Perpendicular style

Perpendicular style

Perpendicular style, term given the final period of English Gothic architecture (late 14th-middle 16th cent.) because of the predominating vertical lines of its tracery and paneling. It is also called rectilinear for the prevailing angularity of the designs. The work produced after 1485 is sometimes classified as Tudor style. The use at the Gloucester Cathedral, about the middle of the 14th cent., of numerous vertical panels of tracery for both windows and walls led to a rapid spread of the style. Its climax was reached in Henry VII's chapel, Westminster (c.1500-1525), where panelings cover both exterior and interior surfaces. At Winchester they cover the whole west front. In some cases church windows were of great size, making the west end practically a wall of glass with mullions running vertically for the entire height. Elaborate traceried fan vaulting was one of the distinctive creations of the style, and roofs of complex open-timber construction were numerous. A number of elaborate chapels were built in this period, especially at Oxford and at Cambridge (where King's College Chapel is a notable example), as well as various academic buildings, such as the divinity school at Oxford (completed 1480).
The Tudor style in architecture is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period (1485–1603) and even beyond, for conservative college patrons. It followed the Perpendicular style and, although superseded by Elizabethan architecture in domestic building of any pretensions to fashion, the Tudor style still retained its hold on English taste, portions of the additions to the various colleges of Oxford and Cambridge being still carried out in the Tudor style which overlaps with the first stirrings of the Gothic Revival.

The four-centred arch, now known as the Tudor arch, was a defining feature; some of the most remarkable oriel windows belong to this period; the mouldings are more spread out and the foliage becomes more naturalistic. Nevertheless, "Tudor style" is an awkward style-designation, with its implied suggestions of continuity through the period of the Tudor dynasty and the misleading impression that there was a style break at the accession of Stuart James I in 1603. In the domestic architecture one would find the walls made of wattle and daub.

In church architecture the principal examples are:

In domestic building:

There is also Tudor architecture in Scotland, too, as an example is King's College, Aberdeen.

In the 19th century a free mix of these late Gothic elements and Elizabethan were combined for hotels and railway stations, in revival styles known as Jacobethan and Tudorbethan.

Tudor style buildings have six distinctive features -

  • Decorative half-timbering
  • Steeply pitched roof
  • Prominent cross gables
  • Tall, narrow windows
  • Small window panes
  • Large chimneys, often topped with decorative chimney pots

As a modern term

As a modern residential style, what is usually referred to as Tudor (or sometimes Mock Tudor) is more akin to the rustic Tudorbethan architecture.


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