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The Decorated Style in Leicestershire Churches

By John Eric Clark


This thesis examines the architecture of Leicestershire churches within a period of c.1260 to c.1350. It is the result of a field study of nearly three hundred churches both within Leicestershire and the surrounding counties, in order to define stylistic similarities and differences.\ud Part of the work has investigated the question of whether the term 'Decorated' requires some re-definition. Chapter I establishes that very little writing before the 20th century examined the architecture of Leicestershire churches in any detail, and even subsequently, major research has been sparse. Having observed the early sources, it continues with a review of the current general literature. Chapter 2 submits that the term 'Decorated' - as currently defined - is too wide to cover the entire period under discussion. The term 'Geometrical' as applied to late 13th-century architecture, should not be used to define the Decorated style. Examples set out to justify the argument that some of the motifs found in 14th-century Decorated architecture did not exist in the later 13th century.\ud Since later chapters deal with dis-aggregated features, Chapter 3 commences with a set of case studies of the individual churches along the Wreake Valley, before moving on to discuss how the different elements of Decorated are applied to Leicestershire churches. The following two chapters examine the economic background to the mediaeval county and the practicalities of masons, quarrying and building practices. The amount of data collected - which appears in the Appendices - has led to the introduction of new ideas, namely, that basic elements were stock-piled, and that templates were of more limited use than has been previously supposed. The remaining chapters deal with individual features, including two major chapters on Windows and Arcades: that on Windows provides the first ever detailed classification of window types within the county, whilst that on Arcades reveals much new evidence on building practices.\ud Volume 1 contains the text, Bibliography and list of all churches surveyed; Volume 2 contains all illustrations, appendices and maps

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
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