Medieval Art and Architecture I
Level 0 (CQFW Level 3), 10 Credits.
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A course of illustrated lectures on medieval art and architecture as seen in cathedrals and abbeys. Emphasis will be on their importance as an expression of the spirit of the age. A wide selection of buildings will be examined, each having artistic merit and mirroring the history of the locality.
The programme will include the following buildings:
- Exeter (Devon)
During the years following the Norman Conquest a cathedral was built here on the site of an ancient Saxon church. Nearly the whole of the present cathedral was begun c. 1275 and took nearly a century to complete. The west front is particularly fine.
- Ely (Cambs)
The great cathedral dominates the flat Fenlands for miles. There was originally a Saxon monastery here, founded by St Etheldreda in 673. Sacked by the Danes, but re-founded as a Benedictine abbey in 970, the present church was begun in 1083 and became a cathedral in 1109. Its most extraordinary feature is the 14th century octagon which crowns the crossing.
- Peterborough (Cambs)
A majestic cathedral in an unprepossessing town, originally a Saxon abbey stood here. It was sacked by the Danes, re-founded, but the church was again destroyed by a great fire in c. 1116. Rebuilding began soon after. The Norman church is much as we see it today.
- Romsey Abbey (Hants)
This abbey was founded as a nunnery by Edward the Elder, King of Wessex. Most of the church which we see today was begun in 1120 and finished just a hundred years later. A fine Saxon rood survives from the earlier church. At the Dissolution, it became the parish church, one of the most splendid Norman churches in England.
Each building will be examined in depth: its history, socio-economic context, the particular aspects of theology emphasised during the various phases of its building, the influences on its art and architecture and, in the case of larger churches, of their patrons. All these have created the buildings that we see today.
Who is this course for?
Anyone with an interest in the topic. This is a Level CWFQ 3 (foundation) course, so no previous knowledge is assumed.
Learning and Teaching
There will be a series of illustrated lectures, with plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion.
Coursework and Assessment
Students are encouraged to keep a course diary, and have the option of writing an essay.
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- C.Platt: The Parish Churches of Medieval England, London 1981 or more recent reprint London 1995.
- R.Morris: Churches in the Landscape, London 1989.
- S.Jenkins: England’s Thousand Best Churches, Penguin, London 1990.
- G.Webb: Architecture in Britain. The Middle Ages, Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth 1956 (or later reprints, now produced by Yale).
- J.Betjeman (Ed.): Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches, 3rd. ed., 2 vols, London 1968. Brief entries divided into North and South.
- David Macaulay: Cathedral: the Story of Its Construction. Collins, 1974, 1976, 1979.
- Thomas Maude: Guided by a Stonemason: Cathedrals, Abbeys and Churches of Britain Unveiled, I B Tauris & Co Ltd; 1997
- P. & L. Murray: The Oxford Companion to Christian Art & Architecture, Oxford 1996.
- Henry Thorold : Collins Guide To Cathedrals, Abbeys And Priories Of England And Wales, Collins, 1986.
- Also, relevant volumes in the N. Pevsner Buildings of England (Pevsner Architectural Guides) series.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.