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The ‘Decorated' Period (1250-1300)

The main characteristic of this era is the ‘bar tracery'. Here, designs in masonry ranging from the simple to the flamboyant, are set on to windows. The result is that the stonework supports of the building can become lighter. This vastly extended the use of metal reinforcements in medieval architecture. Artistic invention was the main focus however, and windows became the focal point of a cathedral with their elaborate and ornate traceries.

Above is an example of bar tracery on a window in Lincoln Cathedral. This invention was heavily influenced by contact with Islam and the Mongols.

1300 was the year that monastic populations were at their highest ever, so more cathedrals were needed. Also, England was experiencing a good economy and the population was booming. There was ample labour as well, as rural folk were being pushed off the land by high rent and corn prices. These factors were compounded with Edward I's attempts at pacification in Britain, meaning that many cathedrals outside England were built.

Lincoln Cathedral shows us the new attempt at unity in design, to compliment England's political unity. Now the idea was to make the three levels of the cathedral flow together, and to imply movement. Lincoln is bold and broad. Built by master Simon ‘de Tresle', it is considered one on England's most dramatic cathedrals. The Angel Choir is the most famous part of this cathedral. It contained new innovations in windows, such as one window which is nearly 60 feet high.


Created by: Amy Johansen