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By Warwick Rodwell

Dorchester-on-Thames and its abbey were matters of antiquarian curiosity for greater than 450 years, and through that time a lot has been written approximately them. they're, even though, nonetheless faraway from being comprehensively studied and recorded. certainly, the such a lot gigantic architectural description of the medieval church was once written as in the past as 1845, and a thoroughgoing reappraisal has lengthy been past due. during this significant new learn at the origins, background and structure of Dorchester Abbey, Warwick Rodwell assembles a major quantity of fabric from observations in the course of fix and conservation and data derived from archaeological excavation, in addition to the unforeseen discovery of formerly unstudied and unpublished topographical and architectural fabric, housed in different information. the amount is divided into components: the 1st includes an account of the archaeology of the location and the architectural improvement of the abbey, whereas the second one includes a sequence of targeted notes and observations at the current constitution, its fittings and furniture.

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The Jesse window is found in bay five (Figs eighty five, 86 and 112; Pl. 9). The rear-arch is adorned with orders of ballflower, just like the east window, however the hood-moulding incorporates small, a bit curled leaves. South wall and arcade Bay 1 can be defined as a part of the crossing (p. 160). Bays 2–4 are taken up with an arcade. nine Above the tops of the arches the wall reduces in thickness, back suggesting that it's been heightened. The scar the place the arch in bay 2 was once minimize during the 12th/13th-century wallplaster which extends into the crossing, and used to be as a result made stable, is obviously obvious. lines of an imitation masonry development, painted with double strains in purple, were stumbled on at the previous plaster within the spandrel among bays 1 and a pair of. 10 The arcade in bays 2–4 is all of a bit, yet doesn't fit its counterpart at the north (Figs seventy six and seventy seven; Pl. 5). The heights of the masonry classes within the piers are, for instance, markedly diversified: at the south they degree 45–80 cm, whereas at the north they're always within the area of 40–45 cm. additionally, the plinths of the piers are taller at the south than at the north. The piers contain a cluster of shafts and rolls, they usually have ring-bases resting on compound octagonal plinths (Fig. 115B). The capitals of the shafts are good moulded and feature double abaci; they fit the north arcade. The arches are richly moulded and enclosed by way of a hood-moulding that includes 4 head-stops. The arch mouldings will not be similar to these at the north, which has extra filleted rolls, while at the south a few are unfilleted. From west to east, the head-stops characterize: a hooded monk, a king, a bishop and a tonsured monk. they're much bolder than the head-stops at the north arcade and it's doubtful whether or not they are all medieval: the bishop particularly is suspect. In bay 2, the pier bases lower than the arcade were reduce to house tombs or furniture, yet no convinced facts of a monitor is current. harm incurred in the course of development is evidenced at the pier of bays 2/3: right here, sections of the east- and north-facing shafts have been fractured and needed to be repaired with scorching resin-mastic (cf. Pl. 35). The fragment which broke off the east shaft was once glued in place, yet at the north shaft the fracture was once in the reduction of to a neat line and a brand new stone pieced-in. either convey the vintage symptoms of scorching mastic maintenance: a brown line (resin) within the fracture, among pink-tinged edges to the stone on both sides. The discolouration is the results of heating the stone to influence a bond. one other mastic fix will be visible within the base of the north-facing shaft. determine 116A (left) and 116B (right). Chancel: double piscina in bay 4/5. (Warwick Rodwell; Addington, 1845) adjacent the arcade reply of bay four, to the east, is an ornate double piscina, the development of that's indispensable with the arcade (Figs seventy seven and 116; Pl. 18). In bay five, instantly past the piscina, is the scar the place the first east wall joined the south wall, sooner than the chancel was once prolonged.

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