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Architecture of the Thirteenth Century page 2

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Arches. - These are in most cases acutely pointed, but no general rule can be given, as much variety in form prevailed at this period. The round arch is still occasionally used, particularly in triforiums, as at York. In plain parish churches the pier arches are frequently only plainly chamfered, but in large buildings they are commonly deeply and elaborately moulded, and relieved with lines of tooth ornament.

Mouldings and Ornaments. - These are of the greatest importance in all the styles of Gothic architecture, as they serve to distinguish one style from another when other tests fail. In the Early English they are particularly distinct and striking, and consist chiefly of bold rounds separated by deep hollows, thus producing an effect of light and shade much more remarkable than that produced by the Norman mouldings. Intermixed with these mouldings, and frequently occupying one or more of the deep hollows, is an ornament known as the "tooth ornament" or "dog's-tooth," and which is as characteristic of the Early English style as the zigzag is of the Norman. It consists of a series of small pyramids cut into the form of four leaves, and which, when acute and seen in profile, have something the appearance of a row of teeth. It is profusely used in all situations where ornament can be introduced. Flat surfaces are frequently ornamented with foliage, or cut into small squares, each of which is filled with a flower. This kind of work is called Diaper.

The Fronts of Early English buildings are, in general, very fine compositions, and though plainer in detail than those of the succeeding styles, they have more elegance of proportion. A good idea of their general arrangement may be formed from the one here given of the south transept of Beverley Minster.

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