Previous Index Next
Page 162
(previous) (Page 000162) (next)
 
148 WALLS [CH.

years: its interest lies in the evidence that a smith did the work of
a carver in stone.

Before the Norman Conquest stone was apparently dressed with
a double axe, for ‘bipennis’ and ‘bipennis securis’ are translated
by ‘twibille,’ ‘stanaex’ and ‘twilafte aex’ in contemporary glossaries‘,
and the early glossaries also show that the walls were ‘ tried up ’ to
keep them perpendicular. In an Anglo-Saxon glossary of the
eighth century ‘ perpendiculum ’ is translated as ‘colthred pundur,’
and in Aelfric’s glossary of the tenth century it is translated by
‘ wealles rihtungthred,’ and in a glossary of the eleventh century it
is ‘walthraed thaet is rihtnesse2.’ Later, in the fifteenth century
Cat/zo/z'mn Anglz'cum, a ‘levelle’ is translated by ‘perpendiculum,’
and this is glossed as a ‘ plommett,’ and in the same dictionary a
‘ swyrre' (that is, a carpenter’s square) is translated ‘ amussis’ and
‘ perpendiculum,’ and by Baret ‘ amussis’ and ‘ perpendiculum ’ are
translated ‘ leauell line or carpenter’s rule.’ Huloet translates ‘level
or lyne called a plomblyne, perpendiculum.’ In the Prompz‘orz'zmz
Parvulomm a ‘ plumbe of wryghtys or masonys ’ is also translated
‘ perpendiculu m.’

Wattles, and daub, and mud are used no longer for the walls of
ordinary buildings, and their place has been taken by brickwork.
Although it is now in general use in England, the early history of
brickwork is more obscure than that of any other modern form of
wall or partition. Lacing courses of bricks were used by the
Romans in Britain in their stone walls; such Roman bricks were
approximately square and only about I in. thick, and thus they
were what we should now call tiles rather than bricks. Similar tiles
or bricks were used by Saxons and Normans in their buildings,
principally at or near Roman sites, and it is generally considered
that they are Roman materials reused. St Martin’s church at
Canterbury, and St Alban’s cathedral are well-known examples,
the one Saxon, the other Norman. In the neighbourhood of the
Roman wall, in Northumberland, the Roman buildings do not
contain lacing courses of brick, nor do the pre-Conquest buildings
built of the Roman materials in the Roman manner, such as the
chancel of Jarrow church (Fig. 70). At St Patrick’s chapel, Heysham,
Lancashire, thin stones are used in a rough imitation of the
courses of bricks of Roman walls, and this is some evidence that

1 VVright-Wiilcker, Vombularz'es, 3.71. Bipennis.
2 Ibid. 5.1). I’erpendiculum.

Previous Index Next