Durham Cathedral--page 3 (of six pages)


The nave looking west

Banners between the columns were temporary, advertizing an exhibit of medieval manuscripts including the Book of Lindesfarne.

The west end of the nave


The nave

The nave, choir and transepts are all Norman in style. The nave has a ribbed vault, with pointed transverse arches; slender composite piers alternating with massive drum columns support the vault.


Incised ornament on the columns

The decoration, which may help to mask the enormous size of the columns, consists of spirals, chevrons, lozenges and flutes.


Nave elevation with arcade with decorated arches, a double arcade in the triforium and a triple arched opening in the clerestory

"The nave vault of Durham Cathedral is the most significant architectural element of the Durham World Heritage Site because it marks a turning point in the history of architecture. The pointed arch was successfully used as a structural element for the first time here in this building. Semi-circular arches were the type used prior to the adoption of the structural pointed arch--the limitations of which is that their height must be proportionate to their width. The stone ribs became extremely important structural elements that evolved to form even more strongly-pointed arches. These enabled cathedrals to soar even higher--creating the Gothic style that was to flourish between the 12th and 16th centuries."


The crossing with star burst vaulting


Crossing tower looking from the choir to the west

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© 2015 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.