Previous Index Next
Page 124
(previous) (Page 000124) (next)

a building in early times make the theory of a temporary building
untenable. The chancel is a later addition, and the original part
is an oblong and rectangular apartment, which is as much like a
strong hall as a church. There is, indeed, no evidence by which
to date the building and it may have been built at any time before
the coming of Gothic, as so little is definitely known of the more
expensive methods of timber construction in this country in early
times. " However, in favour of its early date is the fact that Moritz
Heyne believes that Hart Hall, in the early poem Beowulf, was
built of upright trees, as at Greensted‘; he also believes that the
timbers were fastened together with iron cramps. Heyne says
that in Germany the ends of the trees were set in the ground,
their ends having been previously charred to prevent them from

The late Mr Ernest Godmana also did not agree with the
identification of Greensted church as the chapel for the body of
St Edmund, and he remarked upon its dedication to St Andrew.
He found that the timbers of the walls had been dressed with an
adze internally, after they had been split.

It has been pointed out ‘that the same compact system is
shown in the representatiOns on the Bayeux Tapestry of the
timber structures that surmount the moated mounds, several of
which are figured in the needle work. They seem put together
just in the manner illustrated at Greensted‘.’

The post of the wall against which was hung the miracle-
working earth from St Oswald’s grave, as described by Bede, was
probably similar to those at Greensted“. It is ‘posta parietis,’
that is wooden wall-post, in the original version, and in the Anglo-
Saxon translation it is ‘studu thaes wages,’ that is, stud of the
wall. The originals of this type of wall are simply fences com-
posed of trunks 'of trees set upright, close together, and in a line.
The Greensted church wall is similar to the stockaded ramparts
of the English boroughs and the Norman mottes, from which the
walls of their timber superstructures were copied. M. Camille
Enlart has quoted from a biography of Jean de Warneton, bishop
of Térouane, of about '1100 to 1130 A.D , an example of a wall of

1 Lagc der Hallc Hcorot, p. 32. 2 Deutsclze l/Vo/mungswcsen, p. 18.
3 Essay on tlze Clzaractcrs qf Medieval Architecture in Essex, p. 30.

4 Professor Baldwin Brown, Arts in Early England, 11, pp. 4|, et seq.

5 Ecclesiastical History of tlzc Engliin Pea/’16, Bk 1”, chap. X.

Previous Index Next