Gothic dating ideas
The east-west axis was determined by the existing position of the Lady Chapel.
A spacious area between the high altar and the beginning of the quire was necessary to provide a 'theatre' where coronations could take place.
The western section of the nave was then carried on by Abbot Nicholas Litlyngton using money bequeathed by Cardinal Simon Langham (Litlyngton's predecessor as abbot) and work slowly progressed for nearly a hundred and fifty years.
It was probably Litlyngton who insisted that the general design of Henry III's masons should be followed thus giving the Abbey great architectural unity.
In 1245 he pulled down the eastern part of the 11th century Abbey, which had been founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065.
In the cloisters the Pyx chamber and the Undercroft still remain from Edward's church.
On each side of the door into the Pyx masons marks can be seen on the walls.
Earlier in Henry's reign, on , he had laid the foundation stone for a new Lady Chapel at the east end of the Confessor's church, but as the Abbey's own financial resources were not sufficient to continue the rebuilding of the whole church at this time no other work was carried out.
These are constructed on half-concealed transverse arches.Some of the original colour on the censing angels in the south transept was discovered at about the same time.Brilliant ruby and sapphire glass, with heraldic shields set in a grisaille (or grey monochrome) pattern, filled the windows.The original jewel-like stained glass by Bernard Flower has, however, disappeared.The last phase of building of the Abbey was the completion in 1745 of the West Towers in Portland stone, to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor, the Abbey's Surveyor.In 1422 Henry V was buried at the eastern end of St Edward's Chapel.In accordance with his will a lavishly sculptured chantry chapel was built over the tomb, with two turret staircases leading to an altar above.All around the chapel are Tudor emblems such as the rose and portcullis, and nearly one hundred statues of saints still remain in niches around the walls.Wooden carved misericords can be seen on the stall seats.John James, his successor as Surveyor, finished the work.(Both Wren, William Dickinson and Hawksmoor had put forward various designs for a central tower, dome or spire on top of the lantern roof but this was never done.There had been one on the Norman church (as shown in the Bayeux Tapestry) and a small one on the medieval church as shown in Abbot Islip's mortuary roll.