Tower of London.Model.
NORMAN ROMANESQUE Anonymous
11th c British Romanesque Architecture
(c. 1050 - 1250)
London. England. Great Britian.
Caen. Center of William the Conqueror.
When William defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 he changed his name from William the Bastard to William the Conqueror, and England was changed forever. William established feudalism in England by confiscating all the Saxon lands and distributing them to his Norman followers, not as gifts, but rather to hold for him as his tenants. They thus became what are know as vassals with William as their liege or feudal lord.
The Normans, who spoke French, became the ruling lords of England. For a long time French was spoken by the nobles while the conquered peoples spoke Saxon, the essential root of English. French words were slowly amalgamated and the language we speak today contains many French words that are a legacy of the Norman conquerors. Words ending in "ion" or "on" often derive from the French. Sometimes we have two words that mean essentially the same thing. For example, a short one syllable word is usually Saxon, like the Anglo-Saxon word "sheep." The Norman derived equivalent would be "mutton" which comes from French "mouton."
The Normans were the superb architects who created the great church of St. Trinité in Caen that we examined in the last lesson. William continued the tradition by commissioning his builders to create great stone buildings like the Tower of London, seen here in a model. These buildings alerted the Saxon populace to the fact that the Normans had established permanent residency in England. In addition to fortresses like this, the Normans built a whole series of magnificent cathedrals like Durham, Peterborough and Winchester, all with the skeletal walls, square schematism and alternating support system that we saw at Caen. Most had wooden roofs but the experimentation with stone vaults that we saw at Caen was carried even further at Durham.
ROMANESQUE | Tower of London. Model. | 1066-1068 | British | Romanesque