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Cathedral extension ^ The work of the Churcli among the millions — Sir 
Eohert Peel's Act — Inadequacy of mere extension of district Churches — 
Colonial progress — -Commissions of 1847 and 1852 — Ecclesiastical and 
Architectui'al idea of a Cathedral contrasted . . . . . . page 1 



Gothic ruled by common consent — Progression by Eclecticism — English 
Middle Pointed the starting point — Absolute Italian Gothic inadmissible, 
but capable of contributing elements — Early English and Early French 
contrasted — Growth of Middle Pointed — Advantage of Middle style over 
Early French — Hope's Historical Essay on Architecture — Iron and 
Crystal Architectiu'e not to be considered . . . . . . . . 29 



Peculiarities of Koman Catliolie Cathedrals — Ditferences between them and 
those adapted for English worship — Modern English Cathedrals built 
in and designed for Great Britain and Colonies . . . . . . . . ti8 



Roman Catholic and Reformed Cathedrals further contrasted — Wilars of 
Honecort — Practical use of the choir — Popularity of Choral Services 
and Special Preachings — English mauvaise lionto, and how cured — Tiic 
Volunteer movement — General and social uses of Cathedrals . . 108 




Extracts I'imjiu Historical Essay ou Architecture — Examples of Biisilicse — 
Ci Vitus Dei - Mouasticism and its Churches —Mediajval Cathedrals — 
Modern Euglisli society and its requirements .. .. page 133 



Nave — Trausei)ts —Round Ciiurclies — Choir and its Levels — Lord's Table — 
Need of breadth — East end square and apsidal — Height also requisite — 
Triforium an<l Clerestory — Roofing — Tliree new Churches in London — 
One-storied Churches — Steeples — Facade .. •• .. •• I'JO 



The progress of arcliitectural art in England — Constructive coloration a 
compensation for simplicity of plan in modern Cathedrals — Climatic 
reasons for internal moniuuents — Use of the apsidal aisle for internal 
monuments — Grim metal statues in London — High tombs in Cathe- 
drals -^'* 



Bishop Daniel Wilson's 'Uses of Cathedrals '— Schools and institutions in 
connexion with catiicdrals — Close and chapter-house — Commission of 
18.y2— Collegiate churches— Tlurality titles— Desirability of bestowing 
them in anticipation of divisitm of sees — Easy creation of lU'W chapters- 
Cathedrals the correlatives of the growing feeling for size and numbers — 
Ciithcdral system tiie condjination of co-ojjerative evangelization and 
lialldwed art — Conclusiou .. .. .. •• •• •• ■• -•"''^ 

( ix ) 


Interior of Kilmore Cathedral Frontispiece. 

Xo. P^«^ 

I. Glasgow Cathedral. East End 37 

■2. Glasgow Cathedral. Crypt 38 

3. Chartres Cathedral. West End 39 

4. Aisle Window, Chartres 40 

5. Buttress, Chartres ^^ 

G. Lady Chapel, Interior, Auserre Cathedral 40 

7. Choir of St. Oueu's Abbey, Rouen 48 

8. Notre Dame de I'Epine. West End 49 

9. Choir of Lincoln Minster 5- 

10. St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster 5o 

11. West End of Cologne Cathedral ^^ 

12. Plan of new Cathedral at Linz "** 

13. Plan of Alby Cathedral "^ 

14-. Plan of Blanskenoy Church, ^loscow ' - 

15. Plan of Old Sarum Cathedral "4 

16. Plan of Ely Cathedral '^'' 

17. St. Ninian's Cathedi-al, Perth to face 19, 

18. Plan of Perth Cathedral '^ 

19. Plan of Kilmore Cathedral '9 

20. Plan of Inverness Cathedral 80 

21. Plan of proposed Colombo Cathedral 81 

22. Latitudinal section of proposed Colombo Cathedral 81 

23. Exterior of proposed Colombo Cathedral 8- 

24. Longitudinal section of proposed Colombo Cathedral 83 

2.5. Plan of Brisbane Cathedral 85 

26. Exterior of Brisbane Cathedral 86 

27. Latitudinal section of Brisbane Cathedral 86 

28. Plan of St. Kitt's Church 87 

29. St. Kitt's Church to face 8" 

30. Mr. Burges's plan for Memorial Church at Constantinople 91 

31. Mr. Street's plan for Memorial Church at Constantinople 93 

32. Plan of St. Nicholas' Church, Hamburgh 94 

33. Exterior of Calcuttiv Cathedral. West End 98 

34. Interior of Calcutta Cathedral 99 

35. E.\terior of Sydney Cathedral 101 

36. Plan of Sydngy Cathedral 102 

37. Elevation of South Aisle of Sydney Cathedral •■ "^^^ 

38. Two Churches from Wilars of Honecort H-^ 

39. Plan of Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 144 



No. Tagk 

40. Intei-ioi- of Sta. Maria Maggiore, Rome 145 

41. Plan of S. Clemente, Rome 146 

4'2. Interior of Cathedral at Torcello 147 

4:;. Plan of Torcello Cathedral, and Sta. Fosca 149 

44. Plan of proposed Abliey Church at S. Hall, 9th century 151 

45. Plan of Haarlem Cathedral 171 

46. Plan of Aix-la-Chapelle Cathedral 198 

-7. Plan of S. Gereon, Cologne 199 

48. Longitudinal Section of S. Gereon 201 

49. Plan of Chapel in Tower of London 208 

50. ■ Plan of Milan Cathedral 210 





Cathedral extension — The work of the Church among the millions — Sir 
Robert Peel's Act — Inadequacy of mere extension of district Churches — 
Colonial progress — Commissions of 1847 and 1852 — Ecclesiastical and 
Architectural idea of a Cathedral contrasted. 

A CATHEDRAL is, as evciy one knows who has thought 
ever so little upon the matter, both a building and an 
institution. As a building it is supposed to fulfil 
certain architectural and artistic conditions, and as 
an institution to carry out certain religious and cha- 
ritable objects. It follows from this double nature of 
a cathedral that the subject of " Cathedral extension " 
in England — a subject which has within the last thirty 
years occupied no inconsiderable portion of public 
attention, and which is not likely in the years to 
come to lose its importance — is in one aspect an 
architectural and in the other a social question, 
according as the building or the institution fills the 
more prominent place in the inquirer's mind. But in 
this, as in every other mixed question, it is neither 



possible nor desirable so wholly to void either nature 
of the presence of the other as to leave it open to 
treat of the architectural cathedral without some 
reference to its practical uses, or to point to those 
uses without treating of the building in which they 
are embodied. Unfortunatel}^ however, the cathedral 
question has never yet been handled in England 
with a sufficiently comprehensive regard to its two 
phases, numerous as are the publications to which it 
has given rise. It has been taken up by the pro- 
fessed architect or architectural critic, and he has of 
course dwelt upon technical considerations of a con- 
structural or artistic character ; or else it has been 
treated by the ecclesiastical or social reformer without 
a sufficient appreciation of the necessitj' incumbent on 
him to show how his theories are to be materially 
w^orked out. I am very far from laying claim to any 
pretensions of adequately supplying the deficiency 
when I call attention to the English cathedral of the 
nineteenth century. All that I desire is hastily to 
skim the surface of a reservoir which I know to be 
as deep as it is wide. Still I venture to vindicate 
my treatment of the topic not by inviting the indul- 
gence of my readers, but by alleging the demands of 
its own nature, which is at once architectural and 
social. I shall in fact do for my subject what the 
author of a treatise advocating the increase of any 
other class of public buildings, such as theatres or 
banking-houses, might be ex})ected to do for his — 
namely, prove in the first instance that there was a 
public call for mow of llioso institutions, and in the 


second pkce consider in what that call consisted so 
far as it led to those peculiar arrangements and 
fittings which give to the theatre or to the banking- 
house its own constructional identity. If he failed in 
the first branch of this argument, he would stultify all • 
that he might say under the second head, for he Avould 
leave himself open to the retort that he was spinning 
a set of fanciful rules for the creation of a useless and 
expensive institution. If he left off at the first stage, 
he would have done nothing towards solving the 
all-important question whether there were sufficient 
buildings actually in existence, and able to serve for 
theatres or banking-houses. No doubt, in much of 
what I have to say, I may appear to the mere student 
of tracery and mouldings to be travelling out of the 
record; while at other times I may be set down as 
dwelling too strongly on technical and material con- 
siderations by the professed " sociologist." But I do 
not address these pages exclusively to the architect or 
to the sociologist, but to all those who feel interested 
in making up their minds, either for artistic or social 
reasons, whether more cathedrals are really wanted 
for the religious advantage of the people, and if so, 
how these cathedrals had best be provided. 

It must not, however, be supposed, because the 
point of view from which I take my general survey 
stands rather within the limits of the architectural 
ground, that I consider this the more important 
aspect of the matter, as if the body existed for the 
raiment and not the raiment for the body. The 
reason for this treatment is simply that this book is 

H 2 


founded upon a lecture delivered at an architectural 
congress, in \Yhich of course good taste required that 
I should dwell most fully upon architectural con- 
siderations. Having been by the kindness of my 
auditory invited to publish what I had delivered, I 
conceived it most respectful to them and to my 
subject-matter to recast my views in a fuller and 
more* mature shape than that in which I had pre- 
sented them at Cambridge, and to enlarge on several 
topics to which I then did no more than allude. At 
the same time I have thought it equally incumbent 
on me not absolutely to destroy the identity of tha t 
lecture, but to adhere to the general distribution of 
the various questions as therein handled. 

In following out ray argument I am conscious that 
my footsteps will often have to pass, as lightly as 
may be, 

per ignes 
Suppositos cineri doloso 

of past or present architectural controversies. But I 
shall avoid the other risk of having to entertain any 
of those much-vexed theological and ecclesiastical 
disputes, which show, by the very vehemence with 
which they are waged, how much of earnestness there 
is in the English character of the present day. All 
that I shall have to say will be based ui)on one simple 
fact, and u})on one simple deduction from it. The 
fact is, that episcopal regimen (of which the cathe- 
dral is not indeed an essential, but a most desirable 
and important clement) has existed in the national 
(Miurcli of Kim-kiiid Worn the lirst dav on which 


Christianity was preached in this island down to the 
present moment. The deduction is, that, if that 
regimen ought to continue, its continuance ought to 
be made profitable to the nation by adapting the 
number and distribution of bishoprics to the increase 
of the national population. I shall hold myself ab- 
solved from having to offer any preliminary definition 
of what I mean b}^ a cathedral when I say that the 
public whom I address are all those persons who have 
formed a rational idea of St. Paul's and Westminster 
Abbey, and who therefore need not be told that 
those buildings contain a choir for the chapter and choir 
(and in the first-named church for the bishop) to sit 
in, and for the performance of the ordinary service, and 
a nave sometimes empty and sometimes employed for 
sermons and extra services, while architecturally they 
also possess transepts, aisles, a central lantern, and other 
features which it is not needful now to recapitulate. 

"Westminster Abbey is a quasi-cathedral of the thir- 
teenth, and St. Paul's an actual one of the seventeenth 
century, while the idea which I propose to develope is 
that of the English Cathedral of the Nineteenth Century. 
In adopting this title, I desire that every word in it 
should be taken in an absolute and exclusive sense. 
The building and the institution are to be a Cathedral 
as distinct from and opposed to a parish church and 
its organization; they are to be English — English, 
that is, both nationally and ecclesiastically^ — as dis- 
tinct from and opposed to foreign ; and, last but not 
least, they are to be of the nineteenth centur}^ as 
distinct from and opposed to one of any earlier age. 

« WORK OF THE CHURCH Ciiai-. 1. 

Keeping these limitations steadily in view, I shall 
endeavour to show not only that there are distinc- 
tively such buildings in posse as English cathedrals 
of the nineteenth century, but that there are good 
practical reasons why they should be built ; while I 
shall in the second place suggest certain data of size, 
character, and arrangement, which ought, in mj^ judg- 
ment, to regulate the architectural construction both of 
the churches themselves and of the accessory buildings. 

In explanation of the opinion that the circumstances 
of the age call for additional cathedrals, I venture to 
republish a letter which I addressed with my own name 
to The Times in December, 1857, under the title of 
' The Work of the Church among the Millions,' at the 
time when public feeling was much excited by that 
prohibition, on the part of a parish clergyman, of the 
organized preaching in Exeter Hall, wdiich so happily 
led to the institution of the Special Services at West- 
minster Abbey and St. Paul's. Nothing has subse- 
quently occurred "Which modifies in any serious point 
the opinions which I have there expressed ; and I do 
not think that I could now more successfully com- 
press my meaning into any other brief statement. I 
need hardly observe that the necessary limits of a 
communication to a newspaper compelled me to claim 
the admission of facts or inferences which in any 
other form of composition I should have demonstmted 
at more or less length. 

"Various circmnstancos — Mr. Spnrgeon's crowded fol- 
lowing, the couiiter-inove at Exeter Hall, j\[r. Edouart's pro- 
hibition, and the consequent opening of Westminster Abbey, 


aud Bill of Lord Shaftesbury's — have, each in its way, for the 
few last months arrested the attention of serious-minded men 
upon the yet unsolved problem of the evangelization of our 
teeming town populations. Permit me to contribute my 
quota of suggestions, offered in no polemic spirit, but with 
the desire of aiding in the attainment of that end which is 
common to the representatives of every side, however much 
they may in Christian sincerity, and I hope I may add in 
Christian charity, differ as to the means. 

" The mistake, as it seems to me, of those who have hitherto 
taken up the question has been that they have not handled 
it either deeply or broadly enough ; the controversy has run 
upon the comparative merits of this or that locality — the 
Abbey and the Music-hall — or upon the conflicting authori- 
ties of such limited exhibitions of majesty as a voluntary 
committee or a perpetual cm-ate. In the mean Avhile the 
great fact is forgotten that in this country there does exist, 
and has for centuries existed, a corporation for the very 
purpose which these isolated efforts inadequately attempt to 
cover, — a corporation conterminous in its limits with the 
boundaries of England itself, and possessing the twofold 
exchequer of large hereditary possessions and a perpetual 
flow of voluntary contributions. Granting to Lord Shaftes- 
bm-y, and granting to the Dean of Westminster, that the 
voice of the preacher must be raised to the millions of 
London, I go on to say that it is alike cruel upon the peer 
and upon the dignitary to leave the work to the isolated 
exertions of the bodies whom they represent. Still more do 
1 insist that the provisions of the Bill before the House of 
Lords, dealing, as they do, with nothing beyond a little 
greater liberty of amateur, unsystematized exertion, are a 
wholly inadequate solution of an all-important problem. 
Either the Church of England does or it does not possess 
the germinating principle in its corporate constitution. 
Belonging as I do to that communion, I believe the affirm- 


ative, and 1 therefore request your attention to the question 
whether or not tliat corporate constitution, developed accord- 
ing to the circumstances of the times, may afford a remedy 
for our spiritual famine more adequate to the case than 
individual palliatives, however carefully seasoned. 

" The Church of England is episcopal, and it is established. 
The former attribute concentrates the staff who regulate, and 
that main body for whose welfare the staff itself exists, into 
certain groups called dioceses, under a head called bishop, 
the modification of the Greek word for overseer. Thus the 
ej)iscopal aspect of the church is that of aggregation. But it 
is also established ; and a main characteristic of this estab- 
lishment is, that it distributes the regulating staff, ' seizing ' 
them respectively of certain freehold rights (regulated on the 
general principles of all real property), over the spiritual 
concerns of definite circumscriptions, called parishes. The 
establishment phase of the church is therefore disjunctive. 
The origin of the diocese and that of the parish lie equally 
on the surface of church liistory. In the early centuries of 
Christianity, in the days alike of persecution and of early 
prosperity, when converts were chiefly made in the town, and 
the old heathendom clung to the country until ^j»«</<mM« 
(villager) became the appellative of Jupiter's long obstinate 
votary, the diocese was all in all. Each town had its bishop 
or overseer, with his staff of presbyters under him. Each 
bishop had at least one place of worship in that town, con- 
taining his chair or ' cathedra,' and therefore called his 
cathedral churcli. If the town was large and the faithful 
numerous, other churches or chapels depended on this cathe- 
dral church, served by its staff under the bishop's orders. 
The scattered converts in the 'pagan' outskirts were looked 
after by the (jOcasional and itinerant ministrations of indi- 
viduals of this staff. At last, within the precincts of the old 
Jvoman eiri})ire, tlie village obstinacy gave way, and the faith 
began to spread in northern regions, where the town/s were 


rare and small. Changed circumstances were wisely kept 
pace with by changed arrangements. Individual presbyters 
were located in country stations while the bishop combined 
to invest them with definite and delegated spiritual juris- 
diction, and the civil power to confirm them in their position 
by the assurances of support and the realities of landed 
endowment. So the parish grew up as something subordinate 
to the diocese, the two terms having been originally synony- 
mous. The difference was, that the very notion of episcopacy 
involved the existence of dioceses while it did not involve 
that of parishes, which rely upon subsequently-conceded 
rights based on constitutional convenience. Speaking for 
myself as an ej^iscopahan, I should say that the perfect 
constitution for the Christian Church would have been the 
equipoise of the diocesan (or cathedral) and the parochial 
systems. The towns would have exhibited the high-pressure 
activity which co-operation always produces in the overseer 
directing, and yet mitigated by, his staff of coadjutors ; some 
adapted to and great in one branch of the clerical office — 
others in another ; this man a stirring preacher in the chm'ch 
— that one persuasive in the house of mom-niug or of sin ; the 
third a careful and wise steward of the charities intrusted to 
their ministrations ; the fourth the patient and winning 
instructor of youth. In the rural districts, where the work 
and the means were alike smaller, one man, responsible to 
his bishop, and yet not removable for mere caprice or 
without due trial, would perform the various duties of liis 
office, either single-handed, if his parish were small, or with 
that assistance in a larger one which would render it pro 
tanto a miniature of the central cathedral. Why is this 
picture a dream ? The reasons are various, but chief among 
them are these : — Dioceses remained too large, and even the 
best of bishops, in consequence, too much forgot their direct 
pastoral interest in every member of their whole flock, and 
acted as if their dutv began and ended with the governance 


of the clergy alone. In time accordingly the very office of 
bishop itself grew into temporal dignity to the loss of its 
spiritual perfection, and the jirimitive 'over-seer' stiffened 
into the Elector of Treves or a Cai'dinal Beaufort. Con- 
temporaneously the cathedral clergy, put at a distance by the 
bishop, retaliated by setting up extravagant claims of inde- 
pendent authority and special immunities of their own, fatal 
to theii- continuing to act with and under them for the common 
work of evangelization. Then, the large to^vns, even those 
which contained cathedrals, felt themselves destitute of the 
advantages of such institutions, and the gap was filled up in 
them by the institution of the parochial system in all its rural 

" The result, which commenced in the early middle ages, 
and which is still in full operation here, as on the continent, 
is that our cathedrals have not kept pace with the running. 
The Established Church of England numbers millions of 
members, and yet the cathedrals are less than 30, and many 
of them stand in small towns. Into the condition of the 
cathedral clergy themselves during, at all events, the last 
and the earliest part of the present century, I do not enter. 
Both in them and in our bishops the standard is decidedly 
raised. Good and bad together, cathedral clergy and bishops, 
act from different views of duty to what their predecessors, 
good and bad together, acted in 1757 ; and, different as the 
object of these cathedrals may be from that which influenced 
the creation of primitive dioceses with their head church and 
their bishop, yet the modern cathedral plays an important 
part in a church of educated men by affording a retreat to 
that smaller but indispensable branch of the cliM-gy wliich 
has to keep alive the functions of reading and of thinking, 
while their less gifted but more robust brethren are working. 

" Accordingly I do not propose to touch the framework of 
our actual cathedrals in smnllcr towns. IMucli may bi' said 
about it on botli si(U'S, wliich there is nt)t time to discuss at 


present. Our work to-day is with the centres of population. 
There existing means of grace have, by the testimony alike 
of Churchman and of Dissenter, broken down and proved 
inadequate. The fact is undoubted, while the explanations 
and the remedies are various. For my own part, as a 
Churclunan, I do not hesitate to say that the Church has lost 
its ground by relying on the parochial system and on that 
alone. It must recover the advantages it has forfeited, not 
by dramng the reins of that system tigliter, not by multi- 
plying small, ill-paid, perpetual curacies and little mean 
churches among our teeming alleys, not by manning those 
churches with isolated sentinels, destined one after the other 
to succumb to the very physical pressm-e of the surrounding 
multitudes, not by encouraging the spasmodic exertions of 
the delegates of volunteer committees, — it must gravely and 
unitedly return to the better pattern of early Christendom, to 
that system which successively won Alexandria, Antioch, and 
Rome to the faith of the Crucified. The parochial system 
must abdicate exclusive rights, and act in subordination to 
that common-sense law of co-partnery which was the in- 
forming spirit of the primitive cathedral. Every town of 
above a certain cipher of population ought to have its one 
head clergyman, who should preside over the evangelization 
of the whole community. There is a name 1800 years old 
for such head clergyman, and it stands to reason that he had 
better assume it, and be entitled Bishop. The mode of 
paying his stipend is not within my present consideration, 
further than to observe that, as I do not contemplate his 
being a Bishop of Parliament, he will go far towards making 
out his endowment by the income and the parsonage of that 
rector or vicar of the principal church in the town whose place 
he would fill. Exchanges of patronage would easily bring all 
such Kvings into bearing. Here we have tlie head, — where 
are the members of the regulating body ? First woidd come 
that association whom, in accordance with precedent, I would 


name the Chapter, viz., the immediate aides-de-camp of our 
bishops, whose office it would be to perform the duties which 
the Exeter Hall preachers have undertaken, and others 
besides, to which I shall have to refer presently. These 
men would also compose the bishop's ordinary advisers. 
Secondly would rank the parish incumbents, sacred in their 
position, but holding it on terms of direct reference to the 
bishop, and of mutual co-operation in the good work, in- 
volving joint consultation. Thirdly come the locale of their 
organization. On this head I need not insist. The largest 
church in the town would bo of course dubbed cathedral, and, 
if there was none large enough, in this church-building age, 
under the attraction of the new system, a building sufficiently 
spacious, however cheap and jilain, would soon be erected. 
In smaller though still populous towns a scheme of mutual 
co-operation would have to be organized, moulded on that of 
the cathedral towns, but differing from it in not being headed 
by a local bishop. 

" Now, let this machinery be at work, and then under such 
a system the sermon at the local Westminster Abbey and the 
local Exeter Hall would be equally regular. On one occasion 
practical considerations ^^ould jjrompt the clioice of one 
place, and on another the selection might be diflerent. The 
preacher would sometimes be one of the staff, at others a 
stranger invited by the bishop or chapter ; occasions of 
worship, no less than of preaching, would be multiplied. 
But there would be a duty on the part of the chapter even 
more important than preaching the sermons — that of whip- 
ping up the congregations to them. IMerely opening Exeter 
Hall or Westminster Abbey no more insures the presence of 
those for whom the sermons Avould be most useful, than 
opening Drury-lane would attract the people who eitlier do 
not care for or who object to the drama. Zealous church- 
goers naturally Hock to the Abbey or the Hall, as zeak)us 
playgoers flock to the theatre ; but the real work of con- 


version goes on from house to house and from chamber to 
chamber, and this is the function of an associate body 
mutually sustaining, counselling, and cheering each other. 
The external manifestations of schools, charitable associations, 
libraries, lectures, and so forth would of course cluster about 
the cathedral and form a portion of its work. But I cannot 
afford to run into details. 

" Such a cathedral and such a bishop will be on the face of 
things a practical nineteenth century affair, and I cannot for 
a moment conceive that the vague suspicions and dislike 
which attach to tliose names in many minds which have only 
contemplated the existing system, and at a distance, will long 
stand out against the realities of Christian evangelization, of 
which they will become the symbol. 

" I do not, of course, flatter myself with the hope that a 
plan, such as I have sketched, can be completely carried out 
at once ; but the first step may be taken at any time, and 
those outlines traced which time and circumstance must fill 
in. At the -worst, it would be better to face the evil with a 
scheme complete in its general features, though partial in its 
first operations from the very extent of that completeness, 
than with propositions which must from first to last be partial, 
from the unsystematic character, the limited area, and the 
uncertain operation of the relief which they proffer. If 
crime and violence are rampant, it is time to enact some law 
of general police, although the policeman may not at the 
instant be forthcoming, while it would seem but trifling with 
the emergency to pass a short Act permitting those who 
liked it to act occasionally when they liked it, and no longer 
than they liked it, as special constables. Indeed, an organi- 
zation such as I have indicated would be hardly more difficult 
or expensive, if rightly undertaken, than that of the new 
constabulary force which our counties have been most justly 
compelled to adopt. The difference would be, that while the 
police is chargeable on all who pay the rate, the clnn-ch 


extension would have to be defrayed out of the existing 
revenues of the Church of England and that private liberality 
of its members which if appealed to boldly never fails to 
answer cheerfully." 

It will be seen from this sketch, upon which I shall 
have to enlarge in the course of the volume, that 
the cathedral extension for which I plead occupies a 
position different from that church extension which 
has for a generation past engaged the best energies 
and prospered on the unstinted liberality of so many 
of England's worthiest children. But I flatter myself 
that it will be accepted as the complement, and not 
the antagonist, of that movement. It is possible that 
the cause in whose behalf I urge my plea may seem 
to many persons a task too difficult for practical suc- 
cess, if not absolutely a visionary idea. But I am 
convinced that in 1861 I am really taking a far less 
bold stand than I should have done had I written in 
1811 and urged the necessity of the next half-century 
accomplishing one quarter of what has since been 
effected in the way of church and school extension. 
When we consider the condition of spiritual destitution 
to which the combined action of a rapidly increasing 
population and an unelastic law of parochial sub- 
division and endowment had reduced England at 
the commencement of the century, and compare it 
with the activity which characterises in various mea- 
sures almost every part of the Church at the present 
day, we can only exclaim, " It is the Lord's doing, 
and it is marvellous in our eyes." But it would 
be a foolish and hurtful optimism to suppose that the 


actual system was the complete panacea for all tlie 
spiritual wants of the nation. Excellent as the 
parochial system is in so mau}^ ways, it yet must tend, 
if unmodified by other agencies, to a disjunctive and 
separatist, rather than a co-operative and harmonising 
order of things. The church with its incumbent, the 
school with its teacher, are admirable, each in its own 
sphere ; but if neither of them is to be drawn upwards 
in itself, nor towards its own similarly-placed neigh- 
bour, by the proximity of some more exalted ex- 
emplar, each will be apt to trail upon the ground 
within a limited circle. If there is no harmonising 
principle at work to blend the local idiosyncrasies of 
each little centre, every such small community will 
be apt to become a law to itself in defiance of its 
neighbours, or else to lose heart and energy from 
the absence of that encouragement which a superior 
and resulatins; oro-anization can alone afford. I need 
no further proof of my position than the practical 
working of that well-known measure of ecclesiastical 
reform. Sir Eobert Peel's Act. This act was passed 
to remedy an order of things which called for legis- 
lation, and it has proved in many respects a blessing 
to the Church of England. Greater facilities were 
unquestionabl}^ needed for the subdivision of parishes 
than already existed, and these the act provided upon 
the broad and intelligible principle, then for the first 
time admitted into our Parliamentary legislation for 
ecclesiastical matters, that the creation of the cure 
of souls was of more importance than the completion 
of the material fabric, and that the new autonomy 


ouglit therefore to date from the endowment of the 
incumbent and not from the Imilding of the church. 
That Sir Eobert Peel's Act has however proved an 
unmixed blessing, no man, unconnected with the 
Ecclcsiostical Commission, would, I should think, be 
bold enough to asseverate. The week's contents of 
the waste-paper basket of any person supposed to be 
bountiful towards church purposes would give the 
most complete and pointed reply to such an assertion. 
There are in truth few more melanchol}^ records of 
diflSculty and privation, manfully I believe and 
Christianly borne up against as tlie general rule, than 
that interminable series of circulars, printed and 
lithographed, by incumbents of destitute Peel districts 
which are ever passing and repassing through the 
post-office. The same story with a few variations 
runs through them all. The church is either unbuilt, 
and Divine Service performed in some wretched, 
pestilential, unsuitable hole, or else it has been built 
with a de])t which is breaking the backs of all who 
have taken part in that good work. Then comes 
in the regular reference to the church-rate, and we 
are either informed that the rate has been refused for 
years past, as the new church stands in a j)opulous 
place, or else it is levied for the beneiit of the motlier- 
church, and the new institution gets nothing at all, 
or mucli less than its right proportion. Then there is 
no school, or the school also is insolvent, wliile the 
incumbent finds himself reduced to tliat most painful 
and detrimental of acts — namely, to proclaim tlie per- 
sonal indigence of a gentleman and often of a gentle- 


woman to the ears of strangers. In the mean while 
the poverty-stricken district cannot be effectively 
worked even in proportion to the means which it has 
scraped together. A morning spent in posting urgent 
appeals even in l)ehalf of God's house is a bad pre- 
paration for preaching Grod's word in that house. 
Besides, the single-handed clergjnnan is physically 
unable to work his natural resources to the uttermost. 
The best head and the best lungs must often flag 
under the incessant physical fatigue of public minis- 
trations in a populous district carried on without 
change or assistance. The clergyman soon discovers 
that his public services, drawn from a jaded and 
insufficient source, are becoming vapid and forced, 
and he feels that the attendance runs the risk of 
speedy diminution. If we add to this the wear and 
tear of home visiting and such ministrations, the toil 
of keeping up the schools, and the petty harassing 
details of clubs and other miscellaneous calls upon the 
clergyman's time and energy, we cannot hesitate to 
own that the underpaid and unassisted minister of a 
Peel district in a town, who tries to do his duty, 
stands in a false and impossible position, and that his 
success or failure is no criterion of the real strength 
of the Church of England if properly set in motion. 
The evil is increasing day by day ; and if the religious 
world is not timely wise, there may some day be a 
terrible crash and collaj^se of character and influence, 
not to say a general catastrophe of material reverses. 
The Church is on its trial in more ways than one in the 
Peel parishes, for in no long time the authorities will 



find that it is impossible to persuade men of education 
and proved character, such as the ideal Church-of- 
England clergyman ought to be, to shipwreck fortune, 
health, and usefulness in whirlpools so obscure and so 
repulsive as the bankrupt districts ; and the result must 
be that we shall find a body of clergymen without 
education or social standing foisted into the ministry 
as stopgaps for the destitute localities. I need not say 
how grievous a misfortune both to Church and State 
would be this deterioration of the clerical standard. 
The evil may perhaps take the form of there growing 
up two castes of clergymen : one will l)e the incumbents 
of vicarages and rectories, men of education, influence, 
and social standing, out of whom dignitaries will be 
ordinarily chosen — and the other will be the incumbents 
of district churches, "literates" who enter holy orders 
without a reasonable hope of any better material 
position, and all whose associations, social and profes- 
sional, will tend to keep them apart, in an attitude 
of ignorant and dissatisfied hostility, both from the 
gentry and the university-bred incumbents of the old 
parishes. If this state of things should unhappily 
come about, we shall see in England the repetition in 
our reformed community of that same disastrous and 
scandalous feud which afllicted the mediaeval Church 
in the contests of the secular clergy alongside of the 
ancient monasteries with the newly-minted and demo- 
cratic Fmtres. Perhaps however an even worse evil 
may befall us, and the lean cattle devour the fat. The 
" literate" may become the typal incumbent of Eng- 
land, and that grand personage, the English clergyman 


— gentleman and scholar as well as Christian — become 
a thing of the past. 

I do not of course pretend to say that what has 
been done, even if somewhat amiss, can now be re- 
constituted upon a better basis. Where three pnny 
churches, each with a single ill-endowed clergyman, 
and a proportionately feeble tariff of services, have 
been erected in a locality where one large church with 
a staff of four or five clergy, and constant opportuni- 
ties of worship at all hours, would have been infinitely 
more beneficial, and not have cost one farthing more 
at the outset, then these three churches must, I 
suppose, be still maintained as a vested interest. But 
at least we can be more wise for the future in the 
institutions which we raise up to meet the growing 
wants of an increasing population, and to palliate, if 
not remove, the inconveniences of the existing organ- 

The remedy, I need hardly say, I see in the ex- 
tension of that co-operative agency which is best and 
most briefly described as the cathedral system. In 
advocating its adoption in England, such as England 
is in the present century, I am not proposing a leap 
in the dark, or suggesting the trial of an experiment 
alien to the national character and the present con- 
dition of the English Church. It is true that no new 
cathedral has been reared in England or Wales for 
the use of our communion within this centur3^ But 
in that great England beyond the seas, the British 
Colonies, where the Church has had to constitute itself 
in every particular, without the material advantage 

(! 2 


of being "established," the cathedral system has been, 
within the last qnarter of a century, evolved out of 
nothing as the foundation of the great creative work. 
The leader, I should add, in the movement, both in 
date and onwardness, was, as I shall have occasion 
to show, that energetic prelate Bishop Daniel Wilson 
of Calcutta. I shall accordingly illustrate what I 
have to say with plans and engravings of some of 
the more noticeable and meritorious cathedrals and 
quasi-cathedrals built or designed for the use of the 
English Communion by eminent ecclesiastical archi- 
tects of our own day, using their various features as 
contributions towards erecting that typal English 
cathedral of the nineteenth century which it is my 
object to present. I have, I trust, offered considera- 
tions to show that the demand for more cathedrals 
is not merely the utterance of an sesthetic craving, 
but that the reasons for it are based on the social 
and religious wellbcing of our country. In many 
cases the new cathedral will of course be some 
already existing church, but I am at present pleading 
for those cases where there is no church worthy of 
the distinction ; and })csides, even where the church 
can be found, many alterations in the fabric itself 
will generally be needed, and the accessory buildings 
will have to be constructed. In these instances, ac- 
cordingly, it will be useful to possess some standard 
upon which the alterations can be based, or the new 
accessory buildings contributed. 

The importance of keeping alive the |)ossibility of 
future cathedrals has, even in a material aspect, a 


value beyond its architectural import. Well-meaning 
persons have so pertinaciously reiterated the shallow 
assertion that the conditions of the present time 
restrict the Church of England to the erection of 
small or moderately sized parish churches, that the 
friends and executives of church extension have almost 
ended in believing them. How cramping the idea is 
to the free developement of art it is needless to say, for, 
unless art is master of size as well as of other material 
conditions, it must become petty and cramped. But 
this process of cramping does not stop short with art, 
for in the mystery of the world's existence mind and 
matter act and react upon each other. I have so 
strongly insisted on the social disadvantages attendant 
on the isolation of small parishes, that I may be 
excused for briefly expressing my conviction as a 
corollary that the notion of the Church of England 
being exclusively the communion of small buildings is 
one which if it takes root in the public mind cannot 
fail to have a deteriorating effect upon the moral no 
less than the artistic wellbeing of any nation which 
should contentedly close with mediocrity in any of its 
phases, as the normal condition of its external religion. 
Let it then Ije granted that, if we keep the system 
of the Prayer-Rook in view, and take our old 
cathedrals as our point of departure, we shall soon 
master the construction of new cathedrals in the spirit 
which led Dean Peacock to restore his glorious fane 
at Ely, and which now leads Dean Milman to under- 
take a similar great work at St. Paul's. It is, I 
need hardly observe, a great point gained, that the 


necessity of additional bishoprics should have already 
been so extensively recognised as one of the spiritual 
wants of the day. Indeed the necessity of additional 
bishoprics, involving cathedrals, has been twice offici- 
ally recognised within a very few years. Lord John 
Eussell, when prime minister, as the sequel of the 
long opposed retention of the Welsh bishoprics, 
appointed a Commission, at the head of which was the 
late Lord Powis, which reported in favour of the 
erection of four new sees, one of them being Man- 
chester, the others, St. Albans, Southwell, and Corn- 
wall. The minister according^ brought in a bill in 
1847, providing for the foundation of the first bishopric 
at once, and of the three others prospectively. The 
session was far advanced, the opposition was noisy, 
and Lord John Russell lightened his bill by omitting 
the provisions relative to the prospective creations, 
but in so doing he reserved his own adherence to his 
own measure. Five years afterwards, in November 
1852, during the government of Lord John Eussell's 
immediate successor, Lord Derby, the Queen issued a 
Royal Commission to " Inquire into the state and 
condition of the cathedral and collegiate churches in 
England and Wales," composed of persons collectively 
representing, with great completeness, the various 
opinions existing in the Church of England, namely, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Archbishop of 
York, the Duke of Marlborough (then Lord Bland- 
ford), Lord Harrowby, the late Bishop of London, 
the Bishop of Oxford, the late Dean of Arches (Sir 
John Dodson), Sir John Patteson, V ice-Chancellor 

CuAP. I. COMMISSION OF 1852. 23 

Page Wood, Canon Wordsworth, the present Dean of 
Chichester (Dr. Hook), Canon Selw3^u, and the present 
Bishop of Lincohi (then Mr. Jackson), who subse- 
quently resigned and was succeeded by the present 
Bishop of Durham (then Canon Villiers). Among 
the duties intrusted to this Commission, in addition 
to those which had reference to proposing measures 
for the greater efficiency of our existing cathedral 
and collegiate churches, was that of " the suggestion 
of such measures as may make the said cathedral and 
collegiate churches, and the revenues thereof, avail- 
able in aid of the erection of new sees, or of other 
arrangements for the discharge of episcopal duties." 
The Commission accordingly devoted the whole of its 
second report, dated March 16, 1855, and signed by 
all the Commissioners, to a recommendation in favour 
of the immediate foundation of a bishopric of St. 
Columbs, to be cut off from Exeter, and to include the 
county of Cornwall, for which an endowment was at 
that time offered by private munificence. The third 
and final report of the Commissioners bears date May 
10, 1855, and is signed by the Archbishops of Canter- 
bury and York, the Bishops of London and Oxford, 
Canon Yilliers, Sir John Dodson, Sir John Patteson, 
Y ice-Chancellor Page Wood, Canon Wordsworth, Dr. 
Hook, and Canon Selwyn, and the sixth head of this 
document is entitled, ' Erection of new Sees, and other 
arrangements for the discharge of Episcopal duties.' 
The Commissioners observe that in 1851 the average 
population of the various dioceses was about 645,000, 
and might in 1855 be put at 660,000 (what will it be 


in 18Gi ?) The heads of these recommendations are, 
that a permissive bill, founded on the 31 Henry YIII., 
chapter 9, should be introduced, giving power to divide 
any diocese under certain conditions of territory and 
population, the bishop's consent, if living, being of 
course requisite, an income and residence being pro- 
vided, partly out of local contributions and partly out 
of Episcopal property now in the hands of the Eccle- 
siastical Commissioners. The temporary union of 
the offices of bishop and dean in certain cases is re- 
commended as a permissible personal expedient, and 
St. Columbs, Westminster, Gloucester (to be again 
separated from Bristol), and Southwell, are recom- 
mended " among the foremost" of the places " offering 
special claims and lacilities for the creation of addi- 
tional bishoprics," while it is added, that " there are 
other places in which it is desirable that new sees 
should be founded." A schedule of additional sees is 
accordingly affixed, with a reference to the diocesan 
map affixed to the first report of the Commission. 
This schedule recommends additional sees to be 
carved out of — 1. Durham, at Newcastle or Hexham. 
2. Chester, at Liverpool. 3. St. David's, at Brecon. 
4. Lichfield, at Derby. 5. Lincoln, at Southwell. 
6. Worcester, at Coventry. 7. Ely, at Ipswich or 
Bury St. Edmunds. 8. Gloucester and Bristol to be 
divorced. 9. Rochester, at Chelmsford or Colchester 
(why not St. Albans ?), West Kent being divorced from 
Canterbury and attached to Bochoster. 10. Exeter, 
at St. Columbs. 11. Bath and Wells and Salisbury, 
at Bath. 12. London, at Westminster. These recom- 

Chap. I. COMMISSION OF 1852. ' 25 

mendations have remained waste paper since the day 
they were written, but they are not the less the 
deliberate voice of their authors, all of them men 
of weight in their time, and most of them still alive 
and actively influential in church questions. It 
is, in short, not too much to say that the whole 
question is one which, in the judgment of all reason- 
able persons, rests merely upon considerations of 
opportunity and money, as Lord Palmerston pointed 
out not long since to the deputation which waited on 
him in favour of establishing the bishopric for Corn- 
wall. Of course I do not propose the recommenda- 
tions of 1855 as final and irreversible in their details, 
but only as right in their general principles. Indeed 
in one respect they are oi)en to grave criticism — in 
the remarkable timidity which their authors showed 
as to recommending the foundation of new sees where 
they are most wanted, in our largest towns. It will 
be observed that the schedule contains no recommen- 
dation for the subdivision of either of the teeming dio- 
ceses of York or Ripon, though one contains Beverley 
Minster and the other Leeds parish church, each of 
them a church admirably suited to become a cathedral. 
Perhaps it was this patent omission which has in part 
led to the report having fallen so dead. 

It is conceivable that episcopacy may exist (as in 
point of fact it does in the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of the United States) and may be extended without the 
cathedral system to give it completeness. But I can- 
not anticipate that in England, where they have so 
long flourished together, any such divorce would be 


tolerated. Some worthy persons may, indeed, take 
exception to the idea of building a new cathedral for 
England, from no jealousy or dislike of the extension 
of the episcopate, but simply from apprehensions of a 
secondary and special nature. One of these is the 
notion that the size of a buildino; w^orthv to bear the 
name of cathedral would be inconsistent with the 
audible performance of those vernacular services 
which are the glory of our English system. An- 
other is the idea that the domestic habits, the love of 
snugness inherent in the English character, would 
always lead the Englishman by preference to a small 
parish church, and w^ould divert him from a more 
spacious collegiate church. I am perhaps alluding 
somewhat prematurely to these objections. But, 
considering that their tendency would undoubtedly be 
to paralyse the whole movement, and to perpetuate 
that reign of mediocrity whicli is symbolized by the 
multiplication of little churches and single-handed 
services, it may be as w ell to observe, in limine, that 
I shall in the course of the discussion adduce my 
reasons for believing that these are suppositions which 
will not stand a very minute scrutin3^ There will 
I believe be little difficulty in showing that they are 
not founded upon any inherent unfitness in a cathedral 
(pro[)erly understood) for the present times, social or 
religious, but upon certain traditionary prejudices 
originally created by the misuse of the ancient 
cathedrals in former generations. 

Primarily, indeed, and ecclesiastically, a cathedral is 
simply and mciely a church, however small, in which 


the bishop's " cathedra" or throue is fixed. The cathe- 
drals ill the Greelv Church are to this day (with very 
few exceptions) buildings of the most moderate dimen- 
sions. For example, the primitive cathedral of 
Athens, still standing, and supposed to have been 
built by Justinian, is an exceedingly small structure. 
Again, the very curious cathedral at Torcello, near 
Venice, which preserves, as I shall have to show, in a 
most remarkable manner, the primitive arrangements 
of the Western Church, and which continued to be 
the see of a bishop till the destruction of the Vene- 
tian commonwealth, would be found inferior in size 
to many a village church in England. To give another 
instance nearer home, the learned Dr. Petrie has shown 
that the most ancient cathedrals of Ireland were, as a 
rule, only sixty feet in length : while the new cathedral 
at Kilmore, in that island, consecrated during the last 
summer, is thoroughly cathedral-like in its spirit and 
arrangements, with dimensions not superior to those 
which are usually appropriated in England to a parish 
church. Still it is undoubted that, in the secondary 
sense of the word, a cathedral ordinarily exhibits an 
excess of length, and height, and breadth, a profuse- 
ness, so to speak, of plan, a stateliness of ornamenta- 
tion, an increment of dignity in its appearance, which 
lifts it above the level of the ordinary church, and 
which not unreasonably, though incorrectly, leads the 
general traveller to term such churches as display these 
characteristics cathedrals, although they may not have 
been built, or may not now be used, as the seat of 
a bishop. Ste. Gudule at Brussels, for instance, which 


has never contained a cathedra, and the great chnrcli 
at Antwerp, which was not built for, and does not now 
possess its own bishop, are both of them universally 
called cathedrals. 

Having cleared my way by drawing the distinc- 
tion between the primary and ecclesiastical and the 
secondary or architectural idea of a cathedral, I 
venture distinctly to lay down my full claim, that, in 
its secondary no less than its primary sense, a cathe- 
dral is a kind of building which ought to be under- 
taken in that England of which our generation are 
the denizens ; and to make this demand from reasons 
of a practical, even more than an artistic kind. I mean 
that, if the extension of cathedral institutions be for 
the reasons which I have brought forward a desirable 
thing, then the institutions will be cramped in their 
practical usefulness if they find themselves unable to 
occupy a building of dimensions much more extensive 
than those of the ordinary' run of parish churches. 




Gothic ruled by common consent — Progression by Eclecticism — English 
Middle Pointed the starting point — Absolute Italian Gothic inad- 
missible, but callable of contributing elements — Early English and 
Early French contrasted — Growth of Middle Pointed — Advantage of 
Middle style over Early French — Hope's Historical Essay on Archi- 
tecture — Iron and Crystal Architecture not to be considered. 

The proof of my position that the actual wants 
of the day call for churches of cathedral size — by 
which expression I may as well at once say that I 
imply churches of not less than 200 or 250 feet in 
length, and of other dimensions in proportion — will 
depend upon an examination of the rationale of the 
features of a cathedral church both in their practical 
and in their architectural import. Bat this task will 
be much simplified if the previous practical question 
is cleared out of the way by an agreement being 
arrived at upon the general architectural style and 
expression of the building. This way of treating the 
subject will leave me clear hereafter to discuss points 
of arrangement without that constant reference to 
general principles of style which would still further 
complicate discussions, some of them sufficiently 
minute in themselves. I shall throughout this chapter 
rake for granted that new cathedrals are in them- 
selves desirable, and seek to discover what is the 
outward form in which, on that supposition, they 


ought to ho presented to our generation. Those who 
appreciate the broad social problem which I have 
propounded, without feeling an interest in the details 
of construction which are required for its technical 
solution, may, if they please, skip the chapter. 

I take leave to beg the first and most important 
consideration by assuming that, pace Lord Palmerston, 
the building must be the exhibition of some phase of 
that style of architecture commonly called Gothic 
or Pointed. Had I been discussing the desirability 
of its use for secular purposes, I should have felt 
bound either to have given those arguments which 
seem to me most conclusive on that side of the 
question, or to have referred to Mr. G. G. Scott's 
recapitulation of them in his work on Secular Gothic. 
As, however, I am at present exclusively concerned 
with ecclesiastical architecture, I am content to let the 
argument pass ambulando upon the general consent 
with which every denomination of Christian has for 
some years past, with onl}' enough exceptions to test 
the rule, built its fanes in Gothic. 

But a further problem still remains to be solved, — 
whether any existing variety of Gothic (for there are 
many) ought most preferably to be adopted in the new 
cathedral ? or again, whether the architect ought to 
invent, or else close with, some specific new variety, 
composed out of the numerous elements of the ante- 
cedent styles ? The materials which exist towards the 
solution of these questions are manifold. The Gothic 
of the North oifers for our choice the Lancet or First 
style, more slim in England, more sturdy in France, 


little known in G-crmany; the Middle or Decorated 
species, conspicuous for the grace of its window tracery, 
and ranging from the Alps to the fiords of Norway ; 
the classically regular Perpendicular of England ; and 
the exuberant Flamboyant of the Continent. Southern 
Europe, too, has its varieties, not yet so accurately 
classed, but all of them broadly distinguishable from 
those of the North. Facility of travel and breadth of 
study have placed all these within the ken of the 
architect; while no absolute law of taste or fashion 
has yet arisen to compel his choice, strongly as he 
will find himself solicited on the one side by the un- 
compromising partizans of insular nationality, and on 
the other by the admirers of cosmopolitan beauty. 

I attempted, somewhat briefly, to offer my own 
solution of the dilemma, in a lecture which I de- 
livered two years since on behalf of the Architectural 
Museum, upon the " Common Sense of Art," and 
subsequent reflection has more and more confirmed 
me in the views which I then advocated. I am un- 
able to find an intelligible standing ground in the 
absolute antiquarianism which is involved in the 
literal revival of any past style. At the same time 
the " progression by eclecticism," on which this in- 
ability lands me, must be conservative and not de- 
structive, retrospective no less than prospective, 
national rather than cosmopolitan, and yet enriching 
its native tradition by the imported and assimilated 
contributions of other lands. 

The revival of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture in 
England was in its first phase national, and out of the 


national varieties of the stN^le the Middle one was 
most generally accepted as the golden mean, although 
there were able outsiders in favour, some of the 
earlier and others of the later type. Then came a 
period of cosmopolitanism and eclecticism. Italian 
Gothic has found learned and eloquent partizans, and 
of late days a strong current has set in in favour of 
the sturdy First or Lancet style of France. I ventured 
to suggest in 1858, and I now even more confidently 
repeat the suggestion, to take up and to combine these 
apparently divergent schools, upon the basis — en- 
larged and strengthened — of the decision of the 
majority during the earlier of the two periods. AYe 
have outgrown the literal reproduction of the par- 
ticular phase of Gothic which prevailed in England 
between 1250 and 1370, but we need not have 
outgrown making that our point of departure, if it 
is in itself worthy of the selection. We need not 
be afraid of adopting it as the platform upon which 
we are to construct our own superior style, which 
it will be in our power to enrich by the teach- 
ings not only of its own counterpart and contem- 
poraneous styles on the Continent, the styles of 
Amiens and Eheims, of Cologne and Strasburg, but 
by those of the Lancet varieties at home and abroad, 
by the Perpendicular and the Flamboyant of Northern 
Europe, and by the graceful varieties of Italian 
Gothic— till moulded together and modified so as to 
combine in a style which should be emphatically 
northern and emphatically English, yet not narrowly 
northern nor narrowly English, any more than the 


most true-hearted Englishman, educated in the broad 
civilization of the day, is one whose patriotism is nar- 
rowed into prejudice and his home-pride soured into 
cynical self-idolatry. 

Yet I do not want to rest the defence of this sug- 
gestion on sentimental or patriotic grounds. There 
are I believe good artistic reasons why such a style 
ought to be accepted as the present golden mean 
of ecclesiastical architecture in England. The abso- 
lute Gothic of Italy is surely out of court as the 
Gothic of future England ; everything which is dis- 
tinctively and essentially climatic about it is so 
much which is distinctivel}^ unsuited to England. 
On the other hand, there is much in it which is 
no longer essentially climatic ; such as its diversity 
of material, and the colour consequent thereon, — 
inasmuch as the conjoint action of chemistry and 
commerce, and the increased facilities of transport 
and working, have made England as a whole possessed 
of means of coloured architecture of which our an- 
cestors Avere wholly destitute. So far then as the 
natural instinct of beauty and fitness implanted in 
man tells him not to be afraid of the colours which God 
has given him in the works which are to tell God's 
glory, let him make proof of his daring, and let him 
go to school where he will find the best instruction, 
namely, in the architecture of Southern Europe. 

If I felt myself at liberty to expatiate upon con- 
ditions of technical architecture I should have no 
difficulty in marshalling at considerable length the 
points which seem upon the whole to strike the general 



balance in favour of Cismontanc Gothic for Cismarine 
England, in spite of the great beauty of the southern 
type. If I may be allowed to assume this superiority 
as a postulate, it follows as a matter of course that in 
an eclectic style for England the point of departure 
must be sought to the north of the Alps, among the 
churches Ijuilt l)y the hardy offspring of temperate 

In spite agahi of the ingenious advocacy of Mr. E. 
A. Freeman in various publications, I think I may 
make bold to eliminate Perpendicular and Flam- 
boyant, with, however, the reservation, which I make 
on my own account, perhaps more strongly than 
other writers have done, of the great ability with 
which the masters of these stjdes have worked out, 
often to the detriment of detail and composition, the 
principle of continuity — a principle as essentially be- 
longing to Gothic as it is alien to the styles of Greece 
and Rome. As, accordingl}^, in passing over Italian 
Gothic we yet make it pay tribute of its poly- 
chromatic architecture, so in passing over these two 
contemporaneous styles we must reserve the free ex- 
hibition of continuity and verticality, in which they 
have often shown the highest merit. There are other 
points of peculiar excellence about them — their occa- 
sional treatment of tracery, their woodwork, and so 
on — which as matters of detail must for the moment 
stand over. We have now fairly brought the two 
serious competitors — the First, or Lancet, and the 
Middle, or Traceried, style of Cismontanc Europe 
face to face. 


It is not many years since tlic Lancet style enjoyed 
extensive popularity with the fabricators of cheap 
churches, on account of the unhappy reputation which 
it enjoyed of surviving more starvation than any 
other. It was emphatically the cheap style, and in 
the hands into which it fell it as often emphatically 
proved itself to be the nasty one. Cheap churches 
are still built, and it is well that they should be 
where funds are not abundant ; but increase of ex- 
perience has shown that ugliness need not be synony- 
mous with economy, and that the First Pointed style 
properly handled enjoys no peculiar immunity from 
contingent expenses. Its advocates need no longer 
fear, nor its antagonists rely upon, the blunders and 
abortions of the years when " Early English " was the 

This term " Early English" recalls us to the time 
when GotTiic architecture was studied in this country 
in a purely insular spirit, and Eickman's awkward 
nomenclature was in vogue. Still in one sense the 
term is not ill-chosen, though that was not the sense 
in which its inventor used it. Eickman honestly 
believed, in the simplicity of his heart, that all 
Gothic architecture was good or bad in proportion as 
it approached the English standard, and with him 
Early English meant Early Gothic. That there was 
Early French he undoubtedly knew, for he published 
architectural notes of a short tour in Picardy and 
Normandy ; still it never occurred to him to set it for 
one instant on an equality with the cherished offspring 
of his native soil. We who know more than Eick- 

D 2 


ninii, not ))ceanse we have studied more or better, 
l»n( lnH'aiise we have entered into the hard-earned 
stores of him and our other areliitectural forefathers, 
are aware that there is a distinct Early English 
and a distinct Early French, each with its strongly- 
marked characteristics, and that nearly all the early 
Cismontane Gothic belongs to one or other of these 
varieties. Germany has its own early school also ; l)nt 
of this there are comparativelv but few specimens, from 
the Teutonic adherence to the Round-arch style almost 
down to the day when Germany capitulated uncondi- 
tionally at Cologne to the Middle Pointed style. Salis- 
bury Cathedral is usually regarded the typal church in 
England of the Lancet style, which in this country was 
not finally transmuted for some years past the middle 
of the thirteenth century. But if I were to select 
according to my own taste, I should place the eastern 
portion of Ely Cathedral on a much higher level of 
beauty. Specimens also full of the most exquisite grace 
exist among the ruined alibeys up and down the woody 
glens of Yorkshire and on the clitf of AVhitby, and the 
transepts of the metropolitical church of that county are 
amongst the glories of the Lancet e])och of Enghmd. 

The east end of Glasgow Cathedral (No. 1 ), wliich 
was in all })robability designed by a sontlicrn architect, 
exhibits the specific })eculiari{ies of Early English with 
snch marked distinctness that I am not afraid of pro- 
ducing it as a typal specimen.* 

* T niuRt licre o(Trr my wnrmcst nclxiiowlodcrnn iits lor tlic hm- o( mniiv 
ipf llio ilhisliiitiniis i>r Ml'. Fcririissoii'f; iikisI vnliuiMi- \\<<yk. Ilmv n;iTiil 
tlic nilvaiitii'if is to inc 1 iii'cd not s;i\ . 

CllAl'. II. 



Glasgow Cathedral. East End. 

I assume all through this discussion that my readers 
have some rudimentary acquaintance with the generol 
characteristics of the various epochs of Pointed, so I 
need hardly point out to them what they will discover 
for themselves, namely, the barb-like sharpness of all 
the windows in this elevation, from which indeed the 
style derives one of its names, for the "lancet" has 



Chap. IL 

more to do with spears than surgery. I shall not 
trouble them with tlie woodcut of the clerestory * of 
the same cathedral— a very eccentric design, l)ut in 
its eccentricity striving after an almost pedantic exhi- 
bition of Early English. 

tila^igow Catlu'ilral. Crypt. 

* I pn'suinc tliat it will not be necessary for me to explain that the 
clerestory (^.e. clear story) is the iijtper ranj^e of windows in a church, 
standing clear over the aisles, and the triforiuiu the intermediate story 
((iften a ;.;allery) occurring in many large churches between the clerestory 
;uul the niaiii arcade. 

r'liAP. II. 



But windows arc not the all in all of the style, for 
the treatment of the pillars inside is a most important 
differentia of the successive phases of Gothic. For 
my Early English type I again recur to Glasgow. 
Woodcut No. 2 represents its crypt, in which the 
gathering up of smaller shafts into one complete 

Cbartres Cathedral. Wosi KirI. 



Chap. II. 

})illai', without actiuilly merging their individual ex- 
istences into the united mass, is conspicuous. 

If we turn to Early French, a style which I need 

hardl}^ remind my architectural reader is somewhat 

prior in date to the corresponding one of England, we 

shall be told by the learned that they 

■L consider Chartres Cathedral as the 

''- standard example with the broad 

triplet and superposed rose of the 

(r west end (No. 3), the wide aisle win- 

':[:' dows (No. 4), and solid wheel-like 

flying buttresses of the nave elevation 

(No. 5). 

Coutances Cathedral, in Normand}', 

Aisle Window, 

seems, not unnaturall}^ to have con- 
siderable affinity with English examples ; the massive 
piles of Laon Cathedral, in the Tsle of France, and 

5. lUiUlcss, Cliiil lies 

0. l-;ul> Cliuiul, liiUiiiir, .\iiMriu (,'ailicilral. 


Notre Dame cle Cluilons-sur-Marne, in Champagne, 
may be singled out of innumerable examples as emi- 
nently characteristic exhibitions of the style in its 
grandest, sternest, broadest aspect -, while the interior 
of Auxerre Cathedral (No. (>), jnst across the Bur- 
gundian frontier, proves how much of grace and 
variety may be imported into the treatment of Early 

The man ungifted with architectural tact would 
probably discover little difference between the spirit 
of Early English and Early French, apart from those 
differences of plan in the buildings themselves which 
we shall have later to consider. The erudite archi- 
tectural technicalist would hardly find one feature of 
absolute identity. Far be it from me to lead my 
readers into the maze of discussion about mould- 
ings, profiles, and so on, which must be threaded if the 
question is to be followed up. There are certain salient 
points of difference, all of which are summed up in the 
general result that the Early French is a sterner and 
more massive style than the Early Gothic of England. 
The applicability of the epithet lancet to windows like 
those of York and Glasgow is at once apparent. It is 
not equally so as to the broader lights of Chartres. 
The clustered shafts of Glasgow crypt conceal the 
apparent circumference of the pillars ; but the large 
cylindrical shaft— one of the main piers of the church— 
which just peers out at the left hand of the woodcut of 
Auxerre, is one of a countless number of examples of 
a design most popular among early French Gothic 
architects for their largest pillars— the simple cylinder 


— a form but rarely used in tlie ('oiitemi)orary p]nglisli 
style, except in the mncb smaller sui)})orts needed for 
a parish church. The wheel-shaped flying buttresses 
at Chartres — only found in that church — would be 
inconceivable in any English cathedral, while the 
capitals of the shafts which compose their spokes, and 
the pillars of Auxerre, afford examples of the predomi- 
nant use of the square abacus surmounting the capital 
in contrast to the round or polygonal one which equally 
predominates on our side of the Channel. Strong 
horizontal lines, members superposed rather than fused, 
short stout pinnacles, canopies put together with squat 
and angular pediments, distinguish the French style ; 
the foliage round our capitals is more wavy, that of 
France more fleshy and outstanding, more like a free- 
handed imitation of the classical Corinthian. Large 
wheel windows are the rule in France, and in Eng- 
land the exception. Majestic statues cling to the 
great French portals ; with us in the same position 
the retrocession of the orders of the mouldings seems 
the main thing which was studied. The origin of these 
differences, which at first sight appears to run counter 
to the distinctive differences (at least in an Englishman's 
eyes) of the French and English characters, seems to 
arise from the simple fact that the complete Pointed 
style was a matter of gradual developement in France, 
while into England it was consciously imported by men 
who meant to do something different from their prede- 
cessors. In every feature in which Early F'rench differs 
from Early English, it distinctively recalls the forms of 
that great round-arch style, improperly termed Norman, 


and moro felicitously known as Romanesque, out of 
wliicli it grew. The raassiveness and squareness of its 
forms, the frequent use of superposition, the affection for 
the cylindrical shaft, the abundance of wheel-windows 
and the width of those which were oblong, the copious- 
ness of sculpture, all witness unmistakably to its origin, 
for all are its property in common with Romanesque. 
In England the lancet, the taper, the clustered composi- 
tion, bespeaks the mind of the architect, who said, " My 
building shall be pointed, and it shall not be round- 
arch in its mass and in its details." This distinction is 
demonstrable by the evidence of existing buildings, 
for those churches in England in which the archi- 
tecture approaches most nearly to the French type 
are precisely churches built in the days transitional 
between the Round and Pointed styles and under 
foreign influences. I refer specially to the present 
choir of Canterbury Cathedral — of which the first 
architect was, as every one knows, imported from 
Sens — to the choir of new Shoreham Priory Church, 
a cell of the French Abbey of Cluny, and as such 
involved in Henry Y.'s suppression of the alien 
priories, and to the circular nave of the church in 
London which the cosmopolitan Templars erected. 
These churches strike an English eye as " tran- 
sitional " and not completely Gothic. A French critic 
would in all probability overlook their Romanesque 
features from his familiarity with such forms in the 
Gothic of his own land. Supposing that a school 
of architects, trained for example at Canterbury, had 
propagated the peculiar architecture of that church 


over England, the Early Pointed of our island might 
have approximately reproduced that of France. J>ut 
as far as we can judge, the idea of creating an architec- 
tural school did not occur to the dignified Benedictines 
of the metropolitical church, and so the jH-opagation 
of the new style fell into the hands of the canons of 
Salisbury and the Cistercians of Riveaux and Foun- 
tains. The Cistercians were men of inferior education 
compared with the Benedictines, and therefore more 
subject to home influences and home guiding ; and so 
Englishmen born and bred were probably employed, 
and the English style came out fully developed with 
all its distinctive features. 

I do not see any present indication on the part of 
our architects of a desire to set up Early English as 
the starting-point of the future cathedral style ; and I 
am not surprised that none should exist, although the 
modern building most resembling a cathedral in 
England, the Irviugite Church in Gordon Square, by 
Mr. Raphael Brandon, is a very able reproduction of the 
insular lancet architecture. With all its grace, Early 
English has about it an indescribable primness. It 
may remind the poet of Pallas Athene, but Pallas 
Athene never suffered herself to l)e wooed. Besides, 
it unfortunately happens (though it is hardly fair to 
charge this against the style as a fault) that many of 
its features are precisely those which can be most 
easily mimicked in cast iron and cement runnings. 
With Early French the case is widely diflerent, ancj 
some of the ablest representatives of the latest genera- 
tion of our Gothic architects have professedly lifted 


up its standard as the rallying-point of art-loving 
England. The reasons which they give for the selec- 
tion are highly creditable to their artistic morale. 
The trickery, the flimsiness, the unreality so common 
in modern art have disgusted them. In the Early 
French they find boldness, breadth, strength, stern- 
ness, virility ; and they close with a style which 
seems so exactly suited to supply the crying defi- 
ciencies of the age. The strong correspondence of 
the churches of North France and England seems to 
have its practical applicability on this side of the sea. 
Perhaps also our architects may unconsciously l)e 
somewhat swayed by the enthusiasm which this style 
has created among that brilliant knot of art-writers 
who sustain the Gothic movement in France, and may 
not unnaturally prefer to find themselves in perfect 
harmony with, than in partial opposition to, the 
nearest, and — for England — the most prominent, 
school of continental architects who have embraced 
the medii^cval cause. 

The gradual process of developement by which 
feature after feature of the round - arch style was 
thrown ofif as Gothic tended to maturity could not 
stop at Early English, still less at Early French. The 
first distinctive symptom of change showed itself in 
the novel importance given to the window openings, 
which had been hitherto mainly regarded, in every 
antecedent style, as vehicles for transmitting light, 
whether that light were the untinted rays of the sun 
or the translucent hues of painted glass. Their archi- 
tectonic beauty accordingly consisted heretofore in 


their outward form and embroidery. But men gra- 
dually made the discovery that, inasmuch as the 
■windows owed their form and character to the material 
substance by which the opening was circmnscribed, this 
material substance was as much of the essence of the 
window as the internal opening ; and that, in short, a 
window was not a mere hole in a wall, however graceful 
in form that hole might be. Thence, to compress the 
history into a few words, the ingenious idea was deve- 
loped of varying the surface of these openings by 
checkering them with vertical divisions and resolving 
them into convolutions formed out of the substance 
which composed the material circumscription, these 
divisions and convolutions growing out of, and growing 
again into, the circumscription itself, and forming a 
link between the wall-space and the glass-space. This 
invention, like many others, grew up gradually, with- 
out deliberate forethought on the part of its first pro- 
jectors. The essence of it was found in the close 
juxtaposition of single lights, common not only to the 
earliest Pointed, but even in- some instances to the 
latest Romanesque, in wliich the wnndow groups, 
composed of two lancets and a circle above, similar 
to that which I have given above from Chartrcs Ca- 
thedral, is an example. Constructive requirements led 
to these window groups being internally set back into 
a single recessed panel, and surmounted b}' a single 
"rear-vault," wdiile externally they still wore the as- 
pect of being two or more lancet windows set voiy 
close togctluM-. r>ut there was another inlluence also 
at work. Ivoinaiicstiuc architecture rejoiced in circular 


windows in tlic fixcades of its chnrclies ; and as the 
circles grew so large as to be nnmanageable to the 
glazier, the architects of Romanesque days invented a 
kind of wheel-shape tracery to fill them up. This rudi- 
mentary idea grew with the growth of Gothic, and 
accordingl}^ the rose windows of the early style exhibit 
real tracery long before the idea had advanced beyond 
the rudimentary stage on those which were designed 
with parallel sides. It is accordingly impossible to 
fix the precise moment when Early became Middle 
Pointed anywhere, just as it is impossible to say when 
Middle Pointed abroad became Flamboyant; the 
Perpendicular of England, alone of all northern 
styles, having come to the birth armed cap-a-pee with 
its distinctive attributes. The growth of Gothic was, 
I repeat, all along, with that one exception, gradually 
progressive ; and unless we recognise this fact, and in 
recognising it determine for simplicity's sake to adhere 
in our terminology to certain l)road distinctions, we 
shall at last find ourselves compelled to take into con- 
sideration distinctions not only of chronology but of 
topography, and so leave off, not with three, as the 
generality of writers assume ; nor with four, as Mr. E. 
A. Freeman contends ; nor even with seven, as Mr. 
Sharpe discovers, but with seventy styles. Desirous 
as I am to avoid this risk, I continue without apology 
or misgiving to include the earlier, or " geometrical," 
and the later, or " flowing " form of the Middle style 
under that same appellation. 

For specimens of this, the intermediate, period of 
Gothic architecture we are no longer able to confine 



CffAP. II. 

Clioir ol'SI. Oiien's Abbey, llinun. 

Chap. II. 



ourselves to France or Eiiglaiicl. That the style 
originated in the former country I am inclined to 
believe, and among the first and the noblest buildings 
— noblest I mean in competition Avith the whole 

K -III '^^^ ^ ^jH fjurf ^'jftf s| | hi 

8. Notie DiUiKMle rKpine. West F^ini. 

world — on which the stamp of the novel method is 
impressed, stand the Cathedrals of Eheims and Amiens, 
which are, as well as the Sainte Chapelle of Paris, 
products of the middle years of the thirteenth century. 


no MIDDLE Pointed. chap. ii. 

Of lator (late, and of more pronounced Middle Pointed 
forms, rises the choir of St. Ouen's Al3l)eY at Rouen 
(No. 7) ; while the latest building I believe in Europe 
which can be attributed to this rather than to the 
Flamboyant type is the exquisite church of Notre Dame 
de I'Epine in Champagne (No. 8), a few miles from 
Chiilons-sur-Marne, well described by Mr. Fergusson as 
" a miniature cathedral," and reared by an English 
architect in the middle of the first half of the fifteenth 
century, years after W3 keham had in our own island in- 
troduced his dignified and ingenious but cold invention.* 

* In a visit wliich I recently paid to this clmrch I was struck by two 
iircliitectural peculiarities connected with it. Tlie first was its general 
style, which was Middle Pointed, of a somewhat late period, hut of distin- 
guished beauty, though rather oddly commingled with Flamboyant details, 
l)articularly in the west front, of which I am able to give a woo'flcut, and 
which seemed the latest part of the building. The second was a pecu- 
liarly English feeling which distinguished the building, and which made 
itself jiarticularlj^ felt in the window tracery, where the cusping reminded 
me of Kentish examjiles, and in the stone perclose to the clioir on the south 
side (that to the north being Penaissance), which looked like a close copy, 
on a small scale, of the beautiful choir perclose erected at Canterbury Ca- 
thedral by Prior de Estria in 1304-5. I left the church satisfied that I liad 
been visiting a work mainly of the 14th century, and puzzled at the symp- 
toms of architectural Anglicanism which 1 conceived that I had discovered, 
when I looked at a small dcscrijition written bj- its actual cure', the Abb6 
i5arat, which I had purchased within the building, but had not opened till 
I liad turned my back upon it. The few first pages of this publication 
threw most curious and imexpected light on both the phenomena. In the 
first place, the building was not one, wholly or partially, of the 14th, but 
wholly of the ISth century, i.e. it ought by all chronology to have been 
Flamboyant, ami yet it was architecturally ^fiddle Pointed, for the alleged 
miraculous discovery of the image of the Madonna in a luminous bush, 
which led to tlie Iniilding of the church, and gave it its name, took place 
in 1400, and the works were not commenced till 1419. In the next place, 
I discovere^l that "un architecte nomm^ Patrick ou Patrice veut alors bien 
presenter des plans qui furent approuves. On lui confe'ra la conduite de I'en- 
trej>rise, et par un traite avec les marguilliers il s'engagea a construire le 
portail ct les deux tours raoycnnaiit la somme de GOO livres iwur scs 


In England we are first introduced to complete 
traceried Gothic in Westminster Abbey, a very re- 
markable churcli, from its combining a French plan 

liouoraires. Comme Patrice etait Anglais, il dut Ibuvnir pour caution 
deux bourgeois de la ville de Chalons." The abbe with very pardonable 
national pride excuses this transaction by the fact that the bargain took 
place only four years after the battle of Azincourt, when Troyes, Chalons, 
and Rheims were under subjection to the English. Patrick had finished 
the west end and the two western bays of the nave in 1429, when, accord- 
ing to Abbe' Barat, the " infidele Patrice " ran away, and carried off the 
funds which had been subscribed up to that date for the completion of 
the work, a charge which must of course be accepted with caution. As 
however the period of his flight corresponded with the revived suc- 
cesses of the French under Joan of Arc and the advance of Charles 
VII.' s army towards Chalons, it may have been fright as much as 
dishonesty that led to his retreat. If, which it ig reasonable to suppose, 
Patrick left his plans behind him, the English character of the eastern 
lX)rtion of the church, including the choir perclose, would be sufficiently 
accounted for, particularly if the work were continued by the workmen 
whom the original architect had trained. Till it is proved to the contrary, 
I shall believe upon architectural evidence that Patrick learned his lesson 
at or about Canterburj-, which is otherwise extremely probable when 
we consider the politico-ecclesiastical bearings of Henry V.'s invasion of 
France, and the likelihood that the cathedral nearest the French coast 
would supply the desired architect. The anachronism of style is a more 
puzzling consideration. Flamboyant had already formed itself in France, 
and, by a still more sudden and complete revolution in England, the arti- 
ficial Perpendicular, which, if not (as I believe it was) invented by Wyke- 
ham, was everywhere propagated under his powerful influence, had for 
many years taken complete possession of the building operations of our 
island. Yet we see this almost unkno%vn travelling Englishman begin 
nineteen years deep in the 15th century a church of great beauty and cost- 
liness in the plains of Champagne according to the forms of a past genera- 
tion, which were, if not forgotten, at all events completely out of fashion 
everywhere else. I suppose the true explanation must be the simple one 
that Patrick was a man of strong mind who was independent enough to 
have a taste of his own, and that, as he had it all his own way under the 
exceptional circumstances which called him in at Chalons, so he did not 
scruple to exercise that taste. Perhaps a dislike to Perpendicular partly 
contributed to his seeking employment abroad. In proof that the early 
character of the architecture is not an imagination of my own, I may ob- 
serve that, on consulting Mr. Fergusson's Handboolc upon my return to 
England, I discovered (I fear to my pleasure) that he characterises this 

E 2 



Chap. II, 

with English detail. Tiiiteni Abbey follows, a minia- 
ture cathedral also, far away in its forest glen ; and 
the east end of Lincoln Minster (No. 9) should not be 
forgotten as a specimen of geometrical grace. 

Clmir 111 Lincoln Minjter. 

church as " commenced apparently aliont 1329, though not completed till 
long afterwards." It will be noticed that, as it owes its existence to a par- 
ticular and miraculous circumstance (whether true or false is nothing to 
the argument) which was stated to have occurred on its site on March 24, 
1400, and as its surname is intended to show the then \mcultivated cha- 
racter of the site, there can be no ground for supposing that any earlier 
building could jiossibly have been incorporated into the present church. 

CllAl'. IJ. 



The maturer types of the style found their most 
exquisite expression in the unluckily and unneces- 
sarily destroyed St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster 
(No. 10), in the lantern and western portion of the 
Choir at Ely, the work of Alan of Walsingham, 
and, of a still later date, in the minutely sump- 
tuous Cathedral of Exeter, and the Choir of Selby 

St. Stephen's Chapel, ^Vestminstel■. 

In the mean while the Middle style had been intro 
duced, had flourished, and had run into Flamboyant 
excess in Germany. The church of St. Elizabeth at 
Marburg — half shrine, half minster— exhibits rudi- 
mentary tracery. Altenberg Abbey, a Cistercian 
church, not many miles from Cologne, for the model 


gracefulness of its early traceried forms, aud tlie aiis- • 

tere dignity of its general i)lan, deserves to be called 
the Tintern of Germany. This was the apprentice 
trial, and the master-stroke soon followed in that 
august imitation of Amiens, that singular instance of 
an exotic stj^le transported whole into another soil, 
grandly conceived, slowly followed out, for three cen- 
turies abandoned, now at last nearing completion upon 
the ancient plan and with the ancient details — the Ca- 
thedral of Cologne (No. 11), the symbol to the Teuton 
race of the glories of their traditionary fatherland. 

Here I pause, for this digression lias already run 
out to a far greater length than I anticipated, and 
[ have given instances enough to place the second or 
traceried style of Gothic before my readers. They 
must take for granted, without further evidence, that 
it does not differ from the earlier one merely in the 
new principle which governed the treatment of the 
windows. In Early French the classical principle 
of strong horizontal lines had jiever been fully trans- 
muted. Yerticality, indeed, existed, but it existed, so 
to speak, parenthetically. In the Middle style, on the 
other hand, while the stories were, as they should be, 
still staged up, the vertical nexus became a main 
object of the architect's solicitude. In column and in 
moulding, in parapet and pinnacle, in crocket and in 
capital, the change was manifest. There may perhaps 
have been less of force in Middle l^ointed, but there 
was more of gracefulness and continuity •, delicate 
pencilling rei)laced strong horizontal lines ; growth 
of parts was found where superposition of members 

L'llAl'. I I 



W' 'm A F- 


used to reigu ; the pi'iiicii)le of verticalit}' was every- 
where triumphant, yet not despotic. 

Until very recently there was no question among 
the votaries of the English school of Gothic as to the 
vantage ground for future progress standing in the 
rich domain occupied by the buildings of the Middle 
style. However, as I have explained, there now 
prevails a feeling in favour of the Early French, as 
pre-eminent for strength and dignity. The strong 
indications which it shows, in all its details, of Ijeing 
a transitional style are overlooked, and thus I fear 
the risk is run that architecture will be treated as 
au antiquarian rather than an inventive science. I 
venture to offer this warning in plain language, from 
no personal distaste to the Early French, an archi- 
tecture for which I have the highest admiration in 
its proper place — that is, in any place where the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries have left their mark. 
B\it i feel intimately convinced that, if we are to 
achieve great practical results in the way that I 
am pointing out — if, in short, the English Cathedral 
of the nineteenth century is to be created — great 
caution is needed no less than great daring; and, 
above all things, the work, in its material no less 
than its moral aspects, must bear the stamp of 
active common sense in its recognition of the spirit 
of the age. Handle Early French as we Avill, 
we still find onrsolves arrested at that particular 
point which the architects of the middle ages, who 
worked according to the needs of their own time, and 
not upon tlu' () priori theories of Ijook learning, were 


not afraid to pass, and so, before they knew what they 
were doing, made the second style inevitable. Say what 
we may, there is a certain correspondence between 
the work which has to be done, and the expenditure 
of material necessary to do that w^ork, which must 
be taken into consideration in reckoning up the sum 
total of architectural value. This correspondence de- 
pends of course for its practical expression upon the 
state of statical science at the time of day, and ac- 
cording to the condition of constructive skill certain 
methods of treatment are or are not admissible within 
the pale of actual use. I should be very sorry to 
make this practical consideration the sole or even 
the dominant test of architectural truth, for, if it 
is pushed to an excess, it would eliminate all orna- 
mentation and all employment of material not re- 
ducible to architectural requirement. But in its 
measure it is a law of extreme importance, and unless 
we admit its cogency we shall be utterly at sea as to 
the first principles of the style which we ought to 
adopt for any construction whatever. The old 
Egyptian style is, by the testimony of all who have 
navigated the Nile, one of exceeding grandeur; but 
by their equal concurrent testimony, it is one which 
no man out of Bedlam would think of reviving. Why 
so? merely because a building in pure Egyptian would 
involve an expenditure of material utterly inconsistent 
with the work which had to be done. Again, I have 
always been led to believe, and induced to argue, that 
one of the greatest practical advantages of Gothic over 
the classical stvles consisted in its being superior to 


them in uniting the minimum of material with the 
maximum of area ; and that, as Roman became pos- 
sible where Eg^^ptian and Greek had broken down 
by their ignorance of the arch, so Roman ought to 
break down in face of Gothic by its ignorance of the 
pointed arch. But I very much fear that this course 
of argument would become impossible, if we are to 
close with Early French as the style of the age, for 
the grandeur of Early French, as I have striven to 
indicate, cons-ists in features which depend for their 
effect on a depth and solidity unattainable without 
an excessive use of material — features, moreover, 
which are but imperfectly Gothic, if Gothic be the 
architecture of continuity and verticality. Let it not 
be said that Early French of the cathedral kind (foi- 
of this alone I am speaking) can be done chea}) 
and thin, for cheap and thin Early French is. the 
fecund parent of architectural monstrosities. The 
Roman Catholics at Geneva, a lew years since, de- 
termined to build a new church, and determined also 
to have the most for their money ; and so upon a 
magnificent site, with insufficient means, there rose up 
an imitation Early French Cathedral, cheap and thin, 
small in its area, yet intricate in its arrangements, 
and not half a mile from the grand old minster of that 
city, a specimen, as imi)ressive as it is simple, of the 
stern dignity attainable in a style somewhat earlier than 
the technical " Early " French style of Gothic — Eai'ly 
French with more of Romanesque still clinging to its 
skirts than even at Lausanne, Chalons, or Laoii. This 
new Cluirdi (»f Notre Dame at Geneva ouuht to be 



sent round Europe, as a warning to any architect who 
dares to attempt what practical sense should have 
taught him was unattainable. It quite convinced me of 
the dangers of attempting cheap thin Early French. 

The answer to these cautions, which are of a mecha- 
nical, or it may be a mundane character, will be 
sought in the metaphysical idea of architecture having 
somewliat of a missionary vocation. The grave, strong, 
Early French will be adduced as the preacher of 
righteousness, truth, and simplicity to a luxurious 
and crooked generation, and it will be urged that, 
in order to give cogency to the sermon, a some- 
what dispeudious use of material may in the end be 
true economy. We shall be told that, if we are to 
have sermons in stones and good in everything, 
the good which the sermons are likely to effect is 
more tlian an excuse for the extra bulk of the 
stones themselves. But this mode of arguing seems 
based upon a misconception of the true character 
of architectural teaching. In other branches of 
art, imitative as they are of human action and 
feeling, there is a direct good and a direct bad, 
just as there is a direct good and a direct bad in 
human actions and feelings. The representation of 
a St. Catherine or a Messalina is pure or impure as 
the person represented was the one or the other, and 
a picture or a statue which is not directly either a St. 
Catherine or a Messalina is likewise pure or impure 
according as the spectator is likely to have the one 
or the other character recalled to his mind by the con- 
templation of it. But again, a St. Catherine with the 


expression natural to Messalina, or a Messalina made 
interesting and attraetive 1)}^ the attribution of an 
expression onl}^ due to holiness and purity, must 
always be unnatural and always impure. There is, 
however, in architecture no such direct test of moral 
quality, and those whicli are substituted are after all 
tests which are in the end rather referable to the 
practical and material than to the moral and trans- 
cendental class of good qualities. Even Pugin, with 
all his fervid enthusiasm, mainly rests his defence of 
Gothic, in his ' True Principles of Christian or 
Pointed Architecture,' upon considerations of a ma- 
terial and constructive kind — the greater mechanical 
value of the pointed arch, the fact that in Gothic 
ornamentation grows out of construction, instead of 
the ornament (as is so frequently the case in Italian 
architecture) being used to conceal the construction, 
and so on. This class of facts establishes in his mind 
the reasonable conviction that Gothic is the more 
truthful architecture ; but it in no way leads to the 
inference that the Gothic architects started with the 
deliberate intention of building in a style which 
should protest against all other systems by a superior 
form of construction and a more natural method of 
ornamentation. There may be a Pharisaism in 
architecture no less than in the moral world, which, 
by ostentatiously professing to be more real than the 
rest of society, ends Avitli landing itself in the hope- 
less unreality of hyjjocrisy, intentional or uninten- 
tional. There is nothing which I less desire than to 
impute this fault to the supporters of the massive 



Early Pointed; but the vicious extreme of their 
teaching lies in that direction. The grey old Early 
French minster, streaked by the frosts of nearly seven 
hundred \Yinters and lichened by as many summers, is 
a tradition and not a creation. The brand-new Early 
French minster, the stone as white as the quarry can 
yield, the leafage as sharply cut as Mr. Myers' or Mr. 
Kelk's best workmen can turn it out, must be judged 
by the age in which it is built and the locality in 
which it stands. There is indeed a love of savage 
scenery, of wild, severe association, rife at the present 
day — a love in which I most fully participate : the 
" bristling horrors," the " frozen latitudes " of our fore- 
fathers, are now the magnificence of the mountain 
and the glacier, while the trim parterre and elm- 
fringed meadow are deserted for the pine forest and 
the eternal peak. This is the natural, because it is 
the spontaneous expression of the age ; this is the 
protest which that age has struck out for itself against 
the luxury and mammon- worship of the time. But it 
would not be spontaneous, and so it would not be 
natural, to adopt, a priori, an architectonic system 
from the supposed identity of its principle of beauty 
with that principle of beauty which forms the charm of 
xVlpine scenery. I grant that, if our cathedral of the 
nineteenth century had to be raised on the flank of 
the Eiffel or the ^Eggischhorn, or even of Snowdon or 
Axe Edge, the architect might pardonably perpend 
the lessons to be drawn not merely from Early 
French, but from the rudest forms of rudimental Ro- 


But the call has come from the brick-bnilt streets 
of the dingy manufacturing town, to which an answer 
truthful, and not transcendental, must be given. 

Am I then advocating a sensuous or a starved and 
flims}" exhibition of the Middle style ? I utterly and 
most emphatically repudiate any such imputation. 
If I were to see any tendency to exalt that error 
into a rule of practical action, — if, for example, I 
were to oljserve Flamboj^ant, which is the exaggera- 
tion of Middle Pointed, sometimes sensuous, some- 
times starved and flimsy, paraded as the model for our 
imitation, — I should even more vehemently denounce 
that heresy than I do the present preference for Early 
Fi"ench. It is on account of my intimate conviction 
that Middle Pointed is the golden mean, the practical 
and practicable style for our wants, that I so strongly 
advocate the advantage of seeing it accepted as the 
starting-point for the future ecclesiastical architecture 
of England. I have already explained that in adopting 
the term starting-point I imply that a start must be 
made, and that I contemplate the architecture of the 
future assimilating to itself, and developing as for as 
circumstances allow, the best features of the other 
styles of Gothic, whether north or south of the Alps. 
As the further course of this discussion will lead to 
the examination of the various members of the cathe- 
dral in detail, inclusive of its internal decoration, there 
will be ample opportunity in due place of indicating 
the general principles on wdiich this eclectic process 
must be based, with more of particularity than Avonld 
be possible at this stage of the discussion. 


[f what I have said may not be entirely palatable 
to the purely " arelicTological " school, whp argue, like 
Gower in the play, "quo antiquius eo melius," ] 
fear it may, on the other hand, seem too conservative 
to that class of students whose ambition is to for- 
ward " Victorian architecture." I may find myself 
confronted with the noble peroration of a work for 
which, on every ground, alike of natural affection and 
of respect for learning and talent, I have the deepest 
veneration;* and I may be told that I am one of 

* Hope's ' Historical Essay on Architecture.' The position which my 
father occupied in the artistic movement of our age has never been appre- 
ciated nor even understood. He belonged to an old Scottish family, but 
by the operation of a jealous and bigoted act of William III.'s time, pri- 
marily directed against the immigration of natives of the country into 
which our family had emigrated, the foreign sojourn of his ancestors was 
an obstacle to his entering into English public life, although he had by 
predilection reinstated himself in his British nationality. Born and edu- 
cated abroad, he yet acquired a facility of English composition which was 
perfectly marvellous in his case. His youth coincided with that reaction 
against the nauseous bad taste of Louis XV. which in the first instance 
assumed the shape of a devoted admiration of pure Grecian wdthout a suffi- 
cient consideration of the circumstances of modern European and Christian 
civilization. In this reaction he was a conspicuous leader, and his influence 
made itself felt not only in his clever * Letter to F. Annesley, Esq.,' 
touching the design for Downing College, which somewhat unfortunately 
(as it happened) led to the appointment of Mr. Wilkins, and in his 
' Costumes of the Ancients,' but in his practical exemplification of his 
principles in the sumptuous furnishing and large additions to his " Hotel " 
in London, in Duchess Street, which he described and delineated in his 
' Household Furniture and Internal Decorations.' As this house is now 
unhappily numbered with things that no longer exist, I may be allowed to 
leave on record the impression of early but vivid recollections of the taste, 
the fancy, the eye for colour and for form, which characterised the whole 
conception. The style was not suited for practical use, and so the experi- 
ment broke down ; but it was the experiment of a man of genius, and not 
to be confounded with the contemporary and parallel, but far more insipid, 
" Empire " epoch of French art. The great fact for which Thomas Hope 
deserved the gratitude of posterity (a fact for which Sydney Smith was 


those who give point to the proposition that " No one 
seems yet to have conceived the smallest wish or idea 
of only borrowing of every former style of architecture 
whatever it might present of useful or ornamental, of 
scientific or tasteful ; of adding thereto whatever 
other new dispositions or forms might afford con- 
veniences or elegancies not yet possessed ; of making 
the new discoveries, the new conquests, of natural 
productions unknown to former ages, the models of 
new imitations more beautiful and more varied ; and 
thus of composing an architecture which, born in our 
own country, grown on our soil, and in harmony 
with our climate, institutions, and habits, at once 
elegant, appropriate, and original, should truly de- 
serve the appellation of ' Our Own.' '" 

narrow enough to quiz him in the ' Edinburgli ') was that he, first of 
Englishmen, conceived and taught the idea of art-manufactnre, of alloying 
the beauty of form to the wants and productions of common lil'c. 

Later in life, and imperceptibly, Thomas Hope gave u[) his strict 
Grecianism in favour of a wider eclecticism ; but the glowing pages of 
the ' History of Architecture ' are not the only proof of this change, lor he 
also carried it out in practice in his exquisitely picturesque country house, 
the Dcepdenc, in Surrey. There, as in Duchess Street, his work was the 
remodelling and the adding to a pre-existing and inferior building ; but 
there, taking advantage of a singularly felicitous site, he gave rein to his 
inventive fancy. Accordingly that place, as he left it, exhibited varied out- 
lines and piquant sky-lines, in which recourse was had not only to tlie free 
resources of Italian, but even to Gothic models. My fatlier died at the 
beginning of 1831, just before the great Gothic revival, but not until he 
had done enough to show tliat he never would have been among its fierce 
antagonists. In taking my place on the Gothic side, I have not moved 
away further from his position than the author of the Historical Essay and 
tlie architect of the Deepdene moved away from the author of the Letter 
to Mr. Annesley and the architect of Duchess Street. At the same time 
when I study his artistic growtli and the progress of tlie age, I see abinulant 
reason why 1 should be a decided partizan of Gotliic witliout being tlie 
bitter ()])|i()iH'iit ol' tlinsc wlin still l;irry in tlic classical camn. 


In answer I reply, that no man of sense or acute- 
ness, least of all my father, in whom these qualities 
were most conspicuous, w^ould desire to start from 
chaos in the choice of " our oivn " style. There must 
be some antecedent starting-point, and the one which 
I select is that particular period when England — the 
same "own" England in "climate, institutions, and 
habits," the same in race, the same approximately in 
language and constitution as at present — England at 
the epoch when Norman and Saxon had been fused 
into one commonwealth — had a style of its own, 
transcendent in the combination of grace and ma- 
jesty — the style of Edwardian England. What my 
father's starting-point might have been had he put 
his teaching into practice I know not, but I do 
know, as all the world who has studied his writings 
ought equally to comprehend, that his mind must 
have gone through much progressive schooling be- 
tween the days in Avhich, in his ' Household Furni- 
ture,' he advocated the revival of pure classical 
forms for purposes of modern English life, and that 
later period when, in his unhappily unfinished and 
fragmentary History of Architecture, he first intro- 
duced the English student to the true secret of the 
gradual growth of Pointed architecture, and wound 
up his teaching in the words which I have quoted, 
words full of generous appreciation of the beautiful 
in the architecture of all lands and all days. 

These words accordingly I accept, reserving for 
myself, as they plainly entitle me to do, the choice of 
the basis on which futurity is to construct its own 


stj'lc. I make no secret of my preference ; and in 
so doing I believe that I more fully act up to the 
real and mature mind of their author than if I ad- 
hered to that narrow creed of the perfection of pure 
classical architecture, out of which he had himself so 
manifestly worked. 

Writing as I do for present wants, I abstain from 
pursuing the fascinating inquir}^ into the manner and 
the degree of the assumed progress. The new style 
may, in the course of time, become very different 
from the old Grothic out of which it rises, but at 
first it must be very like ; and as my argument is 
that new cathedrals are wanted for a present and 
urgent necessity, I venture to assume that their archi- 
tects will be content to put together existing materials, 
and leave to a future generation to profit by the success 
or failure of the experiments. I shall, for example, 
take for granted, that the chief materials of the church 
should be those which were ordinarily employed in 
former days^ — marble, or stone, or brick. I say this 
with my eyes open to the fact that many ingenious 
minds have been long conjecturing the possibility of 
some Gothic style of the future in which metal should 
dominate both in the construction and the decoration, 
towards which new style the internal arcades of the 
new Museum at Oxford, due to Mr. Skidmore, are a 
tender. Other persons may still more boldly point 
to Svdenham, and ask wliy we should des})air of 
seeing a crystal cathedral. It is not however my 
present province either to prove or disprove these 
theories. Personallv I nuiv remark that I have 


devoted some attention to metallic architecture, 
and that I entertain a strong conviction that at all 
events metal, and particularly iron, may be used more 
extensively, and to more advantage for artistic purposes 
than our ancestors have realised. This fact is surety 
one of simple common sense, arising out of the in- 
creased facilities for working or casting on the one side, 
and of transport on the other. But I do not believe 
that the change will revolutionise, although it may 
develope, the architecture inherited from the great 
old days ; and I believe, as I have already said, that 
before this developement be consummated there will 
be ample time for the stone or brick cathedral of this 
age to have been constructed. As to the crystal 
cathedral, I must humbly say that I cannot grasp so 
novel an idea, and I do not therefore pretend to 
dogmatise upon its construction. 

F 2 




Peculiarities of Roman Catholic Cathedrals — Differences between them 
and those adapted for English worship — Modern English Cathedrals 
built in and designed for Great Britain and Colonies. 

I HAVE, I trust, said as much as the present discus- 
sion requires upon the choice of style, although I 
have not by any means treated the discussion as I 
should have done if it had been more than an episode. 
In recurring to the main question, I desire it to be 
understood that I do not pretend that, when we have 
come to an agreement upon the architectural question, 
we have intrinsically come to any decision upon the 
distinctive possibility or desirability of new cathedrals 
for England. It is quite conceivable that the plea in 
favour of a noble ecclesiastical architecture may be 
admitted, and yet the objection raised that the church 
of cathedral dimensions is essentially a Roman Catholic 
institution, and that the spirit of the Reformed Church 
calls for small, compact religious edifices. It may be 
said that the home spirit of English worship demands 
compactness, just as the spirit of the old Grecian 
cultus found its most perfect embodiment in the small 
circumscription of the Parthenon. As this demurrer 
is aimed at the very heart of the whole matter, I shall 
proceed to grai)])k^ with it; and I slinll endeavour, 
first, to i)r()ve tlml (licre arc clear iwu] iiii])()rtant dif- 


ferences between the Roman and the English Cathedral, 
— and secondly, that these differences do not touch 
those considerations upon which, on their own merits, 
I mean to plead for the practicable reality of the 
English Cathedral as distinct from that of the English 
parish church. 

In order to offer the fairest illustration of those 
differences as they crop out in a foreign church, I 
shall first produce alongside of my English plans not 
that of any ancient minster, Imt one of a contemporary 
new cathedral which is at this instant being built by 
M. Statz — a very eminent architect of Cologne— in the 
city of Linz, in Western Austria. This church, I 
must observe, measures in extreme length 408 feet, 
and 20G feet in breadth at the transepts, and is de- 
signed, as might be supposed, in German Middle 
Pointed. (No. 12.) 

The reader will perceive that its arrangements 
comprehend a nave for the congregation to assemble 
in, furnished with a pulpit, and in connexion with it 
the font, and also a choir containing stalls for the 
Chapter and ofificiators, a bishop's throne, and an altar 
at the end. We find just the same features in St. 
Paul's. St. Paul's has also aisles and transepts ; so has 
the cathedral of Linz. But in Linz we perceive some- 
thing more, namely, a series of smaller altars,* four- 

* By mistake the altar is not indicated in the Lady Chapel, but I have 
enumerated it ; as a fact, however, I suppose this chapel is intended to 
contain three altars. This plan, like the others of modern churches espe- 
cially engraved for this book, is on the scale of 75 feet to the inch. Those 
from Mr. Fergrisson's book are generally on the scale of 100 feet to the inch. 
I assume that the tenn apse which I employ in the text is familiar to m\' 
readers as designating the semicircular or polygonal termination of a church. 



riuii uf new (Jiitbcdiiil iil Lliiz. 75 Icol t» inch. 




teeii ill number, two iii the Baptistery and in the 
Chapel of the Dead, others standing against the eastern 
walls of the transepts and blocking the entrances 

I'laii of Alby Cathedral. 06 feet to inch. 

into the choir, the rest giving use and reality to the 
smaller apsidal chapels which bud and sprout from 
out of that eastern ambulatory which, forming as it 
does the termination and the junction of the aisles. 


encircles the apse. It would lead me far away into 
those fields of doctrinal controversy which it is my 
desire to avoid, if I were to give the history of the 
gradual growth of subsidiary altars, in connexion 
with private masses, in the Western Church. It is 
only necessary to point out that the multiplication of 
altars, which dates back to the earliest middle ages,* 
was connected with that cultus of relics which has 
given birth to so many of the corruptions of Roman- 
ism. Even in an abnormal building like the Cathe- 
dral of Alby, built in Languedoc in the fourteenth 
century without either aisles or transepts, this prac- 
tice was not forgotten, for chapels fringing the entire 
church are actually provided to contain twentj^-eight 
altars. (No. 13.) 

In the Eastern Church, on the contrary, the 
principle of one altar for each church has alwaj^s 
been formally maintained ; but a convenient way 

has been discovered of attaining 
the same end by congregating 
numerous small churches into 
one mass, like the chambers of 
a house — a practice of which 
the Kremlin of Moscow fur- 
I'lan of Bianskcnoy Church, uislics a uotablc cxamplc. Thc 

Moscow. •*■ 

Church of Blanskenoy at i\Ios- 
cow, of which I offer the plan, exhibits the device 
pushed to its utmost extent. (No. 14.) 

* 111 the curious model jilan of an aI)1)oy furniisla'd to tlit' uiouks ol' 
S. Call in llie uiiitli century, wliich 1 shall reproduce later, two hii;h and 
ten sulisidiarv altar.s are shown. 


Alone in the Western Church, the diocese of Milan, 
proud of the possession of its Ambrosian rite, pre- 
serves the theory of the single altar ; and so it was 
for one altar only that Milan Cathedral was planned, 
although the zeal of San Carlo Borromco has foisted 
in subsidiar}^ altars, to the detriment of the grand 
simplicity of its first plan. In England — where, as 
the merest tyro in ecclesiastical architecture knows, 
the apse was never thoroughly acclimatized — the dis- 
tribution of the square east end was accommodated to 
the same need, The original Cathedral at Old Sarmn, 
completed by Bishop Osmond, the regulator of the 
ante-reformational English ritual, in 1092, of which 
the turf in dry seasons sometimes revives the linea- 
ments, had no apse, and yet its plan permitted of 
four altars in the two transepts and three at the 
extreme east end, besides the high altar. The ac- 
companying plan of course pretends to do no more 
than indicate the situation of the pillars, which must 
have been massive Romanesque piers, and the direction 
of the walls.* (No. 15.) 

In New Sarum Cathedral the same need produced 
the low-aisled chapel beyond the choir, which forms 
so beautiful a feature of the interior. The eastern 
transept, called the Nine Altars Chapel, at Durham, 
explains its use by its name ; and a similar erection 
terminates the Cistercian Abbey of Fountains in 
Yorkshire. At Ely Cathedral, of which I have the 

* I owe the plans of Alby and Old Sarum ^Pcdrals, with some other 
iUustrations, to the kindness of the pubUsher and the editor of the ' Eccle- 



Supposed Aiea of 
the Cloister. 


I'laii or Old Sanim CutlieUral. C6 fit-t to iiKli, 


pleasure of presenting a plan (No. IG) showing it in its 
condition of actual restoration, it will be observed 
that there are two chapels at the extreme east end of 
the aisles. There is room also for a secondary altar 
under the east window ; and in the middle ages, when 
the high altar stood to the westward of the present 
sanctuary, the shrine of St. Etheldreda, with its 
altar, was placed in the intermediate space. The 
central transepts also open into three chapels on each 
side, and those at the extreme west end had each its 
own apsidal chapel to the east, of which the one in 
the southern limb has recently been rebuilt, and 
stands in readiness to be converted into a chapel for 
early communions, which might not so conveniently be 
celebrated in the choir ; * and there is the magnificent 
Lady Chapel, standing like a distinct church to the 
north-east. All these are features of Ely Cathedral 
belonging to the ancient ritual, in which we of the 
Reformed Church, so far as they have not been other- 
wise turned to use, are only called upon to feel an 
antiquarian and artistic interest. 

But the same plan likewise presents us with Ely 
Cathedral as restored for the use of our worship by 
the genius and energy of my ever honoured and 

* In the plan which I borrow from Mr. Fergusson there is an error in 
this portion of the church, for the apse in question appears in the rudi- 
mentary form of two dotted concentric sections of a curve, which, if pro- 
longed, would make a sad inroad into the nave. The fact is that this apse 
is now entirely rebuilt, and it stands clear of the nave wall. The font is 
now placed in the south-west transept. The light portion at the west end 
is P'irst Pointed,— the black, Romanesque ; the dark hatching in the centre 
portion Middle Pointed, and the light hatching at tlic extreme east First 



Chap. 10. 

I'l in ol K\v Callieaial. IdO feet to inrli. 


lamented friend Dean Peacock, aided by the ready 
talent and resources of Mr. Scott, in a manner which 
has excited the admiration of all intelligent and 
candid witnesses. The present arrangements at Ely 
are, speaking generally, identical with those which 
have been adopted in rearranging the modern Cathe- 
dral of St. Paul's, just as the pile of Ely, shorn of its 
Romanist peculiarities, is identical in general plan 
with Wren's church. My argument is thus narrowed 
to the simple issue, that, if social and religious neces- 
sities call for the multiplication of cathedrals in our 
large towns, then those cathedrals ought in their 
dimensions to approximate to, and in their plans re- 
semble, the august churches built previously and 
subsequently to the Reformation, and themselves 
lately restored to serve as English Cathedrals of the 
nineteenth century, in all those features in which that 
restoration has taken a practical shape. 

After this somewhat lengthy preamble I venture to 
appeal to the cathedrals and the quasi-cathedrals for 
the use of the English Church which have been built 
or designed of late years. I shall illustrate the dis- 
cussion with plans and engravings, internal and ex- 
ternal, of several of the most noticeable of these 
churches. Some of them, up to this time, only exist 
upon paper, but all had been put upon paper before I 
thought of handling the subject, so that they appear 
as independent witnesses. Collectivel}^ they indicate 
that the cathedral, as an institution, is taking root in 
the popular mind, wherever the church has had to 
organize itself in a new state of society ; and they 


Chap. III. 

practically prove that clinrclies of a character suited 
to their cathedral destination, not only can, but have 
been actually set in hand by our own generation. 
I do not produce the various buildings as equally 
recommendable for models ; indeed I think that every 
one is more or less open to criticism. Beginning 
with Calcutta and ending with Brisbane Cathedral, 
they range over a space of twenty j^ears, while 
several of the designs are upwards of ten years 
old, which is a considerable interval of time where 
we are dealing with a stud}^ like architecture, which 
is continually receiving fresh lights. Still I venture 
to claim a high degree of merit for all of which I 
have had special plans prepared, and I shall find 
much to praise in the others to which I shall refer, 
and of some of which I have been 
able to procure illustrations. I 
may repeat what I have stated in 
a note, that the plans which I have 
had engraved particularly for this 
book are all drawn upon the scale 
of 75 feet to the inch. 

The first church to which I shall 
call attention is St. Ninian's Cathe- 
dral (Xo. 18), erected for the use 
of th(» Scottish Episcopal Church 
in the flourishing town of Perth, 
by Mr. Butterfield, designed in a 
somewhat severe variety of ^liddle 
Pointed. 'Die choir, transepts, and one bay of the 
nave were consecrated in 1850, and so have been in 

Plan of I'LTth Ciitbedral. 
"5 ffcl to inch. 



use for about ten years. The rest of the building, 
with a tritliug exception, has j^et to be built. This 
plan carries simplicity almost to an excess ; for ex- 
ample, the transepts are not apparent in the plan, 
owing to the manner in which the nave arcade has 
been handled. 

Of a much later date is the cathedral at Kilmore 
in Ireland (No. 19), for the united dioceses of Kilmore, 
Elphin, and Ardagh, due to Mr. Slater. This church, 
in Middle Pointed, was consecrated in 
its completed form in Jul}^, 1860, by 
the present energetic diocesan. Bishop 
Beresford, who carried it through, both 
as a work practicall}^ wanted, and as 
a memorial to his famous predecessor 
Bishop Bedell. It is, as will be at 
once apparent, of very small dimen- 
sions in proportion to its ecclesi- ^^ p„„,,Ki.movecathe- 
astical rank, but yet it aims with '''''■ "^-^^-'»- 
much success at the cathedral character, in all points 
except the inferior elevation of the transepts. It 
moreover possesses the practical merit of having 
been entirely built according to the original plan. I 
have heard with much pleasure that the Bishop of 
Kilmore has already seriously talked of enlarging it, 
towards the west, by the addition of two bays. I 
have given a woodcut of its interior as the frontis- 
piece of this volume. 

I must now proceed to a cathedral which still only 
exists in design. The last work of Carpenter, who 
was lost to art in 1855, was the preparation of a 



Chap. IIT. 

design for the west end of the cathedml proposed 
to be erected at Inverness for the Scottish diocese 
of Moray and Ross, which was completed just in 

time for the interna- 
tional French Exhi- 
bition of that year. 
After his death ^Ir. 
Slater was commis- 
sioned to draw a 
plan to suit that ele- 
vation and emljody 
what appeared to be 
its author's whole 
mind, and he ac- 
cordingly produced 
one upon a large and 
stateh' type, to be 
carried out in Middle 
Pointed. Although 
the size of the church 
— 345 feet long by 
1 70 at the transepts 
— prevents the hope 
of its being reared in 
our generation, the 
bishop for whom it 
was prepared ex- 
presses his intention to raise some portion of the 
building. In the moan while the concei)tion has its 
value as the dignified idea of a modern cathedral suit- 
able to the worshij) of our actual Churcli. (No. 20.) 
Carpenter — a man wlio never had tlie W(»rldly good 

riiin of Invoriicss Cathedral. 75 feet to incb. 



fortime to comi)lete a buildinp; equal to himself — had 
executed, while in more robust 
health, the entire set of designs 
for a cathedral which it was 
proposed to erect at Colombo, 
the capital of Ceylon. Out of 
this series, which was pro- 
duced in 1847, I have selected 
not only the plan (Xo. 21), 
but also the longitudinal ele- 
vation (No. 23), and the longi- 
tudinal (No. 24) and trans- 
verse sections (No. 22), alike 
for their intrinsic merit, and 
as memorials of their gifted 
architect. The church it will 
be seen is of ample dimensions ; and while the style is 
modelled on English First Pointed, the requirements of 

Plan of proposed Colombo 
Cathedral. 75 feet to inch. 


Latitudinal section of proposed Colombo Cathedral. 


G 2 


the oppressive elimatc are met by the open external 
aisle or lo^i-gia whieh encircles the entire building, in 
addition to the ordinary internal aisle, and Ijy the cleres- 
torj^ galleries in the double thickness of the walls, 
presenting internally almost the appearance of a tri- 
foriuni, while the spacious narthex, or western vesti- 
bule, is suitable, according to early precedent, to a 
church planted in the midst of a vast heathen popula- 
tion, for practical no less than ecclesiastical reasons. 

It is greatly to be regretted that, in the construction 
of the actual cathedral of Colombo, this able project 
seems to have been entirelj^ overlooked, for, although 
the cathedral institution exists in the capital of Ceylon, 
the building in which it is iixed is merely a modified 
reproduction of a commonplace parish church, carried 
out I fear under non-professional guidance. 

The lapse of thirteen years again brought round the 
completion of a series of plans for a cathedral on a 
stately scale, for the use of a newly constituted colony 
to the north of New South Wales, where the condi- 
tions of a sultr}^ climate had to be considered, and 
the Bishop of Brisbane sought his see provided with 
designs from the pencil of Mr. Burges. Brisbane, the 
capital of Queensland, the appropriate name for what 
used to be termed Moreton Bay, is, to be sure, but a 
semi-troi)ical city compared with Colombo. Still the 
heat there to English feelings is excessive, and de- 
mands precautions. Like Carpenter, Mr. Burges has 
sought his style in the earlier epoch of Gothic, though, 
faithful to his i)enchant, and to the now rather fashion- 
able spii'it which received so strong an impetus in that 

Chap. III. 



international competition for Lille Catlieilral in wliich 
Mr. Burges in concert with Mr. Clutton came off vic- 
torious, he has adopted the French form of First 
Pointed. I shall not renew the discussion upon the 
applicability of this style to our actual church archi- 
tecture. Whatever may be its practical value as a 
general rule, the merit of Mr. Burges' special adapta- 


tion of it at Brisbane is in- 
contestable, where its pecu- 
liar massiveness^ which might 
render it less serviceable in 
England, has its own appro- 
priate use. Carpenter, at Co- 
lombo, met the problem of 
cooling the air by veiling his 
abundant openings with ex- 
ternal galleries, themselves 
pierced, in respect to the in- 
ternal windows, so as to com- 
bine the maximum of opening 
with the minimum of solar 
light. Mr. Burges, for his 
part, while to a certain extent he adopts that expedient 
in his ingenious combination of triforium and clerestory, 
yet bases his plan upon what has been called, by a 
self-explanatory term, the speluncar principle of tropi- 
cal architecture. Hence his thick walls, which are so 
well suited to Early Pointed ; his narrow windows, 
made to exclude rather than admit light ; and hence 
the coved roof, a feature which we should hail in the 
Gothic of any climate. It would lead me too far away 

Plan of Brisbane Cathedral. 
75 feet to inch. 

* lluffbCS AHOt*. 


LalituiJluul section uf Itrist^uuu CuUicdrul. 


S!^'V- * 





from my own subject, if I were to attempt to balance 
the arguments, practical and scientific, with which the 
two systems of architecture for hot climates— the 
draught-admitting and the speluncar — are defended and 
impugned, for I am only concerned with these tropical 
cathedrals in so far as they are designed by English 
architects for the service of the English Prayer-Book, 
Abler exemplifications of the adaptation of either to 
that service, and to the laws of Gothic, could not be 
found, and it is only to be deeplj^ regretted that the 
opportunity for building one of them (if even in part 
only) has passed away, and that the other has not yet, 
as far as 1 know, been set in hand. (Nos. 25, 26, 27.) 
The tropical church which I shall next produce, 
although inferior in its scale and its pretensions to 
those for Colombo and Brisbane, is, unlike them, 
actually built and in use. It . 

is not, to be sure, technically 
a cathedral, but is the prin- 
cipal church of a community 
which possesses its OAvn inde- 
pendent representative consti- 
tution, and its construction 
formed the subject of parlia- 
mentary solicitude and par- 
liamentary munificence, so 
that it may very fairly take 
its place in the series. It is 
the church rebuilt from the 
designs of Mr. Slater in the island of St. Kitt's, in the 
West Indies, after the destruction of a former one by 
an earthquake, and consecrated in 1859= (Nos. 28, 29.) 

Plan of St. Kitt's Cliurcli. 
75 I'ert to ilicli. 


The fear of the recurrence of the same calamity 
which had ruined its predecessor imported one fresh 
clement into the architect's considerations. He had 
not only to provide for the admission of air, but to pro- 
vide against the risk of a sudden overthrow by making 
his church flexible, and as it were elastic. To have 
attempted to stand against, instead of bowing to the 
possible concussion, would have been to undertake an 
enterprise against which the patent costliness was an 
argument as irrefragable as it was practical. Accord- 
ingly the speluncar theory was out of court in this 
instance, and the point which Mr. Slater aimed at 
was to make his building light and well ventilated 
and yet sun-tight. The simple expedient of Middle 
Pointed windows with jalousies met the requirements 
of sun and air. The comparative thinness possible in 
this style pleaded in its favour as to the remaining 
requirement. Fortunately that usual plague of the 
tropics, the white ant, is unknown at St. Kitt's, so 
timber could be used in the construction ; indeed, had 
this mischievous insect been found there, the jalousies 
might have been impossible. Provided with these 
data, Mr. Slater gave a church broad but not lofty, 
the dangerous bulk of triforium and clerestory being 
dispensed with. The pillars are slender, but not 
too slender for the weight they have to bear. The 
aisles, instead of being thrown into the relief of deep 
shade, are l)ruught forward, as in the large town 
churches of later Gothic, to contribute to the general 
ed'ect of airy spaciousness. Upon these pillars 
rests the rool", designed so as to combine lightness 


and strciigtli, to hold the building well together, 
and yet itself to be elastic. The tie-beams (a fea- 
ture not generally to be desired) give the necessary 
compactness; while the mo.derate scantlings of the 
timber employed obviate the risk of the roof crushing 
down the substructure. Thus designed, with a reason 
for every characteristic, this church is a specimen, both 
successful and modest, of the ecclesiastical architec- 
ture of the present day. 

I must still detain mj readers in southern climates 
while I introduce the two next plans to them. It has 
not, I hope, faded out of their recollection that on the 
conclusion of the Crimean War the religious feeling of 
the English people led them to the determination of 
sanctifying the peace by the erection of a memorial 
church at Constantinople. The appeal was made 
under distinguished auspices, and liberal subscrip- 
tions flowed in. The choice of the architect was 
made by unlimited competition. Although person- 
ally concerned, both in drawing up the terms of the 
competition and in the adjudication of the prizes, I 
may I trust be forgiven for appealing to this compe- 
tition as standing out in favourable contrast to others 
of a more imposing character, and for a more mag- 
nificent stake, which have occupied public attention 
during the last few years. The disgraceful sequel of 
the competition for Lille Cathedral was the ne plus 
ultra of bad faith, while the original defects of the 
Public Office competition — needless complication, and 
inexcusable vagueness in the terms of the proposed 
contract— have Ijcen at the root of all the vexed and 


vexing cntaiiglciiicuts of that yet iiiisettled question.* 
In our competition the managers stated as clearly as 
they could what they wanted and how much they 
could afford to pay for it. The judges gave the first 
prize to the competitor who seemed to them most 
completely to supi)ly that want, and that competitor 
is still, after many delays, from political and other 
causes, engaged in building the actual church. The 
terms of the competition specifically invited a modifi- 
cation, to suit the climate, of Pointed or Gothic, and 
it forbade any approximation to the specific features 
of Byzantine architecture, therefore inferentially ex- 
cluding the use of the cupola. The reason for the 
first of these directions was obvious. A single church 
in the middle of Constantinople built in Northern 
Gothic would have been in partial, if not offensive, 
contrast to every other building in that city, and 
would accordingly have proved an architectural 
failure, and not improbably the cause of much social 
heartburning. On the other side, a church which was 
not Gothic at all would have erred in the opposite 
extreme, and been unworthy to have been the monu- 
ment of a western nation. Southern Pointed just 
provided the needful mezzo terminc, neither too little 
nor too much like the existino; buildiners. Atrain, if 
a cupola had been introduced, even if constructed 

* In saying tlii.s I mnst at tlic sanic time most imamliigiiously gtatc 
that, according to tlie revelations wliicli were made before the Committee 
oi' llie House of Connnons in LSfiS, Mr. Scott was clearly shown to be the 
rightful first prizeman of tiie whole comjietition, for he had the greatest 
sum total of merit. 




with Gothic details, it would have been but one out 
of mauy ; and as mone}' was not forthcoming to make 
it one of the grandest, its inferiority^ compared with 
those cupolas which already crown the Constantino- 
politan mosques, would have brought discredit on the 
building itself, and on the religion which that building 
symbolized. Xo exact architectural comparison could 
however lie between the church without and the 
mosques with cupolas, and thus no risk of visible infe- 
riority would be created. 

At the same time the character of the structure was 
to be " monumental," and it is in this character of 
" monumental " that I offer the plans of the church 
as modified by Mr. Burges, in a somewhat reduced 
form, and of the design which won the second prize, 
by Mr. Street, in its original condition. With all 
their high merit, these designs are so different in their 
conception that I can notice each without a reference 
to the other. 

Mr. Burges's idea, embodied in 
a style combined of Italian Gothic 
and Early French, seems to have 
been to reproduce the general ca- 
thedral or minster type of the Con- 
tinent upon a small scale, and yet 
with such simplicity of plan as to 
obviate the risk of pettiness and 
confusion. (No. 30.) In this he 
was very successful. The plan, as 
originally drawn, comprised a groined nave of three 
vaultimj;- and of six arch-bays, aisles to the entire 

30. Mr. Burges's plan for Jleino- 

rial Church at C-onstuntinuple. 

75 feet to inch. 


building, and transepts, and an apsidal choir, com- 
prising a distinct bay, leading up to the circum- 
ambient aisle encircling the apse. In section the 
church displa^'cd, besides the main arcade, an arcaded 
triforium, and a clerestory above. The chief artistic 
effect after which Mr. Burges aimed was the per- 
spective of the east end, with its " chevet,"* a feature 
which he further defended on practical considerations, 
about which I shall have more to say hereafter. The 
work could not be undertaken at once, for the Turkish 
government, always tricky and perfidious, did not 
really look upon it with favour. At last, however, the 
zeal, kindness, and ability of Lord Stratford de Red- 
cliffe overcame all obstacles, and a magnificent site in 
the most conspicuous part of Galata was presented 
to the future church by the Sultan. In the mean 
while trade matters at Constantinople had resumed 
their normal state, and uncertain prices made timid 
contractors. Accordingly Mr. Burges recast his plan 
upon a diminished scale, substituting a barrel for a 
groined roof, reducing the nave to three bays in length, 
abridging the breadth of the transepts, curtailing the 
length of the eastern limb, and combining the triforium 
and clerestory on -the same principle as at Brisbane, 
but retaining the chevet. In this form the build- 
ing present^, indeed, but moderate dimensions, but 
3'et is invested with a peculiar dignity of plan, 
well suited to a "monumental" church; to a 

* Mr. FcrgUiisoii lias introthiccil this Frcnrli wuid into tuir arcliitcctuial 
vocabulary to duliuc iiarliciilarlv the apse witli a siuroiuitliiig ait^lo. 

ClIAl'. III. 



structure that is, wliieli, like the Stc. ChapcUc or 
Merton Chapel, Oxford, possesses attributes which 
raise it above the geueral run of parish churches, 
and justify it in borrowing some of the forms and 
stateliness of a cathedral. 

Mr. Street's design (No. 31), which appears in all 
the grandeur of its original dimensions, is composed in 
an Italianising translation of 
Middle Pointed, and will at 
once recall the plan of Alby 
Cathedral which I have just 
produced, although, nnlike 
Alby, it adds the grandeur 
of transepts, while it dis- 
penses with that ring of 
chapels which have no use 
in the English ceremonial. 
Aisles are wanting, and with 
them, of course, the triforium 
and clerestory properly so 
called, and so the whole 
church is one vast vaulted 
area like King's College 
Chapel. At the same time, as the left-hand moiety 
of the plan indicates, Mr. Street provides a low ex- 
ternal cloister all round the nave for purposes of air 
and communication ; and as we see, to the right he 
pierces the wall at the window-level for a narrow tri- 
forial gallery, with glazed windows on the external 
plane, and window-like openings, mullioned and tra- 
ceried, to the church. I must repeat, respecting this 

31. Mr. Street's plan for Memorial 
Church at Cunslantinople. 75 feet to inch. 



riiAP. III. 

design, what I have alread^y said of Caipenter's Colombo 
design, that it would be a great misfortune to art if a 
work of such merit were to he forgotten in its author's 
portfolio. I do not know whctherMr. Street would agree 
with me, but I think it would be admirably suited for 

the cathedral of some 
northern city where 
the wintere are long 
and sharp, Ottawa 
for instance, or one 
of the prairie cities, 
should the Episco- 
pal Church of the 
United States find 
itself strong enough 
to raise cathedrals. 
Those precautions 
which Mr. Street 
with great fore- 
thought has taken 
against the incon- 
yeniences of over- 
heat, would equally 
serve to ward off the 
inclemency of the 
biting frost. 

The next plan to 
which T shall call attiMilion is that of a church which 
is neither a calhcdral nor even one destined lor the 
use of our coniniiiiiioii, and which was desigiuMl as 
fai' back as IS-l"), but which in its scale, its charactci", 

rian of SI. NicholHs' Cliiiivb, Haniburgb. 
75 foet to inch. 


and tlic necessary absence of Romanist features, is 
admirably adapted to illustrate my position, Avliilc it 
is tlic work of an eminent English architect. The 
church before us (No. 32) is that of St. Nicholas at 
Hamburgh, which Mr. Scott has been for years rearing 
in Grcrman Middle Pointed, having won the com- 
mission in an international competition elicited b}^ 
the great fire that consumed its predecessor, and 
which is now nearly completed, with the stately 
dimensions of a length of 218 feet, and a width 
of 123. This ])uilding, with these particulars, is self- 
explanatory, and the great point which it establishes 
is that a church of its magnitude is not only a possi- 
bility, but an accomplished and tangible fact in a 
great city. 

I almost wish that I could give a plan of St. Paul's 
Church, Dundee, by the same architect, but I am 
debarred from so doing from the conviction that the 
plon would not exhibit its distinguishing and charac- 
teristic merit — that of being almost, and yet not quite, 
a cathedral. This church was erected a few years 
since for the use of the principal Episcopal congrega- 
tion at Dundee, and as such it resembles a fair-sized 
dignified English parish church, in the Middle style, of 
stately architecture, and remarkably well placed on a 
steep rock in the middle of a populous town. But as 
the incumbent of the church is also bishop of the see in 
which Dundee is the principal town, and as the union 
of the incumbency with the episcopate is a thing 
plainly desirable in itself, Mr. Scott has with great 
ability and tact so regulated the arrangements and 


general tone of the building as to render it a not nn- 
worthy substitute for a cathedral church. A much 
earlier work by the same accomplished hand, the 
cathedral of St. John's, Newfoundland— designed by 
Mr. Scott some thirteen years ago, on the destruction 
of the former church by fire, in a severe and simple 
style of Early Pointed, to suit its hyperborean climate 
— as yet only consists of a nave and aisles with a 
temporary apsidal sanctuary ; but when the transepts 
and choir are added it will become a building of 
cathedral aspect and dimensions. 

Fredericton also, the capital of New Brunswick, 
possesses its cathedral, which, although of small size, 
is yet of a thoroughly appropriate character in its 
architecture, and still more in its services. The ex- 
cellent bishop, on first taking possession of his see, 
went out provided with plans of Snettisham Church 
in Norfolk, a handsome parish church in the Middle 
style, of which the chancel had perished. This need- 
ful feature was supplied by the then architect, the 
late Mr. Wills (an Englishman), but still the building 
would have resembled a parochial rather than a 
cathedral church, had it been completed according to 
those designs. The nave however was built, and there 
the work stopped for a short time, but was resumed 
by the construction of the choir, including a central 
steeple, IVom the original designs of Mr. Butterileld. 
The l)uildiug so finished is very small, and is destitute 
of transepts. Still, (Voni the concurrent testimony of 
all who have seeu it, it unmistakably jwssesses the 
cathedral character, while the arrangements for dio- 


cesaii gatherings are very ample in proportion lo the 
general dimensions. 

More recently another conflagration has enriched 
another city of British North America with a cathedral 
somewhat approaching ancient dimensions. The old 
Christ Chnrch at Montreal was bnrned down some 
years ago ; and although the bishop would gladly have 
employed the highest talent of England, he was com- 
pelled to consult local prejudices, and so the drawings 
were prepared by Mr. Wills, who had settled at New 
York after his Fredericton engagement, while after 
his death the work was completed by Mr. T. S. 
Scott. Both these gentlemen, however, acquitted 
themselves more than respectably ; and the result is, 
that the commercial capital of Canada boasts of a 
cruciform cathedral more than 200 feet in extreme 
length, in correct Middle Pointed, handsomely and 
appropriately appointed. The nave and aisles are 
destined for a large congregation. Transepts are 
not wanting, and an ample choir indicates the special 
use of this church. Much thought has been devoted 
to the fittings, and in, painted glass, at all events, the 
highest English capacity has been employed. 

In the mean while, however, I have been forgetting 
one colonial cathedral, which, although far inferior to 
those which I have been recapitulating, both in beauty 
of architecture and correctness of arrangement, is yet 
more remarkable than any of them, from the earliness 
of its date, the massiveness and size of its construction, 
and the far-seeing appreciation of the true office of a 
cathedral, put forward as the reason for building it 




Chap. 11 T. 


Exterior of CiilcuUa Cathedral. West end. 

by its foiinclcr — a prelate no way identified, but the 
reverse, with any strong views of ecclesiastical or- 
ganization or ritual })recision. The cathedral is that 
of Calcutta ; the founder the late Bishop Daniel 
Wilson ; the architect an engineer officer ; and the 
date of the prospectus in which the prelate first made 
his intention public the 18th of June, 1839. In 
this noticeable document l^ishop Wilson projiosed 
*' to erect a lofty and spacious airy church, in the 
Gothic or rather Christian style of architecture, un- 
encunil>er('d with galleries; with an ample chancel 
or choir; with north and soiitii traiise})ts or en- 

CUAl'. 111. 



ti'tiiices; and capable of seating a])ont 800 or 1000 
persons — its dimensions being probably somewhere 
about 180 or 200 feet by 55 or 60, and 50 or 60 feet 
in height." The Bishop added that the exterior should 
bear some relation to the architectural character of 
the interior; and that an appropriate spire, about 
200 feet high, should be added, " to give the whole a 
becoming customary ecclesiastical aspect." The first 
stone was laid that year, and it is a great deal to say 
that the Bisho}) of Calcutta was able within about 
eight years after he had issued his appeal to see the 
accomplishment of this largely-conceived plan, with 
dimensions even more extensive than those which this 

lulerior olCalculUi (.'iiliriliMl. 

II '1 


prospectus suggested.* I shall have, further on in 
this volume, to appeal again to Bishop Wilson's just 
appreciation of the cathedral institution. Such excel- 
lent intentions, so boldly propounded in days when 
sympathj^ was uncertain, merit more than forbearance 
from, a later generation; and it is therefore almost 
with reluctance that I am bound to note that the 
architecture of Calcutta Cathedral, the work of a 
colonel of engineers, can only be described as a sort 
of corrupt Perpendicular, apparently founded on some 
rude print of the Duomo of Milan. The steeple, to be 
sure, which seems successful, is modelled on that of 
Norwich ; the ceiling, it is scarcely necessary to say, 
is no way amenable to any law of taste ; while the 
internal arrangements, which allot the choir of a 
cathedral to the general congregation, can only be 
referred to as an example of what is to be avoided. 
I am able to offer a woodcut of the west end (No. 33), 
showing the new external roof, which was Bishop Wil- 
son's last work, and an internal view of the choir (No. 
34), both borrowed from the Life of that prelate by Mr. 
Bateman. The huge untraceried east window is due to 
an accident, lucky or unlucky. The Dean and Chapter 
of Windsor subscribed a glass transparency, designed 
by West, and intended to till the west window of that 
Boyal Chapel. The production was safely sent out of 
England, Bishop Wilson was gratified, and his cathe- 
dral cxhi))its (in however unsatisfactory an artistic 

* The ;ictnal Kn-tli nf tlie cliuich is li-lH llrl, tlic height ol' llic bpirc 





CJiAr. III. 

form) tliat representation wliieli ought before all 
others to tcriuinatc a Christian ehurch. 

When Bishop Wilson projected his cathedral the 
island of Australia formed a portion of his huge 

3f.. )'lan of Sydney Catlicdnil. r.O feet to incb. 

diocese. In a few years it became a diocese, and in a 
few more an ecclesiastical i)rovince. Dr. .T>roughton, 
originally the first Bishop of Australia, and then 
Bisho}) of Sydney and Metropolitan of Australasia, 



set on foot a catliedi-al in his important and growing 
cit}^ (Nos. 35, 36, 37.) The building was planned on 
an extensive scale, but the ability fell short of the inten- 
tion, and the style adopted was 
the latest Pointed. The work 
came to a standstill, w^hen it 
was resumed by an architect 
of talent, Mr. Blackett, who 
had emigrated to New South 
Wales. His idiosyncracy led 
him to use Perpendicular as 
his style of predilection, and 
so what th another man would 
have been a great misfortune 
was subjectively to him an 
advantage. He could not how- 
ever cure the original narrow- 
ness of the transepts, which 
compelled him to design a cen- 
tral tower, like the one at 
Bath Al)l}ey — longer from 
north to south than froiu east 
to west, although, unlike its 
prototype, distinguished by 
its want of elevation ; other- 
wise he modified the pile into 
a very fair, though reduced, 
resemblance of the nave of 
Canterbury Cathedral. Both nave and choir, each with 
its aisles and each lighted by a clerestory, are, it will 
be observed, of ample magnitude. The weakest point 


of the building aro the overgrown central porches, 
which claim to l^c transepts. It has slowly grown to 
completion, Ijut will soon, it is hoped, be consecrated 
by the present Bishop of Sydney.* 

Some fourteen or fifteen years ago Mr. Butterfield 
prepared plans for the Cathedral of Adelaide, the then 
struggling capital of South Australia, which were in- 
tended to show at how cheap a rate the cathedral cha- 
racter might be given to a church. The structure was 
accordingly designed with the cxtremest simplicit}^ 
to be built of red brick, with few mouldings and the 
simplest traceiy, but cruciform and lofty. Unfortu- 
nately this building did not meet with the ajiproval of 
the authorities. A few years later Mr. Slater gave a 
sketch for a cathedral for the same city of a larger and 
more ornate character, l)ut that was likewise laid on 
the shelf ; and the church Avhich now bears the name 
of cathedral in Adelaide is, I believe, quite unworthy 
of its rank. At Melbourne, I fear, no idea at all of a 
cathedral has ever been contemplated, although the 
secular constructions — Houses of Parliament, town- 
hall, banks, &c. &c. — have been reared on a scale of 
the most lavish expenditure. What the moral eflect 
of this ever-present comparison may be, is not my 
province to inquire. 

But midway l)etween Calcutta and Sydney a church 
is at this moment in the course of construction, which, 

* Unfortunately tlie jilan wliicli I liavc IxnTowL'tl iVom the ' Ecclesi- 
olo;^ist' is npi)n a scale iliHerc-ut. I'roni the others which 1 have given, viz. 
fifty feet to the inch : accordingly it bears an ajipearance of undue magni- 


as far as I can learn, deserves to be recorded in this 
place. No one, however moderately acqnainted with 
onr colonial empire, can be ignorant of the rapid 
growth and great importance of the town of Singa- 
pore, seated on a small island at the southern ex- 
tremity of Malacca. Hitherto this settlement has 
inconveniently been attached to the Diocese of Cal- 
cutta ; but it is, I trust, in the process of being de- 
tached from that distant city, and of being constituted 
the see-town of the bishopric of which the island of 
Labuan is now the nominal, and Sarawak the actual 
seat. In the mean while, however, the government, 
with a praiseworthy sense of its obligations, has been 
rebuilding the parish church of Singapore on a grand 
scale, upon a design reproducing Netley Abbey. The 
length of the nave is 170 feet, and the breadth (ex- 
clusive of the aisles) 30, while the height to the ridge 
of the roof is 76 feet ; and there are transepts to 
serve as porches for the carriages to drive under. 
It was intended that the tower should have been 
upwards of 200 feet in height ; but when it had been 
raised about 100 feet it was discovered that the foun- 
dation showed signs of sinking, and so it was tempo- 
rarily roofed in, and left to settle. I have also heard 
of a full peal of bells, and of painted glass, so there 
will be no stint about the structure. These parti- 
culars are not sufficient to show how far climatic con- 
siderations have been grappled with, but they indicate 
the generous and charitable spirit with which the 
work was undertaken ; and we may all safely take 
for granted that Singapore Church, when it is com- 


pletcd, and when, as I trust it may be, it is dedicated 
as St. Andrew's Cathedral, will mark an epoch in the 
progress of the cathedral movement in our Colonial 
Church. On the value of such a church in such a 
city as Singapore I will not enlarge. 

No other colonial cathedral, as far as I am aware, 
calls for particular notice. Queen Adelaide's large 
cliurch at Malta is the real cathedral of the bishop 
who takes his title from Gibraltar, and whose titular 
cathedral is, I believe, a mean and fantastic modern 
Saracenic building on that rock. In most of the see- 
towns, such as Cape Town and Quebec, there is some 
church which is entitled and used as the cathedral ; but 
in every case I believe the building, whether of date 
anterior to the creation of the see, or of more recent 
construction, is little worthy of its distinction. In the 
island of Antigua, where the cathedral was rebuilt 
within these few years, in consequence of the destruc- 
tion of its predecessor by an earthquake, the ugly 
London-Church Italian of George lY.'s days was 
adopted. But I have shown that cathedrals enough of 
a better type have been built of late years within the 
limits of the Church of England to justify me in treat- 
ing cathedral extension as something more sul)stantial 
than a theory of the schools. As I have already said, 
the Protestant Ki)iscopal Church of the United States 
has not yet sufliciently divested itself of rei)ublican pre- 
judices to adopt cathedrals by name. However, Trinity 
Cliurch, New York (the ancient parish church of that 
now vast metropolis), had the good fortune to own an 
estate in the ))usiness and therefore most valual)le 


quarter of the city, which now 3'ields an overflowing 
revenue devoted to church purposes. Accordingly 
some sixteen or eighteen years since the church was 
rebuilt on a very large scale by Mr. Upjohn, a known 
local architect, out of its own revenues. The style 
selected was Perpendicular, and the lofty west spire 
is now a landmark to vessels entering the Hudson. 
Without the title, this church is practical^ the cathe- 
dral of its own diocese ; and on the occasion of the 
civic fetes in honour of the temporary completion of 
the Transatlantic cable, it was chosen by the entire 
city as the scene of the religious portion of the 
solemnities, according to the rites of our Church. 
The new church at Burlington, in the diocese of 
New Jersey, was also reared by the late Bishop with 
the animus of its being the virtual cathedral of his 

Having now given reasons why the increase of 
cathedrals is desiraljle, having treated of the style 
in which it is expedient to build them, and briefly 
indicated their general plan, and having shown how 
far practice has proved them possible, I shall in the 
following chapters proceed to consider the various 
portions of the building as they successively present 




Roman Catholic and ricformed Cathedrals further contrasted — Wilars of 
Honecort — Practical use of the choir — ropularity of Choral Services 
and Special Preachings — English mauvaise honte, and how cured — 
The Volunteer movement — General and social uses of Cathedrals. 

Let us assume that an architect of experience re- 
ceives the commission to erect a cathedral in some 
large town of England where a new see has been 
created ; that an appropriate site is ready at his call ; 
and that he has the command of funds sufficient but 
not lavish. How is he to proceed ? He will have a 
Hercules's choice before him ; the better and the 
worse way will both be open. He may either consult 
his own vanity, and make artistic effect the one 
aim of his studies, and thus ensure an ostentatious 
failure ; or he may realise the spirit of his age, the 
wants of that special town, and the requirements of 
our national Church, and so produce a building in 
which pomp shall be subordinate to use, and in which 
accordingly the highest of all beauties, the beauty of 
truth, shall l)e attained. 

In the latter case he will elaborate his scheme by 
slow degrees. His mode of action will not 1)0 to 
choose Lincoln or Cologne or Milan cathedral, and to 
say — This is the church of my preference, and I will 
transplant it wh(^losalc to a now locality. His olova- 

Chap. IV. CHOICE OF PLAN. 109 

tion, on tlie contrary, will be fonnded on his plan, and 
Ms plan will be evolved by the wants which it has to 
meet, aided as he will be by the teaching of examples 
in which similar wants have been successfnlly met in 
former daj^s. He has the old cathedrals to teach him. 
He has also the old parish chnrches. He has, in the 
third place, the new parish churches which he and 
other architects have been so plentifully constructing 5 
and he has the colonial cathedrals already in use. 
His first notion will very likely be to make an old 
cathedral in small, but he will soon (if he has the true 
artistic perception) discover that our old cathedrals 
were modified in their whole conception by the ante- 
reformational requirements which were present to 
their builders' minds. His second notion will perhaps 
be to work up again his own previous experience, and 
to produce one of his parish churches on a larger 
scale. Here too he will find himself at fault, and he 
will at last hit on the right course, to work out artis- 
tically from the comparison of cathedrals old and new, 
and parish churches old and new, the ideal English 
Cathedral of the nineteenth century. 

First he will seek to discover the ruling distinctions 
between the cathedral and the parish church, and he 
will soon find that the main though not the only dif- 
ference between the two ideas is seated in the eastern 
portion of the pile. To be sure he will observe 
that the nave of the cathedral is ordinarily longer, 
and the piers of its arcade are stouter, than in the 
parish church ; but his attention at that moment will 
be directed to the numl)cr and distribution of the 


parts, and not to the dimensions of the individual 
features. The cathedral and the monastic church, 
and to a very great extent the parish church, of the 
Eomanists have, as I have shown, for many centuries 
been planned in accordance with that multiplication 
of altars which follows upon the multiplication of 
masses. The modern cathedral at Linz, and the 
ancient churches of Old Sarum, Ely, and ^Vlby, tell 
the same tale. The Colonial, Irish, and Scottish 
churches, on the other hand, which I have produced, 
arc intended to hold one altar only, and yet they 
are, speaking- generally, complete and harmonious in 
their plan, and some of them are of very consideraljle 
dimensions. The transepts at Linz spread out in 
order that chapels may be projected from their eastern 
face. The apse is fringed with a coronal of chapels, 
just as in those English cathedrals which have a 
square east end, this is so arranged as to display a 
continuous range of rectangular chapels : while, upon 
the plan, as in many of the larger mediaival churches, 
the more conspicuous Lady Chapel projects like a little 
church from the extreme eastern end. I can indeed 
produce a living witness, freshly introduced to our 
generation from the middle ages, to prove my point. 
In the middle of the thirteenth century, as internal 
evidence shows, there flourished a Picard architect, 
Wilars de Honecort by name, a clever active pains- 
taking man, an artist of taste, a good engineer, and a 
person alive to the world about him, who died, and 
left, as the sole n^cord to late })osterity that he had 
ever lived, his notc-liook full of miscellaneous jottings. 


In this curious collection we find churches that he had 
built, and churches that he had seen, admired, and 
copied, not only in France but in Hungary, whither 
his profession had called him ; sights, monuments, and 
machines that he desired to keep a note of; models 
draped and nude — altogether a veiy varied collec- 
tion. This note-book, long immured in the library 
of St. Genevieve at Paris, was prepared for the 
press in that city, with illustrative letterpress by the 
late M. Lassus, and published after his death by 
M. Darcel, while an English version soon followed, 
characteristically improved, from the Ijrilliant pen of 
Professor Willis. The Cistercians, it is known, were 
the great advocates of simplicity in ecclesiastical 
architecture ; and although in their earliest abbey's, 
such as Pontigny, they adopted the chevet, yet their 
experience of English ways, or else their particular 
habits, seems to have made the less artistic square 
end fashionable in their cloisters ; and so Wilars the 
Picard, when he produced a sketch to meet their re- 
quirements, designed a " glize desquarie " — a " squared 
church " — " en lordene d Cistiaux." He seems to 
have theorised on the matter, and he had certainly 
a friendly dispute with his brother architect Peter 
of Corbie (a man of whose existence there is I be- 
lieve no other trace), for on another leaf of the sketch- 
book is the plan of the east end of a church with 
this note, " istud presbyterium invenerunt Ylardus 
de Hunecort et Petrus de Corbeia inter se dispu- 
tando,'' — the plan being very much that of any other 
average.' chevet-euded cathedral, exce[)t that each 


alternate chapel is square. The accompanying wood- 
cut (No. 38), wliicli I Ijorrow from the ' Ecclcsiologist,' 
shows the larger portion of this plan, and all of the 
Cistercian sketch, which occur on different pages of the 
note-book, grouped in facsimile. But in both instances 
• — the squared church of the Cistercians, and the design 
which emanated from the friendly controvers}^ — the 
same desire is dominant, the multiplication of chapel- 
room. The "glize desquarie" would contain at least 
eight altars, inclusive of the high-altar, and could have 
been arranged for several more, and in the compromise 
desiojn the chevet has a cincture of nine chapels ; while 
the other plans of actual churches which Wilars gives 
up and down his book, with their names attached, 
are all of them prepared upon the same idea. To 
be sure it was hardly worth while, in strict logic, to 
have produced the evidence of buildings which have 
never been built. Almost every cathedral and every 
abbey, almost every parish church of the middle ages, 
is a witness to the same fact ; but there is a piquancy 
in being l)rought home to the very pen-scratches and 
notes of the designer himself, which adds a special 
force to the illustration. Besides, as I have given 
some unbuilt designs of modern architects, I could 
hardly do less for the thirteenth century, wiicn the 
opportunity was so easy. Another i)eculiarity of the 
ante-reformational cathedral — the crypt — also con- 
nected with the system of relics, chapels, and private 
masses, has hardly a practical bearing upon my 
iiuiiu question, and I therefore content myself with 
a passing allusion to it, ^\lli(•]l 1 ought jU'rhaps to 

Chap. IV. 



Two churches from Wilars of Honecort. 


have made earlier, to show that it has not liecii 

I resume with the observation that in the multipli- 
cation of chapels or altars consists the main architec- 
tural difference between the Roman and the English 
cathedrals. Take these away, and you are simpl}- 
left with the elements of an English cathedral — 
elements which you find on a smaller scale in any 
college chapel or parish church: the nave or ante- 
chapel for the general congregation ; the choir or 
chancel for the corporation of the college, or the clerks 
actually engaged in the performance of the service ; 
and the sanctuary beyond for the Holy Communion. 
Possibly, too (most generally indeed), you find the 
transepts also, and these also are of very common 
occurrence in parish churches. These, elements, I say, 
exist potentially in every old parish church, and 
actually in a daily increasing number of churches, 
both old and new ; and they are most conspicuously 
to be found in those cathedrals which are restored, as 
Ely, Lichfield, Hereford, LlandafT, Chichester, and St. 
Paul's, have been or are in the course of being*. 

Can our architect then discover, I will not say an ex- 
cuse, but any valid practical reasons, in the various uses 
to which the modern English cathedral may and ought 
to be put, for constructing it upon a scale and of a 
character sufficient to justify the use of that word 
cathedral in its secondary and architectural signi- 
fication — a scale, that is, which fully rivals the dimen- 
sions of the most spacious of the plans of colonial 
churches ? 


Admitting the value of our episcopal system, there 
can be no doubt whatever as to the abstract and 
technical necessity, simultaneously with the extension 
of that s^'stem, of the erection, where wanted, of 
cathedral churches. But let us revert to the con- 
siderations which are involved in the idea of a cathe- 
dral as an institution. It is certain that the cathedral 
would not be perfect without the existence of a body 
of clergy, both to assist and counsel the Bishop and 
to serve the Church itself, and of frequent and solemn 
services at which that capitular body would properly 
and legitimately officiate. The existence of such a 
body — the "Chapter" as it is called— involves the 
construction of a choir of a capacity superior to that 
of an ordinary parochial church. Then again the 
specific duties which the Bishop himself has to per- 
form, with the assistance of this Chapter — duties, that 
is, which are the formal cause why there should be 
an " ecclesia cathedralis " — a ehurch with the bishop's 
chair in it — are all of them of a nature which demand 
space for their due transaction. Visitations^ whether 
episcopal or archidiaconal, bring together large bodies 
of the clergy, and their most appropriate place of 
gathering is the cathedral choir, where, in proportion 
as they become less of conventional formalities and 
more of administrative realities, the necessity for 
ample sitting-room will be increased. For these 
objects, at Montreal and Fredericton, as well as else- 
where, special accommodation has been liberally pro- 
vided with the best effect in the eastern portion of 
the respective churches. Ordinations, again, are now 

I 2 

lie rorULAEITY OF Chap. IV. 

treated, as they should be, as very solemn realities, 
whicli ought not to be performed in a corner. The 
larger the congregation present is, the more edifying 
will that rite be; while the common sense of the 
world has begun to perceive that private chapels are 
not their most appropriate scene. Upon the additional 
importance to the rite which its performance in the 
cathedral itself would give to a town confirmation 
[ need not enlarge ; but confirmations emphatically 
require ample room for their various incidents. These 
are the al^solute legal services and duties of the epis- 
copate which most pressiugly claim the cathedral 
church as the peculiar home of their celebration, and 
which necessitate, as the distinguishing feature of that 
church, an amplitude of space beyond that wdiich is 
required for the "sittings" or "kueelings" of the 
average place of worship. 

But I do not rest my case upon the mere letter of 
dry legality or of abstr[\ct appropriateness. If there 
were no other grounds for urging that the English 
cathedral of the nineteenth century was a want of 
the age, it might continue being a want until the 
century itself had passed into the twentieth. There 
has grown up of recent years a popular demand, 
manifesting itself in many Avays, wliich can be best 
and most truly gratified in the manner which I am 
pointing out, and which will otherwise find its vent 
through channels of doubtful propriety, if not of 
grotesque incongruity. 

Plainly and simply the English mind has declared 
itself on the one hand for ])opular choral services, 


aDcl on the other for preachings to the musses. The 
popnlarity which attends the introduction of vocal 
mnsic and of organs into public worship in this conntr}-, 
both within and out of the Church of England, is a fact 
which is more generally recognised as of course than 
consciously noticed in its details and its bearings. 
There can be no question that the solemn Cathedral ser- 
vice, with all its stately accompaniments, is the highest 
developement of the principle which recognises the 
value of art and of set order in man's collective approach 
to his Creator. But every grimy troop of Primitive 
Methodists filling some lowly Ebenezer or Bethel on 
a Welsh mountain-side, and making the glen re-echo 
to their stentorian psalmody, bears testimony to the 
same truths. Once a set form of words, however 
mean or fanatical, and once the voice of melody, how- 
ever vulgar or boisterous the tune may be, are ad- 
mitted into the congregation assembled for worship, 
the fierce dispute about the lawfulness of a liturgical 
and musical service has been settled in the affirma- 
tive, and all that remains is question of degree. The 
Presbyterians, chanting their "paraphrases" in a 
Dumfriesshire kirk, are as much implicated in its 
recognition as the Bishops and Peers who gather at 
Westminster Abbey to anoint and crown their Sove- 
reign. Indeed the continuous existence and unflagging 
popularity of the Cathedral service through genera- 
tions of coldness and corruption indicate a current of 
popularity which must have run very strongly to have 
run so long. The revival of the Cathedral system, 
consequent on the Restoration, was not by any means 


an absolutely necessary sequel to the revival of 
Episcopacy. Bishops were re-introduced into Scotland 
by Charles II., but neither the Prayer-book nor 
cathedral institutions were brought back with them, 
consequently the unquestioned re -establishment of 
choral service in England affords presumptive proof 
that the tide of popular feeling was not very adverse 
to musical worship. Still that was an age of vehe- 
ment party conflict on either side, and it was quite 
possible that an artificial enthusiasm might for the 
moment carry what a more normal condition of sober 
public opinion would afterwards drop and forget. 
The crucial test was the quiet and undemonstra- 
tive but tenacious support which average English 
respectability gave to Cathedral music during the 
days of George I. and George II. in the provincial 
capitals, which, in those days of difficult trafiic, re- 
presented the educated mind of the general people. 
At Exeter, at York, at Durham, in the Collegiate 
Church of Manchester, the execution of the service 
and the quality of the anthem was a strong point 
of provincial pride. The Dean might be haughty 
and overbearing, the Prebendaries rapacious and 
jobbing, and the entire Chapter suspected and un- 
popular ; but the organist and the singing-men sus- 
tained the institution, and handed it on to better and 
more earnest days. We never should have been told 
by Gray how 

" Through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault 
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise," 

if that anthem had not been as much a stock property 


of the English mind as those items of the village 
world out of which the residue of his Elegy is woven. 
As it is, these lines have become a standing quotation 
in the nation which dwells with pleasure on that 
earlier and still grander passage of Milton which was 
certainly in Gray's eye when he composed the above 
coui)let, and which forgets that the serious life's work 
of the writer was the destruction of all that he had 
here enshrined in immortal verse : — 

" Let my due feet never fail 

To walk the shadowy cloisters pale, 

And love the high embowed roof, 

With antique pillars massy proof, 

And storied windows richly dight, 

Casting a dim religious light ; 

Then let the pealing organ blow 

To the full-voiced quii-e below, 

In service high and anthem clear, 

As may with sweetness through mine ear 

Dissolve me into ecstacies, 

And bring all heaven before mine eyes." 

But it was not only in Cathedrals that the musical 
tastes of the people sustained the flagging devotions of 
that careless age. We do not require to turn to 
Fielding's first-hand or Macaulay's second-hand evi- 
dence to prove the low morals of a large mass of the 
clergy in the Gleorgian or just pn^-Georgian days; 
yet the parish churches of the land, in spite of sport- 
ing parson and of droning clerk, mustered their 
band of uncouth vocalists with fiddle and bassoon, 
Sunday after Sunday shouting quaint Sternhold and 
Hopkins or prosaic Tate and Brady, while the impa- 
tient spirits who followed the politic Wesley and the 


fiery Whitefield into secession, reanimated each 
other's spirits, and multiplied tenfold their converts by 
the power of their hymn-singing. These facts, I say, 
which are so well known that I am almost ashamed 
of alluding to them even in this cursory manner, 
demonstrate that choral worship is not alien to the 
English character, and therefore that the musical 
functions of our Cathedrals present a claim as real as 
it is respectable for their multiplication. Indeed the 
Cathedrals themselves have embalmed a national 
institution which involves the very quintessence of the 
" reason why " of their existence. It was, unless I 
am much mistaken, early in the last century that the 
three choirs of the western Cathedrals, Gloucester, 
Worcester, and Hereford, combined for an annual 
rotary festival. This festival has continued ever 
since. Occasionally some extraordinary festival has 
shot across the horizon, such as the Handel Com- 
memorations of George III. and William lY., both 
held in Westminster Abbey before such Commemo- 
rations had obtained that distinct commercial value 
which it was reserved for Sydenham speculators to 

Contemporaneously with these demonstrations, the 
yearly muster of charity children in St. Paul's re- 
curred with the same regularity as Lord Mayor's day. 
Most indubitably all these various festivals were in 
their accidents very odd, and it ma}^ be very undesir- 
able, exhibitions for a cathedral. Most indubitably 
their announcement, side ]>y side with plays and 
wax-works, was a just olleiice to serious men, and 


in themselves they have often led to very irreverent 
arrangements of every sort. But as indubitably their 
unjustifiable features were accidents, and in themselves 
these recurrent solemnities were so many testimonies 
to the truth that our cathedrals were the rightful homes 
of solemn religious music wedded to concerted words 
taken from or embodying the Holy Scriptures. It was 
both natural and laudable that, in an age of revived 
sensitiveness about Church decencies, a strong protest 
should be entered against the worldliness, it may be 
profanity, of what was often no more than a concert, 
though of sacred music, not under a chandelier, but a 
groined roof. Still, taken at the worst, we have in 
them the natural protest in favour of the choral 
sj'stem ; and it has been the happiness of our own 
especial age to see the wheat well winnowed in the 
realization of grand choral worship periodically dis- 
played. When I refer to the choral festivals which 
have occurred at Lichfield, Southwell, Ely, and in 
other great churches, I have said enough. The broad 
fact is established that the unvitiated English mind 
has unmistakably declared in favour of solemn church- 
music in solemn churches and given on great occa- 
sions. But I go still further, and I venture to 
assert that the disuse of the cathedral service in our 
cathedrals would at any time have been an eminently 
unpopular measure. For this opinion I appeal to a 
very simple test ; and I ask what would have been 
the general unprompted feeling of the Londoner, or 
the Englishman at large, if he had been told at any 
moment during the reign of any tfovereign of the 


House of Hanover that the choral service of St. Paul's 
or. Westminster Abbey was to be discontinued ? I 
venture, without fear of contradiction, to assert that 
the authors of such a change would have found them- 
selves met with a universal paroxysm of indignation, 
partly violent and partly sulky, but unanimous in 
its expression; and, until this assertion of mine is 
contradicted, I adhere to the proposition with which I 
have started, and I venture to insist upon the asser- 
tion that the musical form of worship is natural and 
common to the present mind of the English people. 

With regard, on the other hand, to the popularity of 
preachings to the masses, the metropolis has, as all 
know, during the last season, been rife with their abuse 
no less than their use. At first sight the two move- 
ments might seem antagonistic ; they might be even 
assumed as indicative of that divergence between the 
two main ideas of man's intercourse with his Almighty 
Lord, which have Ijeen at the root of so many of the 
unhappy divisions of Christendom from time immemo- 
rial—which, as it must be sorrowfully confessed, will 
in all probability endure to the end of the world. 
But as the tolerant and wise moderation of the Church 
of England claims to give due scope to both these ideas, 
and to temi)er each of them by the presence of the 
opposite phase of trnth, so in the outward manifesta- 
tion of that Church of England in its highest and 
completest form of worship— in the English cathedral 
system — w^e have found, under the bowed roof of 
Westminster and the soaring dome of St. Paul's, that 
solemn service and ])(>[)nlar preaching can l)e happily 


married. By such a marriage, too, the Cathedral of 
Montreal was inaugurated across the ocean on Advent 
Sunday 1859. Nay, even in manifestations like the 
preaching at Exeter Hall, out of which the cathedral 
movement arose, if not even in those services in 
theatres, most objectionable as I do not fear to call 
them, has there not been a craving shown, however 
distorted in its manifestation, for religious gatherings of 
a larger and more metropolitan character than those 
which any parish church could afford ; and do we not 
find in this the germ, however imperfectly developed, 
of a popular desire for the cathedral system ? It was 
under the impression of this idea that I took advan- 
tage of the warm controversy which arose in the 
autumn of 1857 upon the subject of the Exeter Hall 
services, to address that letter to the Times which I 
have already produced. The paper complimented me 
with a reply to prove that I was very unpractical — a 
charge which I bore very patiently, knowing, as I did, 
that I was fairly open to this retort, from having taken 
advantage of a temporary excitement to give currency 
to general views, the direct application of which, how- 
ever true in themselves, to the immediate subject- 
matter, I was well aware might not be very easy. 
Still the idea which I then pressed, in common with 
many other persons at different times, and foremost 
amongst them the Cathedral Commissioners of 1852, 
is one which has never loosed its hold of at least a 
thoughtful and influential minority, and which has re- 
cently been brought into prominence by an influential 
memorial of Churchmen of all complexions addressed 


to the Prime Minister, and by a Bill wliicli Lord Lyt- 
telton has introdnccd into the House of Lords. 

Few people indeed have hitherto gone forward much 
beyond claiming the conversion of certain existing 
large parochial or ci-devant abbey churches into cathe- 
drals, in spite of several of them standing in towns of 
inferior size or importance. To-day, however, I have 
taken my stand upon a firmer as well as a broader 
ground, and I have ventured to assert that the work 
of raising the new cathedral, of making it wide in its 
area and stately in its architecture, is an enterprise 
which, if discreetly and moderately handled, may roll 
in upon the full spring tide of popularity, as the only 
expedient by which those services and those preach- 
ings can be provided in towns in which the Church 
has hitherto been powerless or neglected. The con- 
gregation claims the long-drawn nave, and the services 
require an extensive choir. I bespeak my reader's 
attention to the last remark, for I believe that, prac- 
tically, the great stumbling-block to our architects and 
our church founders having ever seriously set about 
planning a new English cathedral, has not been the 
nave but the choir. On the contrary, the notion of 
raising a church which should hold so many thousands 
(with or without galleries) appeals directly to instincts 
rather than to principles, and is accordingly one of 
those ideas which, in this restless age, is sure of 
immediate popularity among the masses, who have 
not time, training, or inclination to work out a prin- 
ciple. Architecturally speaking indeed, a nave of 
cathedral character neetl not Ijc a very large building, 


as Waltliaiii Abbey shows, in which that portion of 
the old church, a massive Romanesque construction, is 
only 100 feet long, and looks as small outside as it 
appears internally spacious. The transepts and choir 
have been destroj^ed since the Dissolution, though 
it was one of Henry YIII.'s proposed cathedrals ; but 
the nave has recently been restored, in its character 
of parish church, by Mr. Burges, and the effect is that 
of a cathedral. In the mean while those who have 
ever thought of cathedral-building have, with the 
natural common-sense of Englishmen, rightfully felt 
that playing at long choirs with nobody to fill them 
would be tampering with truth, both in its artistic 
and its moral phase. It would be palpably unreal, 
and in consequence it would be justly unpopular. 
The old cathedrals of England present long choirs, 
because when they were built there existed a long 
list of canons, and prebendaries, and vicars-choral 
to tenant some of them,— and of Benedictine monks 
in their different degrees to occupy the rest. But 
this state of matters, they argue, is now entirely 
changed. What need have the dean, and the resi- 
dentiary, and the minor canon, and the six men, and 
the ten boys, of any great superfluity of sitting room, 
even supposing they require a new church to be built 
for them ? To be sure there are the visitations to be 
thought of, but visitations come but rarely, and 
hardly require permanent provision. " Find the men 
for the stalls," they cry, " and we will find the stalls 
for the men." 

Here then is my point ; the new cathedral, if it 


exists at all, must be an eminently popular and prac- 
tical institution ; and so, starting from this axiom, I 
argue that its popularity and practicability will very 
greatly turn upon its being worked by a volunteer 
choir. I see nothing impossible or improbable in the 
suggestion. There is but one obstacle to its realiza- 
tion, and that is every day melting away; I mean 
the proverbial solitude-loving vnauvaise honte of the 
Englishman. Other countries may, in spite of their 
boasting, have as much mauvaise honte, or, what is equi- 
valent to mauvaise hojite, the inability to move without 
leading-strings, which reduces their inhabitants to the 
condition of willing slaves of bureaucratic despotism. 
But the distinction of the Englishman's mauvaise 
honte is that it is solitary. When he is out of sorts, 
either angry or baffled, or in love or bankrupt, his 
instinct is to crouch up by his own chimney-corner, 
and slam his own door upon himself. The foreigner 
rushes to the cafe, or puffs his cigar upon the public 
walk. So too. the Englishman has a weakness, too 
often more exaggerated than convenient, to rent a self- 
contained house rather than an apartment. It is to 
the existence of this undefinable, uneasy feeling, this 
endemic malaise, rather than to any very deep philo- 
sophic or theological feeling, that I should attribute 
much of the variable, local, and capricious unpopularity 
of certain portions of the cathedral sj'stem of worship, 
when indiscreetly revived on new soils which had not 
been j)rcpared for them. 'Hie mechamment honteux 
Englislinian dreads above all things to be caught-out 
in what he thinks an outlandish dress in a crowd. So 


the sbyworsliipper fears that he should himself feel out 
of ease if he stood in a crowded church dressed so uu- 
usually (" like a Guy," as he probably says) as he 
would be if he wore a surplice ; and so he transfers his 
own feelings to the fellow-countrymen he sees before 
him, very comfortable as they are, if not indeed rather 
proud of their surplices. He then, by an easy flight of 
imagination, transmutes his astonishment at their ways 
of proceeding into a sort of sullen indignation against 
certain imaginary tyrants, who had, by some utterly 
impossible legerdemain, transformed free and coated 
Englishmen into surpliced and singing choirmen. All 
along, as I have shown, the surpliced and singing 
choirman was an eminently popular character where the 
average Englishman thought him at home, where his 
dress was not voted outlandish, nor his person a Guy, 
namely, in the cathedral and the collegiate church, and 
the royal and college chapels. If there had been any 
real foundation for the scruple (eminently respectable 
as it might have been), that scruple would have been 
most manifest in the latter instances ; for an abomi- 
nation in excelsis must be more hateful to man and 
heaven than an abomination in private and unin- 
fluential circles. The fact that the contrary is the 
case throws back the objection into the category 
of mauvaise lionte, and leaves it to be dealt with as 
a phase of that phenomenon, while the confessed 
popularity of cathedral service in cathedrals stands 
out as the expression of solid English feeling as to the 
rightful type of the best sort of worship in the best 
sort of place. But again we are told that the average 


Englishman docs not like pomp. lie likes to have 
and to use his snug little parish church in his own snug 
way. As a rule, this may be the case ; I have not 
contradicted the assertion. But that he dislikes the 
exception — and the frequent exception too — that 
he does not often, by choice, seek the ampler elbow- 
room, may be of St. Paul's and Westminster, may 
be of the Exeter Hall preachings, is emphatically 
not the case. It may be true that he is shy about 
taking his holiday, but the world's onward progress is 
a perpetual antagonism to that shyness. The railway 
station, with its fluctuating thousands, has replaced 
the sulky booking-office, Gloucester Coffee-house, or 
Elephant and Castle. The long train stands in the 
place of the compact stage-coach ; great central hotels, 
with their machinery of lifts and their array of coffee- 
rooms, are gradually encroaching on the tavern and 
the lodging-house. Can then the influence of this 
same spirit— this increasing appreciation of vastness — 
this greater aptitude for living and moving in a 
crowd — not make itself felt in man's religious trans- 
actions? Get rid accordingly of mauvaise honte in 
any congregation of Englishmen, and the success of 
the cathedral system if introduced is sure as against 
the popularity of the bare reader and responsive clerk. 
Already we have seen the Sunday evening services 
at St. Paul's worked by a volunteer choir. The 
Crystal Palace and Exeter Hall concerts are also 
triumphs of that spirit of musical association which 
Mr. HuUah — to pay honour where honour is due, to 
one with whom all must at this time most deeply 

Chap. IV. AND HOW CUKP]D. 129 

sympathise — lias done so much to foster. Choir 
festivals are already, as I have shown, the rule in 
several dioceses. But to take an example from an- 
other manifestation of corporate spirit with which 
Great Britain is at this moment upheaved from 
Cornwall to Caithness, who would have dreamed 
but a little time ago that quiet and busy unmartial 
Englishmen would by the tens and the hundreds of 
thousands, moved by one mighty spirit, have banded 
themselves together to undergo the drudgery and 
physical fatigue of drill, and the obligation of learn- 
ing the complications of military evolution, and of 
wearing the consequent uniform ? In the success of 
the rifle movement I hail the defeat of mauvaise honte^ 
and with the defeat of mauvaise honte I see the only 
obstacle removed to a hearty collective choral move- 
ment of our young Church volunteers, out of which, 
both morally and materially, so much good may 
come. I may go further, and say that the rifle 
movement is the direct answer to two of the 
shallowest and commonest objections to the choral 
system, its discipline and its dress. The volunteer 
choir must obey the word of command ; so do the 
riflemen. The volunteer choir is probably invited to 
put on a distinctive garb. The rifle company has not 
even an option on this point. Yet it is presumed 
that voluntary military discipline and voluntary 
military attire is the safeguard of freedom and en- 
lightenment in England against the hostile aggres- 
sions of despotism. Why then should the robed pomp 
of the choral system be taken as the harbinger of 



superstition and spiritual bondage? Such a move- 
ment must rise spontaneously from below, and not be 
octroye where the local public mind is unfelt or un- 
prepared ; and therefore it is most likely to thrive 
when in connection with such a movement as that for 
cathedrals, a movement in w^hich weighty and recog- 
nised authority would exist to regulate, while it 
cheered, a newlj^ awakened enthusiasm. For the 
truth of my remark I may appeal to the services in 
a spacious church rebuilt just twenty years ago, the 
moral status of which in its own huge town is that 
of a cathedral, worked under the guidance of a man 
whose influence and powers were virtually prelatic. 
I mean Leeds parish church and its late vicar 
Dr. Hook. In that church, planted among gigantic 
mills and crowded alleys, out of nothing grew up the 
daily choral service, the large volunteer band of 
choristers, the crowded and hearty congregation ; and 
now at Chichester the Dean has carried the plan for 
a restoration of his cathedral church, which will ex- 
hibit, when the late disaster is repaired, like results 
within an ancient minster. The volunteer cathedral 
choir will of course muster the majorit}^ of its recruits 
among the middle class of its locality ; and it will thus 
be led to connect itself with, if not to grow out of, 
all those philanthropic and social organizations, such 
as Friendly Societies, Odd Fellows' Lodges, and so 
forth, which will continue to exist whether the Church 
and the cathedral like them or no, and which ought, 
therefore, to be made the friends and not the enemies 
of that institution, which, if rightly understood and 


rightly worked, is the most comprehensive and the 
most liberal which the world contains. If these 
bodies look upon the new cathedral as rising up to 
open its gates to hallow their festive anniversaries, it 
will go well with them and with it also. If not, they 
will be off to the meeting-house or Socialist hall, 
while the cathedral will die out in the unpopularity 
of its dignity. So much for the every-daj^ use of an 
extensive choir ; upon its utility on occasions of 
special clerical assemblage I need not enlarge, further 
than to say that I am, perhaps, owing to local circum- 
stances, more alive to the advantage of an orderly 
choir for visitations than other persons may possibly 
be. As a Kentish churchwarden I have been in the 
habit of attending those gatherings at Maidstone, 
where the large old church, well restored, still retains 
an extensive range of choir stalls, which are, on these 
occasions, duly filled with the clergy present. The 
same church in its spacious vestry-room is the scene 
of the consultative meetings of the rural deanery in 
which it stands, and which are of course preceded by 
Divine Service, at which the clergy occupy the stalls. 
The advantage of this orderly arrangement over the 
disorderly crowding, which is so common in other 
places on such occasions, needs only to be seen to be 

On an average, then, the largest of the plans which 
I have given do not, as a rule, more than come up 
to the scale which I claim for my new cathedral — a 
cathedral in a large English town ; while those which 
are smaller with all their merit fall below it, even to a 

K 2 


considerable extent. For this physical shortcoming I 
impute no blame, for these churches were designed for 
the colonies or abroad, for Scotland, for a village in 
Ireland : and so there was no necessity or room to make 
provision for a large volunteer choir or a crowded 
visitation. But if we take the choir of any of them, 
and if we conceive it to receive the extension which 
its architect would have given to it if the need had 
been pressed upon him, we shall, in each case, see 
something approaching the ideal cathedral of this 

Chap. V. GROUND-PLAN. 133 



Extracts from Historical Essay on Arcliitecture — Examples of Basilicfe — 
Civitas Dei — Monasticism and its churches — Meclia^val cathedrals — 
Modern English society and its requirements. 

I HAVE now reached a stage in the discussion when 
I must again beg my readers not to be impatient 
with me for conducting them through the sinuosities 
of a somewhat argumentative digression. I have 
hitherto assumed for granted that the general ground- 
plan of my cathedral ought to be the one which 
has been consecrated by the immemorial usage of 
English antiquity — not to talk of the preponde- 
rating custom of all Western Europe for at least 
eight centuries — a usage which, as we have seen, has 
reproduced itself in a simplified and chastened form 
in the arrangements of the English cathedrals built or 
arranged during the three last centuries of our national 
existence. With such a consensus to back me, I 
should indeed be amply justified in taking this posi- 
tion for granted without further inquiry. As, how- 
ever, I am aware that it is liable to be impugned 
upon grounds which, although they do not carry con- 
viction to me, are not only respectable but weighty, 
and are, I believe, held more or less strongly by 


persons deserving of all respect, I feel it due to my 
subject to discuss the matter analytically^ 

I need hardly repeat the details which have been 
so often repeated since the study of Christian archi- 
tectural antiquities has become fashionable, of the 
modifying effects upon the external rites of the 
Christian Church of the political and material con- 
dition of Rome and of its public buildings at the 
period of Constantine's conversion, and the consequent 
public recognition of the Christian cultus. The words 
in which my father described the phenomenon in days 
when there were few people in England who would 
so much as care to understand the question are still 
so clear and apposite that I make no excuse for avail- 
ing myself of them in several long extracts, rather 
than having recourse to my inferior phraseology.* 

" But there was in use at Rome another species of 
building, w^hose form seemed better calculated for the 
exigencies of Christian worship " [than the heathen 
temple], "w^hile its destination seemed less hostile to 
the holiness of Christian mysteries. 

" This was the hall, first, as appears from Yitruvius, 
only forming part of the palace of the sovereigns, and 
thence called Basilica, where they or their delegates 
administered justice. These, as we collect from Pliny 
(1. vi. cap. 33), had gradually increased at Rome to 

* It is over to bo rcgretlcd tliat the posthumous jnihlication of this 
treatise >ias led to its appearance in a very different form from that in 
which its writer would have jiut it oiit ; e.g. everybody concerned in the 
publication mistook the writer's " x " for an " n," and he is accordingly, 
even down to the third edition, which 1 am now using, made constantly to 
talk of the narthe;/ of a churcli, a lihuuUr ol which I need hardly saj' ho 
wiis incapalile. 


the number of eighteen ; and though originally courts 
of justice, many had become places of exchange, in 
the body of which merchants and others might transact 
business, while the recesses were frequented by clerks 
and officers, ready on the spot to adjust differences, 
and to decide points of law, that might arise between 
those engaged in traffic. 

"Of these halls, or basilicas, the excavations made 
at Otricoli, in the year 1775, brought to light an 
original specimen, probably very diminutive compared 
with many of those at Eome, of which the searches 
lately made in that city, on the site of Trajan's forum, 
have, at a more recent period, displayed some magni- 
ficent relics. 

"While the temple ofi'ered to the view external 
rows of columns, more or less numerous, preceding 
and surrounding its cella, the basilica seems to have 
presented outwardly nothing but a close bare wall. 
Whatever porch it might possess was within this, and 
made no display on the exterior : its principal area, 
of an oblong form, was divided by a double range of 
columns into a central avenue, and two lateral aisles, in 
one of which waited the male, in the other the female, 
candidates for justice. These three longitudinal divi- 
sions were terminated by another of a transverse 
direction, raised a few steps above them, whose length 
embraced their collective width, and whose destination 
was to hold the advocates, the notaries, and others 
engaged in prosecuting causes. Opposite the central 
avenue, this transept swelled out into one of those 
semicircular recesses, or terminations, with a ceiling 
rounded off like the head or conch of a niche, so fre- 


qiient in the later Roman buildings, called in Greek 
Absis, and in Latin Tribima. In this sat the magis- 
trate, with his assessors, and from this courts of justice 
have since been called Tribunals. Other recesses, 
semicircular or square, opposite to the lateral avenues, 
served for different purposes of convenience." 

After some further details, and mentioning the 
porch, the writer continues : — " Within the edifice was 
the narthex, into which, and no farther, penitents 
and catechumens were admitted ; secondly, the iiaos ; 
thirdly, the bema, or sanctuary, which was separated 
from the nave, not only by cancelli or rails (whence 
chancel), but also a curtain, which was onl}^ withdrawn 
during a short part of the service. In this part was 
the absis, or concha. A division of the nave, near its 
upper end, was by a few steps formed into a somewhat 
more elevated platform, railed in for the exclusive re- 
ception of the minor clergy and the singers, and was 
called in Greek choros, and in Latin caiicellum, and 
may still be seen in its complete ancient form at Eome, 
in San Clemente, and in the \nmetian Lagunes, in 
the ancient dome of Torcello, while at Rome San Lo- 
renzo, and Santa Maria in Cosmedin, only continue to 
show the platform stripped of its enclosure ; not only 
the people were excluded from the cancellum, or choir, 
by a solid enclosure, but veils were sometimes inter- 
posed between : within the enclosure, in the earlier 
churches, such as San Lorenzo and Sta. Maria in 
Cosmedin facing each other, and in others of later 
construction, such as Sta. Maria in Araceli, San 
Cesario, and San Ncreo and Achilleo, on the same 


line rose two marl)le pulpits, called ambones, that on 
tlie right for reading the Scriptures, and that on the 
left for reading the Epistles, the former flanked by the 
small marl)le pillar on which was placed the paschal 
candle. These ambones, Ciampini tells us, fell into 
disuse at Rome during the removal of the pontifical 
chair to Avignon, in 1309, and though left in some 
churches were in others removed as obsolete. 

'' During the service the laity occupied in the aisles 
the space on each side of the choir, the males that to 
the right, the females that to the left ; except in the 
few churches, in which, as in San Lorenzo, Santa 
Agnese, and the Quattro Santi Incoronati, from the 
first had been contrived under the roof of the aisles a 
gallery open to the nave, where the women might sit 
and see the service in still more complete seclusion 
from the men, a fashion afterwards universally adopted 
in the East, where in every age, and under the influ- 
ence of every religion, the two sexes were in public 
more carefully kept asunder, and which even crept 
thence into many churches of the West ; first, where 
the intercourse with Constantinople was more frequent, 
and subsequently even on this side the Alps. Witness 
not only at Venice St. Mark's church, at Milan that 
of Sant' Ambrogio, the dome of Modena, the church 
of San Michele at Padua, but the cathedrals of Zurich, 
of Andernach, of Boppart, and of Bonn. 

"The nave and aisles of these basilicas abutted 
against a transverse wall, which, through a vast central 
arch opposite the former, and lesser lateral arches 
opposite each of the latter, gave entrance into the 


transept, and that part which composed the sanctuary, 
as is still at Rome in San Paolo, San Lorenzo, Sta. 
Maria Maggiore, Sta. Agnese, and every other chnrch 
of that era ; and the central arch leading to and from 
the very entrance of the nave, showing beyond it the 
sanctuary, the tomb of the martjT to whom the church 
was consecrated, the altar over that toml), and the 
crucifix, and trophies of the triumph of Christianity, 
was thence, in opposition to the triumphal arches of 
the heathens, destined to commemorate their early 
victories called by the same name. The transept, the 
floor of which at the entrance from the nave and the 
aisles was elevated by some steps above the level of 
both, and even of the choir that stood l)efore it, as 
has been already observed, formed the sanctuary or 
place destined for the performance of religious offices. 
"We have had occasion to remark that the first 
places of meeting and worship of Christians were 
catacombs; and the tombs of the earlier saints and 
martyrs that died, or were deposited in these excava- 
tions, the altars on which the survivors performed their 
sacred rites. By degrees, therefore, as the bodies and 
remains of saints and martyrs came to be considered 
as gifted with a peculiar sanctity, the custom prevailed 
of building churches over their tombs ; and gradually, 
if a church were wanted in a place not thus sanctified, 
these relics were transferred thither from some other 
spot where no sacred edifice had been erected, till at 
lena;th it became the rule never to consecrate an altar 
ere the remains of some saint had l)een ])laced within 
its bosom, or under its base. The Empress Con- 


stantia, wife of Maurice, wishing for some limb of St. 
Paul, of whom Pope Gregory possessed the body, for 
some church she was building at Constantinople, ap- 
plied, perhaps indiscreetly, to that pope, by whom 
compliance was haughtily refused. 

" When, however, the holy relics were of peculiar 
importance, and collected from afar a great number of 
pilgrims, a more conspicuous situation was gradually 
given to them, and more room was afforded to perform 
round them the wished-for devotions, by placing them 
in the centre of a spacious and lofty crypt, or vault, 
which was partly raised above the general level of 
the floor, and partly sunk beneath it. This vault was 
approachable from the nave or transept by a certain 
number of steps descending downwards ; but its con- 
tents might be viewed from above, through grated 
apertures. From it, other steps ascended to that part 
of the sanctuary raised over the crypt ; and imme- 
diately over the tomb of the saint was placed the 
altar (always single in the primitive churches, and 
still remaining so, not only in those of the Greek, but 
the Latin rite of Ambrosius), which thus, from its 
greater altitude, became from the nave a more central 
and conspicuous object : and as the place of martyr- 
dom where the saint had, for the last time, confessed 
his faith and established his sanctity, and the tomb 
in which he rested had been called confession, these 
crypts retained that denomination." 

" No longer destined to overflow with the blood of 
reeking victims, but only to bear their symbolical 
substitute, in the consecrated bread and wine, emblems 


of the body and blood of our Saviour, the altar of the 
churches combined with the character of the tomlj that 
of the table, and received a form analogous to both : 
uncovered at first, it acquired by degrees the dignity 
and protection of a canopy supported on four pillars, 
and made, in early times, in the shape of a small 
temple, or tabernacle, such as still may be seen in 
San Clemente, San Cesario, Santa Agnese, and other 
churches; and which form, protecting the holy ali- 
ment, derived, like its more immediate receptacle, the 
name of ciborium. 

" I have already observed, that the pagan basilica 
terminated opposite the nave in a semicircular recess, 
called absis, or tribune, rounded off at the top in the 
shape of a semi-cupola, like the conch of a round- 
headed niche, in which sat the magistrate, supported, 
right and left, by his assessors. This absis was, in the 
Christian basilicas, regularly preserved, and became the 
presbytery, or receptacle of the superior clergy. In its 
centre stood the marble seat, or throne of the bishop, 
raised sufficiently high to enable him, as his very title 
required, though placed, behind the altar, to survey, 
as well as to be seen by, the assembled congregation. 
The seats of the higher clergy filled the remainder of 
the niche, and formed what was called, in Greek, the 
synthronos ; in Latin, the consessus : and absides, thus 
distributed, we still see in reality at Rome, in San 
Paolo, Santa Agnese, San Clemente, Santa Maria 
in Cosmcdin, Santa Maria in Trastavere, and San 
Cesario; at Ravenna, in Sant' Apollinare di Fuori ; 
and at Torcello, in its ancient most theatrical form — 


a long flight of steps ascending to tlie throne, round 
which the semicircular seats of the clergy are ranged 
in many successive tiers ; while a fine representation 
of them in mosaic may be seen at Eome, in the absis 
of San Nereo and Achilleo ; near the Porta Capena, 
where, right and left of the central bishop's throne, 
appear seated two rows of bearded personages, the 
uppermost mitred, and the lower only deacons. 

" In later times, when altars, no longer insulated, 
did not permit the bishops and the clergy to be seen 
behind them, the presbytery shifted its quarters from 
the absis at its back, to the choir in its front." 

I may parenthetically observe that I believe there 
would not be much difficulty in proving that the 
early Christians, in their transient gleams of peace, 
had already begun to imitate the basilica in those 
permanent churches which they were fortunate enough 
to be able to erect in various cities of the Roman 
empire in pr^e-Constantinian days. But this is nothing 
to the main question. It is assuredly certain that the 
basilica was in the fourth century nearly all over the 
Christian world, and for several centuries afterwards all 
through the West, the model of the Christian church ; 
that civil basilicse were turned into churches when 
practicable, and when the church had to be built that 
the basilicas gave the plan. It is equally certain that 
the ages which witnessed the gradual deflection from 
the basilican plan, and the gradual building up of that 
plan with which we are familiar, were ages of gradual 
corruption in the Christian Church. It might then 
appear a natural inference from these two circum- 


stances that in an ideal cathedral, to be built in an 
age noticeable for the critical impartiality with which 
it handles the accidents of preceding centuries, it would 
be more reasonable for us to go back to the basilica 
for our forms, and to reproduce them for the benefit 
of posterity, than to rest content with a modernised 
imitation of more easy and popular arrangements, 
w^hich were perfected in the full complexity of their 
medieval pomp for the use of cloistered communities. 
I have purposely stated my case as unfavourably as I 
can to myself, in order the better to show the fallacy 
on which the opposite theory rests. Preliminarih^, 
however, I must observe that this is a question with 
which architecture has nothing in the world to do. I 
should be sorry if it were to be assumed that the 
argument against basilican arrangements were to be 
considered as an argument in favour of Gothic details. 
On the contrary, I am fully of opinion that Pointed 
architecture would lend itself just as readity to the 
elaboration of one system as of the other. Indeed, if 
anything could reconcile me to the experiment, it 
would be the desire to see the fresh triumph of 
Gothic, which I am certain would follow its emploj^- 
ment in the hands of a man of genius, to carry out in 
their full integrity and their majestic amplitude of 
space the disciplinary and ritual prescriptions of a 
Constantinian basilica intended for the use of a great 
metropolis. It is because I honestly believe that the 
experiment would be unreal in our days that I am 
compelled to pronounce against it. 

On the one hand, there would be found a false anti- 


quai'ianism, a forced and exaggerated return to a state 
of feeling, civilization, and laws which never can recur. 
On the other, I believe there exists that wise spirit of 
moderate and retrospective progressionism, that libe- 
ral conservatism, which is content to advance step by 
step and take advantage of the successive augmen- 
tations not less than of the successive backslidings of 
every age in its work of building up the stable pre- 
sent. The revival of the basilica in its reality would 
be nothing more nor less than the revival of the 
Roman community of the days of Constantine and 
Theodosius. The retention of the reformational modi- 
fication of the mediaeval cathedral is the correlative 
of the historical progress of the English people, who 
now in the days of Victoria, as once in the days of 
Edward III., possess their House of Lords and House 
of Commons, their courts of common law and equity, 
and their episcopal church — the same in their basis, 
yet altered, developed, improved, and reformed by the 
progressive wisdom of centuries. 

Architecture, as I have said, does not cross the 
path of the discussion, neither do polemics. Both sides 
are agreed that the cathedral of the future is not to 
be Papal. The question lies between a pr^-Papal and 
a post-Papal form. 

In primitive days congregational worship was not 
public merely — it was also corporate. The congre- 
gation was not merely divided into clergy and lait}^ 
and the latter were not ostensibly voluntary and 
irresponsible attendants. Neither was the rule of 
worship regulated merely by the specific character of 



Chap. V. 

the act of worship })crformed, as it is in our cathe- 
drals, where the ofiiciators choose one place for the 
morning and evening services, another for the Litany, 
and another for the celebration of the Holy Com- 
munion. Great as was the respect of the early Church 
for the sacred mysteries, another idea dominated the 
arrangements of the "house of assembly" (ecclesia), 
which I shall indicate after I have marshalled my ex- 
amples. As we have seen, every basilica either had 
actually been or was modelled after a heathen court of 
justice ; while the use of the basilican model lasted 
down all through the centuries during which the 
Gothic and Lombard kingdoms replaced in Italy itself 
the old empire, and for generations after Charles the 
Frank had consolidated the Teutonic supremacy by 
transporting the name and the pomp of the C^sardom 
to the forests of Ehiueland. Still it remains to be 

irr^i — J" 



IMan .ilCliurcli of llic N:ilivilv, lirtlildifiii. 

Chap. V. 



proved that the idea of the basilica had not been a 
traditionary, if not a dead, one long before its actual 
transmutation into the more modern cathedral. 

For a tangible instance of the antiquity of the 
basilican form of church, even in Asia, I may refer 
to Pergamos, in Asia Minor, where there are the ruins 
of a basilica of the simplest plan, which is supposed 
to date back to the beginning of the fourth centur}'. 
The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem (No. 39), 
built over the sacred grotto, which in its main features 

Jiitfrior of Sta. Maria Mas:si<in-, Konio. 



Chap. V. 

is still the work of very remote, if it be not of Constan- 
tinian antiquity, while strictly a basilica in itself, is 
likewise a protot3'pe of another class of arrangements, 
which, as I shall show further on, were destined to 
play an important part in the transmutation of the 
basilica. I mean those arrangements which were con- 
nected with crypts, to which reference has been made 
in the extracts from the Historical Essa}'^ on Archi- 
tecture. I need only now call attention to the dotted 
lines on the accompanying plan, which indicate the 
grotto itself, running under the choir of the church 

In spite of much architectural modernization in 
the nave, and of the pointed windows in the apse, 
which show the work of the middle 
ages, the church of Sta. Maria IMaggiore 
at Rome, one of the seven principal 
basilicje of the city, still preserves its 
basilican appearance with considerable 
completeness, and I therefore ofter a 
woodcut of its interior. (No. 40.) 

But of all existing churches the two 
in which the basilican traditions have 
descended to us with the utmost com- 
pleteness are both of them edifices 
which in their present form date from 
41. rianorsTciemcnte. a pcrlod postcrlor by centuries to the 


100 feet to incii. f^n of (ii^ Westcm Euipirc. The often 
quoted S. Clemente at Rome was rebuilt at the com- 
mencement of the ninth century, and very recently 
the foundations of the more ancient basilica have been 
discovered under the existing structure. (No. 41.) 

Chap. V. 



In this church, as well as in Sta. Maria Maggiore, 
it will at once be observed that only a single bench- 
range runs round the apse. It is otherwise in the famous 
basilica of Torcello (No. 42), now a desolate island in 

the lagoon of Yenice, a little northward of that city, 
but formerly a rival— if not an older rival — of the 
sea-queen. Mr. Fergusson fixes the date of the actual 
building in the first years of the eleventh century, 

L 2 


wlicn it replaced an *' older church belonging to the 
seventh century." He adds,. " It is uncertain how far 
the jDresent erection takes the form and arrangement 
of the older edifice." A somewhat hasty inspection of 
it during the last summer gave me the impression of 
extreme antiquity, and I should be willing to suppose 
that, for the purposes, at all events, of study, the 
structure introduced us to far earlier days. Be this 
as it ma}^, at Torcello the episcopal cathedra is raised 
aloft in the bema, or apse, while round it, like a 
classical theatre, range three tiers of seats for the 
clergy, with intermediate steps. 

Mr. Fergusson, indeed, talks of six ranges of seats, 
therein agreeing with Mr. Webb's ' Continental Eccle- 
siology,' while Gaily Knight discovered eight. But 
it was evident to me on examination that only three of 
the ranges were really sittings, the remainder having 
served as steps and footrests. The woodcut shows 
(though rather imperfectly) the difference of height 
in tlie risings as the}' abut upon the solid walls which 
protect the steep steps leading to the cathedra. 

The accompanying plan of the church (No. 4l>), 
which is l)orroAved with improvements from Mr. 
Wel)b's very valuable work, is probal)ly the most cor- 
rect which has yet appeared in England.* It shows 

* Mr. Foranssoii's ]>lim iilacca the aiubo (in tlio wrong side and omits the 
stalls. 'J'he references are — a, nave ; n, external coloiniade, or narthex ; 
c, baptistery ; E, small clmrcli of Sta. Fosca, remarkable for the form of 
its plan (which seems to have fnrnished the model of several Renaissance 
churches in Italy, and at secondhand of St. Stejihen's, Walbrook) ; a, 
original bishop's throne; 7*, altar; '•, chnir; <f, ]iulpit, or ambo ; r, more 
miidcni bishop's thnme. 

Chap. V. 



alike the more primitive distribution of the east end 
and the mediasval choir-screen and stalls which stand 
in front of the earlier altar and bema. I may further 
note that S. Clemente and Torcello indicate that the 
transepts which I have, like my father, assumed as 
belonging to the complete ideal of the basilica, were 
not an indispensable feature of the structure. 

* ® 

IC> <; 10 20 30 



I'Uui of i'orceUo CuLlicdral and Sta. Fosca. 


S. Clemente and Torccllo are buildings which 
still exist to tell their own tale, and both stand on 
Italian soil. I mnst, in addition, adduce the virtually 
contemporaneous plan of a church, from the north of 
the Alps, which has long been destroyed, if it ever 
existed in reality. There exists to this day among 
the archives of the Abbey of S. Grull, in Switzerland, 
a venerable plan on parchment of a large abbey- 
church and dependencies, belonging, by internal evi- 
dence, to the beginning of the ninth centur}\ It was 
first published by Mabillon, and it has in our own 
time been republished in facsimile by M. Keller at 
Zurich in 1844, and (as far at least as the church is 
concerned) several times engraved in various publica- 
tions both English and foreign,' of which I borrow 
the one which appeared in Mr. Fergusson's work (No. 
44).* The recognised theory is that this design was 
sent from France pour fixer les idees of an abbot Gos- 
pertus; and it is not quite certain whether he actually 
built the pile according to his model, much less is it cer- 
tain that it is due to the invention of the famous Eigen- 
hard. Still the plan is that of the ideal minster of the 
ninth century, and it is, therefore, as valuable to us in 
the nineteenth as if it had been actually constructed. 

With the materials before us of so many basilica} 
we can resume our investigation. I have intimated 
my conviction that the idea involved in the arrange- 
ments of a basilica was not simply that of the wor- 

* I l)clieve its earliest iiublieatioii in England was in the ' Ecclesiologist ' 
at tlie connucncement ut li^4i>. 

czr:2 cm ] 

E? ^nQn^ ^ 


I'iaii ol iir.;pc'scil Aljl'ty I'iiuicli ;it S. i,,a\. :nh cciiUuy. 

152 CIVITAS DEI. CuAr. V. 

ship iu its various kinds performed witliiii the church, 
but was the type of the state of society existing iu 
Constantinian, but not in Carlovingian, Home. If 
I am right in my conjecture, then, long as the 
basilica may have been extant, it had long outlasted 

The early Christian Church was unquestionably 
" Civitas Dei " to a greater extent than the Church has 
ever since been able to become. This distinctiveness 
of corporate character arose not only from its own 
unity and purity, but from the depth of civilized 
corruption in the Pagan world around. North and 
south, east and west, reigned the same fearful, inevit- 
able, "EesRomana," an empire of ungodliness, which 
seemed almost conterminous with the wide world it- 
self. Isolated accordingly from all the gravest habits 
of thought, no less than the popular amusements, of 
the empire — within, though hardly of, which the early 
Christians were — they were thrown back upon the 
organization of their own interior commonwealth, with 
a depth of veneration and a passionateness of devotion 
of which the denizens of a Christianised world can 
hardl}^ form a conception. This Res Romana was 
absolutely alien to them in its nobler aspirations, no 
less than in the depths of its unutterable corruption, 
[ts corruption was a foul and confused mass of ab- 
normal sensuality, cruelty, puerile superstition, and 
atheism. I)ut even in its better aspect it was an 
organized rebellion against an external and inde- 
pendent revelation, in the form of a national religion 
where the state chiimed not only to deline the forms 


but to create the gods. It was an act of citizeiishi}), 
and not of faith, to invoke — 

Di patrii, Indigetes et Eomule, Vestaque mater 
Quae Tuscum Tiberim et liomana I'alatia servas ; 

and the conquering Augustus went to war — 

Cum patribus, populoque, Penatibus, et magnis Dis ; 

and so the genius of each living Augustus, and the 
divinity of such of his predecessors as were not 
obnoxious to the actual representatives of the Ca^sar- 
dom, became in time the official recipients of the 
political worship. Against this wickedness it was 
the mission of the early Christians to protest with 
their life-blood. Their Lord of Lords and King of 
Kings was the Eternal Trinity, worshipped through 
the Incarnate Son ; and in proportion as the 
Roman state was leagued to uphold its adulterate 
cultus, so the Christian commonwealth was banded 
round the universal Cross. Suddenly freed from the 
impending dread of martyi'dom, and enfiefed with 
spacious places of worship, and the means of building 
others, by Coustantine, the long-persecuted Christians 
most naturally carried the expression of their whole 
system, administrative and hierarchical as well as 
ritual, into the distribution of their basilica. The 
basilica was the church, the court of justice, the 
chapter-house, and the comitia of the sacred re- 
public. Nay, it was the place of punishment also, 
for the open shame to which the excommunicate 
and the " flentes " were for long years put in the eyes 
of their fellow Christians was no small clement of 

154 DETAILS OF Chap. V. 

primitive discipline. Accordingly the semicircular 
tribunal of justice became, without a change, the seat 
of the bishop and his attendant clergy — for synodical 
deliberation no less than for common worship. The}" 
sat there, not merely as ecclesiastics who were either 
conducting the service or showing forth the example 
of their own devotions to the i)eople, but as the rulers 
of the congregated fold upon the seat of majesty. 
Yery soon, or rather simultaneously, another sense, 
not founded on its material introduction into the 
Christian economy, but deepl}' and logically significa- 
tive, was attached to the semicircular array of clergy. 
It was no longer the mere transmuted tribunal of the 
civil judges of the Roman Commonwealth, but the 
emblem of the Apocalyptic session of the Elders round 
the Divine Throne. The art of the mosaicist was 
called in to heighten the significance of this idea, and 
the conch of the apse displayed the gigantic and awful 
effigy of the Saviour in judgment, either alone or in 
company with angels, apostles, or saints. Sometimes 
other representations were shown, but the lesson 
taught was always of the same character ; while the 
arch between the nave and the transepts received the 
name of the Triumphal Arch, and the broad wall- 
space over its span was also storied with sacred 

In the reassignment of the basilica to the needs of 
Christian worship there might have been a difficulty 
in the selection of the [dace to be occupied b}^ the 
holiest spot of all — the altar. l>ut the conjoint 
fact of the magisterial session of the clergy in the 

Chap. V, EARLY BASILIC.E. 155 

bema, and oi" the symbolical signification assigned 
to that session, at once raised and solved the difficnlt}^ 
The Apocalypse not only revealed " God who sitteth 
upon the throne," but also the Lamb Avho was slain. 
Our Lord appears there alike as King and Priest, and 
as the Victim also, and the basilica had to show Him 
forth in both characters. The bishop throned at the 
extremity of the apse furnished one manifestation, the 
other was sought in the altar and its sacrament. The 
position for the altar which we should think most 
natural — the extreme end of the choir — would not 
have corresponded with the entire conception, for 
it would have displaced the throne, so the altar was 
placed forward and detached between the tribunal 
and the people, while the officiating priest took his 
place on its far side (as viewed from the nave), 
looking over it and towards the general congregation. 
The reason why the builders of the comparatively 
late basilica of Torcello — comparatively late even if 
the work of the seventh century, when it was founded — 
should have adopted the more grandiose yet theatrical 
form of the stepped bema, while earlier and larger 
churches seem to have been contented with the single 
"hemicycle " (to use the classical term), is a problem 
into the solution of which I do not venture to enter, 
while I gladly propose it to the research of ecclesi- 
astical antiquarians. It may have been an individual 
or a local peculiarity, or it may be the last specimen 
left in the world of a species once more extensively 
spread. The mosaic in the Roman church of San 
Nereo and San Achilleo, referred to in the extracts 

156 DETAILS OF Chap. V. 

which I have given from iny father's book, would 
favour the latter supposition. It is certain that, in 
any aspect of the matter, the Torcello usage is most 
valuable as a key to the general spirit of the basili- 
can type of church.* Another key is furnished by 
the fact that up to nearly the close of the fifteenth 
century the stone cathedra, which still stands at the 
extreme east end of the Ambrosian Basilica at Milan, 
was flanked by twelve similar cathedrae of the same 

* I believe that tins key might ouce have had many locks in Venice ; 
but eavly ecclesiastical Venice has almost perished — prae-Gothic ecclesias- 
tical Venice I mean. There are but tlu'ee fragments of that marvellous 
creation of the fifth century : — 1. This cathedral of Torcello ; 2. The later 
but very interesting basilica of Murano (a nearer and still inhabited island 
town) ; 3. The Doge's private chapel of S. Mark, an official imitation of the 
church architecture of Constantinople, commenced in the tenth century. 
The residue is gone for ever, building and record. The Gothic churches 
of Venice were mainly new institutions in new locales. But until the 
great reconstruction of churches consequent on the Eenaissance, there must 
have been many early monuments at Venice. The cathedi-al of that city, 
until 1805, was S. Pietro in Castello, a chm'ch standing on a minor island 
in a shabby quarter of Venice. It has for two centuries and a half pre- 
sented the aspect of a peculiarly cold and rather mean, though somewhat 
spacious, Palladian church ; but I know not whether any design or any 
record exists to tell us what " S. Pietro Patriarcale" was previous to 1610. 
I often di'aw on my imagination to conceive that it may have been another 
TorceUo. Any how the inferiority of the actual church, compared both 
with the cathedrals of other great cities and with S. Mark's, the symbol of 
the Venetian State, seems significative of the political circumstances under 
which it was built. The Venetian Republic was willing enough to honour 
God in the historic shrine of its mixed religious and political greatness, the 
resting-place of S. Mark and chapel of its Doge ; but the patriarch's cathe- 
di-al was simply an object of mrstnist or even jealousy. It is significative 
that the jiediment of S. Pietro records that it was rebuilt with the aid of 
the munificence of Pope Urban VIII. , not of the Doge and Commonwealth 
of Venice. The only relic of its predecessor which the present church con- 
tains is the ancient cathedra, an Eastern and ^Malunumedan chair of stone 
(■(ivcTcd willi Arabic iuscriptiuus, now .sluck u[> as a sight in the suutii 
nave uislf. 

Chap. Y. EARLY BASTT.TC.^. 157 

material, six on each side, for the twelve suffragans of 
that august see. At that time, when the archi- 
episcopal throne had been shifted into Gian Graleazzo's 
superb new church, these cathedrae were removed, to 
make way for some rather commonplace stalls of wood. 
The correlative meaning of the seats at Torcello and 
at S. Ambrogio is at once evident. One church 
was the cathedral of a bishop, the other that of a 
metropolitan. One of these prelates had to hold 
diocesan synods, and the other, provincial councils — 
one required a chapter-house, and the other a council 
hall ; in either case the bema was the place of meeting 
of the collected ecclesiastics, while in one church the 
Apocalyptic vision was prefigured by a bishop and 
his presbyters and deacons, and in the other by a 
metropolitan and his suffragans. In neither instance 
did the presence of this venerable assembly have a 
direct relation to the vocal worship of the general 
congregation, while it did bear one to that gathering 
together of the plehs Domini at the great sacra- 
mental rite, which was the main idea of the primitive 

The altar, as we have seen, stood forward on or 
beyond the chord of the apsidal semicircle. The other 
furniture necessary for the performance of worship^ 
theambo or ambones (pulpits) for the lections of Holy 
Scriptures and the sermons, and the enclosure {chorus 
cantorum)^ surrounded with a low wall, for the singers — 
stood still more forward into the church. The chorus 
cantoru7n, m connection with the ambones, are repre- 
sented in the form at all events which thev had as- 


sumed in the ninth century, in the plan of S. Clemente. 
In the plan of S. Gall, to which I shall have occasion 
more particularly to refer hereafter, we find these 
arrangements in a condition of abnormal transition, 
from which some curious inferences may be drawn. 
The rest of the congregation of course gathered in the 
nave ; but in their disposition distinctions of ranks 
and sex were observed. The magistrates had their 
place of honour ; men and women occupied different 
sides; the excommunicate, the unbaptized, the pos- 
sessed, were partly in and partly out of church, in the 
narthex or semiexternal vestibule ; while the outer 
W'Orld was fenced off by the interposed atrium or 
vestibular cloister, of which S. Clemente and S. Am- 
brogio still retain unaltered examples. In a word, 
every person who presented himself in a basilica, from 
the throned bishop to the catechumen just emerging 
from heathendom and the penitent atoning for his sins, 
se posait ceremoniously in his own particular place 
with reference to the place of every one else, in that 
showing forth of the Lord's death which Christians 
were commanded to do till He should come. 

Such was the basilica, convejing an idea perhaps 
more complete and grand than the grandest cathedral 
of more modern centuries, and a fortiori far more 
complete and grand than the ordinary village-church. 
But yet there is an aspect in which the humblest 
village-church on the remotest mountain of Wales is 
more comi)lete and more grand than the most vast 
basilica taken })y itself. Tlie village-church is a 
building destined for common worship and for the 


administration of the sacraments. The basilica was 
wholly destined for one of these great actions — the 
Sacrament of the Eucharist. For baptism, another 
building, differently constructed, stood in close prox- 
imity to, but yet distinct from, the basilica. The 
basilica b}^ itself was but the moiety of a modern 
church — basilica and baptistery together forming the 
entire whole. I should stray too far away from my 
own subject if I were to analyse the architectural 
peculiarities of the ancient baptisteries. It is enough 
to say that their normal shape was circular or poly- 
gonal, the font intended for immersion standing in 
the centre. The solemn baptisms, it is well knoAvn, 
ordinarily took place at Easter or Whitsuntide, in the 
presence of the assembled " Ci vitas Dei." Of course, 
an immediate reason for this peculiar plan is to be 
found in its obvious convenience for baptisms under 
the double condition of publicity and immersion. But 
I believe that while the archetype of the basilica is 
found in the pagan and secular basilica, that of the 
baptistery may reversely be traced up to a Christian 
source, which, if it did not in the first instance give the 
idea, at all events exercised a potent influence in its 
preservation and propagation. The early Christian 
realized, with an intensit}^ of faith which Ave may 
well long after, that baptism was a death unto sin 
and a new birth unto righteousness. When the 
catechumen went down into the font he was laid in 
the tomb ; when the newly baptized Christian came 
out of it he was rising again from the dead. Plainly, 
then, and simply, the font was theologically the ante- 


t}']ie of tlie Lord's sepulclirc. As, then, tlic Holy 
Sepulchre at Jerusalem stood in the midst of the cir- 
cular church raised by Helena, so the baptisteries of 
the enfranchised Catholic Church reproduced the form 
and the arrangements of the hallowed shrine on Calvary. 
To quote one, and that the earliest instance, the cir- 
cular church of Sta. Costanza at Rome is either a bap- 
tistery built in Constan tine's own days, and adorned 
by architects educated in Pagan ideas, or else it is a 
temple of Bacchus converted to Christian uses. On 
the former hypothesis, it is a self-evident case ; on 
the latter, it proves my point indirectly, indicating, 
as it does, that its form gave the hint for its special 
adaptation, while on either alternative it is also the 
burial-place of that prince's daughter Constantia, avIio 
gave to it her name. Even in the retention of the bap- 
tistery, the conservatism of Torcello does not desert us, 
for there it is to be found, at the west end, of small dimen- 
sions and mean design, but still preserving the normal 
type. In Italy, at all events, the occasional use of 
the detached baptistery continued for several genera- 
tions after men had ceased to build basilica^. I need 
only refer to the magnificent example of the twelftli 
' century at Pisa. Altars Avere soon i)laced in iho 
bai)tisteries, and thus a divergent plan of church took 
frequent root. 

I have thus very briefly, and still more insufli- 
ciently, endeavoured to sketcli the idea embodied in 
the basilica of the early Christian (^hnrch. If my 
theory be in any sense correct, the marvel would 
not be that the basilican form fell into disuse, but 


that it lasted so long and went on so deep into the 
middle ages. Torcello, for example, in the eleventh 
century, was as different as possible from Pergamos, 
or Rome, or Bethlehem in the fourth century ; and 
yet, as we have seen, it is in Torcello that we have 
hitherto been looking for the fitting counterfeit of 
the way in which the Christians, just recovering from 
the agonies of the Diocletian persecution, rejoiced to 
worship. But when we recollect that until the day 
that Bonaparte upset the Yenetian Republic the 
deserted island of Torcello retained the nominal 
rank of a sovereign republic and a bishop's see, sold 
titles of nobility for small gratuities, and enthroned 
its prelate in the scenic apse, we shall be less surprised 
at the antiquarian retention of primitive types down 
to so late a period. In truth, the seeds of the gra- 
dual revolution which was to overset the early tj^pe 
of worship were fructifying from the very day on which 
it seemed to have received its seal of permanence. 
The hand, that passed over the basilic^e of Rome to 
the bishop and his presbyters, was the one that in- 
augurated the policy under whicli they were gradually 
but surely to be sapped. As we have seen, the 
basilica was the embodied " Civitas Dei." But the 
embodied " Civitas Dei " could not exist in its ideal 
and its organic purity when Cesar's seat had to be 
provided together with the bishop's throne in the 
Christian temple. From the days of Constantine 
began a dispensation — providential, I doul^t not, and 
full of blessings to past and future days, outnumbering 
the countless difficulties to which it has given and will 



give rise in every land — Ijnt yet wholly foreign to the 
entire turn of thought of that early Church which grew 
so vigorously from the fertilizing streams of martyrs' 
blood. I mean the dispensation of mutual relations 
of Church and State. Constantino himself felt the 
incongruity, and tried to untie the knot by removing 
his throne to a new Eome, while content to leave the 
Christian Church at old Rome in the condition of a 
body rich and powerful indeed, but still no more than 
tolerated beside the still dominant paganism of the 
Capitol and Mount Palatine. So at Rome the basilica 
still flourished ; and Avhen the Western Empire fell, 
and the Bishop of Rome grew stronger and stronger 
in his own city in spite of Gothic kings and struggling 
exarchs, the type of the Civitas Dei might still legiti- 
mately seem to dominate its social system. In 790 
Adrian I., as we see, rebuilt S. Clemente. In ten years 
from that date modern society received its consecration 
by that act in which pedants saw the restoration of 
the long-defunct empire of Augustus — the coronation 
by Pope Leo of Charles the Frank in the basilica of 
St. Peter's, and in which wiser men might recognise 
the formal inauguration of the modern world. But 
at Constantinople, from the beginning, as if by in- 
stinctive feeling, the architects chose a type for their 
places of worship, in which the worship performed, 
and not the order of the worshippers, was the first 
thing to be considered. It could not be otherwise; 
for the Civitas Dei marshalled beside the proud 
autocrat would have been an intolerable anachronism. 
Into the typal cathedral of the East, which with 


slight modifications still exists in vigorous reality all 
over the constantly-increasing empire of Eussia, my 
space forbids me to enter. It is enough to have pointed 
out how very early a system antagonistic to the basilica 
began to prevail iu the still undivided Christian Church. 
But even in Rome there were the seeds of anta- 
gonism deep sown iu the soil. My readers will not 
fail to have noticed in the plan of the Church of 
Bethlehem the dotted lines indicative of the cavern 
of the Nativity. At Jerusalem the Holy Sep ilchre 
was the central point in its own church. There were 
at Rome no such spots of transcendent interest to 
fix the localities of the new churches. But in the 
catacombs the parents and the elders of the ex- 
isting generation had been, in the bloody days of 
persecution, secretly accustomed to meet for worship 
at the martyrs' tombs ; in the night the little knots 
of the faithful had gathered together in these hallowed 
retreats, when the idea of the Civitas Dei assem- 
bling in the broad light of day in spacious halls of 
worship would have seemed a fond impossible dream. 
Accordingly the feeling so created found an almost 
immediate vent, and the grandest of the primitive 
basilica rose over the " confessio " of St. Peter in 
triple sanctity as at once the tomb, the shrine, and 
the church of the great apostle, while not many years 
later a similar fane was raised to the honour of St. 
Paul outside the Ostian Gate. With the admission 
of this new feeling, a line of thought was created 
which carried with itself the sure destruction of the 
basilican system. The shrine was of course the 

M 2 


central object of sacred interest and of popular affec- 
tion, more so than the altar or the human represen- 
tative of Christ on His eternal throne. At once the 
personal feeling was created, and ever}^ worshipper 
was led to church to deal for his own soul's health 
with the varying sacred accidents of every sanctuary. 
The congregation was a collection of units, clients of 
St. Peter or St. Paul as the case might be, but no 
longer the Civitas Dei — mcorporated citizens convoked 
as a whole by order and degree into that city's public 
hall to do the conjoint act of worship which was the 
pledge of brotherhood at once with God and with 
each other. From this first step, the successive stages 
of the cultus of relics, their distribution and redistri- 
bution, and the correlative multiplication of subsidiary 
altars, of crypts and dependent chapels, followed in 
logical sequence. I have already called attention to 
the form which this system had attained in the full- 
blown mediaeval cathedral, the Papal cathedral as I 
venture to term it, — not exclusively, for there is a 
form of church still more Papal even than that, but 
as contrasted with the English cathedral of our own 
day. I have now contrasted it with that building out 
of which it was evoked, namely, the early basilica of 
primitive Christendom. In a word, a basilica shelter- 
ing a bevy of minor altars is an anachronism doctrinal, 
ritual, and architectural. 

But there was another main cause at work to hasten 
the transformation, to which I shall hurry, omitting 
the minor irregularities of pagan tem})les turned into 
churches, and such anomalous polygons as Justinian's 

Chap. V. THE CIVITAS DEI. 1(35 

S. Vitale at Ravenna, prompted probably by the iu- 
troduction of altars into baptisteries. The Civitas Dei 
was, speaking generally, a secret society within a highly 
civilized community. Christianity was mainly the 
religion of the towns, as heathenism was of the 2Mgani, 
while public worship was conducted in the vernacular 
tongue of every province. There was no hour or 
occasion of worship, whether the more sacred one of 
the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or those less 
solemn services composed of psalms, and lessons, and 
short prayers, which seem to have existed in the 
Christian Church from the earliest days,* at which 
the congregation was not expected to assist. Then 
came the crash of civilization in the West, and 
the patronage of Christianity by the pseudo-Ecman 
Emperor of the East, both in their respective ways de- 
trimental to the primitive consistency of the Civitas Dei. 
Some strong abnormal effort was needed to stay the 
tide of barbarian heathendom, and to save the Grospel 
and those arts and literature which Christianity had 
so very lately been empowered to call its own. The 
subtile East lent an idea which the West lost no time 
in developing through the power of its vigorous practical 
mind. Generation after generation the deserts of the 
Thebaid had been peopled by troops of sturdy and 
gaunt but God-fearing ascetics, who sought an asylum 
in those solitudes from the vices of Alexandrian 
luxury. Benedict of Nursia, in the fifth century, 

* Vide on this point the first volnme of the Eev. P. Freeman's ' Prin- 
ciples of Divine Service ' (J. H. Parker, 1855), and a review of it which I 
wrote in the ' Christian Remembrancer ' for October, 1855. 


raised up the standard of monasticism in distracted 
Italy. But his system was not that of mere retire- 
ment and self-punishment. The Benedictine idea was 
to secure God by doing good to man, as well as by 
the performance of direct acts of worship. It was 
accordingly the ambition of that truly great man to 
create a series of corporations which should, one by 
one, do that work of mercy in the world which the 
shattered Civitas Dei seemed unable to accomplish in 
its collective form. The monasteries were missionary 
stations among the heathen, and agricultural colonies 
everywhere. I do not entangle myself with the 
precise right or wrong involved in this detail or that 
of the Benedictine system, with the celibacy, the rule, 
the silence, the length and times of services. These 
are all controversial questions which have nothing to 
do with the English Cathedral of the nineteenth 
century. It is sufQcient to say that Benedict and his 
successors, at a crisis of growing darkness and whelm- 
ing confusion, strove, with the fear of God before their 
eyes, to create an institution which for future genera- 
tions was to preserve the knowledge and worship of 
tlie Almighty, and the arts and literature of civilized 

The immediate bearing of the creation of the Benedic- 
tine monastic life on the forms of churchbuilding is my 
present point. The monks took up Divine service as 
they found it in Italy, namely, said in Latin, which was 
still more or less the vernacular of that peninsula. 
But they did not only take it up : they also took with 
them wherever they went as missionaries, to Frank, 


or Saxon, or Englishman, tlie language with the 
worship of their o\Yn native Italy ; and so the harsli- 
tougued denizens of the northern forests were first 
made acquainted with the praises of the universal Lord, 
as sung by the Hebrew prophet-king, in the soft but 
unintelligible utterances of a Mediterranean people. 
This was of course very short-sighted on the part of 
the early Benedictines ; and their short-sight has let in 
a flood of unextinguishable woes to the Christian fold 
of every age. Let the man who is self-convinced of 
never having chosen, consciously or unconsciously, 
the short, when he might have taken the long, policy, 
cast the first stone at those good misjudging monks. 
Rome, upon its inflexible principle of finding a reason 
and providing a system for every turn of time and 
tide, has long been ready with a jmori arguments 
to show that Latin is the sacred language of the West ; 
but the fact stands patent in all history, that the lapse 
from vernacular to dead-tongue services was gradual 
and imperceptible. As the people's services at the 
basilica, in the language of their nursery and their 
domestic hearth, became the monks' services in the 
monastic church, in the language of the Yulgate and 
the cloister, and of the men who lived very far away 
and very long ago ; so the arrangement of parts, the 
inward organization of the services themselves, under- 
went a perceptible change. 

As I have already said — and as I dare claim should 
be proved in the negative by those who deny the 
fact — psalms, portions of Scripture, and ejaculations, 
fixed and not extemporaneous, rose up from the 


Christian assembly, in its earliest and purest ages, 
to the Holy of Holies. But this set form was, in 
its normal dimensions, measured out to suit the 
general convenience. As society and monkship drew 
more apart from each other, as large churches rose 
more frequently on the moor and in the dingle, and 
less often in the forum and the street, as the congrega- 
tions of men of solitude "* worshipped with each other 
and for each other alone, in a dialect of which they 
alone possessed the key, so naturally their set forms 
of devotion assumed a new aspect, corresponding with 
the new condition of things. The services became more 
lengthy in their recitation, and more artificial in their 
contexture. It took centuries before that series of 
collective Latin services based on the Psalter, and 
used at frequent hours of the night and day, called 
the Breviary, assumed its complete mediaeval form. 
But it was in process of preparation from the day that 
Benedict first retreated to Subiaco to avoid the ruin 
of the Ees Eomana. 

In the basilica, as we saw, the bishop and clergy up 
in the bema, and the singers down in the chorus canto- 
rum (if the chorus cantorum were not altogether of the 
nature of an afterthought), performed the service. In 
the monastic church the strictness and the similarity 
of the vows which every "claustral" monk took, 
whether in holy orders or not, had tended to bridge 
over the social distinction between the priest and the 
singing clerk, for they were both of them " religious." 

* Monaclius, i.e. fx6pa)(os, from fiovos, " ivluuo." 


The multiplication of female monasteries lielped this 
change, for every nun was of course also a "religious" 
in her profession, though her sex made any ordina- 
tion impossible. Nunnery churches were built of 
cathedral size, and stalls had to be provided for the 
nuns, who recited the breviary services in the same 
order as the monks in their monasteries. The long 
services were of import to the brethren or to the 
sisters exclusively, and the presence of any layman at 
them, except of some casual exception, more learned 
or more devout than his compeers, would have been 
almost scouted as an intrusion. The mass, similarly 
said in a foreign tongue, became in its most gorgeous, 
and withal most lengthy elaborations, also a peculium 
of the fraternity. Altars had, as we have seen, been 
multiplied ; and to the minor altars, and the shorter 
masses said at them, it was that the uninstmct'ed 
laity were expected to gather whenever it might 
happen that they chose to worship at the monastic 
and not the parish church. Here again had grown 
up a broad distinction. In true basilican times the 
cathedral was the rule, the adjunct chapels were the 
exceptions. In a town like Eome the various basilic£e 
were reduplicated cathedrals rather than large parish 
churches ; for the " civitas " idea rejected over-mi- 
nute subdivision. But as the Civitas Dei broke up, 
and as the "pagani" became " Christiani," and as 
the new large churches were raised for the use of 
the monastic corporations, in that proportion did the 
notion of a " parochia " and of a parish church, without 
an immediate and direct dependence upon a bishop, 


take root. Into the mediaeval corruption incident on 
this changed system — that of large monasteries, even 
of nuns, exercising ordinary jurisdiction over regions 
either carved out of dioceses or existing in countries 
in which territorial episcopacy only existed in name 
— it is not my province to enter. Antiquarians are 
well aware that Scotch Presbyterians have founded 
an argument in favour of their system upon a passage 
in yeneral)le Bede, which, if rightly understood, does 
no more than describe, in the language natural to 
his age, the early prevalence of an analogous anomaly 
in the savage Hebrides. In a much later age 
vast tracts of the Netherlands continued under this 
anomalous regimen, with at most a nominal depend- 
ence on the Bishop of Utrecht, until in the latter half 
of the sixteenth century a regular territorial episco- 
pate -was introduced under the Archbishops of Utrecht 
and Mechlin, the latter see being constituted in a 
church which had been up to that date merely 
collegiate. Yet Mechlin Cathedral would never 
betray to the visitor ignorant of its histor}' that it 
had not been built (in the daj's transitional between 
Second and Third Pointed) for its present dignity, 
while its spaciousness recommends it as one of the 
churches which the architect of new cathedrals might 
most profitably study in search of his ideal. As an 
instance of one of these churches not so well known 
in England as it ought to be, I reproduce, from the 
* Ecclesiologist,' the plan of the early Flamboj^ant col- 
legiate church of S. Bavo at Haarlem, converted, past 
the middle of the sixteenth centurv, into a cathedral, 

Chap. V. 



V' / 

Plan of Haarlem (Jatbcdral. 


a rank wliieli it onh' held for a few years till the 
Dutch Reformation. The numerous figures show to 
how vicious an extent the multiplication of altars 
had prevailed in the debased fifteenth century. The 
east door is modern, while the square piers are only 
the bases of circular columns. (No. 45.) 

The typal "abbey" {not "cathedral") church of 
the early middle ages north of the Alps, constructed 
on the Benedictine idea, very evidently shows its 
architectural derivation from the basilican model, 
and as evidently indicates the revolution of ideas 
which has led to its manifest deviations from its ori- 
ginal type. Both buildings, as a rule, are oblong, 
and both have commonly aisles, and not unfrequently 
those transepts which the primitive Christian churches 
borrowed from the judicial basilica, while they pre- 
served them, with a sanctified ingenuity, in order 
that the Avhole building might in its ground-plan show 
forth that Cross whose eternal significance had not yet 
been revealed when the earliest justice-hall had been 
allotted to the praetor under the Roman Republic. 
Both in the basilica and in the abbey-church the apse 
is found, but in the latter the semicircular bench, the 
tribune properly so called, is wanting, and in the 
centre of the space thus set free the shrine of the 
patron saint is frequently found. Westward of that, 
l)ut invisible to the congregation in the nave, stands 
the high altar ; and westward again of the high altar, 
in double or triple ranges, are placed the stalls of the 
monks, the after-growth of the chorus cantorum, but 
enlarged in their area to meet the enlarged import- 


ance of monastic psalmody— of those breviary ser- 
vices, that is, which had become the badge and the 
corporate office of the clerkly corporation. S. 
Clemente exhibits the chorus cantorum as an 
enclosure rising out of the middle of the nave, and 
defined along the sides no less than at the nave end 
by a dwarf wall. Torcello presents us with one 
which is only bounded on each side by the pillars 
themselves that divided the nave from its aisles. 
The latter treatment (superior as it is on the score of 
architectural merit) became the normal principle of 
the abbey-church, and so the choir was recognised as 
a constructional element of the building. Of course, 
under the new order of things, the choir in the larger 
churches acquired a considerable prolongation, and so 
it became a puzzling problem to the architects to 
connect it in its double character of a ritual and an 
architectural feature with the transepts. Sometimes the 
stalls stood altogether westward of the transepts, and 
the altar was placed in the lantern ; sometimes (more 
commonly in later — i,e. Gothic — days) they stood east- 
ward of the crossing ; sometimes they stretched rather 
clumsily across it in longitudinal lines, filling up the 
north and south arches. Very rarely on the Con- 
tinent, though more frequently in England, there 
were two pairs of transepts, of which the most notice- 
able example abroad was found at the aljbey of Cluny 
in Burgundy, in a church, the pride of the eleventh 
and twelfth centuries, which was, until the French 
Revolution began, and the Restoration completed, its 
destruction, by general consent the largest, grandest, 
most complete of abbey-churches. These stalls were 


returned at the west end, so as to cross the building 
latitudinally, and were enclosed towards the nave by 
a solid screen, surmounted by a gallery, and called the 
"jube"* — a feature which, together with the high side 
screens, was, according to the erudite and sarcastic 
Father Thiers, reduced to its subsequent form in 
the eleventh or twelfth century to keep the monks 
warm at their long night-services, the jube having 
then been substituted for the primitive ambo. As in 
the basilica, the throne of the bishop, the living t^^pe 
of the Lord, stood in the apse, so in the abbey- 
church, or " minster " {i.e. monastery church), the 
stall of the abbot, the administrative head of the 
corporation, was fixed with its back to the western 
screen, furthest from the altar, ])ut commanding the 
entire collection of monks with one glance of the eye. 
Half-way between the basilica and the developed 
medinsval abbey of the middle ages comes the 
monastic church of Charles the Great's days, built 
north of the Alps ; the al)be3^ of S. Gall, which was 
only a few years later than S. Clemente and nearly 
two centuries earlier than Torcello. True it is that 
we only possess a parchment plan ; but this design 
may well be assumed as typal of its class and age. 
The first peculiarity which is observable in it is that 
it is the earliest instance in evidence of the double 
apse — one at each end — and independent choirs in 
connection with ])oth. This strange feature of the 
early minster seems to have been a growth of Teuton 

* The deacon "bade" tlic blessing from it, addressing; tlic priest witli 
" Jiihe donme bencdicerc "— tlicncc its name. Compare the " biddino- " 
])rnyer at the Universities and Cathedrals. 


soil. It is at this moment in architectural existence 
(actual ritual arrangements ai)art) in churches as well 
known as the Cathedrals of Mentz and Worms, and 
the Abbey of Laach. Professor Willis, however, 
considers that he has proved the presence of this 
usage in the still earlier Saxon Cathedral of Canter- 
bury. The second feature requiring notice is that the 
multiplication of altars had been so thoroughly ac- 
cepted that at least fifteen, perhaps more, are found 
clearly indicated on the plan : and the third is that 
under the eastern apse (the one at the top of the 
plan) a crypt is found. The fourth peculiarity consists 
in the distribution of the monks' stalls, which in the 
western apse seem arranged on the plan of S. Clemente, 
while in the eastern, if I read the indications aright, 
they assume the inartificial shape of transverse, not 
longitudinal, Ijcnches. The fifth point deserving notice 
is that a font is represented in the middle of the 
church, not relegated to a distinct baptistery. Of 
course, in a monks' church proper a font is not 
needed, and its occurrence at S. Gall indicates with- 
out doubt the missionary uses of the building on the 
confines of those Alpine ranges which were a last 
stronghold of pagan barbarism. Eastw^ard of the 
great church another small one, with double apses, is 

We have now face to face, in the centuries between 
the rise of the abbey-church and the discover}^ of the 
pointed arch, the decaying basilica and the rising 
minster. The former still kept possession of the 
south of the Alps, on lands long Christianised and 


civilized, as if to claim its right to be recognised 
as the rightful model of the bishop's church. The 
minster kept multiplying its offshoots in every direc- 
tion through England, France, Germany, and the 
adjacent regions. The compromise between the two 
principles — the compromise, that is, within the limits 
of mediaeval ideas — had to be struck out in the 
mediaeval cathedral : a building which received its 
full completion contemporaneously with the perfec- 
tion of Gothic architecture.* Some cathedrals were 
Benedictine abbeys with a bishop superadded — Dur- 
ham, Canterbury, and EI3', for example — and in these 
the monastic character still predominated, only that 
the chief of the monks was called prior, and not abbot. 
Others were churches served by canons, that is by 
bodies of ecclesiastics bound by a less stringent system 
than monks — the successors, in fact, of the primitive 
colleges of presbyters — and governed by a rule founded 
on that which the great St. Augustine drew up for 
the regulation of those clergy who served his basilica 
at Hippo. These cathedrals pure and simple, as well 
as the collegiate churches served by independent cor- 
porations of canons, were doubtless built upon the 
basilican plan down to a later date than the abbey's ; 

* This question is worked out with great learning and ability, witli a 
special rel'ercnce to French examples, in ^I. ViuUet le Due's ' Dictionnaiie 
Itaisonne'e de I'Architecture Francaise du XI' au XVI' sicclc.' lie in- 
geniously connects the change from the more exclusive abbe^'-churches to 
the more open cathedrals Avith the growth of nuuiicipal freedom in the 
large towns, while perha]is he does not sufficiently attend to the ]ioint of 
view which I liave taken, viz. that the cathedral is as much the basilica 
minstcriscd Jis it is the minster popularised. 


but they had in their turn to abandon it — north, at 
least, of the Alps — and to borrow their ground-plan 
from the Benedictines. The shrine of the patron 
saint and the high altar had the same import in either 
church, and the stalls of the canons counterfeited those 
of the monks. The side enclosures and the jube were 
also common to both buildings, and they were fre- 
quently solid in the cathedrals, but frequently — espe- 
cially in the large collegiate and cathedral churches of 
Flanders of the fifteenth century — they were open to 
sight and sound from the nave. The multiplication 
of altars was also a ruled point, and the chapels encir- 
cling the apse were imitated from the minster. One 
thing had to be provided which the latter building did 
not possess — the seat for the bishop himself. The 
site of the abbot's or prior's stall had ruled the spot 
for the immediate head of the college of canons — 
the dean or provost, as he was usually designated, 
whether or not his church was also a bishop's see, 
— whether, that is, it was a cathedral or a collegiate 
church. In minster and in collegiate church, the 
head of the corporation took the stall nearest to the 
right hand of the stranger entering the choir. Ac- 
cordingly^, where the stalls were " returned," this seat 
was backed b}'^ the screen and faced the east ; where 
they were not returned (as in Henry YII.'s chapel), 
it was the most westernly on the south side. The 
developemeut of the primitive type of church had 
evolved that strong distinction which exists to this 
day in every parish church of England between 
the spot where the ordinary services are said and 



the im mediate precinct of the altar, in wliich the 
special assistants at the Sacrament arc collected. 
Generally, the mediaeval bishop, with commendable 
tact, dared not arrogate to himself the tremendous 
character which his more unworldly predecessor of 
early days assumed when he sat in the apse beneath 
the sitting Saviour in the mosaic vault above. All 
that he claimed was precedence at the daily offices 
and at the pontifical mass. The former was secured 
by assigning to him a throne like a larger choir-stall 
at the extremity of the range, on one side, generally 
the south ; while the latter demanded another seat in 
close juxtaposition to the altar and ordinarily on the 
north. Such was the typal cathedral of the middle 
ages in Cismontane Europe. We find it at Old Sarum 
and at Alby, in spite of the aisles being there sup- 
pressed, while the church of New Sarum does no more 
than reproduce its features. This method of provid- 
ing for the bishop was common to the cathedrals and 
to the cathedralised abbey churches. At Ely alone, 
of all cathedrals in Christendom, owing to its first 
bishop having been an abbot who was himself the 
banished bishop of another see, the diocesan has 
continued to occupy the abbot's stall, while the head 
of the corporation (before the Reformation a prior, 
and since then a dean) has occupied the opposite stall, 
usually assigned to a sub-prior or sub-dean. 

Exceptions of course existed. At Canterbury the 
" patriarchal chair " of marble is still preserved, which 
stood for generations above the altar, and wliich had 
l>cen po])ularly assigned to Saxon days until that 


erudite antiquarian, the late Pere Martin, declared it 
to be tlie work of the twelfth century. Professor Willis 
discovered the bishop's seat in the Romanesque apse of 
Norwich, while the old stone throne still terminates 
the cathedral of Lyons. South of the Alps, in that 
Italy where we have to go for almost all the existing 
basilicse, the system of placing the stalls in the apse, 
and behind the altar, was never laid aside ; but has 
gone down to our own days as a system perfectly 
alternative with that of the longitudinal arrangement 
common in the north, but far from unknown in Italy 
itself, existing as it does in such churches as the 
Certosa of Pavia, Sta. Maria Gloriosa at Venice, 
S. Antonio at Padua, and the Duomo of Florence. 
The proto-Fmnciscan church at Assisi in the Um- 
brian mountains, which is at once the starting- 
point of popularised monasticism, and the typal speci- 
men of Italian Gothic of the thirteenth century (the 
earliest Gothic church of all Italy in fact, except 
one in subalpine Vercelli), exhibits the basilican 
treatment of stalls. Como Cathedral, of Avhich the 
apse is early Renaissance, is also an instance some 
three hundred years later. The examples that exist 
at Milan, beginning with the Cathedral itself, I do 
not reckon ; for the peculiarities of the Ambrosian 
ritual — a ritual which, where strictly adhered to, 
proscribes more than one altar in the church — fully ac- 
count for a lingering basilican feeling. Indeed in very 
many Italian monastic churches of later date — notably 
nunnery churches — basilicanism has as it were been 
caricatured by the erection of a solid partition across 

N 2 


the entire building, against which, on the nave side 
stands the high altar, while, on the farther side— in 
what is absolutely another apartment — the stalls are 
fixed, ranging round the east end, which east end, 
by the way, is as frequently rectangular as apsidal. 
In this false reproduction of basilican forms 1 cannot 
trace the least preservation of genuine basilican feel- 
ing. The Civitas Dei never assembles conjointly in 
those churches: the occupants of the stalls are the 
monks, the canons, the friars, or the nuns, who drop 
into them as they like to run over their breviary 
offices, or to assist at mass, without the least reference 
to the congregation in the nave. Indeed, one is 
tempted to treat this Italian peculiarity as a cor- 
roborative proof of Father Thiers's thermometrical 
theory, and to argue that the casual nonenclosure of 
the choir in that land was due to its temperature, 
it being understood that, when the clergy wished to 
shut themselves oft', they might avail themselves of 
absolute partitioning, an expedient to which the nuns 
liad recourse from very obvious reasons.* 

The man who would venture to find in these dry 
bones of traditionary arrangement any real inheritance 
of basilicanism must be exceedingly sanguine. I 
am as little able to discover any distinctive principle 
in the dilettante adoption of the apsidal distribution 

* I venture to refer those who desire furtlicr to follow out the theory of 
church iirraugemcut with s[iccial reference to some of the doctrinal aggres- 
sions of the Church of Tionie, to an article of mine in the * Christian 
Rememhrancer ' for January, 1851, entitled, ' Oratorianism and Ecclesi- 


of stalls which has been adopted in some modern 
Roman Catholic churches and recent restorations in 
France or Italy. Whether M. YioUet le Dae, in his 
late works at S. Denis, retains the apsidal stalls 
which were put up in Louis Philippe's reign I 
cannot say. The basilica of St. Boniface at Munich is 
only one out of various types of church erected by 
the artistic taste of King Ludwig in that artistic 
city. But for an example of the unreality of pseudo- 
basilicanism I should unhesitatingly point to the 
restoration of the huge Romanesque Cathedral of 
Spires, commenced by the same monarch and com- 
pleted by the reigning king. Lavish funds have been 
expended in covering the walls and the cupolas of 
this vast building with a complete iconographic 
epopee from the pencil of Schraudolph. But when 
we turn from the art to the architecture, and still 
more to the ritual arrangements, of the church, we 
find a sad decadence. With reference to my imme- 
diate point — the lengthened nave is properly filled 
with benches, and the high altar is in full face; 
but the bishop's throne is far away at the extreme 
end of the apse, out of sight and out of sound, flanked 
right and left by the stalls, of most mediocre design, 
while the organ is some four hundred feet distant, 
hoisted up into a western gallery, with music-desks 
for the vocalists. A more perfect misappreciation of 
the genius loci than this arrangement I never beheld, 
nor one which more fully indicates the difference 
between the spirit and the letter of basilicanism. 
We are now in a condition to grapple with the 


question plainly put — why should the constructor of 
a new English cathedral have recourse to a forced 
adoption of basilican arrangement, rather than per- 
severe in the plan into which the cathedral movement 
of late years, both in building and in restoration, 
has naturally drifted — the popularizing and moderniz- 
ing of our own old English type ? The advantages 
of the latter method of proceeding are practical and 
obvious. They are in fact the natural and logical 
sequel of the spirit of the English Reformation. 
When our fathers threw off the yoke which had hung 
so heavily round their necks, what did they do ? Did 
they invent a new system out of their own heads to 
suit the present need, according to their own con- 
ceptions ? Directly the reverse. Bishops had ruled 
the Church from the first, and bishops were to rule 
it still, though no longer "by the grace of the Holy 
See." These bishops had their cathedrals, and the 
cathedrals were continued and even increased in 
number, though to nothing like the extent which 
was at first promised. Henry YIH.'s ' Scheme of 
Bishopricks ' (published by Mr. Cole out of the 
original in the Record Office in 1838) proposes 
sixteen new sees for England, so much less populous 
then than it is now. Six only of these, soon reduced 
to five, were created; the rest followed the way of 
good intentions. Some of the old cathedrals had 
been served by chapters of canons, others by 
monks — all were hereafter to be capitular. The 
Holy Sacrament had been celebrated in a dead 
language — henceforward the vernacular was to be 


employed. Private masses had grown up — the Holy 
Communion was henceforward to be congregational. 
The collective services of the ecclesiastics had of course 
been said in Latin, and, from their inordinate length 
and complexity, were wholly unsuited, even if trans- 
lated and purged of their errors, for popular use. 
But the Reformers analyzed their nature : they ob- 
served, first, that they ranged themselves as it were 
into two groups, a morning and an evening one ; and 
secondly, that the main staple of their better part 
was the successive recitation of the Psalter, the read- 
ing of certain portions of Holy Scripture, the use 
of the creeds and certain canticles either Scriptural or 
handed down from venerable antiquity, and the vary- 
ing employment of collects and of prayers even shorter 
and more ejaculatory. They found that on other 
occasions devotion became even more rapidly alter- 
native, and more propitiatory, in the use of litanies. 
Again, they recognised the fact that Christians in 
every age had their peculiar year of worship, distinct 
from the natural or the political one, in which the 
history of revelation was, so to speak, represented as 
the different events of the divine Incarnation come 
into view successively. With these facts before them, 
and with the old materials in their hands to rearrange, 
they produced that wonderful work of man's wisdom 
and piety ' The Book of Common Prayer, and of the 
Administration of the Sacraments,' by their posses- 
sion of which the English-speaking races are privi- 
leged beyond all other people to worship Almighty 
God, day by day if they like, in words that unite 


heaven with earth, the past with the present, the 
voices of inspiration with the holiest ofifspring of 
man's wit. 

The system which, as I have shown in an earlier 
chapter, has been pursued by the builders no less 
than the restorers of cathedrals, now that the Church 
of England has again happily become a cathedral- 
building as well as a cathedral-restoring community, 
is precisely parallel to that which our Eeformers 
adopted in dealing with the services which were to be 
performed in those cathedrals — the retention of essen- 
tial and defensible principles with the rejection of 
parasitical and indefensible accretions. The English 
cathedral of the middle ages grew up with the Eng- 
lish church and the English people, a confused mixture 
of right and wrong, resting upon a strong national 
basis. In winnowing the right from the wrong, the 
utmost care was taken not to throw away, but, on the 
contrary, to strengthen and bring into prominence, 
the national element. The reformed Church of Eno;- 
land was, in its externals, the reformation of the 
English Church, and not the restoration of the pri- 
mitive Church of Italy or Greece. Herein a wise 
philoso[)hy was shown : for however the world may 
mend or worsen ; however one age may move parallel 
to or concentrically with another; however much 
any age maintains its continuity with the one before 
it ; no age ever replaces itself exactly upon the lines 
of any other one, and least of all when that other age 
is far distant in time, distance, and climatic inlluences. 

Nothing less than such a violent attempt to re- 


create a past state of society would, as I trust that 
I have made clear, be involved in the revival of 
basilican usages in England. I am well aware that a 
most sumptuous attempt has been made to familiarise 
the inhabitants of a country town, almost under the 
shadow of Salisbury steeple, with the architecture and 
the external forms of a basilica in the gorgeous church 
of Wilton, due to Lord Herbert. But as Wilton 
Church — the production of a powerful and ingenious 
idiosyncrasy — has not yet found any imitator, I may 
venture to assume carte blanche in arguing the im- 
possibilit}^ of basilican revival, merely reminding my 
readers that I have already disentangled the ques- 
tion of basilican arrangement from that of basilican 
architecture, and expressed my conviction that there 
is no artistic feature in Gothic which would render it 
inapplicable for the revival. As a fact, the baldachino 
of the high altar was in several of the Roman basilic^e 
rebuilt during the middle ages in Gothic. 

If, however, the Church of England could revive 
among all its children a tone of mind which would 
enable them to accept, without cavil, or discontent, or 
hesitation, the spirit of basilican arrangement, then I 
should be the first to say let us revive it. But, if that 
spirit slumbers, then I equall}^ say let us avoid a dead 
imitation of a long-antiquated original. The spirit of 
the basilica, as I have indicated, is the embodiment, 
in due and elaborate order, of the assembled Civitas 
Dei, under the aug-ust presidency of the Bishop and of 
his Presbyters, for the joint act of Christian worship. 
The bema and its occupants are the central point of 


the church equally with the altar beneath them, and 
disconnectedly from the residuaiy officiators in the 
chorus cantorum, while the bema so occupied has, in 
the second place, a most awful symbolism attached to 
it. Plainly, then, are the members of the English 
Church at the present day prepared in thought and 
deed so to enthrone their prelacy ? He would be a 
bold man, I think, who would imagine this, and a 
bolder man who would strive to compass it. Great 
honour and deference are undoubtedly due to the 
legitimate rulers of the Church ; but there are many 
degrees of honour and deference which need not 
exactly shape themselves in the form of recalling the 
episcopate to the central throne of reconstructed ba- 
silicge. But, if the basilican model be revived without 
the intention of reviving the Civitas Dei, with the 
king-like Bishop throning it over all, how poor and 
weak a counterfeit shall we produce, and how incon- 
venient a system shall we offer for the celebration of 
Divine service ! We saw that in the basilica the Bi- 
shop and the Presbyters sat up in the apse, and the 
cantores below in the chorus cantorum, and we traced 
the cause of this division. But, if the cause be removed, 
the arrangement would be alil^e illogical and disap- 
pointing. Who would sit in one place, and who in the 
other ? The canons in the apse and the minor canons 
in the chorus cantorum would be a most invidious dis- 
tinction ; while the transference of all the clergy to 
the apse would be the destruction of the alternative 
musical service. The abolition of the chorus can- 
torum altogether would be the source of immea- 


surable confusion in the adjustment of the singing- 
men in an apse which must then be arranged on a 
Torcello-like plan. But, if all the clergy were sent 
down to the chorus, and only the Bishop remained 
in the apse, then farewell to the grand revival of the 
basilica. I do not enter into the minor difficulties 
of adjusting music-desks to the apsidal seats ; but 
I must dwell upon what would be of serious import- 
ance — the contingent irreverence which would follow 
on the change. As we have seen, the basilican usage 
was for the celebrant of the Holy Communion to 
stand on the further side of the altar, with his face to 
the congregation. In the days when this position was 
habitual there could be no irreverence connected with 
it. But what would now be the first idea which its 
revival would awaken ? I fear, the familiar and un- 
seemly one of a public lecturer standing behind his 
baize-covered table. But, if the officiator did not 
assume this position, again I say the basilican revival 
would be a counterfeit. Besides, the Torcello apse 
filled with the choir would have a very unfortunate 
resemblance to a concert at St. James's Hall. 

In order to dispose of only one category of dif- 
ficulties at a time, I have concluded that the basilican 
revival would be confined to cathedrals. All the early 
basilicas were, I believe, cathedrals — that is, the seat at 
the apse of the church was meant for the bishop, and for 
nobody else, while there was always some occasion 
during the year that called him to it ; and the pres- 
byter, in ordinary charge of the church, would as soon 
have thought of occupying it in the bishop's absence 


as the Lords Commissioners would think of opening 
Parliament from the throne. But a basilican revival 
in England confined to cathedrals would be an ab- 
surdity. If that system is worth anything, it would 
have to be followed out in parish churches. How 
then would their parts have to be distributed ? Should 
the central place in the apse be rightfully reserved 
for the diocesan, or should the incumbent and curates 
be allowed to play at bishop and presbyters on ordi- 
nary Sundays ? It is no answer to say that in the 
monastic churches of later ages which have been built 
on the basilican model this unreality exists, for I have 
•shown how dead an imitation they are. Into the 
great risk of the change being, from its entire novelty, 
as unpopular as it would be perplexing, I need not 
enter. My readers can supply this point for them- 
selves. In any aspect it would, I am convinced, be 
very inexpedient, when we possess a natural and 
national tradition of church arrangement, suited to 
and used in our cathedrals both old and new, which 
is every day being better understood, and therefore 
more popular. In this usage, as we have seen, the 
bishops and the cathedral clergy modestly abstain 
from assuming the seats of magisterial dignity, which 
their predecessors in the primitive ages did not fear to 
occupy. The bishop indeed with us has his throne, 
but that throne is at the side, where he sits primus 
inter pares; and the only distinction between the 
clergy and the choirmen and choristers is that of an 
ui)i)er stall. So too in the body of the church, the 
marked distinctions and corporate enrolment of early 


discipline are wanting ; and yet the whole pile is open 
to the joint worship of those who choose to come, 
while those who are absent keep aloof on their own 

Let it be proved that this system is less real and 
less appropriate to our present condition of society 
than that of the basilica, and I shall then recall my 




Nave — Transepts — Rovmd Cliurclies — Choir and its Levels — Lord's 
Table — Need of breadth — East end square and apsidal — Height also 
requisite — Triforium and C'lerestorj^ — Roofing — Three new Churches 
in Loudon — One-storied Churches — Steeples — Facade. 

We have now advanced a third step in our investiga- 
tion. First, the new cathedral is wanted, and can be 
built •, secondly, it ought to be of Grothic architecture ; 
and thirdly, in its distribution it should follow the 
ancient precedents of the cathedral-building age of 
England, modified by and in accordance with the re- 
formed English services, rather than the less malleable 
forms of times and countries whi( h were undoubtedly 
more pure in the faith than the middle ages, Ijut which 
were still ages before Britannia had become England 
or the English language had grown up, and which 
were countries more widely differing in habits and 
civilization from our own than the Edwardian diflered 
from the Victorian England. Having thus cleared 
our ground, we shall, for some time, have to busy our- 
selves with details, and to distribute the parts of the 
cathedral upon the principles which we have at last 

I need not dwell upon the necessity of a nave 
sufficiently elongated to hold the largest cougregation 
which the most impressive service or the most excit- 

CriAP. VI. THE NAVE. 191 

ing preaching could possiblj^ collect. Any measure- 
ment which falls the least below a hundred feet in 
length — the minimum dimension— must be considered 
as, strictly speaking, un-cathedral. How much longer 
the nave might be is a practical point on which it 
would be loss of time to dogmatize. I move east- 
ward, and I ask the question, Shall our cathedral be 
cruciform in its plan ? The transept dates from im- 
memorial antiquity. We have seen how it preceded 
Christianity by many generations in the open space 
which stretched before the bema of the judicial ba- 
silica. We have noticed how the early Christian 
Church, with the innocent ingenuity which was its 
characteristic, adopted this arrangement, and gave to 
it a higher and emblematical signification. We all 
must be aware how it identified itself with the more 
complex and later form of cathedral. To come at 
once to our own days : there is not one of the new 
cathedrals of which T have given the plan which is 
not cruciform ; for although, as I have already indi- 
cated, so far as these plans would indicate, St. Ninian's, 
Perth, would appear to be an exception, it is really 
not one, as the engraving of the exterior shows. To 
be sure there are no lantern piers, and the arcade, with 
its superimposed wall, is carried on continuously so as 
to mask the transepts from the nave, an eccentricity 
which I am sure will be generally considered as 
the chief defect of that certainly clever building. 
But externally the transeptal gables and the central 
fleche denote that the typal form of the Christian 
Cathedral has not been overlooked. I say typal, em- 


phatically not universal. Llandaff in Wales, Elgin, 
Dunkeld, and Dunblane * in Scotland, are specimens 
of cathedrals of great general beauty, and of a dignity 
and size considerable compared with parish churches, 
and yet they are destitute of transepts ; while abroad 
still grander fanes — such as those of Bourges, Alby, 
Yienne in France, and in Germany Ulm, &c. — equally 
want that feature. Accordingly, I should be loth to 
insist upon it as indispensable in our English Cathe- 
dral. But still 1 press transepts, and the more so for 
the very reason which might seem to make the other 
way, because we can hard!}' expect that our Cathedral 
could equal the scale of the highest class of ancient 
cathedrals, those which measure by the 400 or the 
500 feet. It is on this account that they ought not 
to be deprived of that compensation of dignity which 
may be gained by the adoption of the cruciform plan. 
No doubt long transepts in parish churches are 
hardly consistent with the spirit of the English ser- 
vices ; but it is simple pedantry to find anything in 
those services abhorrent to short transepts, projecting 
not at all or very little beyond the line of the aisle 
walls, such as we see in every one of the churches of 
which I have produced the plan. It stands to reason 
that the grandeur derived from exhibiting the em- 

* I take this opportunity of calling attention to tlie exquisite beauty of 
this too little known sjtccimen of Middle Pointed architecture. The clioir 
alone is roofed, and serves, in a very mutilated state, as the parisli kirk. 
The nave, which is in ruins, deserves the most careful study. The west 
end, comprising a triplet of long, equal, narrow, two-light windows, is a 
composition which deserves a place in the absolute ' first class of Gothic 


blem of our salvation in tlie very framework of the 
sacred pile, pleads for the reproduction of transepts 
in those churches which ought to be the pride and 
model of their respective dioceses. Short transepts 
are, as it is well known, a foreign, and particularly a 
French feature. But they are not unknown on this 
side of the water, and, even if they were so, it is 
bigotry to demur to their adoption. Their con- 
struction may, indeed, cost a little more money ; and 
a few yards of superfluous ground — superfluous to 
utilitarian eyes — may have to be taken into the church. 
But the cathedral-builder who binds himself rigidly 
down to proving the material use of every square foot 
of area within his fabric will most assuredly produce 
a very sorry result, and perhaps make a very slight 
saving after all. 

If the cathedral possesses transepts, their roofs ought 
absolutely, and without exception, to equal the nave and 
choir in height, unless indeed the choir overtops the 
nave. This parity of height is, in fact, peculiarly and 
essentially a cathedral feature. The contrary usage, 
that of transepts whose elevation is less than that of the 
nave, is especially a characteristic of Eilglish mediaeval 
architecture, and is the precedent which, above all 
others, our architects would best honour in the breach, 
even when they are raising parish churches. To build 
a new parish church with transepts so long that the 
Lord's Table is invisible from a great portion of them, 
and yet to drop the axis of the transverse roof, is 
simply an indefensible exhibition of mere antiqua- 
rianism. At best such transepts look like chapels, 



The chief drawback of Kilmore Cathedral is to be 
found in ^Ir. Slater's having depressed his transepts. 
On the contrar}^, those of our ancient parish churches 
in which the transepts equal the nave and choir in 
height are among the most beautiful and famous of 
their class, however small they may be, and destitute 
of aisles. For examples I need only refer to Poynings 
in Sussex and Shottesbrook in Berks. Of course 
equal transepts involve an equal or a loftier choir ; 
but in a cathedral a depressed choir must always 
be an eyesore — even in such a church as Ulm. 

The disposition of the central " crossing," as it is 
termed, the central space, namely, between the tran- 
septs, nave, and choir, demands more careful con- 
sideration. The ordinary plan of this area was that of 
a square space, sometimes roofed at the height of the 
remaining church, and sometimes growing into an 
open lantern bearing aloft the central steeple, whether 
in the form of a tower only, or of one which tapers 
into a spire. This central steeple is more peculiarly 
an English feature, though often found abroad, as for 
example at Lausanne, Laon, Bayenx, S. Ouen, Rouen 
Cathedral, Tournay, &c. On the contrary, the light 
flcche, springing from the junction of the four arms 
of the cross, is a foreign characteristic, and is found 
with peculiar size and beauty at Amiens, and con- 
spicuously in many other foreign cathedrals, such 
as Haarlem. It has just been restored at Notre 
Dame de Paris by M. YioUet le Due; and the 
prudence of M. Zwirner has dictated its adoption at 
Cologne in place of the central spire which the 

Chap. VI. THE LANTERN. 195 

original architect proposed to raise. There is also a 
fleche upon the Ste. Chapelle of Paris (a fane destitute 
alike of aisles and transepts), rebuilt, from docu- 
mentar}' evidence, by the lamented Lassus. I can- 
not, indeed, recollect the existence of a single ancient 
fleche in England, although I very much suspect that 
one must have been in contemplation at the eclectic 
but mainly Gallicising church of Westminster. The 
present lantern there, as is well known, was the work 
of Wren, in preparation for a lofty hexagonal spire, 
which after all he feared to build. But, familiar as 
all are with Ely, we need not to be told that the 
square lantern is not the only nor yet the grandest 
form of the central crossing. The octagonal lantern 
there, though unique in England, has parallels (in- 
ferior though they be) both at Antwerp and at Milan, 
two churches, generally speaking, of the fifteenth 
century, and, by the way, possessing common features 
of general resemblance which I would gladly see 
investigated by some archaeologist, who should fairly 
grapple with the problem, which I venture to offer, 
of some especial relationship between them. The 
early octagonal steeple of receding stages at S. 
Seruin of Toul(5use, dating from Romanesque days, 
need only be alluded to. We all know how nobly 
the idea of an octagonal lantern has been translated 
into the correlative Italian circular cupola at St. 
Paul's, and how serviceable the area so created has 
proved itself to be during the late special services. 
Time would fail me to speak of the octagonal cupola 
with which, in the earliest days of Renaissance, Brunel- 



Icsclii capped tlic huge Gothic Cathedral of Florence, 
or to prove that, of all the peculiar features of Ee- 
naissance church-building, this is the one which we 
may regard with the most satisfaction. 

Briefl}', then, I presume to claim that, in our Cathe- 
dral of the nineteenth centur^^, the architect of true 
inventive genius should turn his thoughts towards 
perfecting a feature alike in accordance with modern 
English requirements, noble in itself, and apt as a 
vehicle for the highest pictorial art, the polygonal 
or circular lantern. The dome of Florence is octa- 
gonal, but there is nothing in the idea of a Gothic 
cupola inconsistent with the numbers of its sides being 
multiplied indefinitely. I go further, and I argue 
that there is nothing against the adoption of even a 
circular dome like that of St. Paul's, provided the 
vertical section be oval ; for seen in elevation, the 
form of such a dome approaches more nearly— if not 
completel}^ — to the elevation of a Gothic arch, than 
it does to any form currently used in Grecian or 
Eoman architecture. The hemispherical or depressed 
cupola will, of course, be shut out from this category 
of developements, but I venture to anticipate that 
this is a loss which may very easily be supported. 

Breadth — ^I cannot repeat this too often or too 
strongly — breadth is what Ave need in our cathedrals, 
and it is by breadth we can l^est compensate for any 
defect in length, and to l)rcadth the circular or poh'- 
gonal lantern most a])tly lends itself. The interruption 
to sight and sound potentially caused by the four great 
l)iers of the crossing where there is a central tower, 

Cjiai'. VI. THE "CROSSING." 197 

is one of the o])jcctions most currently made against 
the cruciform plan. While simply recording this 
objection, I venture to assume that we must all agree 
that such an expansion of the lantern cuts away its 
very existence. There is no question that any general 
canon in favour of a more than quadrangular crossing 
would be a pedantic and intolerable servitude. But 
at the same time our architects would do well to 
consider the power which would be placed in their 
hands if they were permitted to deal with the treat- 
ment of the nave irrespective of the necessity for a 
four-sided crossing. 

But I may be asked why I stop there, and talk 
only of a pol^'gonal or circular crossing ? why neglect 
that form of church which was cradled at Jerusalem 
round the holiest of all shrines, which found its first 
general expression in baptisteries, and passing into 
Italy gave us S. Yitale at Eavenna; then, pushing 
northward, created the cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
and S. Gereon at Cologne, and finally gave birth to the 
Temple Church and to St. Sepulchre's at Cambridge ? 
Wh}^ not build our Cathedral of this age with a 
wide expanded nave of a round or polygonal outline, 
with a broad, deep choir projecting from it ? Frankly 
I answer, let us at all events grai)ple with the con- 
ception, and test it in its details. The experiment 
would be a grand one, and might produce results as 
magnificent as they are original. In following out the 
more ordinary ground-plan I must, therefore, be con- 
sidered as not rejecting an idea which, in the hands 
of an architect of genius, might stamp our age with 
a fresh architectural success ; and which has indeed, 



Chap. YI. 

I believe, been tried at Brussels in a new cburcli of a 
mixed and somewhat peculiar style. At the same 
time we must not l)lind ourselves to the possible dif- 
ficulties of the undertaking. Foremost comes the 
break of traditionary feeling involved in so great a 
change. I am anxious, bearing in mind what I have 
said against the basilican experiment, not to seem 
unmindful of this risk ; but I must point out that 
the experiment would make no differ- 
ence in the distribution of the official 
portion of the building, but only in 
that which is reserved for the con- 
gregation itself. But, in the second 
place, there are practical complica- 
tions which I should do Avrong to 
overlook. Of these, one is a question 
of building, and another one of ar- 
rangement. The great difficulty in 
buildinii; a large round nave for a 
church of cathedral character, suit- 
,. ,., f A 1 ri,,.,niin able to the modern En2;lish services, 

46 rUin of Aix-Ui-Cuapelle c5 ' 

100 aet'lriMch. consists in its juncture with the choir. 
The plans of Aix-la-Chapelle Cathedral (No.4G) and 
of S.Gcreon (No. 47) will at once explain my meaning. 
The former is all that a new Knglish cathedral had bet- 
ter not be ; while the latter church, with some modi- 
fications, might well serve as the model for such a 
l)iiilding. Aix-la-Chapelle Cathedral is, 1 avcU know, 
tlie production of two ver}' diiferent ages. The nave — 
the "Chiipelle " — is a fragment of a very early Roman- 
esque slructiuv, first raised l>y Charles the Great as his 


Chap. VI. 



sepulchre, re-edified by Otho, miserably travestie<:l by 
the phisqua/ii Ijad taste of Maria Theresa, timidly and 
incompletely restored by Frederick William TV. of 
Prussia. The choir was constructed in the fourteenth 
century to replace the shorter and smaller — perhaps 
basilican— apse of the original fane, and has since con- 
tinued, in the main, unaltered (the windows and their 
tracery apart), a tall, wide, and in itself impressive, 
college chapel, distinct from its ill-mated nave in 
style, size, and feeling, while the two combined make 

47. Plan of S. Gereon, Cologne. 50 feet to inch. 

up a very picturesque scene. But for the purpose 
of my argument the comparative dates of the various 
portions of the church are immaterial where the object 
is to create an eclectic form for future practical use. 
At S. Gereon, on the other hand, the entire building 
is homogeneous, and built during the debatable age 
when round and pointed were contesting for the mas- 
tery. The plan shows that this church is in reality 
not circular, but an irregular oval polygon ; but this 
incident does not affect the argument. A large west 
porch is omitted in the plan. 


A-t Aix the aisle ruus round the building, much as 
it does at St. Sepulchre's, Cambridge ; while in either 
case the entrance into the choir is a small opening 
in the external wall, approached from the depressed 
vault of this aisle, without anj^ well-defined arch to 
give either dignity to the choir from the nave or 
clearness of vision to the occupants of the latter. At 
S. Gereon there are properly speaking no aisles 
whatever, only chapels, into which access is given 
by a series of arches, collectively presenting the 
effect of an aisle-arcade. At the 1'emple Church, 
in London, with its aisled nave, the juncture is loftier 
than at Aix ; still the round church and the oblong 
choir are perfectly distinct constructions. On the 
contrary, at S. Gereon the arch which leads from 
the nave to the choir is wide and lofty, convenient 
alike for sight and sound, and dignified in its own 
aspect. Aisles might be so managed as to produce 
the same result. At Aix the entire pile is on a dead- 
level. At S. Gereon, as the section (No. 48) indi- 
cates, the choir rises level over level ; and although 
so much height would not be needed for our purposes, 
yet a considerable elevation of steps contributes alike 
to the appearance and to the convenience of a cathedral 
choir, bringing as it does the service into eyeshot of 
the collective congregation. I do not pause to ask 
why ; but it is certain that the eiiect of a round nave, 
or a polygonal lantern, is to make the want of gradua- 
tion mure sensibly felt tluui where the choir succeeds 
to a long foreshortened perspective of lateral arches. 
For the proof of this I need only to api)eal to the 
Temple Churcli, to Klv Calhiihal, ami to St. Taul's, 




each of which buildings, with all its grandeur, stands 
confessedly deficient in the effect of well-adjusted 
levels. S. Gereon, on the other side, without vast 
proportions, borrows an artificial aspect of solemn and 
mysterious grandeur from this one circumstance. 

The other difficulty to which I called attention is 
that of the arrangement of seats, wherein S. Gereon 
may aflbrd useful hints, for the benches there run 
transversely. If, on the other hand, a circular plan 
should be assumed to favour a concentric distribution 
of chairs or benches, then I can only say that a very 
bad precedent would be created for our cathedral 

I leave the nave aisles for future consideration, and 


Loiigiiudiiiu; Soctiou of S. Gereon. 


turn for a niomciit to the choir, for the purpose of 
again reminding my readers that no stint of room 
should interfere with a numerous and ample provision 
for a large voluntary body of singers, in addition to 
the clergy and the lay officiators attached to the 
church. I need not discuss at length how the choir 
ought to be separated from the nave. There are 
two alternatives, a low and a high screen. If the 
division is a low one, such as that which is proposed 
for Chichester Cathedral, it must be solid and rich in 
its material ; if high, it must be pervious, like the 
screen at Ely, which Mr. Scott has composed in wood 
and brass, and the one which he has designed for 
Lichfield is wrought iron, or that which has for the 
present been ingeniously planned for St. Paul's out of 
Wren's sumptuous gates ; or else it may more mag- 
nificently be composed of marble, resembling that 
one which — in his drawing, exhibited in 1860, at 
the Eoyal Academy — Mr. Penrose proposes for the 
permanent use of St. Paul's — a drawing which repre- 
sents the wishes of the authorities of that church. 
The material of the pulpit, whether wood, stone, or 
marble, is a question for the architect to settle. The 
position may, according to circumstances, be fixed 
cither at one of the angles of the lantern pier, or 
somewhere down the nave, whether against a pillar or 
under one of the arches. There is ample precedent 
for all three arrangements. In one case the pulpit is 
the successor of the original ambo, in the others the 
convenience of preachiug is alone considered. It is 
hardly necessary to observe that iu this suggestion. 

Chap. VI. THE CHOIR. 203 

as in all that I have been saying hitherto, I have 
assumed, without considering it necessary to give 
reasons for m}" assumption, that the congregation must 
be seated in the nave. All the more recent cathedral 
restorations have taken this for granted, and, in so 
doing, afford a most pleasurable contrast to those 
restorations, however sumptuous and well intended 
(like that of Armagh), of a few years previous, in 
which the congregation is thrust into the choir, and 
the nave reduced to the ignoble office of a mere lobb3^ 
Westminster Abbey suffers most cruelly from this 
mistake, for on the one hand the congregation at the 
ordinary services are packed away into the transepts, 
and on the other the crowds which the special choral 
services in the nave bring together are perforce put 
off with a temporary choir far away from, and out of 
sight of, the Lord's Table. The substitution of an 
open for the close screen at St. Paul's is the first step 
towards converting the special service sittings into 
those of ordinar}" use. Only I trust that the one open 
bay which has been created between the stalls and the 
sanctuary may not be misappropriated to the use of a 
miscellaneous rush of Sunday worshippers. It will, I 
hope, be properly fenced by open metal grills, so as to 
render this abuse impossible. Into the vexed question 
of chairs versus benches I refrain from straying. I 
have alwaj^s abstained from ranging myself absolutely 
on the side of the Celtic chair or the Teutonic bench. 
On the whole, I believe that the latter will generally 
be the more popular in parish churches, except where 
great economy is in question, when chairs have the 


decided preference. In cathedrals, on the contrary, I 
believe it \vill be a very even matter, and one which 
circumstances must decide in each case. The risk 
with chairs is that of overcrowding, while the notion 
that one form of seating blocks up a cliurch more than 
another is mere imagination. 

As 1 have just observed, we crave breadth no 
less than length in our choirs. Breadth is, indeed, 
the weak point of many of the old cathedrals of 
England ; and its insufficiency is the greatest stum- 
bling-block — far more than any cumbrous and exces- 
sive length — to the correct rearrangement of their 
choirs ; as I have become personally sensible from 
my connexion with the restoration both of Lichfield 
and Chichester Cathedrals, in both which churches 
the addition of a few feet to the width of the choir 
would be hailed as a precious blessing. But there is 
another requisite as needful as breadth for artistic, 
practical, and religious objects, to which 1 cannot 
too often recur or too strongly insist on, that is, the 
proper graduation of the eastern portion of the church. 
The choir proper, where the stalls are placed, may well 
rise some steps above the nave, though their number 
must be limited ; but beyond the choir proper, appear- 
ance and reverence alike demand a spacious sanc- 
tuary ; and if that sanctuary is a dead level, then 
most assuredly the church will be the loser both in 
appearance and in utility. Nothing, in short, more 
surely stami)s the able architect than the judicious 
arrangement of his levels, rising boldly yet not ab- 
ruptly from the west of the choir to the platform on 


which the Lord's Table stands. I do not enlarge npon 
the fittings of the choir. The artistic importance of the 
choir-stalls will not, of course, escape the architect's 
attention ; nor yet the necessity of combining with 
them a well-proportioned bishop's throne. Whether 
the stalls are to be backed with canopy-work or hang- 
ings, or to be left open behind, with their screens 
of metal, wood, stone, or marble, to the choir aisle, is 
a matter which must depend upon the particular con- 
ditions of the church. All that I feel bound to do is to 
recapitulate the alternative possibilities. One thing, 
however, I must protest against as equally abhorrent 
to ancient practice and modern good taste, the cutting 
up and framing of the stalls in little slices between 
successive pillars — a fate which has befallen the curi- 
ous seventeenth century Gothic stalls of wood at Dur- 
ham, and the poor modern stalls of stone at Wells, 
while the plaster specimens of this mistake, which 
Bernasconi inflicted on Lichfield, have happily dis- 
a]ipeared. The litany-desk and lectern afford felici- 
tous opportunities for proving the carver's or the 
metal-worker's art. The style and the place of the 
organ is a topic with which, as one unversed in music, 
1 shrink from grappling further than to denounce the 
vulgar position over the west screen of the choir, and 
to point out with what success the old organ of St. 
Paul's has been, by Sir Charles Barry's advice, re- 
moved to the north side of the choir, over the stalls, 
where, there is good documentary^ reason to suppose, 
Wren himself would have gladly seen it. I have 
heard that in Sir Frederick Ouseley's almost catlie- 


clral at Tcnbury, Herefordshire (the work of Mr. 
Woodj^er), the organ fills the north transept with 
very good effect ; while in Carpenter's restoration 
of the west portion of Sherborne Minster (a virtual 
cathedral) the same site was boldly and successfully 
chosen. At Lichfield the new organ will be placed on 
the north of the choir, the old one having surmounted 
a solid screen ; and at Ely the instrument, boldly cor- 
belling out from the choir triforium on the north side, 
forms, with its carved and decorated case, one of the 
artistic decorations of the structure. Of old the organ 
has stood on the north side of the stalls of Winchester 
(which fill the crossing), and at Canterbury it has 
been ingeniously fitted into the south choir clerestory. 
At Armagh a site has been found for it in the north 
transept. In all these instances the central site has 
been repudiated. The size and the design of the 
font, and the appropriation of some particular area 
of the cathedral to serve as a baptistery, are points 
to which the architect ought to direct his attention 
when planning the nave. It is sufficient to observe, 
that in the cathedral those features must be well 
In'ought out, and that the place of the font should 
not be left for accident to settle in the last resort. 
In fact, the cathedral baptisterv, while placed, accord- 
ing to old usage, sanctioned l^y our canons, near the 
west door, ought to fuUil the practical requisite of 
being within sight and sound of the congregation, 
wliile it should be only inferior to the choir and cast 
end in the artistic richness of its adornments. 

An important constructional consideration now in- 


vites our attention — the form of tlie eastern end of 
the church, and the relation which it Ijears to the 
Lord's Table. The plans which I have produced 
exhibit the three particular varieties of that east 
end :- — 

1. The square end, most common in England and 
Ireland, found in Scotland, and not unknown al^road, 
either in actual practice or as indicated in the curious 
sketches of Wilars of Honecort which I have already 

2. The apse without the circumambient aisle. 

3. The apse with that aisle, or ''checet'' as Mr. Fer- 
gusson terms it. 

I contend that all these forms are admissible in 
our new cathedral. I do not think that I am likely to 
be contradicted in my assertion as to the first or the 
second. Neither do I expect, at the present day, to 
find much opposition when I express ni}^ conviction 
that, at all events for a church of minster-like cha- 
racter, the apse is the more dignified termination, 
although there is in the square end a field either 
for glass or for opaque wall-painting which is not to 
be found elsewhere, and that for this, as for other 
causes, it may often be desirable to adopt that form. 
But I cannot expect my conviction of the legitimacy 
of the clievet for an English cathedral to be so unani- 
mously accepted. It seems to the superficial dis- 
putant to be such a waste of available space. I will 
presently show more than one reason why it is really 
not a waste ; but, even if it were one, I ask how 
much space is really lost in the creation of a feature 


wliieli he who knows, on the one side, Westminster 

Abbey and Canterljiiry Cathedral, and, on the other, the 

little private chapel (No. 40) of our Norman kings 

^^ in the White Tower, or he who can imagine 

^^% ^^ St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, restored, must 

* J be constrained to own has an especial archi- 

B 4L tectural value ? Why, the space which will 

^ be occupied by a semicircular ring of some 

''9- fifteen feet in breadth turned on the average 

Plan of Chapel . i t n i 

in Tower of Qu au uitemal radius of the same dimension- 
London. ' 

and by the thickness of the wall to boot. Is 
this a matter to haggle about ? But (to postpone for 
the present one particular use of this aisle, on which I 
shall insist hereafter) is it really a useless appendage ? 
may not communication be often needed from one side 
of the choir to the other ? and cannot this communica- 
tion be more quietly and more decorously conducted 
through the existence of such a by-road than by directly 
crossing the sanctuary itself? Besides, why may not 
the chapter-house, the vestries, or the library, stand 
at the extreme east end of our cathedral, seeing that 
we have no Lady Chapel ? The architect of originality 
might easily find out a shape for them which would 
recall Becket's Crown at Canterbury or Henry YII.'s 
chapel at Westminster — both abnormal buildings in- 
deed, but both buildings that nobody would like to see 
suppressed. Becket's Crown is in fact of the normal 
shape of many chapter-houses. Of course, if such a 
device were adopted, cadit qiicestio, for this eastern 
aisle then becomes a necessity of communication. 
There is undoubtedly a general notion afloat that 


this apsidal aisle only exists in connection with apsidal 
chapels, and that to reproduce it, therefore (as Mr. 
Burges proposes to do in his churches of Brisbane 
and Constantinople, and Mr. Slater at Inverness), in 
our Communion, where such chapels are impossible, 
is to sacrifice sense to sight. But architectural facts 
contradict that impression. Assuredly in France tlio 
aisle and the chapels all but universally went to- 
gether ; while in Germany the apse was frequently 
destitute of both. But in London I can point, for the 
contrary, to those two noble bequests of Norman days 
the chapel in the White Tower and St. Bartholo- 
mew's in Smithfield, where (although the church ap- 
parently ends with a hideous flat wall) the aisle itself 
is still in existence behind. At Canterbury the apse 
aisle would be wholly devoid of chapels but for the 
parasitical though beautiful " Crown " and the long 
posterior and puny chantry of Henry lY. entered from 
a door alike narrow and low. Abroad, the cathedral of 
Basle, of late Romanesque date, possesses a chapel-less 
aisle ; while in the larger and nobler first Pointed 
cathedral of Lausanne there is only a single eastern 
chapel of small dimensions. The cathedral of Haar- 
lem, of which I have given the plan, is also a signal 
example. But the church on which I chiefly rel}^ 
is one raised in the florid davs of later Gothic, laro-e in 
its dimensions, rich in its details, lavish in its expendi- 
ture of space, — the Duomo of Milan. This, as I have 
already had occasion to point out, was originally built 
for a single altar only, and so the eastern aisle would 
have been useless as a means of communication between 




Chap. YI. 

chapels. Yet the eastern aisle of Milan Cathedral is one 
of tlie noblest features of that magnificent structure. 

ri;iii iif .Milan luo leet to iiicli. 

As the accompanying plan (No. 50) shows, it is 
carried round the apse without any diminution of the 
widtii of that internal nave and choir aisle of which it 


is the prolongation. It is of three ba3^s, and each bay 
is occupied with an enormous traceried window of many 
lights, filled with glaring painted glass. These north 
and south windows respectively are seen from the 
very west end of the whole cathedral, though of 
course at a considerable angle. The adjustment of 
proportions is however so admirable that each of those 
storied openings capping the centre of its respective 
aisle has the value and almost the appearance of a 
narrower end-window, seen full-face, the tone itself of 
the painted glass gaining by this circumstance. I do 
not remember to have seen this peculiar effect noticed 
by au}^ writer, but it struck me so forcibly on my first 
entrance into Milan Cathedral as to leave no doubt on 
my mind that it was intended by the architect. No 
one can be sanguine enough to look for any such apse 
as that of Milan in our English cathedral, but it exists 
as the standing demonstration of the applicability not 
only of the apse, but of the aisled apse, to a church 
where the multiplication of altars is not the one thing- 
cared for. Having thus made good my position, I 
shall not further press the point. Those who have 
seen Canterbury and Westminster, and do not in- 
tuitively feel the advantage of the aisled apse, cannot 
be argued into conviction. 

I said above that the position of the Lord's Table 
depended upon the form of the east end. When the 
east end is square the altar is often placed against it ; 
but it can never be so placed in a cathedral without 
detriment to the effect of the pile; and accordingly, 
in every modern cathedral restoration of a satisfactor}'^ 

p 2 


nature, it has been brought forward and a reredos 
more or less stately erected behind it. Ely is a suffi- 
cient instance, where Mr. Scott has combined rich 
material and graceful architecture witli the resources 
of sculpture, both in groups and single figures. I 
should add that Messrs. Prichard and Seddon have 
devoted much thought to the reredos at Llandaff, for 
which Mr. Rossetti is painting a picture, and that the 
use of the varied marbles of Derbyshire will be found 
a noteworthy feature of the one to be constructed at 
Lichfield ; while at Chichester the altar will be pre- 
served in its ancient place, a little in^jadvance of that 
which it recenth^ occupied, and will be backed by a 
reredos. The reredos also forms a feature in the 
restoration at Hereford, and of the otherwise far from 
satisfactory one at Wells, not to mention the specimen 
in confectionary Perpendicular which the late Mr. 
Austen inflicted on Canterbury Cathedral. But as 
even in a square-ended church of dignified character 
the altar had better not stand against the eastern wall, 
so a fortiori in an apsidal one this position becomes a 
positive blunder, which ought to be at once rectified 
by moving it at least as far west as the chord of the 
apse. At St. Paul's accordingly, as I may without 
In-each of confidence say, the honoured voice of Sir 
Charles Barry was strongly and successfully raised 
in the Restoration Committee in favour of advanc- 
ing the Lord's Tal)le IVoiu its present undignified 
position at the end of the apse, and of canopying 
it with a lofty baldachiuo of rich material and noble 
architoctuj'c, and tlic detailed designs for this impor- 

Chap. Vf. NEED OF BREADTH. 213 

tant feature are in the course of preparation. The 
miserable restoration whicli Wyatt perpetrated at 
Lichfield had destroyed the old reredos and thrust the 
altar back to the end of the apsidal Lady Chapel; 
now as we see the reparation of this injury is not far 
distant. These considerations are an additional argu- 
ment in favour of the sanctuary being amply and 
gradually raised, and for its unencumbered area being 
spacious ; not onh'" from reasons qf beauty and solem- 
nity, but for the physical accommodation of large 
communions, ordinations, visitations, confirmations, 
and so forth. 

All these considerations, to which I have alluded 
rather than argued them out, are proofs of the dictum 
with which I started in this treatise, that our Cathe- 
dral ought, for practical reasons, to approximate more 
nearly in its dimensions to the ancient models than 
the church-building tastes of the present age have as 
3'et realised. I have mostly insisted on the dimension 
of length ; but I am as strongly convinced, as I have 
incidentally observed, that our architects are right in 
enforcing, as they now generally do, the claims of 
breadth also. Indeed, among the points in which 
the Gothic churches of this day are most superior 
to even the best — to those, for instance, of Mr. Scott, 
of Pugiu, or of Carpenter — built ten or fifteen 
years since, none is more apparent than that their 
designers have, with increase of experience, increas- 
ingly apprehended that to build narrowly is to build 
meanly and inconveniently. I am not sure if we 
ought not to go even further, and in our Cathedral 


to reduce the width of the aisles so as to make them 
rather thoroughfares than places of congregational 
accommodation ; while for this object the nave should 
be projiortionably broadened. The expense of roofing 
the wider central area may be enhanced, but the com- 
pensating gain both in practical utility and artistic 
effect will well repay the outlay. In Mr. Street's 
church, for instance, proposed for Constantinople, a 
noble cathedral effect has been produced without any 
aisles at all, by its fine cruciform and apsidal plan. 

The next incident which I propose to treat is that 
of height, and, as a corollary to this consideration, I 
shall enter upon the question of the roofing. As a 
postulate, I beg leave to assume that no constructive 
consideration, except that of acoustics, can interfere 
with our giving to the cathedral the greatest safe 
available altitude consistent with due proportion. It 
is but a matter of money, and so I need only say that, 
as far as effect, both external and internal, is con- 
cerned, money cannot be better spent. All who 
have an eye must be struck with the grandeur of a 
lofty old minster, with its triple division of arcade, 
triforium, and elerestory, as being immeasurably supe- 
rior to the double one of arcade and clerestory, which 
took its place in the latest days of Pointed even in 
such places as Milan and Antwerp Cathedrals, and, 
to come home, in the nave of Canterbury, and the far 
finer one of Winchester, in the latter of which in- 
stances the present building w^as cobbled out of the 
antecedent tliroo-storied lUunanesque structure. The 
nave of Canterbury is one of the loftiest Gothic monu- 


ments in EDgland, and its arches are of unusual alti- 
tude. Still there is a great shortcoming in its cathe- 
dral-like effect. In the nave, too, of York, though 
late in the second style, the triforium is minimized, 
while it is wholly Avanting in the third Pointed choir. 
At Ely, on the contrary, the preservation of the tri- 
forium throughout the cathedral is one of its grandest 
features. Can we revive this triple division in the 
cathedral ? Money of course must be considered, and 
also the feeling of reality. While, as I have said, I 
should not be driven from building the eastern aisle 
round my apse by any imputation of its not being 
practically wanted, I should not think it right to erect 
galleries such as we find in the triforia of Ely and 
of Westminster, and such as exists at Waltham, 
without some strong compelling cause. In the former 
case I calculate that the result to be attained would 
justify the outlay of money and material. I am not 
so clear that it would do so in the latter instance, as 
the adoption or rejection of that gallery would influ- 
ence the whole building from the foundation to the 

These galleries open out a curious by-passage in 
the history of churchbuilding. I shall not attempt 
to trace it through its basilican and early monastic 
days, nor shall I do more than allude to the provision 
which the early Eastern Church made, with true 
Oriental feeling, for the segregation of women into 
galleries. We find that, when the normal minster 
type had been settled, in the days of complete Roman- 
esque, the triforial galler}^ was of constant recurrence. 


It is found at S. Ambrogio, Milan — that church which 
so strangely combines in its present form, as rebuilt 
oy Bishop Ansi)ertus in the ninth century, the Roman- 
esque architecture of a posterior age with the peculiar 
arrangements of antecedent times. At S. Michele, at 
Pavia, too, the galleries are equally important. If we 
accept the supposition that S. Castor, at Coblentz, is 
the church which gives the date to the formal trans- 
plantation of Lombard Komanesque to the Rhine by 
Charles the Great's sons in the early years of the 
ninth century, then in the churches which belong to 
its school we find that the same use of the huge tri- 
forial gallery which distinguishes their Lombard pro- 
totypes grew up in time, although its adoption was not 
universal. We look for it in vain at Mentz, or Worms, 
or Spires, or in the Apostles' Church at Cologne. 
" But," to quote Dr. Whewell, with these and some 
other reservations, " in the early Gei'man churches the 
case is ditferent. In almost all that decidedly belong 
to this class we have, instead of the blank wall of the 
former class, a large open gallery, forming a second 
story to the side aisle. And in most of these instances, 
or at least in the churches on the Rhine above Bonn, 
this gallery is still u^jpropriated to a particular part 
of the congregation, namely, the young men, and is 
generally called the Mannerchoi\ or, as I was told at 
Sinzig, file Mannhaus. This gallery naturally makes 
it convenient to have the pier-arches somewhat low, 
winch, it has been already observed, is the case." * 

• ' AruhiU'ctiiral Notes on (Jcinian ("liuichcs,' 3icl edit., 1841', \). KHi. 

Chap. VI. THE TRIFORIUM. ' 217 

The section which I have given of S. Gereon, Coloiine, 
shows such a triforium in the nave, w^hich is still lilled 
with sittings. It also shows above another glazed 
compartment, which may be viewed as an upper tri- 
forium or a lower clerestory. But, previously to its 
reappearance in Germany, the triforial gallery had 
made good its position elsewhere. In the Roman- 
esque nave of Tourna}" Cathedral, in Flanders, it is of 
equal height with the arcade beneath, while over it is 
a secondary triforium of arcading. All Englishmen 
ought to know the grandeur of these galleries at Ely 
and Peterborough. The Early Pointed circular nave 
of the Temple Church possesses a noble triforium ; 
and even in the little round church of St. Sepulchre's, 
Cambridge, of pure Norman or Romanesque, there is 
a pronounced triforium. In the days of complete 
Pointed the triforia of Westminster illustrate the age 
which produced such a masterpiece of combined grace 
and dignity. Galleries as large exist in many early 
French churches, such as Notre Dame at Paris, the 
Cathedral of Laon, and Notre Dame at Chalons- sur- 
Marne ; while in the two latter cases it is accompanied 
with the secondary arcaded triforium above — a feature 
which, though found in various French examples, can 
hardly approve itself to a critical taste. Yet even in 
First Pointed the arcaded, as contrasted with the 
galleried, triforium was very common — witness the 
nave of Lausanne, and the choir of St. Saviour's, 
South wark. As Middle Pointed rose and matured, 
the gallery gave place to the arcade ; and so far 
architecture, considered in its ti3sthetic rather than its 


practical aspect, suffered a barm. To be sure, at Ely, 
in the later days of the flowing style, the galleried tri- 
forium reappears in full dimensions ; but there it was 
physically wanted, in order to make a junction with 
a Romanesque western and a First Pointed eastern 
portion. With all the grandeur of Cologne Cathedral, 
the weakness of its triforiura (a mere gangway) is an 
element of inferiority compared with the noble rival 
church of Amiens, while all the splendours of Milan 
cannot atone for the total want of a triforium. In 
fact, in Third Pointed everj^where, as I have already 
said, triforia altogether became extremely rare, if not 
unknown, except in Spain,* although the gallery in 
the form of a groined excrescence canopying the aisles 
and springing from the pillars at mid-height, with its 
basement of pointed arches, is found in that most re- 
markable, and in its way striking revival, the Jesuits' 
Church at Cologne, built, in very fair Flamboj^ant, 
with fine cruciform proportions, in the middle of the 
seventeenth century. 

After this recapitulation I may be asked to explain 
the object for which these triforial galleries were 
really meant. In reply, I must frankly own that I 
am puzzled how I am fully to answer the demand. 
The evidence which Dr. Whewell cites of the present 
name and use of such galleries in Germany, coupled 
with their self-evident adaptaljility to such a purpose, 
may be assumed to show that they were sometimes 

* At S. Scvcrin, Paris, a very bcautirul Flaiuboyaiit triforium takes up 
;i Middle Pointed oue of the same dimciisiuns. 


used as wfi use galleries in churches. Again, however, 
many of them contain or contained altars ; therefore 
they were chapels. On the other hand, singers at great 
festivals were doubtless often placed in them, and they 
were applicable to let down hangings as well as for 
gangways. Often, also, I have little doubt, they were 
no more than the embodiment of that superb disregard 
of space which characterises so many other features of 
mediaeval churchbuilding. Am- how, there they are ; 
and the theorist may be excused for asking whether, 
with such precedents before him, the use of triforial 
galleries ought to be absolutely banned in our new 
cathedrals and churches. To this question I should 
answer on the one side, that, despite precedent, and 
considering we have no Oriental notions of secluding 
women, or disciplinary ideas of segregating the young 
men or young women, it is a matter of plain 
common sense and religious decency, that, if there is 
room for a ground-floor to hold the entire congre- 
gation, then that ground-floor had better be provided. 
But on the other side, I must add that, if a gallery 
were in any case admissible, it must be a construc- 
tional one, and not one of those wretched scaffoldings 
on cast-iron pillars or brackets with which so many of 
our churches are disfigured. In a word, if a church 
is to be built for galleries, then the ordinary Englisli 
parochial type of church-building must be abandoned 
for a cathedral one, in which, as of old, the galleried 
triforium plays a conspicuous part, and which is the 
reverse of uncommon in the toAvn churches of conti- 
nental cities. The chapel in the White Tower, though 


SO small, is surrounded ^Yitll a large gallerj-.triforium, 
the pew in fact of our old kings, and entered from 
their private apartments. If ever an architect of 
courage and originality should produce a design for a 
town church in a crowded locality — be it parochial, 
collegiate, or cathedral — in which the difficulties of 
accommodation are honestly recognised and boldly 
grappled with, not by botches and makeshifts, by 
scaffoldings and private boxes, but by a genuine con- 
structional treatment — such a treatment, for example, 
as the nave of St. Sepulchre, Cambridge, presents, 
where a very small rotunda is so handled as to be, 
in spite of site and plan and of its early date, a truly 
minster-like conception ■ — then most assuredl}' this 
architect would deserve the most respectful consider- 
ation, and would have the right to claim the most 
conscientious criticism for his invention. With all 
the architectural talent fermenting around us, is it 
asking too much to throw out a challenge for such an 
attempt ? With one more hint I leave the topic, 
which is by many years far from new to my mind, 
though I have never before given public expression 
to it, — that a triforial nave demands a many-stepped 

But, in fact, the triforium for internal effect need 
not absolutely be a gallery; it only needs to be an 
arcading. The aisle-roofs must abut against some 
space of blank wall ; and in a large church this space 
of wall must possess a certain definite and appreciable 
altitude, if measured from the apex of the arches to 
the base of the clerestory lights. The commonplace 

Chap. VL THE TRlFOPxTUM. 221 

way of treating it is that of simply fiddling it away 
either by running a horizontal stringcourse at the 
middle distance, like a line ruled by a writing-master, 
which utterly obliterates the idea of space either 
above or below^, or b}^ the one degree better plan of 
lifting this stringcourse so as to form a base to the 
windows. The inventive architect ought, I contend, 
to utilise this horizontal expance by applying it to- 
wards the general effect of height, which it ought to 
be his object to produce. It is in his power to deal 
with it as a triforium, or as a middle story tanta- 
mount to a triforium. Towards this result that ex- 
pance may be arcaded, and if the arcading-shafts are 
of coloured material so much the better ; while the 
back spaces of the arcading may be diapered in relief, 
tinted, or stencilled, or inlaid with coloured material, 
such as marbles, tiles, or glass mosaics in patterns, or 
else it may be hung with tapestry ; or otherwise, the 
arcading may be so disposed as to form a series of 
panels for pictures. In some way or other even a 
shallow arcading may, by the introduction of light 
and shade, or of positive colour, be so treated as to 
create the feeling of profundity. Such a triforium 
will not be the gallery of the old minster, but it will 
be an architectural and a constructional reality ; and 
the whole effect of the church will inevitably be much 
better than if that middle vertical member had been 
omitted. In using the word arcading I do not, of course, 
confine myself to a series of arcuated openings. It may, 
with excellent effect, assume the form of rectangular 
panels for paintings running along the triforial line. 


• The most cousidcrable exliibitiou of trilbrial arcad- 
ing, in modern times, to which I can call attention — 
that of the cathcdral-likc church of Ste. Clotilde at 
Paris— fails in effect, owing to its shallowness. But 
the space which a clever manipulation of height has 
secured for this feature indicates how effective it 
might have been in better hands. Per contra, a small 
church, lately built at Boulogne (I fear by an Englisli 
architect), with a sham triforium over a series of side- 
board chapels, and under a feeble clerestory and still 
feebler imitative groining, exists as a warning against 
playing with forms which have a minimum as well as 
a maximum of solidity and size to render them toler- 
al3le. The combination of triforium and clerestory 
which is found in Carpenter's proposed cathedral for 
Colombo and in Mr. Burges' cathedral for Brisbane 
puts out of the question the desired triple arrange- 
ment ; but both of these designs exhibit a masterly 
dealing with features of which the present generation 
lias been very chary, while willing enough to waste 
money on details which are quite as expensive and 
certainly not a whit more practical. I have had to 
blame the restoration of Spires Cathedral for the cold 
unreality of its ritual arrangements ; while in an 
architectural point of view I have grave faults to 
find. But in one respect, at all events, cleverness 
and refined taste are manifested in the artistic 
manipulation of this vast church. The successive 
bays of the nave exhibited, viewed vertically, a series 
of coupled arch bays in cacli vaulting bay, respec- 
tively comprising a low and narrow round-headed 


arch, a large blank space, and then a clerestory 
window, all set back between a series of recurring 
pilaster-slips. It is right to notice that in the head 
of each vaulting bay, that is over each couple of arch 
bays, there is also a small single-light upper clerestory 
window, which has not much importance in the 
internal composition. Well, then, in the arch bays 
the successive blank spaces between the arches and the 
lower clerestory — composing as they did a hypothetical 
middle story — have been laid hold of by Schraudolph 
and treated as rectangular panels for the admirable 
series of paintings with which he has decorated that 
nave. Thus architecturally viewed, the cathedral 
retains the vertical distribution of its bays ; but pic- 
torially, the range of medial paintings more than sup. 
plies the place of a constructive triforium. 

I take the clerestory for granted as an indispens- 
able feature of the cathedral, while I specially urge 
upon the architect not to spare all pains in giving to 
it its due importance. Mr. Butterfield's clever church 
at Stoke Newington is a proof of the artistic value of 
a tall clerestory, however thin the wall may be in 
which it is set ; and the section of Brisbane exemplifies 
the play which an ingenious architect may make with 
a clerestory, if deeply recessed in its wall. It was, 
indeed, in the exhibition of the clerestory in its due 
dimensions that Third Pointed sought compensation for 
the omission of the triforium. Perfect Gothic, I need 
hardly say, ought to render full justice to bot^n the 
features, and both of them may be dealt with within 
a reasonable compass, if the main arcade is not unduly 


elevated. It oiiglit as little to ])e unduly depressed in 
order to bring them forcibly in. The nave of Tournay 
is a warning against that mistake, for, in spite of its 
double triforium, it looks absolutely squat, owing to the 
lowness of the arcade. 

The internal roof of the cathedral is a topic which 
will require a more careful consideration. I do not for 
one instant hesitate to say that the principal roofs must 
all be groined or coved in stone or brick or wood. 
Stone is of course generalh' the best, though Mr. Le 
Strange has taught us to what good use wood maj^ be 
put in the magnificent legend which he is inscribing 
upon the now coved roof of Ely nave in lieu of that 
quaint succession of rafters with which it was formerly 
spanned. The open-timbered roofs of England un- 
doubtedly possess a picturesqueness of their own. In 
college and domestic halls they are very appropriate, 
and therefore beautiful ; and I may go so far as to say 
that I do not doubt that they may have at times helped 
to preserve that free variety in the village churches of 
our land which the universal prevalence of groining 
abroad may have tended to cramp*. Yet they are, 
emphatically, church and not cathedral features. I 
do not pretend to enter deeply into the philosophic 
reasons of this fact, which depends upon the laws of 
perspective foreshortening for its explanation. It is 
sufficient for me to claim assent to the dictum that 
roofs, of which the transverse internal section shows 
an arch either curvilinear (which is the case with 
groining or barrel vaulting) or many-sided (whicli 
is the case with a polygonal coving, like that to 

Chap. VI. EOOFING. 225 

which I have referred at Ely), correspond better with 
the w\nll-treatment, and more completely combine to 
create that feeling of the infinite which it is the 
function of a Gothic church to produce, than roofs 
whose internal section is that of a single angle, which 
must be the case with all open-timbered roofs, how- 
ever much the eye is deceived and flattered by the 
play of carved work about the trusses. Indeed, 
strange to say, a perfectly flat ceiling, if properly 
decorated, like the one which has long existed at 
Peterborough, and that which Mr. Burges and Mr. 
Pointer have cleverly rearranged at Waltham, wears 
more of the cathedral aspect than the most elaborate 
open roof which Norfolk or Somersetshire could pro- 

Stone, as I have said, is the most perfect material 
for groining, if for no other reason, at least for its 
comparative incombustibility. Its chief drawbacks 
are its price and its weight, that weight necessitating, 
as it must do, the external addition of flying buttresses 
to counteract the thrust. Flying buttresses, in their 
ornatest form, with their accompaniment of pinnacles, 
carved, crocketed, and all alive with multitudinous 
imagery, are, as the great cathedrals of the world 
testify, a most fertile field for artistic invention and a 
sovereign decoration where they are well conceived. 
But assuredly in those cathedrals they have swallowed 
up a king's ransom. But the lighter kinds of stone, 
such as clunch and chalk (which is employed in the 
chancel of All Saints', Margaret Street), may be em- 
ployed in groining without requiring an excessive 


coiTntertlirust. The drawback of tliese stones is, I 
need hardly point out, that under fire they calcine. 

The risk of conflagration apart, there is, however, 
no reason against the still lighter and still cheaper 
expedient of wooden groining, in spite of the warning 
which York Minster has twice given in our own gene- 
ration. There, as it is well known, the whole space of 
the nave and choir Avas spanned with groins of wood ; 
and accordingly, first in 1829 a wilful conflagration 
destroyed that of the choir, and a few years later a 
fire caused by carelessness swept off that of the nave. 
However, the wooden groining of the choir of Selby 
Abbey, a beautiful work of the fourteenth centur)', is 
still intact, and has been copied, together with the 
remainder of this choir, in that strange amalgamation 
the Roman Catholic cathedral of Salford.* The 
presbytery of "Winchester Cathedral is likewise 
groined in Avood. I should also quote the wooden 
groining which crowns the eastern limb of St. Alban's 
Abbey. In that instance the groining is the vehicle 
for pictorial art ; but where there are reasons of 
economy to suspend decoration, the natural wood, 
with its own grain showing through a light staining, 
will always have a real and pleasing effect. The 
bosses, like tLose of old York, Avould be an endless 
opportunity for the carver's fancy. I only mention 

* This building, wliicli is of considerable dimensions, is compounded 
of the nave of Howdeu Collegiate Church, the steeple of Newark placed 
eeiitrically, and the choir of Selby. The transepts, which I believe are 
original, are lower than the main structure, and tlms militate against the 
cathedral character of the church. 

Chap. VI. 1500FTNG. 227 

to reprobate the now happily discarded trick of 
sham plaster groinings dabbed over trumpery laths. 
It may not be generally known that W3'att substi- 
tuted fac-simile plaster for stone groining in Lichfield 

There is an objection to groining of a mechanical 
nature which must be noticed, namely, that, however 
it maj' tend to produce the moral effect of height, 
yet as a fact it diminishes most considerably the 
absolute height, as any man may learn for him- 
self who visits that huge apartment w^hich exists 
over the groining in every cathedral where the old 
pitch of the roofs has been preserved. Churches 
like the cathedrals of Cologne and Amiens present an 
enormous internal altitude in spite of this drawback. 
But there are other groined cathedrals — Lichfield, for 
example — where the deficiency of height is positively 
painful, in spite of the great architectural beauty of 
the structure. But in all cases where the architect 
judges that he had better forego groining rather than 
cramp himself within a dimension of height which he 
feels to be physically insufficient, his resource is 
obvious. He has but to crown his church with a 
coved or a polygonal roof of stone and wood. By so 
doing he gains the advantage of the entire vertical 
height of the walls.* 

* I jnaj' here notice (not for the pi;ri»se of imitation except under 
similar circumstances) that the nature of the quaggj^ foundation in Holland, 
particularly at Amsterdam, where every building stnnds on piles, led the 
churchbuildcrs of the fifteenth century to adopt a peculiar form of roofing 
in the large churches, which is, imder the circimistances, very practical, and 

Q 2 


There is an expedient, of which the possibility has 
occurred to me, but which I approach with some 
diffidence, as I promised at the outset not to stray into 
the labjTinth of future metallic Gothic. Still I may 
be pardoned for the passing remark that it has often 
struck me that there might be one very feasible and 
very legitimate api)lication of iron to church construc- 
tion, namely, as the material of vaulting ribs. If it 
were so applied, the filling could be of the thinnest 
and yet the most richly ornamental porcelain or terra- 
cotta, while the weight of the vault itself would be 
so essentially diminished that it could be erected of 
even a very wide span without requii-ing, or only re- 
quiring to a moderate degree, the support of flying 
buttresses. The fillings, I need hardly indicate, would 
receive their decoration either of enamelling or of 
impressed work in the manufacturer's workshop. In 
such a groining the bosses would be only ornamental, 
not constructive, and, if adopted at all, ought to be 
fictile, not metallic. 

It is somewhat remarkable that stone groining, 
which our architects have so seldom the courage to 
grapple with, now that the century is more than three- 
fifths run out, should have characterized a London 
church erected during the first faint struggles of re- 

thercfore praiseworthy. It is a species of wooden roofin;j;, partly coving, 
partly groining, bat profusely braced togetlier with tie beams. St. Nicholas 
(commonly called the "old church") at Amsterdam, a large low pile built 
on a cathedral plan, is a remarkable specimen of this metliod, and looks 
almost as if it had been rooft'd by a shipbuilder, wliich may verj- pro- 
bably have been the case. Mr. Slater's roof at 8t. Kitts is a parallel 
instance of meeting a parallel need. 

Chap. VI. ROOFING. 229 

vived Gothic in George lY.'s reign. In St. Luke's, 
Chelsea, the experiment was Ijoldly made by Mr. 
Savage, and his name ought to be had in honour by 
those who have endeavoured so many years later to 
take up the thread where he left it. In fact, in that 
early school of Gothic of which this church, and Dr. 
Eouth's at Theale, and those which Sir Charles Barry 
built in London and Brighton are examples, there was, 
with all their faults, a sort of grandeur which has often 
been forgotten in the more correct works of later 
days. The fault of those architects was, thjlt they 
took cathedral features and applied them to parish 
churches, but this mistake was on the better side. 
Our risk is the less noble fault of importing parochial 
elements into cathedrals. 

These observations are of course exclusively appli- 
cable to the roofing of the main branches of the cross 
— nave, choir, and transepts. The treatment of the 
aisle roofs leads us back again to the question of the 
triforium. The aisles which are groined either with 
wood or stone require a horizontal wall space in the 
nave, between the arcade and the clerestory, for the 
roofing to mortice into, and this space, as I have 
argued, had much better be ruled out into a triforium, 
or quasi-triforium, than be wasted into nothingness. 
There is indeed a treatment of the aisles which has 
latterly come into considerable vogue in English 
churchbuilding, and which may often help out the 
difficulty where the nave is vaulted. I mean the 
disposition of each bay as a separate gable, roofed at 
right angles to the main roof of the church. Some 


lew examples of this treatment occur in England, as 
at Pottcrne in Wilts, and St.'^Giles's, Oxford, not to 
mention the row of chapels at St. Mary, Scarborough 
(a former Cistercian church), ranging beyond the south 
aisle, but it is mainly and emphatically a German 
feature. If, however, it is good in itself, it is none 
the worse for having crossed the water. Mr. Scott 
is particularly fond of this method, having adopted 
it with considerable success in his church at Dundee, 
and not quite so felicitously in the large church 
of St. Mary, Stoke Newington, and the smaller 
one of St. Andrew, Vauxhall Road. These gabled 
aisles, in their legitimate and original intent, implied 
stone-ribbed and coved roofs. Ritually, too, they 
presupposed, more or less, that the successive bays 
should Ije used as chapels, with partitions, either 
constructive or decorative, between them, against 
which the altars might stand. This, at Scarborough, 
where each chapel is divided from the others by walls, 
is roofed with a ribbed coving of stone. To gabled 
aisles with stone vaults in England, if the money 
could be forthcoming for them, I would have no 
architectural objection. Neither do I object to them 
if they arc distinctly roofed with separate wood coves, 
which might abut on horizontal lintel beams at right 
angles to the axis of the Church. But I perceive a 
tendency growing up among the architects who use 
them to look upon them simply as pretty external 
ornaments, and to frame their aisle-roof in the ordi- 
nary slo])ing way, merel}' turning it up with a peak 
at the ga)>le. Against this aliuse I most vehementl}' 


protest ; and I do so not less strongly against a nsc 
wliich I have observed has, in more than one place, 
been made of gabled aisles, that of carrying off ex- 
ternally the design of a church where mere metal 
pillars and scaffolds replace a more legitimate internal 
design. I wish that our church architects would be in- 
duced to make a compact only to emplo}^ these gabled 
aisles when the body of the church was groined or 
coved. If they did so, we might hope to see minster- 
like designs carried out in our churches, developed 
in forms combining originality of treatment with a 
truthful use of precedent. 

There are three places of worship, erected within 
the few last years in London, which illustrate, very 
remarkably, what I have been saying respecting the 
desirability of a triforium range, and about the pre- 
ferable system of internal roofing. The Roman Ca- 
tholic Cathedral in St. George's Fields was designed 
by Pugin about twenty years ago, and therefore de- 
serves very tender handling. He had to spread a small 
sum of money over a very large area, and the building 
which he produced was in the first instance only reck- 
oned as a parish church : consequently to test it by the 
criterion of the present day and of its actual dignity 
would be unfair. It has decided merits, the most con 
spicuous having been the high expanse of the western 
tower opening into the church, which was no sooner 
finished than it was obliterated by the erection of a 
lumbering organ-loft. But jet the general effect is 
depressing, from the heavy effect of the three parallel 
open timber roofs resting upon the aisles without the 


interposition of triforium or clerestory. The choir, 
moreover, is much too short in proportion to tlie nave, 
besides beino; of an inferior height, and the chapels 
which terminate the aisles contribute by their insig- 
nificance still further to damage the general appearance. 
The model which Pugin followed, the nave of the late 
Middle Pointed church of the Austin Friars, wdiich is 
still standing in a quiet by-nook of the City, having 
been given by Edward VI. to the Dutch, and having 
escaped the fire of 16 06, has the same plan, three 
parallel naves without triforium or clerestory ; but 
there the roofs are coved. Thus, although the old 
church is inferior to its new rival in many details, 
such as window tracery, which is all of one pattern 
at Austin Friars, while in St. George's Pugin has 
taxed his invention to vary it, the general effect is 
much superior, even if we allow for the loss of its 
choir and its general neglected condition. Indeed, 
though raised upon a much smaller area, and at an 
(!ven cheaper rate in proportion, Pugin's still earlier 
cathedral at Birmingham, from its considerable height 
and its cruciform plan, surpasses St. George's in 
general effect. There the aisles, instead of having 
their separate gables, are spanned by the same slant 
roof as the nave — a bold expedient, but one which is 
in this instance successful in giving a general unity 
to the whole interior, which is perhaps the next best 
thing to that bold marking off of the central nave 
space which the triple vertical division effects. 

A greater contrast to St. George's cannot well be 
imagined tluin that which is afibrded by the large 


place of worship which has been reared during the 
last decade by Mr. Raphael Brandon, in Gordon 
Square, for the use of the Irvingites. In size and 
design this building is a mediseval cathedral, though 
the peculiarities of the body for whose benefit it has 
been built prevented me from recapitulating it in my 
enumeration of modern cathedrals, just as I abstained 
from referring to the modern cathedrals which the 
Eoman Catholics have erected in the British Isles. 
It is a cruciform structure, with a square east end^ 
the nave being, however, but half built — with aisles to 
the nave and to the west portion of the choir, and a 
chapel to the east, disposed for the peculiar rites of 
the body which use it, but bearing a remarkable re- 
semblance to the Lady Chapel of a Roman Catholic 
church. The style is that intensely English version 
of First Pointed which I cannot think applicable to 
modern times, but which Mr. Brandon has mastered 
and exhibited with remarkable research and fidelity. 
The vertical elevation comprises the three stories of 
arcade, triforium, and clerestory, and the entire 
building would have been a very complete illusion, 
except for one unlucky blot. The choir possesses a 
bold stone groin ; but the nave has nothing better to 
show than an open roof, carefully copied from Third 
Pointed examples, and garnished with angels at the 
hammer beams, but still insufficient for, and diverse 
from, the character of the building. If the means 
had been wanting for a stone groining, or if the walls 
were not sufficient to bear its thrust, at least the re- 
sources of wood-groining, or of a wooden cove, ought 


to have been adopted, rather than that resort should 
have been had to an expedient so little in harmony 
with the remaining structure. 

The third church which helps to point the moral of 
this discussion is one with the building of which I 
have had an intimate personal concern, and about 
which I accordingly venture to speak rather openly 
and at length. The architectural responsibility of 
All Saints, Margaret-street, rested in my hands ; and, 
in concert with my accomplished friend Mr. Butter- 
lield, it was my object to work out a higher and more 
minster-like type of parish church than previously 
existed in modern English architecture. But the 
difficulties in the way were many : of these I need 
only particularise two. The design was made, and the 
contracts entered into, in 1849, that is to say, nearly 
twelve years ago ; and the area upon which we had 
to build was a square plot which unfortunately mea- 
sured only 102 feet from east to west, b}^ 99 feet from 
north to south, on which not only the church, but two 
houses and a courtyard, had to be put. Nevertheless 
the experiment is one to which it is allowable to look 
back with feelings in which satisfaction greatly pre- 
dominates. It was the first decided experiment in 
London of building in polychromatic material ; and 
the numerous brood of imitations which has followed 
its path attests the vitality of the attempt. If the 
interior is analysed, the conflict of parochial and 
minster-like forms will at once be perceived. The 
unlucky reduction of the nave to three bays is a 
misfortune, not a fault. The pillars and arches are 


those of a catlieclral, and the clerestory above 
(whether or not exception may be taken to any of its 
details) is of a very vigorous character; but the 
practised eye of 1861 cannot fail to regret that this 
clerestory should stand sheer upon the arcade, as a 
triforial story would have doubled the architectural 
value of all the other members. Then the roof above 
has been most carefully studied by Mr, Butterfield, 
and yet it remains after all an open-work roof of wood, 
with plaster between the rafters, and somewhat bulky 
principals — that is, it remains a roof which is out of 
keeping with the rich and massive work below. The 
great altitude of the arcade has also led to another 
complication in the treatment of the framing of the 
aisle-roofs. This is always a weak point in an English 
church ; and I fear that All Saints hardly throws out 
any particular new lights upon the subject. But in 
the chancel — suffering as that does from the inevitable 
lack of length — the groining, and the triple vertical 
distribution of the sanctuary and eastern walls, are, I 
trust, a compensation for defects for which space and 
date are much to blame. 

After the critic has digested these new buildings I 
should recommend him to take a glance at the choir 
of the Temple Church, where he may learn a lesson 
of the power of groining to give value to a building 
which is in itself neither very long nor high. The 
peculiar system of this exquisite First Pointed choir — 
that of an aisled building, in which the groins spring 
at once from the pillars, without arches, triforium, or 
clerestory, and where accordinglv the aisles are abso- 


lately or approximately of the same altitude as the nave 
— has hardly met with due appreciation in England, 
although Mr. Scott has imitated this ancient example 
in a church at Leeds. But certainly in the former, 
and, I believe, in the latter case, the plan upon which 
the church is carried out is simple in the extreme. 
The old choir of St. Augustine's Abbey, Bristol, built 
in late, rich Middle Pointed, which has for three cen- 
turies been the cathedral of that city, is also erected 
with aisles equal to the nave in height, and groined 
from the pillars. The details, I need hardly say, are 
elaborate, and the aisles present the eccentric, though 
not ungraceful, peculiarity of a series of what must be 
termed stone tie-beams resting on transverse arches, 
and connecting the pillars with the side walls. The 
Lady Chapel and its adjuncts at Salisbury Cathedml, 
of the purest First Pointed, are indeed another 
example ; but their connexion with the great adjacent 
church has very naturally prevented this most in- 
teresting range of groinings from taking an inde- 
pendent place. But abroad, churches of a far more 
complex plan, and of different styles, have been per- 
fected on this principle, such as Ste. Croix, at Liege, 
which was added on to an Early Romanesque west apse, 
in the epoch when Middle Pointed was merging into 
Flamboyant, and shows gabled chapels external to the 
aisles, transepts, and an apsidal choir. St. Stephen's 
at Mentz, which has lately been restored in excellent 
taste, after the fearful ravages of the dreadful explo- 
sion of a few years ago, is a singularly graceful J\Iiddle 
Pointed church of this type, with transepts and apsidal 


choir. S. Maurice, at Lille, a Flamboyant construc- 
tion, has double aisles, transepts, and a procession 
path round the apse, all groined from the pillars. I 
have been so unfortunate as not to have seen the 
great church at Louvain, but I believe that it is a still 
grander example of this form of church than any 
which I have cited; while many additional instances 
are found throughout Germany. I am seriously of 
opinion, that whenever the complete distribution of 
parts is impossible in our new cathedrals, it would be 
the wiser course for their architects to make short 
work of what they can or cannot accomplish by deve- 
loping with spirit the one-storied idea. If the groins 
are bold, and if the pillars are tall, the effect ma}^ be 
far more cathedral-like than that of churches in w^hich 
an ill-arranged arcade cuts off the aisles from the 
main body. " Numero Deus impare gaudet " has some 
truth about it as an artistic canon, and so the one- 
storied or the three-storied churches seem to have a 
superiority over those of two or of four stories, height 
in either case being equal. Of course, in such a 
church the design of the aisle windows is of immense 
importance, and the apsidal east end ought to be de 
7ngueur. Churches indeed like Austin Friars and 
Pugin's Birmingham Cathedral may be regarded as 
undeveloped specimens of the genus ; and the Cathe- 
dral of Milan has perhaps more affinities to a church 
of this kind, with the accidental addition of low 
clerestories to the nave and primary aisles, than to a 
cathedral of the usual type, with the omission of its 


In this method of buihliiig, of course breadth is 
primarily important — not the breadth of one part or 
the other, but of the whole ; and so the aisles play a 
different and more important part in the general 
conception to that which they fill according to the 
normal pattern. Large wide churches of later Gothic 
with thin pillars, such as St. Michael's, Coventry, and 
Holy Trinity, Hull, are constantly verging on the 
realization of an effect of which the predominating 
element is the subordination of both nave and aisles 
to the idea of a considerable and undivided breadth, 
in conjunction with the retention of the ancient lines 
of subdivision ; but this idea only finds its legitimate 
and artistic accomplishment in the groined one-storied 
churches. T suppose it was some vague notion of the 
contingent advantages of this effect which put the 
Jesuits at Preston, a few years since, on the unfortu- 
nate tack of rearing a huge Gothic church on the plan 
of an exaggerated College Hall, and spanned by a 
pretentious imitation of the roof of AYestmiuster Hall. 
It is at least certain that, if any architect desires, either 
for the sake of effect or in order to accommodate a 
larger congregation, to build a cathedral for English 
use with double aisles — a notion which I should be 
very sorry to be taken as encouraging — then the only 
possible plan by which he could hope to compass his 
end would be that of the one-storied church. Wooden 
groining would of course facilitate the erection of such 
a structure on a very grand scale, at a comparatively 
reasonable cost, while the entire building would be an 
honest adaptation of materials recoguisedly in use to 

Chap. YI. STEEPLES. 239 

purposes in which their real nature was not disguised, 
and would thus stand in striking contrast to that new 
church of S. Eugene at Paris, which may be regarded 
as the type of architectural taste in ecclesiastical matters 
as understood by the actual regime. For the benefit of 
those who have not heard of it, I must explain that this 
buildino- is a framework of iron, not allowed to stand 
out in its own identity for good or bad as a truthful 
experiment of building in that material, but painted 
and plastered over, and so converted into the mockery 
of a groined one-storied church of stone. 

The roof brings us naturally to the exterior, where 
we shall have to consider in particular the steeple, 
and, in connection with it, the facade and the porch. 
Whatever may have been the rule abroad, we may 
safely lay it down that, with hardly an exception, the 
presence in England of more than one steeple (be that 
steeple a tower simple or a tower capped with some 
form of spire) is a sign of a church of more than paro- 
chial rank — i.e. that it once was cathedral, monastic, 
or collegiate. The reverse proposition is, of course, 
conspicuously not true, many of our largest churches 
having only had one steeple. The highest form of 
English grandeur is that of the three steeples, capped 
with stone spires, at Lichfield, now a unique specimen, 
for the sister cathedral at Coventry, with a similar 
crowning, has perished these three hundred years, 
while the wooden spires covered with lead, which used 
to stand upon the three towers of Lincoln, South- 
well, and Ripon Minsters, have gradually been re- 
moved. Indeed the number of churches in actual 


use for worship with three towers still standing is very 
limited. Besides those which I have cited, there are 
only the minsters of Durham, York, Beverley, Peter- 
borough, Wells, Westminster (modern, by Wren, 
and the central tower a mere stump), and Canter- 
bury, where the north-west tower, the sole remnant 
of Lanfranc's church, was most miserably demolished 
in 1832, to make way for a tamer copy of the tame 
Perpendicular south-west tower, at a cost, I fear, of 
25,000/. However, there are indications that pre- 
viously to Perpendicular days Winchester Cathedral 
and St. Alban's Abbey belonged to this category, 
which, as we have seen above, will hereafter contain, 
strange to say, the new cathedral of Sydney. Chichester 
too, when I first penned this paragraph, occupied a 
distinguished place in the list with its two western 
spires and its noble central spire, the third in height 
in England, the first perhaps in beauty. We all know 
its catastrophe, from no oversight or mistake of those 
who had the charge of it, for all that skill and care 
could do to save it was expended by Mr. Slater and 
by those whom he called into counsel. Let us hope 
that before many years are over, this steeple will rise 
again from its ruins as lofty and as graceful as ever. 
Our mediaival architecture had however nothing to 
show like the nine spires of Cluny, or the seven which 
M.YioUet le Due proves were intended to cap Rhcims, 
or the other seven which once so nobly crowned Laou, 
and of which the grand rough fragments still dominate 
from their steep walled hill over Champagne and Isle 
of France. I say nothing of the five steeples of 

CiiAi-. VT. STEEPLES. 241 

Tournaj^, for they bear a very unfortunate resemblance 
to an exaggerated cruet-stand from being lumped so 
close together. The double steeple, one centrical and 
the other at the west end, is of still rarer occurrence 
in England. I can only cite three examples since the 
fall of the west tower of Hereford at the close of the 
last century — Ely, where the central steeple has the 
form of an octagon ; Wimborne Minster, in which 
this peculiarity saves one of our smallest collegiate 
churches from having externally the appearance of a 
mere parish-church, the western tower being of Third 
Pointed and long subsequent to the remaining build- 
ing ; and the odd fragment which still exists of Wy- 
mondham Abbey, Norfolk, where the more modern 
(once central) tower was the result of a whimsical 
cjuarrel between the monks who owned the choir and 
the parishioners, to whom the nave belonged. Exeter 
Cathedral has two towers of Romanesque date (the 
cathedral itself being late Middle Pointed), which serve 
as transepts. There were once two western towers, 
with no central steeple — a common foreign usage — at 
the non- cruciform Llandaff Cathedral, and I trust that 
the deficient one will shortly be rebuilt as a portion 
of that memorable restoration. The half-demolished 
abbeys of St. Germans and Worksop, of which the 
naves alone survive and are in use, have respectively 
double west towers ; but how the central portion was 
treated in them I know not. 

At this time of day there is hardly any occasion for 
me to advert to that which has now passed into an 
axiom, that in the two earlier styles of Gothic all 



towers (speaking generally) were eitlier capped, or 
were intended to be capped, by some sort of conical 
topping, varying from the lowest pyramid to a spire 
like that of Salisbury or Chichester. With the third 
style came in the fashion of towers whose sky-line was 
formed by parapets and pinnacles. In the Gothic of 
the future I should be -sorry to see either system ex- 
clusively used, though, of course, the pyramid of some 
sort is the nobler termination. In England the only 
form of spire which was recognised was the solid one, 
and so we have to go to the Continent for examples 
of two principles of open-work spire, which, though 
often confounded, are really quite distinct. The first 
is the simple open spire built on the same plan as the 
solid one, but with its sides composed of pierced work. 
This is peculiarly a Grerman notion, and the grandest 
specimen extant is the Middle Pointed spire of the 
Cathedral of Freiburg im Breisgau (now in the Grand 
Duchy of Baden) ; but whenever Cologne Cathedral 
is completed it is destined to have two such spires of 
even greater altitude on its two western towers, while 
the original design comprised a similar though less 
lofty central spire, now commuted, for reasons of 
prudence, into a fleche. The other principle is that of 
the diininisliing tower of open work, compounded of 
a series of stages, each successively less than the one 
beneath, till they leave off in a small pinnacle at the 
top. The famous steeples of Strasburg, in late Middle 
Pointed, and of Antwerp, in Flamboyant, are the 
typal specimens of this method. Neither of these 
forms of open spire are known in England, and I do 

('HAP. VI. STEEPT.ES. 243 

not vehemently desire to see their introduction. The 
open spire, with all its cleverness, has an unsnlj- 
stantial, confused look ; and in the case of Freiburg 
Cathedral the steeple certainly does not show height 
in proportion to its real elevation. The diminishing 
tower again is too artificial a conception to be easily 
defensible. The solid spire, on the other hand, com- 
bines the truth and the beauty of architecture ; and 
it may be infinitely varied by the various treatment 
of its bandings and its spire-lights, in examples of 
which the Edwardian age of English architecture is 
infinitely rich. Again, the resources derivable from 
materials of diversified colour are eminently at the 
service of the spire-builder. If means or solid founda- 
tions are not forthcoming for the spire of stone or brick, 
then the wooden one, covered with lead and slate, is 
always available. The attempt has been made at All 
Saints' Church, Margaret-street, to prove that dignity 
and bulk are not strangers to those materials ; and 
all who have visited Lubeck come back loud in their 
admiration of the wooden steeples of that city. One 
risk to be sure is to be borne in mind, that of fire ; 
and the fate of the spire of Old St. Paul's, London 
(taller than Salisbury steeple, but composed of 
combustible materials), is not to be forgotten— an 
accidental fire destroyed it in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. On the other hand, the due and moderate 
use of the gabled tower of the German style as the 
starting-point of the spire has been and may be 
adopted with much advantage to our popular style ; 
so too may the saddle-back— a form for which the 

R 2 


ancient churches of England give many precedents, 
and of which Mr. Burges makes use in Brisbane 
Cathedral. But it must never be forgotten that there 
is a form of spire peculiar to the northern part of 
our island, although adumbrated at Notre Dame de 
I'Epine, of which our modern architects have been 
somewhat remiss in availing themselves — I mean the 
Crown Imperial, or collection of ribs springing from 
the four angles, or from the four angles and four 
central points of a square tower, arching over like the 
crown from which the name is derived, and meeting 
in a point from which a spire or spirelet springs. The 
earliest, the least southern, and the finest existing 
specimen of this extant is the steeple of St. Nicholas' 
Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne, built in the early days 
of Third Pointed, where the upper part assumes the 
proportions of a real spire. But Mr. Scott believes 
(although the notion has not passed unquestioned) 
that he has found indications of a Crown Imperial 
earlier and grander than that of Newcastle, which 
once capped or was once intended to cap the great 
central tower of Durham Cathedral. From North- 
umbria the fashion spread northward into Scotland. 
In the reign of Charles I. a CroAvn Imperial, of de- 
pressed outline, but by no means ineffective character, 
was raised upon the tower of St. Giles's, Edinburgh, 
which then became a cathedral. A similar capping 
had already been ])laced on the steeple of Linlithgow 
Church, now unha])i)ily destroyed, while King's College 
Chapel, Aberdeen, still retains the linisli. 

Wren, whose practical adoption of Gothic so often 

Chap. VF. TOWERS. 245 

belied the contemptuous terms with which he spoke 
of it, bestowed a crown imperial steeple, although on 
an inefifective scale, upon London at St. Dunstan's in 
the East. I took the liberty, some years since, of 
urging ill print that the sufiBciently feeble west 
towers of Sydney Cathedral might be surmounted 
by crowns imperial, with the salutary result of giving 
an original expression to the design, and I venture 
to adhere to the opinion. I trust it is not too pre- 
sumptuous to throw out a hint that, if the central piers 
of Westminster Abbey are too weak to bear a solid 
tower and spire, then a crown imperial might afford a 
grand central point to that honoured church. I should 
be sorry to see any tampering with the outline of 
"Wren's west towers. Their detail is necessarily cor- 
rupt, but their mass shows how successfully the great 
architect had realised the spirit of mediasval design. 
There is one point in St. James's Park from which the 
A^ictoria Tower appears as if it were the central 
tower of the Abbey, and I advise all lovers of archi- 
tecture to seek out this point. In Sir Charles Barry's 
earliest design for the Palace of Westminster the 
Victoria Tower itself was capped by a vast crown 
imperial, and I must own to a regret that the idea 
was not developed in preference to the adoption of the 
more commonplace angle-turrets. Towers of course 
are built to contain bells, and our cathedral must not 
be dumb. I need add no more upon this topic. 

The treatment of the western tower or towers 
involves that of the faQade, about whicli I shall be 
brief. No architect, T hope, would think of imitating 


that most indefensible of me(lia3val shams, the western 
mask, run up in order to give a semblance of unreal 
height to the front view. In North Europe, as at 
Salisbury and Strasburg, this mask has double walls, 
with a small chamber-space between them. In the 
Gothic churches of Italy, such as Como, Orvieto, 
and Siena, it is still more indefensibly a single wall or 
solid screen. The invention carries its own con- 
demnation with it. Any advantage which may be 
gained to the front view is more than lost as soon as 
the curious spectator begins, however little, to turn 
the corner. Besides, the screen may easih^ defeat its 
own object, as at Strasburg, where it is at once 
so high and so square (which, at least, the Italian 
examples are not), that the west end of that cathedral 
looks absolutely high-shouldered, to the detriment of 
the spire itself, which accordingly fails in effect com- 
pared with the later example at Antwerp. In the 
finest and richest west front with which I am ac- 
quainted — that of Eheims — there is no sham facade, 
but the gable rises honestly at its own height, as it 
does in the towers of Chartres, Amiens, Notre Dame, 
and York ; for an open horizontal gallery, there and 
elsewhere, tying together the towers — whether an im- 
provement or not on such a fac/ade as that of Wells — 
cannot be confounded with a device intended to give an 
unreal notion of the height of the building behind it. 

Foreign cathedrals shine in the vastness of their 
western i)ortals, which are frequently triple on the 
west front — })articularly where there are donble 
towers — with statues in the sottits and carvings in 

Chap. VI. THE FA9ADE. 247 

the tympana over the doors; while those that give 
access to the transepts are hardly inferior in magnifi- 
cence. With us the west door was not an object of 
so much solicitude, and the access to the church was 
often through a single portal. The grand Romanesque 
arch which spans the west end of Tewkesbury Abbey, 
and the triple First Pointed arcade veiling the Roman- 
esque nave of Peterborough, are both of them unique 
examples, except that an imitation of the latter idea 
exists on a small scale at Snettisham church, Nor- 
folk. The nave of Fredericton Cathedral is a copy of 
Snettisham, and this feature is not omitted. It is 
very well suited for a cold climate, and it has accord- 
ingly been repeated at Montreal. The transept en- 
trances were likewise of a more modest character. 
But on the side porch of the large churches — a pecu- 
liarly English feature — the utmost richness of carving 
was expended. Sherborne Minster possesses such a 
porch of Romanesque date. The First Pointed side- 
porches of Salisbury and Lincoln, the Middle Pointed 
one of St. Mary's, Redcliflfe, Bristol, and the Perpen- 
dicular one of Canterbury, are examples enough to 
illustrate my point ; while the Galilee porch of Ely, 
though placed at the west end, reproduces the same 
conception. Such porches abroad are Yerj rare, and 
the existence of the splendid Flamboyant one at 
Alby is attributable to the nature of the ground not 
permitting a west door. I am not sanguine enough 
to imagine that the architect of any English cathedral 
would ever have it in his power to imitate, even at a 
long interval, the portals of Rhcims or Chartres. His 


choice must lie between throwing his cliief force on a 
more modest chief western entrance and of reviving 
the English porch. On this head I have but one 
counsel to give : (^onsult common sense, and see on 
which side your church is most conspicuous and most 
accessible, and on that make your principal entrance. 
As to the roof, it would be intolerable to think of 
framing the roof of a new cathedral with any other 
pitch except a high one. But if taste and conveni- 
ence alike in our climate order the high pitch, natural 
prudence equally enjoins that the safety of the church 
shall not be put out to pawn with the carelessness of 
the artizaiis by the use of wooden framing when iron 
can be adopted. The roof of Chartres Cathedral was 
Ijurnt off about a quarter of a century since, and the 
church itself had a narrow escape. In consequence, 
the architect who superintended the repairs had the 
good sense to make his new roof of iron. M. Zwirner 
is doing the same at Cologne ; and I have, I own, 
very little sympathy with the antiquarianism which 
would venture to risk the stability of such buildings 
for the sake of seeing a revival of those vast compli- 
cations of timber-work which were undoubtedly very 
clever, but which were never intended to be seen, and 
for which we are able to substitute a material which 
is lighter, more flexible, more powerful, cheaper, and 
more indestructible. 




Tlie progress of architectural art in England — Constructive coloration a 
compensation for simplicity of plan in modern cathedrals — Climatic 
reasons for internal monuments — Use of the apsidal aisle for internal 
monuments — Grim metal statues in London — High tombs in cathe- 

The cathedral siicli as I have been contemplating 
might be constructed of the cheapest materials and 
with the simplest details, and yet might from its 
size and character be an imposing pile. But it is 
equally susceptible (if means and inclination are 
favorable) of the richest architecture and the most 
sumptuous decoration : and in that noble rivalry 
with the cathedrals of ancient days which I dare to 
claim for it, it can and it ought to avail itself of every 
aid which the science and the resources of our genera- 
tion have placed at its disposal. The philosoph}-^ of 
architectural ornamentation is continually being more 
deeply sifted, and a sound eclecticism is widening its 
area of choice. The application of coloured material — 
marble, brick, and so on — both to the main features 
and the decorative details of buildings, is every day 
coming into vogue with a fulness which never could 
have been compassed while the steam-engine was still 
unknown. A few years since those who, like myself, 


were in the van of this movement for " pol3'chromatic 
architecture," or for '' constructive coloration" (ac- 
cording as the question was viewed from the one side 
or the other), had to give our reasons, and had to 
prove our oj^portunities : now we are ahnost over- 
whelmed with success. Architects, Gothic, Italian, 
" Victorian" — sacred and profane — are all vying with 
each other who can produce most red brick, and yellow 
bri(jk, and black brick, most granite, serpentine, and 
encaustic tiles all over their buildings ; while quarries 
at Ihe Lizard Point and at Peterhead have become 
lucrative properties. It is well that it should be so. 
There may be here and there exuberance, if not ex- 
travagance; but this is only the natural recoil from 
the malebolge of stock-brick and cement in which we 
had been so long wandering. I have almost now to 
address a caution in another direction, and to remind 
the man who is planning a Gothic interior that there 
is such a thing as a paint-pot, and that, while con- 
structive coloration may rightly be his staple, there 
were brave men of old who have left immortal achieve- 
ments traced by their brushes in the higher branches 
of pictorial decoration. Mr. Dyce has shown us what 
fresco can do to the glory of God, at All Saints', 
Margaret Street, while the groined chancel-roof of the 
same church, adorned by his learned and skilful fancy, 
is a w^ork no whit inferior to the vault of S. Jacques 
at Liege, or of Sta. Anastasia at Verona, and produced 
l)y a far more durable process. Mosaic— the most 
ancient and the most eternal system of pictorial art in 
(Christian churches — has hitherto been a stranger to 

Dhap. Vir. IN ENGLAND. 251 

England ; but mosaic pictures are in contemplation at 
St. Paul's. The church at Haley Hill, Halifax, due 
to Mr. Akroyd's munificence and to Mr. Scott's skill, 
is full not only of the painter's and the constructive 
decorator's, but of the sculptor's art, inside and out. 
Carvers in stone and wood are ever making fresh 
progress, both in their own handiness and in the 
respect which they enjoy; workers in metals and 
enamellers of tiles are rising in general estimation ; 
glass-painting, which used to be reckoned among the 
lost arts, is not only found again, but found in a state 
of constant advance towards artistic perfection. 

Above all, the unity of all art is beginning to be 
practically recognised. The architect, the painter, 
and the sculptor no longer selfishly pursue their own 
independent professions, as if they were rivals and 
antagonists, but they either of themselves borrow 
from time to time their neighbours' craft, or else 
they combine together — while eacli adheres to his 
own department — to complete those works whose 
failure or whose success depends upon the combina- 
tion. Griotto, it is at last recollected, both painted 
and built ; and Michael Angelo was sculptor, painter, 
and architect. 

In one word, ecclesiastical and indeed all archi- 
tecture in England is at this moment working out for 
itself that lesson which the equalising effects of science 
now enable northern regions to learn to an extent 
which used to be only allowed to the warmer south — 
that of the fusion of construction and decoration in 
the varietv of materials, natural and artificial, and 


the contrast of tlieir forms and colours. It is the 
experimental adoption of this sj'stem which makes 
the broad distinction betAveen the more meritorious 
new churches of the ten last years and their prede- 
cessors built within the ten preceding* years. Accord- 
ingl}' I anticipate that our new cathedral will show still 
more complete and gorgeous developements of English 
polychromatic architecture than we have jet beheld. 
I go further, and I say that it is to the successful 
working out of this element of beauty that I look in 
the new cathedral as the compensating aesthetic 
advantage for the disuse of those constructional 
features —those double aisles and fringing chapels — 
of the old cathedral which, with all their grandeur 
and their loveliness, can find no place in our purer 
and simpler system. 

In connection with these considerations I must 
revert to the eastern apsidal aisle. I have already 
said that there was one use for which the aisle, 
carried completely round the choir, would be pecu- 
liarly appropriate, while I reserved for the moment 
entering further into the question. This use is 
the reception of monuments. Indeed, the successful 
design for the memorial church at Constantinople 
proposed the eastern aisle as a fitting place for 
monuments, and the judges accepted the suggestion 
with approl)ation. As will be seen, that church, in 
the somewhat reduced form in which it was last 
cast, still retains this feature. AVe all know that 
intramural and intra-ecclesiastical interment is now 
illegal, except in those nire instances tor wliich a 


catliedral is peculiarly appropriate — the cases, for 
instance, of a Stephenson, a Macaulav, a Barry, or a 
Dundonalcl.* But with* the interdiction of burial in 
church has grown up what, in the language of the 
day, ma}' be called the " rehabilitation " of the ceno- 
taph, particularly in cathedrals. It has been felt that, 
if a man has deserved sufficiently well of his country 
or his friends to have a monument, that monument 
may as well stand within sound of the Church prayers 
as of the crack of whips or the railway whistle. 
As a mere question of climate, no statue can in the 
long-run resist the atmosphere of an English town, 
except one of metal ; and it requires very high art 
to prevent a metal statue from looking grim. 
Whether or not George III. in Cockspur Street, 
and George IV., Jenner, Nelson, and Napier in 
Trafalgar Square, the Duke at Constitution Hill 
and the Royal Exchange, Sir Robert Peel in 
Cheapside, and the Dukes of York and Kent in 
"Waterloo and Portland Places, have escaped this 
danger, I leave to the decision of those gentlemen 
who have lately raised a controversy upon the inap- 
plicability of Gothic to the highest branches of sculp- 
ture. The envious mantle which so long veiled the 
lady in Waterloo Place has hardly left me time 
to pronounce whether she is an exception to the 
rule. Well, then, we fall back upon inside monu- 

* Dean Peacock himself lies outside of the cathedral of wliicli he was 
the second founder, in the town cemetery, althonoh the capricious indul- 
gence of the actual Home Secretary has allowed the obscure relative of a 
fomier bishop of Ely to be buried within the church. 


ments ; and the man who dares to sa}' that the church 
is not a fitting hall to contain the monuments of the 
wise and great and good, must be far gone in narrow- 
ness of soul. If it is so, what monument is so beautiful 
in form and so satisfactory in sentiment as the Gothic 
tomb, sometimes with the efiQgy recumbent in death — 
sometimes without the efiQgy, but bearing the sjnubol 
of salvation and the illustrative sculpture — sometimes 
with, sometimes without the fretted canop}' ? 

For some j^ears there has been a strong movement in 
favour of memorial windows in preference to masons' 
tablets — a movement due in the first instance to that 
venerable man, still living, Mr. Markland, and to his 
honoured friend, now deceased, the wise and good 
Dean Chandler of Chichester^ — of which I desire to 
speak with the greatest respect. It has done incalcul- 
able good both in what it has checked (namely, those 
blisters, hideous in their form, and still more hideous 
in their treatment, which have encumbered so many 
square acres of church-wall) and in what it has pro- 
duced, namely, the general restoration of painted 
glass throughout our churches. But there are many 
cases where a more solid and jialpable monument is 
desirable — a monument which will reproduce the 
man himself These cases are most likely to occur 
in a cathedral, and for them we find a type in 
the monuments of our old Gothic churches — monu- 
ments like those, for example, which line the choir- 
aisles of Winchelsea Church. I am not now advo- 
cating an untried experiment. The number of monu- 
ments of the old type planned or executed in England 


within the last few years would, if they could all 
be catalogued, result in a long list. I will only 
mention a few, and all of them monuments in 
cathedml or collegiate churches — some of them 
actually tombs, others cenotaphs. At Canterbury we 
have iiigh tombs with recumbent effigies of Arch- 
bishop Howley, Bishop Broughton, and Dean Lyall. 
At Westminster, Bishop Monk is commemorated by 
a brass. St. Paul's Cathedral holds in its crypt the 
colossal granite coffin of the Duke of Wellington, 
standing in a sepulchral chapel, very solemnl}^ ar- 
ranged by Mr. Penrose ; while Lord John Manners, 
acting in concert with the Dean, showed great courage 
and judgment in turning the unlucky competition for 
the same great man's above-ground cenotaph into the 
means of utilising a now purposeless chapel, and of 
carrying out a design in which the old notion of a 
tomb had been by Mr. Stevens adapted to the archi- 
tecture of the cathedral. The same church is soon to 
see in its choir-aisles another high tomb, with the 
effigy rightly disposed, to Bishop Blomfield, which 
Mr. Richmond, heretofore distinguished in painting, 
most spiritedly won in a competition where he was 
pitted against professed sculptors. I need only ad- 
vert to the tomb recently erected by the Queen to 
the Duchess of Gloucester in St. George's Chapel, de- 
signed by Mr. Scott, with its inlaid cross of brass, 
and its panels of the Works of Mercy by Mr. Theed. 
In reference to Dr. Mill's monument at Ely, designed by 
Mr. Scott, and carried out by Mr. Philip, I must call at- 
tention to the process adopted in the production of the 


bronze image — the electrotype, which has been proved 
capable of reproducing life-sized statues : a process 
also employed in* the life-sized statues of Wellington's 
chief lieutenants by Mr. Theed in the exterior niches 
of the Wellington College. I see in this new process 
the germ of an infinite developement of art, of 
which our cathedral-builders will not, I trust, for- 
get to avail themselves. Not only must it render 
statues and reliefs cheaper and easier, but it may 
actually enhance their artistic value, for an electro- 
type would be cast straight from the master's clay, 
while the stone or marble statue has been pegged and 
roughed out b}^ his journeymen. Modern high tombs 
under canopies occur in Chichester and Lincoln Cathe- 
drals. At Lichfield Mr. Street has carried out a 
cenotaph, beautifully sculptured, to Archdeacon Ilod- 
son, recessed in the wall of the south choir-aisle. 
Opposite to this tomb, in the same aisle, but under 
the arcade and backed by the stalls, will soon be 
raised the still more striking cenotaph, by the same 
architect, to Archdeacon Hodson's son, that gallant 
horseman to whom the Great Mogul succumbed. A 
drawing of this able design was shown at the Royal 
Academy last year. An upright mural cross in the 
same cathedral to another soldier is not so successful ; 
while, not many years ago, jot another militar}' memo- 
rial, also in Lichfield Cathedral, exalted that certainly 
not peculiarl}' Christian emblem the sphinx. I promised 
not to travel out of cathcdml monuments, but I must 
make one exception, on account of the originality of 
the conception. A few years since the old church at 


Brighton was restored by Carpenter, at the close of 
his life, and it was made a condition that the work 
was to be partly memorial to the Duke of Wellington, 
and that the chapel to the south of the chancel should 
contain a specific monument of the hero. The notion 
adopted was equally original and successful, and 
strongly characteristic of the graceful fancy of its 
originator — a small monumental cross, of more deli- 
cate design than an external one would have been, 
and hexagonal in lieu of octagonal, still further to 
mark the difference. If internal cenotaphs are mul- 
tiplied, an architect may some day be grateful for 
hints towards diversity of treatment, although the 
recumbent effigy must always continue lord of the 

I need not multiply instances in proof of my allega- 
tion. I have already hinted at the desirability of 
treating the nave aisles more as passages than for pur- 
poses of congregational accommodation ; but even if 
this use of them would rather interfere with the prac- 
ticability of employing them for monuments, except 
for such as were wholly recessed in the wall, no such 
objection would apply to the choir aisles ; and here 
accordingly we have a further reason, of a most prac- 
tical nature, for the adoption in our cathedrals of the 




Bishop Daniel Wilson's ' Uses of Catliedrals ' — Schools and institutions in 
connection with cathedrals — Close and chapter-house — Commission 
of 1852 — Collegiate churches — Plurality titles — Desirability of 
bestowing them in anticipation of division of sees — Easy creation of 
new chapters — Cathedrals the correlatives of tlie growing feeling for 
size and numbers — Cathedral system the combination of co-operative 
evangelization and hallowed art — Conclusion. 

I HAVE up to this point been rigidly adhering to the 

considerations which arise out of the fabric of the 

cathedral church itself; but the cathedral church, as all 

know, is only an element, though the most imi)ortant, 

of the cathedral institution, and that institution requires 

various accessory buildings, out of which the general 

reader will probably name, in the first instance, the 

Bishop's palace and the Dean's and Canons' houses. 

But lodging its dignitaries is not the only function 

of that august institution, which can only operate by 

being represented and embodied in outward form. 

Many are the " Uses of Cathedrals," to borrow from 

a paper with that title which was put out by the late 

Bisho}) of Calcutta, under date of October, 1841, 

while maturing his concei)tion of the metropolitical 

Church of India. The "cathedral clergy acted as 

assessors with the ]5ishop in ecclesiastical jurisdic- 

Chap. V in. ' USES OF CATHEDRALS.' 2F>9 

tion;" " they constituted also the Bishop's Council." 
"Again, they were nurseries for sound theological 
learning ;" and " assisted in the education in divinity 
of the young deacons and students." Once more, 
" they formed so many advisers and helpers in all 
religious and benevolent designs in the cathedral city 
and neighbourhood." Also they " formed a body or 
corporation for receiving and managing, to the best 
advantage, benefactions, legacies, and trusts. The 
cathedral benefices themselves constituted rewards for 
the most pious and laborious clergy." "In short, 
the cathedral with its clergy were the outworks of 

Out of these somewhat abstract dicta — more 
abstract and dry from the abbreviated form in which 
I have been compelled to quote them— grows a whole 
crop of practical conclusions. They show the neces- 
sity of the chapter-house for clerical meetings, and of 
the cathedral library for the theological college, not to 
refer to the studies of the clergy of the diocese ; also, 
I may add, for the choir school, and — as an offshoot 
of that choir school — for the town grammar-school, at 
which a place in the choir might be and ought to be 
the cordon bleu. There are also training-schools for 
schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, hospitals where 
spiritual consolation ought to follow upon medical 
solace, penitentiaries for the fallen, and houses of 
charity for those whose happier lot is to be saved 
from falling, and almshouses for relieving old age. 
Then again, in every well-to-do town, there are or 
ought to be nowadays middle-class colleges and 

s 2 


fcliools both day and night, and poor schools, — adult, 
young, and infant — open in the morning and in the 
evening. There are mechanics' institutes and lending- 
libraries where religious and secular literature ought 
to be liberally blended. There are popular lectures 
in connexion with those lil^raries and institutes which 
require an organising supervision and a convenient 
locale. There are likewise friendly and savings 
societies and voluntary guilds, with their harmless 
paraphernalia and their meritorious spirit of co-ope- 
ration. There are machineries of physical relief, 
dispensaries, and so on, all of which demand head- 
quarters, and heads to manage those head-quar- 
ters. These various organizations are the growth of 
a state of society of which the most alarming cha- 
racteristic is, that great civilization, great activity, 
great resources both material and intellectual, can 
exist by the side of fathomless need of every kind 
both temporal and spiritual, and where the negation 
of Christianity is more dangerous because it is rol^bed 
of the gross and satyr-like repulsiveness of former 
ages. They will continue to exist whether the 
Church helps them and they help the Church, or 
whether .they and the Church hold off, in coldness 
and sus})icion, from each other. If the Church helps 
them, they will he outworks of Christianity. If it 
does not, they may become instruments either of that 
decorous and philanthropic deism which is a growing 
peril of the age, or of that unreasoning and narrow 
fanaticism which so unhappily lielps on unbelief by 
its intellectual feebleness when pitted against it in 


single combat. If, however, the Church does happily 
help their endeavours, it can best do so by means 
of some compact and well-adjusted machinery, with 
some conspicuous central motive power. This machi- 
nery and this central motive power can most effici- 
ently be provided in accordance with the formal 
constitution of the Church. The religious institu- 
tion which will undoubtedly grow out of rational and 
business-like endeavours to evangelize large popu- 
lations, whether it is called so or not, will, in every 
large town, virtually be a cathedral, and it had there- 
fore best be moulded openly and honestly into a 
cathedral shape. It is undoubtedly and unhappily 
the fact that the selfishness and rapacity of genera- 
tions now gone by have made cathedral names, such 
as deans, canons, and so forth, frequently, and now 
unjustl^y, unpopular. It is the last thing which I 
desire to lose the benefits of the thing from the acci- 
dents of the name ; and I care not, therefore, under 
what appellation the congregated clergy work; 
only I feel little doubt that one or two striking 
examples of real devotion on the part of bodies of 
clergy acting under the old denomination would go 
far with the essentially reasonable people of England 
to wipe out any imaginary old scores. I have 
already enlarged upon the choral element as a 
genial and popular element in a practical cathedral 
establishment, and I need therefore only allude to the 
particular value which it ought to possess in harmo- 
nising and elevating the other dependent institutions. 
It is my deep sense of its importance which leads me 


to touch with brevity iipou the highest spiritual work 
of a Chapter, that of missionary duties in the cathedral 
city and throughout the diocese. These duties, so 
solemn, so delicate, so tender, cannot be mapped out 
like the details of an architectural style in a short 
treatise. It is sufficient that the wisest of men has 
pronounced that a three-fold cord cannot easily be 
broken, to demonstrate that the co-operative exertions 
of a body of men must be more efiBcacious than the 
single exertions of each member, in a ratio far exceed- 
ing the simple addition of their numbers. During the 
last season I heard the Bishop of Llandaff, himself a 
distinguished cathedral restorer, w^ho was called to the 
Episcopate from the Divinity Chair of Cambridge, 
dw^ell, at a public meeting, upon the necessity' of some 
missionary organization as a supplement to our paro- 
chial system. If then there be a necessity for corpo- 
rate missionary W'ork in our Church, the incorporated 
missionaries W' ould most fitly be attached to the cathe- 
dral as the central point at which, from the nature of 
things, the utmost facilit}" for co-operative powder must 
exist. Thus also any system of preaching in which 
the natural curiosity of mankind is made use of to stir 
the careless and to confirm the faithful, through the 
utterances of novel teachers, may be shaped into 
order and regularity as an occasional but recognised 
incident of the cathedral operations. The adminis- 
trative business of a well-worked diocese, represented 
by the secretaryships and places of meeting of its 
various educational and religious societies, likewise 
re([uires its head-(juarlers. 


Tlie architectural inference which I desire to draw 
from these premises is obvious enough. Adjacent to 
our okl cathedrals — whether to those, like Canterbury 
and Ely, which were once served by monks, or to the 
more purely and absolutely cathedral churches, such as 
Lichfield, Wells, and Salisbury — stood an extensive 
and beautiful close, which, in more or less of preserva- 
tion, still arrests the admiration of even the most casual 
visitor. The various institutions can best be collected, 
where site and means are both propitious, in a close ; 
and so our cathedral of the nineteenth century may, 
just as legitimately as its predecessor of the eleventh 
or thirteenth, display its cloister and its chapter- 
house, its library and spacious hall, and the long 
ranges of the accessory dwellings. The terms I 
have just used are terms of art, and no one need 
therefore be frightened lest I am recommending any 
unreal ^stheticism. A "close" is an enclosed 
space of ground ; till the cathedral buys it, it is a 
lot: and so, in counselling the adoption of a close, 
I only counsel the concentration of the cathedral 
establishment on one piece of property. The cathe- 
dral close of this century need not be so formidable 
an acquisition, because among the lessons which the 
few last years have given to our architects, that of 
the virtue of height in domestic and semi-ecclesiastical 
building is not the most contemptible. The rustic 
almshouse is no longer considered as the model to be 
followed in a town construction, nor is the multipli- 
cation of floors deemed an artistic misfortune. The 
houseS; pretty but insignificant, which flank Mr. 

264 THE CLOISTER. Chap. VIll. 

Pugiii'y Lambeth catliedrul were designed before this 
truth had been established. The stately schools which 
Mr. E. M. Barry has just completed in a clever style 
of conventional Gothic at the corner of Endell-Street 
and Broad-Street are a standing proof of the incre- 
ment of dignity which cons])icuous height gives to a 
town construction. 

There is nothing magical in the name or use of a 
cloister. In the old times cloisters were built as shelter 
from rain to the community in their exercise, their me- 
ditations, and their transit from place to place. They 
were also retreats for study, with little nooks like 
those which Sir C. Barr}' has revived in the cloister- 
like lobbies of the House of Commons. Accordingly, 
it is an established fact that, in ancient times, they 
were very frequently glazed. On the use of the 
cloister itself and of the enclosed plot for burial I 
need not insist, for the current of general feeling and 
legislation will probably make its revival more and 
more impossible. Upon the whole I believe that any 
architect would frequently find that he best studied 
the convenience as well as the beauty of his buildings 
bv arranoino; them so as to secure the accommodation 
of a cloister. When such proves to be the case, let 
him adopt one ; but let him beware of constructing 
cloisters merely because he finds them in old cathe- 
drals and colleges. The chapter-house, under which 
term I imply the meeting-room of the new cathedral, 
is an apartment in the arrangement of which arch- 
aeology must bend to practical sense. The chapter- 
houses of the old abbevs and cathedrals were cere- 


monial and ritual no less than business chambers. 
The occasions on which they were needed for dcljate 
were comparatively rare ; but the monks, by their 
rule, were day by day collected into them for certain 
prescribed devotional exercises. Accordingly, their 
distribution reminds us as much of the choir as of 
the committee-room. Sometimes they were poly- 
gonal, and sometimes oblong. An ingenious theory 
has been propounded that the polygonal chapter- 
houses of England were appended to the churches of 
canons, in which their ritual use was comparatively 
unimportant, and their convenient arrangement for 
deliberative purposes therefore more urgent ; and 
the oblong chapter-houses were built in connexion 
with the churches of monks, in which the former 
destination was mainly important. The single fact 
that the chapter-house of Westminster (a Benedictine 
abbey before the Reformation) was polygonal answers 
this hypothesis.* I believe the simple truth to be 

* I trust that the report may be true that the Government has in view 
the restoration of this exquisite structure. I may be allowed to quote what 
I said on this subject in my pamphlet on ' Public Offices and Metropolitan 
Improvements,' published in 1857, " Cognate with this topic (the restora- 
tion of St. Margaret's, W^estminster) is the restoration of the Chapter-house 
of W^estminster, a building possessed of equal value historically and archi- 
tecturally. Historically it is the cradle of our liberties, as the place of 
meeting of the Commons for centuries down to the Eeformation, at which 
date St. Stephen's was surrendered to them. Architecturally it was, and 
might be made again, a building equal in beauty to, and closely resembling, 
the Chapter-house of Salisbury. At present it is used as one of the de- 
positories of the National Piecords, and it contains the Doomsday Book and 
the gorgeously illuminated Treaty of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. This 
desti^Qation has led to its being disfigured by frightful presses, in addition to 
the horrible mutilation of its structure. AVhat I should therefore recom- 


that the oblonoj form was the original Norman con- 
ception, and that the Gothic architects invented the 
polygonal chapter-house. The half-destroyed Norman 
chapter-house of Durham was oblong, and no douljt 
the Perpendicular one at Canterbury was rebuilt on 
the old foundations, like the nave itself. On the 
other hand, the First and Early Middle chapter- 
houses of Salisbury, Lincoln, AYestminster, Lichfield, 
Wells — the latter Middle Pointed — of Southwell, and 
York, and the Perpendicular of Howden, are all poly- 
gonal. But whether the chapter-house is oblong or 
polygonal, its structural stone stalls can never be de- 
voted to modern uses without detriment to the appear- 
ance of the structure or to the convenience of its ap- 
pointments. Even in cathedrals where the old chapter- 
house still exists, the corporation has a habit of 
meeting in smaller and more comfortable chambers. 
The "chapter-house " of the nineteenth century ought 
to be a hall of assembly, suitable for the assembly 
not only of the capitular body itself, but of those 
gatherings which will, I trust, every year be more 
frequent, of clergy and laity for consultative purposes, 
and of the various Church societies of the diocese at 
their periodical meetings. If there is anything in the 
genius loci, such asscmljlies had always better come 
off in some hall attached to the cathedral than in the 

mend would be to restore it ns a national monument, and then reserve it 
as the depository of honour of a few of those most valuable state docu- 
ments of which every one has heard, and which might be displayed in 
glass cases with perfect safety to themselves, and with no detriment to the 

Chap. Vlll. COMMISSION OF 1852. 207 

large apartment of a tavern or the county assembly- 
room. Tables and benches must accordingly be 
thought of before the rich carved work of mediaeval 
canopies. The question of oblong or polygonal may 
well be left open. The Parliament of England sits 
in oblong chambers, the legislature of many foreign 
countries in rooms of a circular form, which might 
easily be polygonal outside. 

I have already mentioned the various schools for 
teaching the choir, for training schoolmasters and mis- 
tresses, and for educating the future clergy after 
their university course has been concluded. The 
necessity for all these institutions has so often and 
so forcibly been proved that I shall take it for 
granted. But if it is granted, I further assert that 
propriety and economy alike indicate the cathedral 
close as the best site for their construction. 

The considerations on which I have, under the last 
head, so briefly and so imperfectly touched, have in 
the main been most fully and strongly enforced in 
the three Reports of the Cathedral Commissioners 
appointed in 1852 ;* and although their recommenda- 
tions have hitherto unhappily remained a dead letter, 
yet the importance and truth of these suggestions 
are in no way thereby diminished. The Reports 
themselves make a comparatively thin volume, but 
they are accompanied by an Appendix, a bulk}' 
folio of 841 pages, containing the statutes of, and 

* I may call attentiun to a review of these liepoits whieli I imblished in 
the 'Christian licmcmbraiiccr * for July, 1855. 

268 KErOHT OF THE Chap. VIII. 

a host of miscellaneous information about, the exist- 
ing cathedrals and collegiate churches of England. 
Out of this vast deposit of information the facts 
may be gathered when the time comes to frame 
the various statutes of the various new cathedrals. 
I lay a stress on the word various, for, if the 
cathedral movement is to be a reality, then its 
directors must exorcise at once and for ever the 
noxious influence of bureaucratic meddling and red- 
tape uniformity. Staffordshire is not Lancashire. 
So the cathedral for Staffordshire need not and 
ought not to be cast on the same mould as that for 
Lancashire, nor the one for Lancashire be planned to 
be identical with that for Staffordshire. Among the 
recommendations which the Eeports contain, I should 
attach particular importance to one for the extension of 
the Episcopate, illustrated by a statistical table of the 
English dioceses as they now stand, and as, on the other 
side, they might stand if enlarged to about fort}', or, 
on an average, rather less than one for every county. 
In confirmation of this Eeport appeared a letter, which 
Mr. G. G. Scott addressed to the Commission, but 
which he himself preferred to publish independently of 
its Blue-book, recapitulating the old churches of Eng- 
land most suitable to be converted into cathedrals. 
My actual position is parallel to, rather than identical 
with, this portion of the Report. Lideed, I may say 
that it is slightly ])ut not hostilely divergent. No 
doubt the presence of an old church which is fit to 
become a cathedral is a great inducement to the 
foundation of an additional see. Jiiit 1 cannot admit 

Chap. VIII. COMMISSION OF 1852. 209 

that the existence of a population which calls alike 
for its bishop and its cathedral church is a less urgent 
inducement. On the contrary, the recasting with 
additions of the episcopate, with a single eve to the 
size of actual churches suitable to hold a cathedra, is 
liable to more than one objection. It looks rather 
like an acknowledgment that the vis creatrix of church- 
building is somewhat paralysed, and it confirms the 
unjust suspicion that the prominent idea in the minds 
of the reformers is that of decorating a fine church 
with a prelate, rather than of assisting a dense popu- 
lation with a regulating chief pastor. Wherever a 
new see is plainly demanded by the proportion of area 
and population, it is clear that some existing cathe- 
dral-like church had better become the cathedral — 
e.g., there can be no obstacle to the claims of Sher- 
borne Minster to become the cathedral of Dorsetshire, 
except the possibly greater convenience of Wimborne 
Minster ; while Beverley Minster would stand unques- 
tioned as the cathedral for the East Hiding, if Trinity 
Church, Hull, were out of the way. But it is a very 
different affair to take the map of England, and to 
argue that, because certain Minsters exist, there- 
fore those Minsters ought to be decorated with 

The Commission was perhaps wise in avoiding any 
proposition to incur the double expense of planting 
the prelate and rearing the church. But, happily 
exempt as I am from official obligations, I dare to 
urge the claims of Liverpool, Bradford, and Birming- 
ham, as not inferior to those of Southwell and St. 

270 Tin: IIIVINGITES. Chap. VIIT. 

Albans. Tlie responsibility of satisfying those claims 
is not for me to fulfil. If I point out the want, and, 
at the same time, contribute some ideas towards 
making it good, I venture to hope that 1 shall not 
have subscribed a contemptible contribution towards 
the work ; for in England, so wealthy, so energetic, 
and so munificent as it is, the knowledge of a want, 
and the knowledge of how that want may be removed, 
is a sure incitement for zeal and liberality to come for- 
ward with the material remedy. 

" Dimidium facti qui bene cepit habet." 

London contains, though not in our Church, an exam- 
ple which aptly illustrates my position. It is a matter 
of public notoriety how small a sect the Irvingites 
are, and how fanatical the special principles are which 
they profess. But their fanaticism is that of clever 
and educated men ; and among their characteristics is 
an acute and business-like appreciation, however gro- 
tesquely and unreasonably exhibited, of the Episcopal 
and Cathedral system. In this and in other matters 
they exhibit (though, no doubt, they would repudiate 
so mundane an imputation) the eccentric, yet acute, 
and all-but-sensiblc influence of a man who just failed 
in being a leading intellect of the age, and, in jusl 
making that failure, became the fugleman of a wild 
enthusiasm against which his intense "irony" must 
constantly have been rebelling, while his intenser 
imagination sustained his allegiance to the system. 
Need I say that I am descril)ing the generous, impul- 
sive, honest, royal-hearted Henry Drummond ? Ac- 


corclingly, the splendid liberality of this small sect 
has reared that noble cathedral in Gordon Square. 
What the Irvingites have done, the Church of England 
surely might perform within its vast and opulent area. 
Lord Lyttel ton's recent majority, in face of friendly 
objections to his details, testifies to the growth of 
public opinion on the matter. In a distant county 
there is indeed a movement in progress which may 
help to introduce the thin edge of the wedge. The 
proposed bishopric for Cornwall is almost a standing 
grievance, for it was not only recommended by the 
Commission of 1852, but by the previous one of 
Lord Powis, to Avhich we owe the See of Man- 
chester, and virtually accepted (material possibilities 
excepted) by Lord Palmerston last year, which was 
rather more than he did a few weeks back in reference 
to a similar suggestion from Coventry. In the mean 
while, the generosity of Dr. Walker placed the richly 
endowed Church of St. Columbs in Cornwall at the 
disposal of the founders of the see. St. Colilmbs' 
Church was a spacious parish church and nothing 
more. But Mr. Butterfield is at this time transform- 
ing it into a potential cathedral. The only alteration 
made in the nave is the addition of a clerestory, but 
the parochial chancel is, I hear, to make way for a 
new, extensive, and more stately choir. 

If only one fresh cathedral were to be constructed 
in England during the coming generation, or if some 
portion of it were to be built, with the legacy to pos- 
terity of a grand plan, or even if what we are con- 
sidering were to give a fresh impulsion to cathedral- 


building in the colonies, I should feel confident that the 
free discussion of the question was not onl}^ desirable, 
but successful. If no such result followed, I should 
still think it neither useless nor unpractical. But I 
am unwilling to anticipate so feeble a developement 
of principles which arc so surely, though it may be 
slowly, making their way. I have all through this dis- 
cussion talked of the ( athedral, dwelt upon the church 
which I have from time to time evoked as a cathedral, 
and enforced its cathedral character as the reason of its 
size and its appointments. It was right and necessary 
to dwell upon the model we had before us in its highest 
perfection. But there are and there always have 
been in the Christian Commonwealth churches larger 
and more important and more fully manned than the 
general run of parish churches — collegiate churches 
as they are called. To a great extent the town 
churches of continental cities are— wisely I think — 
collegiate churches. If we cannot, from political or 
other difiiculties, build cathedrals Avhere they are most 
wanted, namely, in our large towns, we can at least 
build collegiate churches, and to their constitution as 
well as their construction most of what I have been 
saying will be strictly applicable, while in due time 
these may become, what they ought to have been from 
the first, cathedrals. Of course, when I talk of a 
collegiate church, I do not imply the necessity, though 
I should prefer the presence, of a charter or of an 
Act of Parliament. St. Peter's, Leeds, for example, is, 
for all i)ractical jnirposes, a collegiate church, although 
its staff are denominated vicar and curates. 


But T will advance another step, and recommend a 
very simple measure of reform, which might, if seriously 
taken in hand, go far towards smoothing the way to 
the desired extension of the Episcopate. There is 
nothing in ecclesiastical law to prevent a bishop from 
taking his title simultaneously from more than one 
city. The instances of this practice throughout Europe 
are indeed most numerous. We have still in Eng- 
land a Bishop of Bath and Wells; and recent re- 
forms have cut Coventry off from Lichfield to create 
a " Grloucester and Bristol." In Ireland, even before 
the suppression of the ten sees, plurality titles were 
very common, now of course they are universal : to 
cpote one instance, there is the Bishop of Cashel, 
Emly, Waterford, and Lismore ; while the next dio- 
cese is Ossory, Ferns, and Leighlin ; and in another 
part of the same island there is a Bishop of Killaloe, 
Kilfenora, Clonfert, and Kilmacduagh. In France, of 
late, many titles of the sees which had been suppressed 
under Napoleon's Concordat have been gradually re- 
vived as the adjuncts to those of the bishops in whose 
dioceses the old cathedrals stand. With these pre- 
cedents then to guide us, there can surely be no 
objection or difficulty in selecting the towns which 
ought, under a more satisfactory system, to be epis- 
copal sees, and in adding their style to the existing 
one of the bishops within whose dioceses they actually 
stand. Neither can I see any objection, where there 
is a church fit to become a cathedral, in giving to it 
that appellation. Bishops of Winchester (or London) 
and Southwark, or of Rochester and St. Albans, will 



not cost more than they did with their single titles ; 
nor will the churches of those towns take any hurt 
from the increment of dignity which they would 
receive. In the places themselves the step I believe 
would be popular, for no person and no place dis- 
likes to receive a gratuitous increase of dignity. 

The following list is merely proposed ^''pour fixer 
les idees" and only includes the names of towns which 
combine the double recommendation of a sufficient 
population in the vicinage, and of an actual church 
fit to serve as a cathedral. I proceed, as it will be 
observed, from south to north : — • 

Winchester * (hereafter London) and Sonthwark. 

Chichester and Shoreham (i. e. Brighton, of which Shoreham 

is a suburb) for East Sussex. The division of this see wouhl 

not be of pressing importance. 
Eochester and St. Albans (with a prospective arrangement, 

on the separation, for a liberal concession to Eochester from 

Canterbury, so as to allow the Archbishop more time for his 

primatial duties). 
Oxford and Windsor. 

Salisbury and Sherborne (or Wimborne Minster). 
(Gloucester and Bristol, already existing.) 
(Bath and ^^'ells, the same.) 
Exeter and St. Columbs. 
St. David's and Brecon. 
W^orcester and Coventry. 
Ely and Bury St. Edmonds. 
Lincoln and Southwell. 
Lichfield and Wolverhampton, 
York and Beverley (or Selby or Hull). 

* A bishopric for the Channel Isles, now sul)jcct to Winchesfer, on the 
footing of Sodor and ]\Ian, niii,dit and ought to be created out of the 
deaneries of those special autonomies. 


Ripon and Leeds. (If Kirkstall rrioiy, in the suburbs of 
Leeds, should be restored— wbich it might be very cheaply 

it would make an excellent cathedral ; otherwise St. 

Peter's parish church.) 

Durham and Hexham (or Newcastle). 

Manchester and Lancaster (or Cartmell). 

I have omitted Westminster Abbey in the above 
enumeration, for, in spite of the advantages which 
would obviously follow upon the reduction of labour 
of the Bishop of London, yet there are equally obvious 
difficulties and perplexities which might follow upon 
setting up what would be virtually two rival bishops 
in one city. Besides, Westminster Abbey has its 
own peculiar claims to continue an exceptional insti- 
tution, not subject to any see in particular. Indeed I 
should be glad to see its privileges enlarged, so far as 
to place the chaplaincy of the House of Lords in 
partnership among its chapter, and thus to emancipate 
the junior spiritual peer for his episcopal duties. The 
Thames is a physical, visible division, and St. Saviour's, 
Southwark, is a church yearning for a bishop. So I 
should constitute a separate see of Southwark, when- 
ever money was forthcoming ; and I should assist the 
Bishop of London by the assignment of a coadjutor 
who might partially relieve him of the physical exer- 
tion of confirmations, consecrations, and so forth. 
An Archbishop of London, with a sufl"ragan in each 
metropolitan borough, would be another affair; but 
my prognostications do not extend so far. 

In the above list, if it ever were to be carried into 
effect even approximately, much carving and changing 
of dioceses— not merely subdivision — would be neces- 

T 2 


sary. All that I pretend to do is to iiidicate tlie 
diocese iu which the potential cathedral at present 
stands, and to suggest that, ad interim, the actual 
bishop should appropriate its style. Legislation of an 
enabling kind would, of course, be needed to provide 
for the honorary creation (if there are not revenues at 
hand to be turned to their use) of chapters and other 
cathedral institutions : not to allude to the endow- 
ment of the new see when separated. Crown or 
Chancellor's patronage (as it stands or by exchange) 
would be available for this object. The case is plain 
with regard to sees where the cathedral exists ; but 
in the even more pressing case of the great towns, 
where the cathedral is still in futurity — the case, that 
is, which I have been considering all through — the 
machiner}^, though more lengthy, is not really more 
complicated. As before, the bishop has only to take 
the second title, Manchester and Preston, Chester 
and Liverpool, and so on, and the enabling legisla- 
tion has merely to provide that, if a church of suffi- 
cient size be offered as ii cathedral, it may be so 
accepted and declared to be the cathedral, whether or 
not the bona fide separation of the sees takes place 
previously, simultaneously, or afterwards. This pro- 
vision would be in accordance with the chain of legis- 
lation by which new parish churches can now be 
accepted for that subordinate use. My purpose is to 
establish general principles, not to furnish the sta- 
tistics which those princii)les would put in action ; so 
I leave to another opportunity, or to other persons, to 
draw out tlie more lengthy and perplexing list which 


this extension of my suggestion would involve. As 
neither politics nor polemics are my present concern, I 
-sedulously abstain from even asking, what ought to be 
the form of such legislation ; only I must strongly plead 
for the simultaneous creation of a chapter, however 
sinecure for the present and gratuitous. Exchanges, 
as I have hinted, would easily bring the potential cathe- 
drals, wdierever they alread}^ exist, Avithin the patron- 
age of the Crown, and then the addition of the dignity 
of dean to their incumbents would be a measure of 
almost ridiculous ease and simplicity. In other cases, 
where the cathedral did not exist, or in which there 
were special reasons not to make a dean at once, the 
archdeacon, whoever he was, might be declared pro 
tempore head of the chapter. The canons, of course, 
would for the time being be " honorary." But in all 
cases the old canonical form of electing bishops, even 
for new sees, ought to be preserved. 

If these premises be accepted, I should further 
urge that the creation of fresh cathedrals, actual or 
potential, need not be limited to the actual or 
potential necessity of fresh bishops. I have given 
instances of bishops possessing more than one cathe- 
dral, real or nominal, in different towns. I might, 
as a further instance, quote the Archbishop of Dublin, 
who has (not to mention the sees which have been 
incorporated with his diocese) two cathedrals, both 
in actual work, in his own archiepiscopal city. No- 
thing then, I believe, would more tend to popularise 
Episcopacy, if the matter were judiciously managed, 
than visiblv to connect every large town with its 


bishop by the erection, where possible, of his 
cathedra in some church there situate worthy of the 
distinction, and by marking the act l)y an addition 
to his style. There has, for example, been a contro- 
versy lately in the papers as to the comparative 
claims of Coventry and of Birmingham for the esta- 
blishment of a new see to be cut off from Worcester. 
The truth is proljably that there ought to be a bishop 
in each place ; but, if only one new see were created, 
there would not be the slightest difficulty in con- 
ferring on it the style of Coventry and Birmingham. 
Thus, too, if Lincoln were to be divided, we might 
reasonably hear of the Bishops of Lincoln and Boston, 
and of Southwell and Nottingham. 

Here I close. I have been arguing the subject as 
a member of the English Church, and so I may have 
run into many discussions which are of inferior interest 
to my architectural readers. I have also been arguing 
it as an architecturalist, and so I have run into many 
other discussions which may seem technical and mi- 
nute to the persons who only regard the question in 
its moral aspect. But I should much rather seem 
unduly diffuse with one section or the other than 
neglect cither phase of this subject. There is little 
enough of true sympathy in the general world, how- 
ever it may prevail between persons of the same tastes 
or opinions, and so any accident which may lead any 
one section of rcspectal)le thinkers to busy themselves, 
however casually, with the occupations of any other 
section, is an unmixed advantage to both sides. The 


moral, social, and religious needs of our fermenting 
population are a vast and sad reality. The ecclesi- 
astical arcliitecture and arts of Christendom, varying 
in different lands and different centuries, are also, 
whether we care for them or whether we do not, 
palpable and pregnant realities. The spiritual require- 
ments of that fermenting population, and the tradi- 
tionary forms in which Christendom has— for century 
receding into century— clothed its religious profession 
and its religious munificence, are both of them equally 
facts in history, equally phases of the visible Christian 
system, which we may attempt to depreciate, but which 
we cannot deny. To confront and to harmonise, how- 
ever incompletely, however partially, these two facts, 
these two phases, cannot be a foolish, or a needless, or 
an unblessed attempt. That attempt has been the object 
of this treatise. I have throughout been mindful of the 
axiom, ars longa, vita hrevis. We are English, and 
English of the nineteenth century. It is enough for us, 
who are English subjects and English Churchmen, to 
grasp enough of art aud enough of ecclesiastical 
erudition to bring that art and that erudition together 
for the service of that dear land to which we belong. 

The advantage of co-operation is every day becom- 
ing more and more distinctly felt throughout the 
realm, while official centralization is, happily, not so 
popular as it may have been some years ago. Inter- 
communication is breaking up the exclusiveness of 
local centres, while it affords to those centres more 
extended means of mutual benefit. Our public works 
and our public buildings become day by day more 


vast and more lofty. The giant hotel replaces the 
gloom}' and obscure tavern, and the public library 
throws into the shade the few hoarded volumes in 
the corner. The cramped stage-coach, with its hand- 
ful of squeezed travellers, has been annihilated by 
the train with its hundreds of well-housed passengers. 
The intellectual expenditure of artistic invention, and 
the physical expenditure of labour and material, 
equally characterise the structures of the day. Shall 
God then only be forgotten ? Shall it be believed 
that co-operation is good and wholesome in the 
concerns of man, and dangerous in those of the 
Almighty ? Shall we be told that we ought to make 
our homes and our town-halls, our theatres and our 
hotels, our shops and our legislative chambers, lofty 
and wide, glorious in painting and carved work, and 
glittering with costly materials, and that the House 
of the Lord alone is to remain small and mean, and 
served by single-handed impotence ? I plead for equal 
justice towards God, with that which we show towards 
ourselves. I plead for co-operative exertions to save 
souls, and for a tithing of wealth and art and me- 
chanical power offered at the altar of the Most High. 

These two offshoots of Christianity, co-operative 
evangelization and hallowed art, make up that which 
I concisely designate as the cathedral system, and that 
cathedral sj^stem I consign to the sense and the con- 
science of my countrymen. I might, even within the 
limits which 1 have laid down, run into many further 
details both of architecture and organization, but I 
forbear, for my object is not to round oil" arrange- 


ments, but to suggest ideas. If I have succeeded in 
iudicating the general desirability of the work for 
which I have been pleading, if I Lave shown its feasi- 
bility, and met the most obvious objections by which 
it might be encountered, I am satisfied as far as lite- 
rar}^ success is concerned. But I do not pretend to 
seek a literary success. My ambition and my hope is 
that, when some future historian is recapitulating the 
material triumphs of English enterprise between 1800 
and 1900, when he has told off the railroads and the 
docks, the Menai Bridge and the Britannia Bridge, 
the Palace of Westminster, the Exhibition Building, 
the stalks of gigantic mills, and those huge town-halls 
which our growing manufacturing towns are rearing, 
he may be able to add, This century likewise wit- 
nessed the foundation of the new cathedrals in this 
place and in that. I feel conscious that money spent 
on rearing and endowing such buildings in the right 
places will not be money wasted away either in a 
higher or a more material aspect. As an offering to the 
Majesty of the Creator of all good things, and as an 
expression of popular faith, they would of course wit- 
ness against selfishness and faithlessness. But in the 
next place, they would, I am convinced, and I dare to 
say so, be eminently practical and useful. They won Id 
give to Christianity that of which the utility is recog- 
nised in all human enterprises — order, system, power, 
and magnitude of operation. The millions crowd 
together where work and wages call them ; they toil 
and marry, and are born and die •, they see the joint- 
stock firms of trade with their stupendous manufac- 



tories created for their own scene of action, and sus- 
tained bv their own industry. But whenever they have 
time to turn their thoughts to the concerns of their 
eternal state, the contrast is at once apparent. There, 
with partial exceptions, they never arc confronted with 
any of those qualities which in their every -day life had 
arrested and held possession of their respect. Physical 
magnitude and self-reliant scope of co-operative energy 
are equally deficient in the lowly Bethel and the 
pinched Peel church, with its overtaxed perpetual 
curate. Neither of these is borne in upon them as an 
external power of which they may become component 
elements. All the while the artistic and the refined 
classes of society meet in their own circles and praise 
the old cathedral system of our Church, and the old 
cathedrals of the land, scattered up and down the 
ancient cities. To these I say very seriously. If that 
system has any reality about it, and the annals of 
all centuries of Christianity speak to that reality, if 
I hose buildings have any use or beauty beyond the 
sensuous exhibition of outward form, do not brand 
your own generation and your own country as the 
time and the scene of niggard faith, of outworn creeds, 
and paralysed energies for the great and the good. 
l^e up and stirring, and plant the Gospel in conspicuous 
guise, with well-adjusted organisation, as the means 
sufficient for so great an end, where the throng is 
thickest, and God speed the work ! 


Albemarle Street, London. 

Apiil, 1861. 



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