Change in architectural style : the adoption of macro- and micro-architectural motifs in 14th-century collegiate churches in England and Wales

Budge, Andrew Lindsay (2017) Change in architectural style : the adoption of macro- and micro-architectural motifs in 14th-century collegiate churches in England and Wales. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Why does architectural style change? This question, once of critical concern to architectural historians, has been of peripheral interest to more recent scholarship. In re-opening the question, with the emphasis on the adoption of new motifs rather than their invention, this thesis aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the causes of change and to extend the methodological apparatus with which the question can be tackled. The empirical base for the study is a previously untapped resource: the sixty-six collegiate churches founded in the 14th century in England and Wales. The diachronic investigation of the changes in architectural motifs observed in these churches is complemented by the use of techniques drawn from other disciplines, such as population-level analysis and the use of frequency-distribution graphs. Two of the churches, Edington and St Mary’s, Warwick, neither of which have been accorded substantive academic attention before, are the subject of detailed case studies. The resulting observations enable a number of the potential causes of 14th-century architectural change to be tested: boredom with existing forms; competition; fashion; cultural and societal influences; costs and funding constraints; and the dominance of a ‘centre’. With the exception of competition, in the guise of differentiation or emulation, none exhibit convincing explanatory power. This prompts a crossdisciplinary inquiry using models of change from the social and natural sciences, specifically Innovation Diffusion Theory and the application of principles of the theory of evolution. These are evaluated against the observations from the dataset. The thesis concludes by enumerating the benefits of taking a broader, more interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of architectural change.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Arts > History of Art & Screen Media
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 12:07
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 12:07

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