Gothic art in England

Crazy vaults, ball flowers, and carved angels that appear to sing...

c. 1200 - 1400

videos + essays

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Four styles of English medieval architecture at Ely Cathedral
Four styles of English medieval architecture at Ely Cathedral

An Anglo-Saxon princess founded a nunnery in the eel-filled marshy waters of East Anglia; see how it developed during the Middle Ages.

Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel
Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel

Art Historian Paul Binski recovers the Lady Chapel's former opulence in his imagination, and ours.

Henry VII Chapel
Henry VII Chapel

Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey, London, begun 1503. Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris      

Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral

The enormous west front of Lincoln Cathedral stacks Gothic lancets over rounded Romanesque arches. Inside, “crazy vaults” render space illegible.

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral

Hidden behind a brightly painted, screen-like façade, the medieval musicians of Wells Cathedral played for crowds assembled outside.

<em>The Wilton Diptych</em>
The Wilton Diptych

Hinged together, these two panels stage Richard II’s audience with the Virgin and Christ Child. Count the angels!

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

A superlative example of Early English Gothic, Salisbury grew taller and pointier in the 14th century. Today its spire tilts 27 inches southeast.

Southwell Minster
Southwell Minster

This medieval British church is oriented east to west. Points on a compass also mark different styles: the east end is Gothic; the west, Norman.

Selected Contributors