Perpendicular Gothic architecture: sunlit flying buttresses on St. George’s Chapel

May 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Windsor Castle | Leave a comment
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Today’s glorious sunshine highlighted the flying buttresses on the south side of St. George’s Chapel nave.

These sun-struck arches transmit the horizontal force from the high nave vault to the external buttresses or piers.  They form an exoskeleton along north and south sides of the nave, as shown below.  (Another set of  arc-boutants provide the same function for the quire to the east).

Late Gothic architecture in the Perpendicular style takes full advantage of such load transferring structures, and even displays them for all to see outside the beautiful building, to full effect.

Flying buttresses carry the forces away from the central vaulted chapel, thus enabling large windows to be designed into the load-bearing walls.  Combined with the remarkable height of the vault, such extensive glasswork allows for a bright, impressive, airy interior.  No wonder visitors gasp when they enter such a magnificent building!

Flying buttresses on St. George's Chapel Windsor Castle 30 May 2009

Flying buttresses on St. George's Chapel Windsor Castle 30 May 2009

I took this picture on my way to Evensong this evening.


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