Prominent men in the period 1410-1460 built new brick houses, but when it came to providing a chapel or church for their burial, they felt it necessary to commission a stone building. King Henry VI lived at Fulbrook Castle, Warwickshire, in his youth and completed his father’s Sheen Palace, Richmond-on-Thames, but intended the chapel at Eton College as his burial place: both residences and the school were brick-built but the chapel is stone. The government’s treasurer 1433-1443, Ralph Lord Cromwell built in brick at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire, but instructed his executor, Bishop William Waynflete, to rebuilt Tattershall church in stone. Sir John Fastolf built Caister Castle and Southwark Place and other buildings in brick, but his chapel attached to St Benet’s Abbey, Ludham, was structural brick faced in flint (the building is demolished). John Lord Wenlock built Someries Castle near Luton in brick but the chapel he added to Luton parish church is chalk block; his monument is in chalk, although the subterranean charnel house is brick. The paper will also examine where the building materials were obtained from for the works commissioned by these three patrons.
The strange discovery of a clay mortar bonded, stone built hall house in north-west Ireland led to a course of research which is illuminating national perspectives on medieval settlement and construction in Ireland. Unrecognised as a medieval construction technique in Ireland, research suggests that its perceptions as a building material used only by the socially disadvantaged in medieval society is incorrect. Clay mortar was a material of choice, not necessity, by all social classes from church, elite society to commoners. Loss of meaning led to a lack of understanding resulting in its large scale invisibility in the field. The widespread identification of clay mortared masonry buildings in medieval Ireland is transforming attitudes on building traditions across the perceived social divide.
About 1140, as masons rebuilt stonework of St-Denis in Paris, in a shallow canyon in present New Mexico, masons were completing the ancestral Puebloan Great House, Pueblo Bonito. Abbot Suger records the transformation of heavy wall-based architecture at St-Denis being conceptually exploded into a flying buttress structural paradigm to serve the spatial actualization of a wall of light. In Chaco, the architecture of ritual spaces and minute window detail charted lunar and solar cycles in real time. Architecture that engages the otherness of nature as metaphor of transcendence will be contrasted with architecture embracing phenomena of nature and creating time.
The delicate rib-vaulting of the Cenacle on Mount Sion stands out from all other churches in Crusader Jerusalem, demonstrating parallels with some of the major centres of Gothic architecture in Western Europe. Understanding the history of the site is challenging, however, because the Cenacle is part of a complex compound structure filled with heterogeneous architectural features. Scholars continue debating when the Cenacle obtained its current form and, specifically, when its characteristic Gothic rib vaults were constructed. The discovery of new sculptural elements on Mount Sion reported in this paper will help establishing when the Cenacle was built, what was the source of inspiration behind its Gothic elements, and who could be the patron who made this project possible.