Articles

Gothic Architecture and the Civilizing Process: The Great Hall in Thirteenth Century England

Gothic Architecture and the Civilizing Process: The Great Hall in Thirteenth Century England



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Gothic Architecture and the Civilizing Process: The Great Hall in Thirteenth Century England

By Matthew Reeve

New Approaches to Medieval Architecture, eds. Abby McGehee, Rob Bork, and William Clark (Aldershot and New York: Ashgate, 2011)

Introduction: Historians of medieval art no longer need to preface studies of secular architecture with an apology. Secular architecture, which has long been the subject of archaeological study, has entered, albeit tentatively, into the mainstream of studies on medieval art. Yet historians of medieval secular architecture have justifiably been criticized for positioning their research of the broader intellectual and historiographical narratives of art history and the humanities, which borrow liberally from the related fields of sociology, linguistics, and anthropology. While adherence to traditional, archaeological methods of analysis is demanded by the fragmentary character of many of the buildings themselves, the sheer weight of recent archaeological scholarship on secular architecture has laid the foundations for broader, more contextual studies of these buildings as defining examples of architectural style in themselves, as centres for the performance of aristocratic ritual, and as meditations on the shifting nature of the concept of aristocracy itself.

This chapter will consider the architectural locus of English aristocratic life, the life, the great hall. In doing so, I shall turn away from the formalist approach to consider the relationship of architecture to developments in etiquette, decorum, and manners. It has not, as far as I know, been noted that the arrival (or revival) of the ground floor aisled hall in England, of the type characterized by the bishop’s halls at Hereford, Lincoln, and Wells, the archbishop’s hall at Canterbury, and the royal halls at Winchester and Dublin castles, among others, was paralleled by a new discourse on etiquette and comportment in the earliest English manuals of courtesy. These texts were, by and large, products of ecclesiastical culture: they were written by bishops or clerics to provide instruction for secular aristocracy in manners and mores. This chapter will consider relationships between these new texts and the buildings in which their prescriptions on etiquette were performed and perfected.


Watch the video: Gothic Architecture Style Characteristics u0026 History (August 2022).