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on the crockets and cornices, as creatures of evil omen, anticipating an approaching wreck.
To the very latest period, however, of its existence, the Tudor style continued to make considerable amends for declining taste, by magnificence and solidity of construction. Many of our most substantial parish churches, with coved or flat timber roofs, richly pannelled and moulded, belong to this period, and compensate, in a great measure, for the decay of elegance, by gravity and solemnity of character. Wolsey's work at Christ Church, with the towers of Bolton, Fountains, and other northern abbeys, where, unsuspicious of the impending storm, the most costly structures were in progress at the moment of the general dissolution, shew a strong disposition in the architects to disencumber the style, of meretricious decoration, and exhibit its leading features in association with something of a return to primitive simplicity; and even at Hampton Court and other buildings where this recommendation is wanting, there is a grandeur and sumptuousness, both of design and execution, which give dignity to its expiring efforts, and render pointed Architecture, which had been beautiful and comely in its rise, no less glorious and majestic in its fall.
Early in the sixteenth century, the semicircular arch, after a banishment of about three hundred years, began to reappear, at first on monuments, afterwards in buildings. Its resumption of power, was scarcely a more violent change than any of the preceding transitions; for the point, which distinguished the rival style, had become gradually so obtuse as scarcely to be discoverable, and flat-headed apertures, with only a slight curvature at the sides, three-centred, or elliptical arches, made easy way for the restoration of the Roman arch with all its classical accompaniments. Nothing of this kind appears in the architecture of Henry VII.'s chapel, but it is the character of his tomb by Torrigiano, and the monument of Dr. Young, in the Rolls chapel, by the same artist, dated 1516, and that of Sir Anthony Browne, in Battle church, dated 1540, are decided specimens of revived Roman Architecture.
The mixed style which resulted from this revival, though proving itself capable of great magnificence in the entrance to the schools at Oxford, and occasionally seen in churches, as at St. Catharine Cree, London, and the chapel of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, did not, in this country, ally itself to ecclesiastical, so kindly as to civil architecture, in which, in spite of all its incongruities, it has left most splendid memorials in the houses of our nobility and gentry during the reigns of Elizabeth and the first Stuarts. Nor could even the talents of Inigo
Jones, and Sir Christopher Wren, produce anything like harmony between Roman and Gothic Architecture. The abortive attempts of the latter, may be seen in the towers of Westminster abbey, and some of the London churches; those of the former at St. Paul's, have happily perished; we wish we could add, without the destruction of the Norman cathedral to which they were annexed; for, with sincere reverence for the talents of our great architect, and for the illustrious monument of his genius. whose type adorns our cover, we could well have dispensed even with the one classical cathedral, which now rears its head amongst us, to attest the unsuitableness of its style to the object at which it aims. No one can compare St. Paul's, magnificent as it is, with the meanest of our Gothic minsters, without perceiving at once its inferiority, whether from the disruption of ancient associations, or some inherent defect of architectural character, in the power of awakening those impressions of awe and solemnity, which in other cathedrals are instantaneous and involuntary. If we can detach ourselves, by a strong effort, from the deadening influence of the days of King Charles II., and determine to lose sight and thought of the many heathen reminiscences which surround us, it carries us back, by its gloom and coldness, to the caves and catacombs of the early Christians, rather than to any intermediate period in ecclesiastical history; and so far, we are willing to accept it, however contrary to the intentions of its founders, as an excellent preparative for days of persecution, a powerful refresher of primitive feelings and duties, in the midst of external splendour.
We have, perhaps, the fewer sympathies with the modern cathedral of St. Paul, from our conviction that its predecessor, of which Hollar has preserved the resemblance, and which far surpassed it in almost all its dimensions, was needlessly sacrificed to the preference for a different style, when quite as capable of restoration as York is at the present moment. In that style very far superior churches were produced (we speak of the interior, for the exterior has all the characters of greatness and nobility of conception, and has been preferred by the most competent judges, even to its great prototype at Rome) both by Sir Christopher Wren himself, and his followers in the reign of Queen Anne-churches in which something more of the cheerfulness of aspect befitting Christian worship is attained, without the surrender of that grave consistency, devotional seriousness, and dignified stability of character, which become the temple, as well as the worshippers, of "the everlasting God." Nor are these characteristics wanting in many churches which imitate the classical orders in the present day, and for which, amidst the
unfeatured uniformity of modern streets, varied only by Italian villas, the termini of railroads, and a thousand fantastic creations. in the squares, crescents, and rotundas of the suburbs, no fitter styles could perhaps be substituted. But the general character of the revived Roman and Grecian Architecture amongst us, especially as exemplified in the churches in and around the metropolis, where the great fire, the changes of fashion, and the increase of population, have afforded it freest room to expatiate, is that of soporific heaviness in its earlier, and unseemly levity in its later day. Of the intermediate period, the less that is said the better. It has devolved on our own age, to repair, as it may, the injuries moral and ecclesiastical, of a long interval of neglect, during which very few memorials of Church Architecture are to be found; and those, such as with rare exceptions, have been truly said to possess, beyond simple deformity, no character whatever.
We cannot let this subject drop without referring to the Cambridge Camden Society, the first part of whose published labours are now lying before us.
They have been some time employed in investigating the churches of Cambridgeshire and the adjoining counties, collecting all the particulars respecting them, and making drawings, with a view to publication, of all most worthy the public curiosity, We feel convinced that this society, and the similarly constituted society at Oxford, will be the means of doing much good, by reviving the true principles of Church Architecture. They are now also publishing a series of monumental brasses, in which undertaking we wish them every success.
In returning, with willing steps, to the earlier styles which have now passed rapidly under review, and which have been pointed out, as furnishing, with various degrees of excellence, the most appropriate models for the imitation of modern churchbuilders, we cannot but remark that there is a certain character in the subordinate members and ornaments of the respective ages, corresponding with that of their main feature, the arch, which is too apt to be overlooked, but which is essential to the "keeping" of the building, whatever be the species of Pointed Architecture it may profess to follow. For instance, the crockets and finials, while the arch retains its lancet or equilateral form, have a much slighter curvature than when its span is increased; and spread their leaves apart, in accordance with its expansion and depression, during the Perpendicular and Tudor periods. The shield also (which we have sometimes seen carefully copied in stone, from the every-day seal of a patron, as if its shape were as essential to heraldic correctness, as the arrange
ment of the bearings within), takes its form from the arch; and is acutely pointed or heater-shaped, in the early periods, grows more and more obtuse, as the Decorative declines into the Perpendicular, and at length extravagates in the variety of flattened curves, with or without points, which distinguish the style of the Tudors. Nor is it unnecessary to remark, that Crests have no right to accompany the shields, in buildings which profess a date anterior to the latter part of the fourteenth century; nor have the engraved lines, &c., which designate the colours—a modern however valuable invention-any claim whatever to admission, where strict propriety is aimed at in the imitation of Gothic buildings.
Their cruciform construction is the ordinary distinction of Cathedral and conventual churches. The bell-tower is the badge of a church with Parochial rights; and seems to have been so from the days of Athelstan, when the patronage of such a structure was one of the qualifications for the title of Thane. Chapels were content with a turret or bell-gable; nor did even the royal foundations at Windsor and Cambridge, aspire to cast aside the usual tokens of ecclesiastical subordination, though occasional deviations from the rule may be adduced, bearing date from very early times. How far it is desirable to adhere to the latter distinction at present, may be questioned. We think it of moment that new churches should, especially in populous places, have districts assigned them, and be rendered parochial; their dependence on the parent foundation being seldom otherwise than a cause of irritation. But where the filial structure is still supplied with religious offices from the parent, or other circumstances cause the dependence to be felt and valued, it may be well to retain its external symbol, both as an observance of ancient propriety, and as giving rise to a not unpleasing variety in the form of our Church Architecture.
From what has been said on the subject of association, it will be seen that we are no rigid exacters of precise uniformity in the design of an ecclesiastical building; in truth, much of the effect on the imagination created by our older churches, results from the skill and judgment with which the Architecture and monuments of various periods are made to combine in one harmonious whole; and great as is the delight with which we contemplate such structures as the cathedrals of Salisbury and York, in which the leading characteristics are perfect unity of plan, or perfect symmetry, combined with vastness of proportion, the palm of producing an ineffaceable impression at a single view, must, we think, be conceded to Cauterbury, and other cathedrals, far inferior in these respects, but in which an indescribable felicity in the adaptation of the various parts to each other, and
to the general design-"non facies una, nec diversa tamen❞— opens unexpected beauties at every step we take; and combining, in glass, in marble, in brass, and mosaics, every distinguishing feature which occurs between the Saxon and Tudor periods, presents us with an assemblage of architectural graces, such as can never satiate either the eye or the mind.
The former class of structures represents the Church of one age, the latter that of every age: the Architecture of the former is admired-that of the latter felt.
We do not, of course, recommend the crowding of every style into one building, especially one of small dimensions: it is only meant, that where the magnitude and distribution of parts in a building admit of it, some diversity of style, such as is constantly found in ancient churches, some deviation from tame uniformity in the number and arrangement even of component features in the same style, may be safely, though cautiously, admitted as a beauty, instead of being invariably shunned as a defect.
There has been room for apprehension lest the lancet style, simple and pleasing as it is, should by its cheapness monopolize the public taste, so as to become wearisome by continual repetition, in our new churches: but we have latterly seen unexceptionable specimens of the Norman, and even of the later English styles, giving evident token that public taste and liberality, as well as architectural skill, are decidedly on the rise. In some instances, the German and Lombard modifications of the declining Roman Architecture, distinguished by the title of Romanesque, have been introduced to our notice but with many attractive features, and every advantage from the sites chosen and the science of the architect, they labour under the inherent defect that they are aliens to the soil; their claim on English sympathies and attachments is yet to be acquired; and wherever they deviate from our own Saxon or Norman examples, which may be considered as native offsets from the same original root, our native tastes or prejudices, still as ever, "hospitibus feri," are apt to pronounce the deviation for the worse.
We are not inclined to look abroad for improvements, either of ancient or modern date. We trace the changes of our Architecture, as of our institutions ecclesiastical and civil, to no violent disruption, no foreign dictation, but to the persevering direction of native zeal and talent, liable indeed to deterioration and decline, but gifted by Divine Providence with a principle of revival, and putting forth at this moment fresh energies, after ages of suspension. May the spirit of the first founders and builders of churches distinguish every age of their successors, and no period of slumber need again be feared.