Perpendicular Gothic Period

Perpendicular Gothic Architecture spanned from 1377 – 1547 and was exclusively an English style of art. Compared to previous styles, this form was more economical in its design. The main feature was the type of tracery used in the head of the windows and inside the buildings. Architects used rigid lines between and among the dividing sections of windows, and these lines were carried through to the moldings. Sections were divided and subdivided by perpendicular lines.

Key Features:

  • Linear tracery with vertical lines used in window design and decorations
  • Slimmer stone mullions (stone window dividers) which allowed for greater area in stained glass use
  • Decoration with panels on flat surfaces and walls
  • Tudor flower ornamentation
  • Square geometrical shapes used in structures and ornamentation
  • Shallower and wider moldings
  • Magnificent timber roofs

Tudour Flower

Tudor Flower

Buildings of this period were covered with paneling, pronouncing the art of the perpendicular line. Whole surfaces of the building, including its buttresses and parapets, were frequently covered with paneling. Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge have examples of this style.
Vaulting was light and elegant and used delicate pendants and lace-like ornaments. Heavy ornamentation was used with no visible space left bare; either paneling or ornamentation would cover empty spaces on structures and walls. Moldings were shallower and wider, and often filled with heads, grotesque figures or animals and foliage. This was a departure from previous styles that focused purely on nature. Empty sections in these buildings were filled with images and figures of people, along with figures of angels holding different musical instruments.
Tudor flower ornamentation was introduced with this style. The Tudor flower was a trefoil flower developed from the upright points of the crossing or the cusps of a foliated arch. Foliage used in designs also incorporated square shapes, which complimented the square panels, square crockets, and other square structures used.
Windows were immensely larger with slimmer stone subdivides, allowing for larger stained glass artistry. Magnificent timber roofs were also a trademark of Perpendicular style, such as seen in Westminster Hall, United Kingdom. Open timber roofs had low pitch and used hammer beam construction. They were richly ornamented with carved figures of angels, and with tracery.
Perpendicular Style marked the last phase of English Gothic. This style was best known for its parallel vertically divided windows and the use of fan vaulting. Buildings of this time placed a heavy emphasis on vertical lines and intricate and delicate tracery.
Trademark Buildings:

  • King's College Chapel, Cambridge, England
  • Henry VII Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey, London, England
  • Gloucester Cathedral. England

Architecture Styles: