The Architectural History of Beverley Minster, 721-c. 1370
This dissertation is the first architectural history devoted to Beverley Minster, a large and ambitious Gothic church located in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Beverley is one of the most important medieval buildings in England, but it has been almost entirely ignored in the literature. The church is composed of three parts: choir and transepts (c. 1225-1260), nave (c. 1308-c. 1370), and west façade (c. 1380-1420).
The thesis begins with a description of the destroyed buildings that occupied the site during the Saxon and Romanesque periods. The remainder of the dissertation focuses on the work completed at the Minster during the fourteenth century, in the so-called Decorated style. First, the nave is analyzed and its construction is assigned to six campaigns between the years c. 1308-c. 1370. Much discussion is devoted to the "historicism" of the nave's conservative design, which is a subtly modernized version of the east end that preceded it. Contemporary documents also permit discussion of the financial contributions of the laity, canons, and municipal leaders who paid for the nave to be built.
Finally, a detailed analysis is offered for the furnishings made at Beverley between 1292 and c. 1340: the reredos (high altar screen), sedilia (seating for priests), and the destroyed shrine which once contained the relics of St. John of Beverley. Like the nave, they are all neglected masterpieces of the Decorated style.
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