Medieval Church Window Tracery in England

Medieval Church Window Tracery in England

Stephen Hart


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Boydell Press



A comprehensive review of the wide and varied range of window tracery designs that emerged during the medieval period.
While the terms used to describe the tracery of medieval church windows are familiar (Early English, Decorated, Perpendicular), there has been no really detailed attempt to examine it as a distinct, stylistic architectural form, a gap which this book seeks to address. Based upon a visual catalogue of over 250 images of surviving types and styles from churches throughout England, it traces the progression of ideas and the continuity of motifs and themes in tracery patterns from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, showing how different themes emerged within the main architectural styles; it also looks at the distinction between a window's architectural form and its tracery style, and describes the several different tracery techniques. The volume is completed with a detailed glossary.

Stephen Hart is a retired architect, and the author of numerous works, including Flint Flushwork.


20 colour, 258 black and white, 3 line illustrations
184 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Hardback, 9781843835332, March 2010
Paperback, 9781843837602, July 2012
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Architectural Styles and Window Arch Forms
Skeletal Frameworks of Window Tracery
Origins and Techniques of Tracery
Lancet Style
Geometric Tracery Styles
Curvilinear Tracery
Perpendicular Styles
List of Churches by County
Index of Places


A valuable addition to the study of medieval architectural history and suitable for both expert and interested amateur. ROUND TOWER

It will be a most useful vade mecum for the enthusiastic church visitor. (...) A comprehensive overview of English parochial tracery design. ECCLESIOLOGY TODAY

Anyone interested in medieval windows will enjoy the great range of examples put forward and discussed by Hart, whose book is a timely reminder of the ingenuity and creativity of England's medieval masons. JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE OF HISTORIC BUILDING CONSERVATION

A comprehensive, sophisticated and long overdue survey of the development of Gothic church window tracery. CHURCH MONUMENTS

A perceptive, informative, beautifully written, and well-illustrated study of the topic. SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIANS NEWSLETTER
In a methodical, clear and notably well-illustrated fashion (there are good plates of some 300 windows) it traces the evolution of tracery through the Lancet, Geometric, Curvilinear and Perpendicular styles. BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGY
The varieties of such stonework are splendidly analysed and illustrated. DAILY TELEGRAPH (Christopher Howse)

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