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Perpendicular

Perpendicular. Third and latest of the English Gothic architectural styles, also known as Third Pointed or Rectilinear, it followed from the previous Decorated or Second Pointed style. The Perp. style first emerged in designs of c.1332 for the chapter-house and cloisters of old St Paul's Cathedral, London (destroyed), by William de Ramsey: key Perp. details, including mullions extending to the soffits of window-arches; extensive use of the bowtell; developed employment of the double-ogee; quatrefoils set in squares; bases with circular rolls, bells, and cushions over octagonal sub-bases of bell form; four-centred arches with flattened upper arcs; and square-framed arches with cusped blind spandrels were all evident. So the Perp. style emerged in the first half of C14 in London, and was further developed at Gloucester Cathedral, where the chancel (c.1337–57) displays many of its attributes, including the panel-like effect created by vertical and horizontal elements. An English style, it has no Continental, Irish, or Scottish equivalent, and survived for more than three centuries (the fan-vaulted hall staircase at Christ Church, Oxford, is c.1640). It was the first of the Gothic styles to be revived in C18.

Perp. is immediately recognizable by its pronounced verticals and horizontals in blind panels covering wall surfaces and in tracery (where the transoms are often ornamented with miniature battlements, and mullions rise straight up to the soffits of window-openings). Apertures gradually acquired flatter tops, with arches of the four-centred type. Vaults evolved from the complicated varieties involving liernes into the fan-vaults first found at the Chapter House of Hereford Cathedral (destroyed 1769) and the Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral (both second half of C14), and developing into the spectacular fan-vaulting of King's College Chapel, Cambridge (early C16), and the Lady Chapel (or Chapel of King Henry VII (reigned 1485–1509)) at Westminster Abbey (1503–19). Rectangular mouldings framing door-or window-openings formed spandrels (often ornamented) reinforcing the controlled panel-like appearance: those hood-mouldings terminated in carved label-stops. Indeed, the panel motif is one of the most recognizable features of the style, each framed panel having an arched top, often cusped, and is repeated in rows in tracery and over the walls as blind panels. Windows got larger, composed of many lights (repeating the panel-like forms), and often filled the entire wall between buttresses.

The Perp. style is commonly found in parish-churches, especially in East Anglia, the Cotswolds, and Somerset, where great wealth was created by the wool trade. Clerestoreys were added to existing churches, and they often were vast, airy, and light: as naves were increased in height to accommodate ranges of large Perp. windows in their clerestoreys, roofs were flattened, and disappeared behind crenellated decorative parapets. In East Anglia, especially, chancels were not distinctly compartmented, being part of the main volume of the church, but demarcated by means of elaborate timber screens, often sumptuously decorated and coloured. Mouldings tended to become mechanical, and foliage less deeply cut than previously: a common moulding was the grapevine or trail, often found on screens and canopies.

The use of hood-mouldings, the flattening of roofs and arches, the adoption of wide-spread crenellations, and the elaboration of lierne- and later fan-vaulting gave the Perp. style its predominant flavour. Perp. architecture from the end of C15 to the beginnings of the Elizabethan style is often called Tudor, and frequently featured brick walls ornamented with diaper-work, very flattened arches, and prominent hood-mouldings. The Tudor style was revived in C19, often for schools, work-houses, and collegiate buildings.

Bibliography

Harvey (1978);
W. Papworth (1852)
J. Parker (1850)

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perpendicular

per·pen·dic·u·lar / ˌpərpənˈdikyələr/ • adj. 1. at an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface: dormers and gables that extend perpendicular to the main roofline. ∎  at an angle of 90° to the ground; vertical: the perpendicular cliff. ∎  (of something with a slope) so steep as to be almost vertical: guest houses seem to cling by faith to the perpendicular hillside. 2. (Perpendicular) denoting the latest stage of English Gothic church architecture, prevalent from the late 14th to mid 16th centuries and characterized by broad arches, elaborate fan vaulting, and large windows with vertical tracery: the handsome Perpendicular church of St. Andrew. • n. a straight line at an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface: at each division, draw a perpendicular representing the surface line. ∎  (usu. the perpendicular) perpendicular position or direction: the wall declines from the perpendicular a little inward. ∎  an instrument for indicating the vertical line from any point, as a spirit level or plumb line. DERIVATIVES: per·pen·dic·u·lar·i·ty / -ˌdikyəˈlaritē/ n. per·pen·dic·u·lar·ly adv.

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perpendicular

perpendicular situated or having a direction at right angles XIV (not gen. current till XVI); applied to the third style of English pointed architecture XIX; sb. XVI. — L. perpendiculāris, f. perpendiculum plummet, plumb-line, f. PER- 2 + pendēre hang; see PENDENT, -CULE, -AR.

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Perpendicular

Perpendicular denoting the latest stage of English Gothic church architecture, prevalent from the late 14th to mid 16th centuries and characterized by broad arches, elaborate fan vaulting, and large windows with vertical tracery.

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perpendicular

perpendicularampulla, bulla, fuller, Müller, pula, puller •titular • Weissmuller • wirepuller •incunabula, tabular •preambular • glandular • coagula •angular, quadrangular, rectangular, triangular •Dracula, facula, oracular, spectacular, vernacular •cardiovascular, vascular •annular, granular •scapula • capsular • spatula •tarantula • nebula • scheduler •calendula •irregular, regular •Benbecula, molecular, secular, specular •cellular • fibula • Caligula • singular •auricular, curricula, curricular, diverticula, funicular, lenticular, navicular, particular, perpendicular, testicular, vehicular, vermicular •primula •insular, peninsula •fistula, Vistula •globular •modular, nodular •binocular, jocular, ocular •oscular •copula, popular •consular • formula • tubular • uvula •jugular •avuncular, carbuncular •crepuscular, majuscular, minuscular, muscular •pustular •circular, semicircular, tubercular •Ursula

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