Westminster Abbey

With all this hullabaloo about the Royal Wedding lately, I thought it would be a good chance to take a look at the real star of the show - Westminster Abbey and all her glory!

The present building dates as far back as 1245 during King Henry III's reign.  It was around that time that three master masons - Henry of Reyns, Robert of Beverley, and John of Gloucester - began supervising the work commissioned by King Henry.  Designed based on the continental system of geometrical proportion, the building, which was greatly influenced by the cathedrals at Reims, was to feature the newest Gothic style.  Westminster Abbey has the highest Gothic vault in England - almost 102 feet.

The apse, radiating chapels, and choir were completed in 1269 but only one nave behind the choir screen was completed when Henry III passed away in 1272.

Many additions were made throughout the years; most notably, the construction of the Lady Chapel by King Henry VII from 1503-1519.  The last phase of building (the West Towers) was completed in 1745 by architect  Nicholas Hawksmoor.

Perhaps even more interesting is the history and story of the Abbey Bells which can be found here.

And, a little more about geometric proportions can be found here.
In honor of today's celebrations - Westminster Abbey April 29, 2011
"Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard. From this result the principles of symmetryWithout symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members as in the case of those of a well shaped man." —Vitruvius

Photos courtesy of westminster-abbey.org

1 comment:

Meredith L. Grau said...

Haha, omg! I just used hullabaloo in a blog too! Underrated word. it needs to come back in style.