In the Eastern Empire (Constantinople) we have seen the Roman style merge into the Byzantine. In the West, however, where Teutonic invaders took possession, Roman architecture developed on different lines and produced what is known as the Romanesque style. We shall study two important branches of Romanesque architecture, viz.: Anglo-Saxon and Norman.
When the Angles, Saxons and Jutes crossed to our land they brought little that could be called art. They probably destroyed many Roman buildings and let others fall to ruin. Their building activities scarcely went beyond the construction of stockades, sheds and wooden halls for their leaders. The Anglo-Saxon verb for " to build " was " getimbrian " - to construct in wood. The wooden church at Greenstead is probably typical of their work after they had been here for two centuries.
The art of building in stone began, probably, after Christianity had been introduced by St. Augustine. Then Rome became the teacher in the arts of peace; but there were few in the land who were skilled workers in stone. Thus we find Benedict, the founder of Monkwearmouth Church, sending to Gaul for masons who could build in the Roman manner.
Fragments of Roman mouldings built into Saxon walls show that the Saxons, when they did begin to build in stone, knew where to go for their materials.
Long periods of strife down to the time of Canute explain why there are few Anglo-Saxon remains earlier than the eleventh century.
Earls Barton Tower shows the chief characteristics of late Saxon work long, narrow, pilaster-like strips of stone joined by arches and straight braces : round-headed windows: " long and short " work (blocks of ashlar set in alternate courses at the angles of walls) ; windows divided by " swollen " baluster shafts: small window apertures: a slight narrowing upwards of the tower: and the absence of buttresses.
Triangular Headed Window. A triangular head, formed by two large stonesleaning against each other, was not infrequently used.
Earls Barton Tower. This tower shows the chief characteristics of late Saxon work. The parapet is post-Saxon.
The Tower Monkwearmouth Church. This dates from about A.D. 680. Benedict's doorway, shown. In the illustration, is probably early Anglo-Saxon work that remains to us.The arch is very low and heavy.
The Wooden Church At Greenstead Essex. This is built of tree-trunks halved lengthways, and grooved and tongued together by their edges. The tower and chancel are post-Saxon.