Internet Shakespeare Editions


Late English Gothic

King's College Chapel, Cambridge.
Photograph Michael Best.

News--and ideas--travelled slowly in the middle ages. The Renaissance did not reach England for over a century after the explosion of ideas in Florence that started it all.

One result of England's late arrival on the scene was that the gothic style in architecture prevailed longer than on the Continent--which resulted in a wonderful Indian summer, the "perpendicular" style, so called for the design of the vertical tracery in the windows. The efficiency of the design makes the windows tall, with a high proportion of glass to stone.

More on the late Gothic style.

Henry VIII again

King's College Chapel, Cambridge, and Henry VIII's chapel in Westminster Abbey were built at the peak of the style: the tall, arching gothic windows are still there, but they have become wider and the arch is flatter, to allow more light in. The roof is held up by the delicate tracery of "fan" vaulting.

Another fine late gothic building is the Abbey at Bath.