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of its originl. If the earliest pointed arches were derived from
wooden crucks, their position and use would at first be similar,
that is, we should expect to find them used as principals to carry
wooden roofs; but the earliest pointed arches in England are used
in vaulting, and at Durham cathedral, where those early pointed
arches had their home, we find that the wooden roofs over the nave
aisles are carried by half round arches, and the earlier roofs of the
choir aisles were carried by semicircular arches.

In Ireland and in Scotland there are certain little primitive
stone buildings, of which the best known is the so-called oratory





Fig. 36. Interior view of the farm-house near Strata Florida Abbey, of which the plan
is shown in Fig. 35. The ridge tree is carried both by principal rafters and by an
upright post. All the timber was unsquared.

of Gallerus. They are rectangular in plan and somewhat like an
inverted boat in appearance. In construction they are pointed
barrel vaults, resting on the ground, but with the stones laid in
horizontal courses, instead of in radiating courses as in a true arch.
They are apparently derived from the application to a rectangular
plan of the method of roofing the circular or ‘beehive’ huts, and
the upper part. of the roof is formed by slabs of stone laid across,
copying the slab which closed the top of the beehive huts. This

1 ‘ Observations on the Origin of Gothic Architecture’ in Arcfiteo/ogia, XVII (1814),
pp. I to 29.

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