In these Norman churches the chancel arch, the south and north doorway, the tower arch, and the priests' door in the chancel were semi-circular in form, the chancel arch and the south doorway being more elaborately treated than the others. This elaboration was very simply gained by recessing two or more superimposed rings of stone, in the "orders'' which have already been described. Roll wall panelling mouldings appear in some of the arches, shafts with cushion capitals support them, and the side chiefly in view is found enriched with the characteristic Norman carving. The "classical" character is maintained by such features as a rude pediment enclosing the arch of the doorway and many other little details which are clearly traceable to Roman models, and it is interesting to watch how they became transformed in the new architecture.
HOW WALL PANELLING AISLES WERE ADDED
With the chancel arch may be compared the arches dividing the central part of the nave from its aisles. The student should learn to differentiate between churches which were built originally wit's wall panelling aisles and those (a numerous class) where the aisles have been added. Since the usual main entrance to the nave was on the south side, it was preferable to add a north aisle first, thus avoiding disturbance of the porch and the graves that were here more crowded together. To form access to the aisles, arches could be cut through the old external wall, and indications, such as portions of early windows left behind, bear witness to the change. The legs or piers of these arches were then replaced by circular columns, and we can see many devices to marry the circular form to the square masonry above, the top of the capital generally taking a square form. In many of our smaller churches the aisle was roofed by merely extending the nave roof downwards, which allowed very little height for the aisle walls. Later on, these walls were raised and an independent roof provided, and the date of this improvement will be naturally marked by the new windows. The aisles were not invariably added to increase the accommodation for worshippers. They were quite as often needed for sepulture, chantry chapels and altars, and they were subject to frequent alterations for the same purpose. All these successive modifications and extensions can be traced by the marks they have left upon the building. The windows of the Norman church wereusually very narrow circular-headed lights, opening by side splays on to the interior, At the East end the favourite arrangement was a triplet of three independent lights, the centre one higher than the others. In larger churches these round-headed windows were wider, and the inner or rear arch, as well as the outside, might have attached shafts and an arch moulding.
The grouping of two lights within one arch which we find in Norman houses was not in use in parish churches, except in the belfry openings of towers, and this important development, which was to result in the wonderful traceried windows, was left to the architects of the with century. It seems, however, to have been deliberately rejected, for not only was it in use in domestic buildings, as well as in the triforium, etc., of the larger churches, but an even closer approximation to tracery is to be found in the Wheel windows which were inserted in such tiny churches as Barfreston. This example shows also the amusing decoration in which the XIIth century sculptor indulged. The band of carving round the window and the sturdy little columns are wholly classical in their design, but the embryo of a trefoil in the eight radiating lights is bore than prophetic of the Gothic forms that were to come.
The change of detail from the Norman to the Gothic wall panelling work of the XIIIth century, that transformation which has been described in the last chapter, can be studied in every one of its phases in the parish church. Sometimes the change is as complete and outstanding as in any of the greater buildings, but more often it is gradual, and the contrast is less vivid. There is a great deal of transitional work of the end of the XIIth century, round arches with deeply-cut and delicate mouldings, pointed arcades to piers which still show the square abacus and cushion capital, bits of fresh vigorous carving amid the earlier type of structure. Where money was scarce there is a simple Romanesque look about the new style of building, ornament and mouldings are rare, and the doors, windows and arcades are plain and solid. Yet the new development shows itself, the circular bell capital becomes universal, the lancet window is adopted, lights begin to be grouped under one arch, deep buttresses appear, even when there is no vault, to strengthen the walls where they carry the massive tie beams and kings posts of the open timber roofs. And in many a secluded church some craftsman who has worked on the neighbouring cathedral or abbey is allowed to show the full richness of the deeply-moulded arches, to introduce the delicate Purbeck shafts and foliated arcades, and make the building a shrine full of the beauty of the new style.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE GOTHIC WALL PANELLING FIG PARISH CHURCH
In the parish churches of Northamptonshire of the XIIIth and XIVth centuries may be seen the fully developed style we know as " Gothic." The towers grow upwards into spires within a cluster of pinnacles ; the steep gables at the roof-ends are clearly marked ; the arches and windows are of fine contour with deeply-cut mouldings. Where local quarries of generous stone favoured good craftsmanship, where money was not lacking and zeal was high, you can study the work of the medieval artist at his best ; but at his worst, and in the most unfavourable conditions, you will still find him an artist, and an artist true to his age. It is this that makes all his work so well worth discovering.
The walls of the early parish churches were coveredwith paintings, Bible stories in wall panelling fresco, saints and angels framed in simple decoration, and over the chancel arch was o4en displayed a" Doom," God the Father sitting in judgment. At times crude, at other times exhibiting great skill in pose and drapery and composition, these wall panelling drawings, like all the so-called " primitives," were full of glorious colour, and never failed in decorative quality. They were the counterpart of a fine school of English figure sculpture of the XIIIth and XIVth centuries.
We have considered in the last chapter the main characteristics of the parish churches from the XIIth to the XIVth centuries, the churches that served large rural parishes, and those that are to be found crowded together in our ancient towns. Cities like London, Norwich, Lincoln, Exeter, were filled with small churches, fresh accommodation being found not by enlarging existing buildings, but by raising fresh ones of modest dimensions. The form of these churches, too, was a collection of separately designed compartments, chancel and nave, aisles. transepts and chapels ; sub-divided by massive piers and arches, where one can pass from one architectural effect to another, full of strange contrasts in light and shade, pervaded by a sense of depth and mystery.
At the threshold of the XIVth century there appeared in England a new influence, which was to effect a great change in church building. The last phase of monasticism produced the Orders of Friars, who, vowed to poverty (they are called the Mendicant
INFLUENCE OF THE FRIARS ON WALL PANELLING CONSTRUCTON
Orders) took up preaching as their chief vocation, and, unlike the monks, settled in the midst of busy towns. Receiving favour from the king and the nobles, and popular among the people, they were enabled, without a technical breach of their vows, to build fine churches and habitations, at the expense of wealthy patrons who placed at their disposal the means which they were forbidden to claim as their own. Sepulture in a friars' church was sought by all who could afford the privilege, and gifts were showered upon them from high and low.