a very short period before that event, they had rebuilt the whole of the priory with such splendor, that it was one of the most magnificent in the neighborhood.  But the edifice, which had then been scarcely raised, was soon afterwards levelled with the ground.  The foundations alone attest the former extent of the buildings; and the park, now in a state of utter neglect, their original importance.

Rouen, as I have observed, is scantily ornamented with remains of real Norman architecture; for, even at the risk of a bull, we must deny that title to the Norman edifices of the pointed style.  Its vicinity, however, furnishes a greater number of specimens, among which the churched of Lery, of Pavilly, and of Yainville, are all of them deserving of a visit from the diligent antiquary.

Lery is a village adjoining Pont-de-l’Arche:  its church is cruciform, having in the centre a low, massy, square tower, surmounted by a modern spire.  A row of plain Norman arches, intended only for ornament, runs round the tower near the base, and over them on each side is a single round-headed window.  All the other windows of the building are of the same construction, and this renders it probable that the east end, in which there is also one of these windows, is really coeval with the rest of the church; though, contrary to the usual plan of the Norman churches, it is terminated by a straight wall instead of a semi-circular apsis.  The west front contains a rich Norman door-way, surmounted by three windows of the same style, adjoining each other, with a triple row of the chevron-ornament above them.  The interior wears the appearance of remote antiquity:  the arches are without mouldings, the pillars without bases, and the capitals are destitute of all ornamental sculpture.  In fact, these portions are nothing but rounded piers; and so obviously was mere solid strength the aim of the architect, that their diameter is fully equal to two-thirds of their height.  A double row of pillars and arches separates the nave into three parts, of unequal width; and another arch of greater span, though equally plain, divides it from the chancel.  In St. Julien, we observe a most simple exterior, accompanied by an interior of comparatively an ornamented style:  here the case is exactly the reverse; but in neither instance does there appear any reason to doubt that the whole of the building is coeval.  We shall be driven, therefore, to admit, that any inferences respecting the aera of architecture drawn merely from the comparative richness of the style, must be considered of little weight, and that, even in those days, a great deal depended upon the fancy of the patron or architect.  Of the real time of the erection of the church at

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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