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But audi alteram partem. The following lines were written by a member of the University.
Why thus exclaim, and thus exert your wit,
For never here a brighter Glory shone. Upon the eastern side of the square stands St. Mary's church, to which the University resort on Sundays and other sacred days. The Supreme Being dwelleth not in temples made with hands: religion only concerns the conscience and the heart: so no religious affections are concerned in the name, the order, and style of the building.
Which of the Grecian orders is the best, or whether the Saxon or the Gothic is more appropriate; of the several Gothic styles, which is to be preferred; whether English architecture should be simply considered, chronologically, without referring to any Gothic original; or whether, finally, our Saxon ancestors worshipped God in houses of wood or of stoneb; (a question that has
a It was brought from Carrara, and cost Mr. Nollekins, the statuary, more than 300 guineas.
b That our British ancestors built their churches, as their houses, of wood, appears from the model in Spelman's Brit. Concil. vol. i. p. 11. But the Saxons in this island very early raised their churches of stone, formed out of heathen temples; and the first Saxon churches that were built by them were also after the Roman style, more Romano, of stone with round arches, and the addition of some fantastic ornaments of their own. This clearly appears from Ducarel's Norman Antiquities, p. 100, 101, and of many we have still remains. What our learned antiquary, Mr. Somner, says, is certainly a mistake: “ Before the Norman's Advent, most of our monasteries and church buildings were of wood.” The Antiquities of Canterbury, p. 156. But this subject is treated of at large in Mr. Bentham's History of EưY CATHEDRAL. That curious reere, with an apology to the reader, for thus over-crowding the present note.
been much agitated), these are all inquiries, not of reli-
As some of the following observations, and, indeed, some which preeede) were designed as illustrations of some of our public buildings, and as hints to young students, they were intended for a note in the preface, but were misplaced, while it was printing off; so they are introduced
The Saxon and Norman architecture is the same style, differing only in a few ornaments; and, therefore, writers sometimes use one term, and sometimes the other; and sometimes, indeed, in the use of it, have created confusion, as they have also in the use of the word Gothic. The Sax. and Norm. are compared together in the Norm. Antiq. just referred to.
There are three remains of this very ancient style at Cambridge; St. Peter's Church, near Castle Hill the Round Church, or St. Sepulchre's, formerly the Knights Templars a, erroneously by some supposed to have been a Jews' Synagogue, and part of Jesus College Chapel, formerly belonging to the nunnery of St. Rhadegund, all of the 11th or 12th centuries, though since repaired, and altered after another style.
I speak conformably to the common reception of language in the use of the word Gothic, “the perfection of which,” says Mr. Gray, “ began in the 13th century.” The term Gothic is, in strict propriety, inaccurately applied to the style alluded to; I mean to churches and chapels having windows, and doors of pointed arches, &c. and as less or more ornamented, called the Lanced Gothic, Pure Gothic, ornamented Gothic, Florid Gothic, &c. The lanced-arched Gothic may be seen in some of the windows of Jesus College Chapel; King's College Chapel is the florid Gothic; St. Mary's Church the pure Gothic; Trinity College perhaps rather the ornamented Gothic, though sometimes called the florid. The subject of the Gothic, in reference to our old English churches, is unfolded in Mr. Bentham's excellent History of Ely, often alluded to in this work. Sect. 5. Mr. Gray, it is well known, had given much attention to this subject. See Mason's Memoirs, &c. of Gray, vol. ii. p. 99, and 101; edit. of 1807: and Mr. * See Mr. Essex's Essay on Round Churches.
Our ideas, indeed, of what art can effect are by association interwoven with religious ideas; so that what form and style of building are best adapted to religious worship, becomes a question of fitness.
If of the Grecian orders you say, that the Doric is more natural and original, the basis of all the rest, and capable of expressing, without superfluities of ornament, both what is elegant and durable, you might think perhaps the Doric order would have succeeded best in a
Gray was supposed to have furnished Mr. Bentham with his ideas on that subject; but the matter is set right in the last edition of Mr. Bentham's History. Mr. Dalloway has greatly enlarged on Mr. Bentham's ideas, and much enriched them, by apt illustrations from foreign buildings as well as from those in this country. The Four Essays on Gothic Architecture by different writers, (one of whom was Mr. Bentham already mentioned) have treated on the same subject, and the RUDIMENTS of ancient Architecture, printed in 1810, distinctly explains the distinguishing marks of the Grecian and Roman orders. It is to be lamented that the critical remarks of Mr. Kerrich, our Public Librarian at Cambridge, are to be procured with difficulty,—he having printed only fifty copies for the use of his friends,—for they treat much of the science of our old English architecture, though with but little of its artificial distinctions. It was delivered to the Antiquarian Society. It is also to be lamented that the Essays of our two ingenious Cambridge architects, Mr. Essex and Mr. Wilkins, are to be seen only in the Archæologia.
Pepys's Library, Magdalen College, is of the Tuscan order, thougb I do not know why it should have been so; for it is more decorated than that order usually is. Nevile's Court, Trinity College, is Doric: the front of Emmanuel, Ionic; the Senate House, a beautiful specimen of the Corinthian; and Caius College affords, in petto, distinct specimens of all the Five Orders. Strictly speaking, the Doric is the proper original Order, in Grecian architecture; the Tuscan is the Doric, dropping some of its ornaments and proportions; the Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite, are but the Doric, with some differences of ornament and proportions. See Mr. Edmund Aikins' valuable Essay on the Doric Order.
temple“; but if you think that buildings, though appropriated for different purposes, admit of competition, you might have wished a university church, placed near a senate-house of a richer order, should have had all, and more than all, the embellishments and proportions of the Corinthian. If, again, you consider the elegancies of the ornamented Gothic, or the traceries and other rich varieties of the florid Gothic", you might have preferred, perhaps, one of them, to the weightier masses of the Saxon pillar and round arch. But architects and priests were before you, and made their own choice; so you must take St. Mary's church as you find it.
It has been already observed, that St. Mary's Church was built at different times, and, accordingly, after the taste of different architects. The present building was begun 16th May, 1478°, the old church being pulled down, and finished in 1519, without towers, the latter being built by degrees afterwards, and finished in 1608, so that, from the beginning to the completing of it, were no less than 130 years. Henry VIIth was a great benefactor to it, and Bishop Alcock one of the principal designers.
a Vitruvius has observed, that some of the ancient architects did not
Rudiments of Ancient Architecture, p. 31. Notwithstanding this, the most ancient Grecian temples were built after this order. See Mr. Edmund Aikin's Essay as above.
b Of this peculiar fitness, depending partly on our sense of vision, and partly on the association of ideas, of the Gothic style, there is, I believe, but one opinion:
But let my due feet never fail
Milton's Il Penseroso.
See particularly Warton's note in this passage, in reference to Gothic churches, in his edit. of Milton's Poems on several Octasions.
• Blomefield's Collectanea, p. 91.
It is in what is called the Gothic taste, and it was built in that period, when the ornamental and florid styles prevailed; but possessing little expressive of those styles, it cannot, I apprehend, be properly described by either of those terms. On the exterior there is no ornament: the tower has no height, and what is remarkable, the pinnacles are rounded off, not very elegantly, with balls; it has a parapet, which encircles the whole building. The gateway is in a good style; the most ancient parts of it are those accompanied with the low eastern towers: as a whole, the nave and all the interior component parts being taken, with the exterior, St. Mary's church is considered a light and beautiful building.
The various inscriptions on the monuments here, which are neither numerous nor remarkable, together with various benefactions, given to the parish, as copied from the tables placed between the church and chancel, may be seen in Mr. Blomefield's Collectanea.
The University Library fronts you to the west. It consists of four compartments, that overtop the quadrangle, which composes the public schools. The internal contents relate more immediately to the literature of the place, and externally, only the eastern front is
* Occasional allusions to books and MSS. (and they can only be slight) will be occasionally, and have been already interspersed in this work. The reader is referred for an account of the Sandwich marbles,