Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
and, as De Bourgueville says, the beginning was made in his time; but it remains to the present day incomplete, and has not been raised sufficiently high to enable us to form a clear idea of the design of the architect, though enough remains to shew that it would have been built in the Romanizing-gothic style.—­The inside is comparatively plain, excepting only the arches in the lower open part of the tower.  These are richly ornamented; and a highly-wrought balustrade runs round the triforium, uniform in its pattern in the nave and choir, but varying in the transepts.—­In the other ecclesiastical buildings at Caen, we saw nothing to interest us.—­The chapel of St. Thomas l’Abattu, which, according to Huet, “had existed from time immemorial,” and which, to judge from Ducarel’s description and figure, must have been curious, has now entirely disappeared.

In the suburb of Vaucelles, the church of St. Michael contains some architectural features of great curiosity[75].  The circular-headed arches in the short square tower, and in a small round turret that is attached to it, are unquestionably early Norman, and are remarkable for their proportions, being as long and as narrow as the lancet windows of the following aera.  It would not be equally safe to pronounce upon the date of the stone-roofed pyramid which covers this tower.  The north porch is entered by a pointed arch, which, though much less ornamented, approaches in style to the southern porch of St. Ouen, and, like that, has its inner archivolt fringed with pendant trefoils.  The wall above the arch rises into a triangular gable, entirely covered with waving tracery, the only instance of the kind which I have seen at Caen.

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[Footnote 71:  Huet, Origines de Caen, p. 12.]

[Footnote 72:  Upon this subject, Huet has an extraordinary observation, (Origines de Caen, p. 186.) “that, in the early times of Christianity, it was customary for all churches to front the east or north, or some intermediate point of the compass.”—­So learned and careful a writer would scarcely have made such a remark without some plausible grounds; but I am at a loss where to find them.  Bingham, in his Origines Eccleslasticae, I. p. 288, says, “that churches were so placed, that the front, or chief entrances, were towards the west, and the sanctuary or altar placed towards the east;” and though he adduces instances of a different position, as in the church of Antioch, which faced the east, and that of St. Patrick, at Sabul, near Down in Ulster, which stood from north to south, he cites them only as deviations from an established practice.]

[Footnote 73:  Cotman’s Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, t. 20.]

[Footnote 74:  Antiquities of Ireland, p. 151.]

[Footnote 75:  See Cotman’s Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, t. 18, 19.]

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