Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1.
Lery, there is no certain knowledge.  Topographers, however minute in other matters, seem in general to have considered it beneath their dignity to record the dates of parish-churches; though, as connected with the history of the arts, such information is exceedingly valuable.  Lauglois, who has given a figure of the western front of this at Lery, refers it without any hesitation to the time of the Carlovingian dynasty.  But this opinion is merely grounded on the resemblance of some of its capitals to those of the pillars in the crypt at St. Denis; the best judges doubt whether there is a single architectural line in that crypt, which can fairly be referred to the reign of Charlemagne.  Hence such a proof is entitled to little attention; and On studying the style of the whole, and its conformity with the more magnificent front of St. Georges de Bocherville, it would seem most reasonable to regard them both as of nearly the same aera, the time of the Norman Conquest.  We may through them be enabled to fix the date to a specimen of ancient architecture in our own country, more splendid than these, the Church of Castle Rising, whose west front is so much on the same plan, that it can scarcely have been erected at a very different period.

Pavilly has considerably more to recommend it, as the “magni nominis umbra” than either of the others; it having been the seat of an abbey founded about the year 668, and named after Saint Austreberte, who first presided over it.  Here, too, we have the advantage of being able to ascertain with greater precision the date of the building, which, in the archives of the Chartreux at Rouen[70], is stated to have been constructed about the conclusion of the eleventh century.  The remains of the monastery are not considerable:  they consist of little more than a ruined wall, containing three circular arches, evidently very ancient from their simplicity and the style of their masonry, and some pillars with capitals differing in ornament from any others I recollect, but imitations of the Grecian, or rather attempts to improve upon it.  The inside of the parish-church is more interesting than the ruins of the abbey.  It is characterised, as you will observe in the annexed sketch, by massy square piers, to each side of which are attached several small clustered columns, intended merely for ornament.  One of them is fluted, the work, probably, of some subsequent time; and another, on the same pier, is truncated, to afford a pedestal for the statue of a saint.  The capitals are without sculpture.

[Illustration:  Interior of the Church at Pavilly]

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