(active 1093-1096 in Canterbury)

Exterior view

Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent

The first monumental buildings of the English Romanesque were built from 1070 in Canterbury, the city where St. Augustine had become England's first bishop in 601. From the summer of 1070, Lanfranc, an Italian a prior in Normandy, was its archbishop.

The Canterbury Cathedral, which originated from the ninth century, was destroyed by fire in 1067, a year after the Norman Conquest. Rebuilding began in 1070 under Lanfranc (1070–1077) and continued under Lanfranc's successor Anselm (1093-1109) and his prior Ernulph (1096-1107) and eventually completed by Prior Conrad (1108-1126). The choir of this building, of which only the outside walls still stand, was the choir of the Cathedral.

In the period around 1060-63, Lanfranc started, and possibly even designed the largely preserved church in Caen where William the Conqueror was buried. He applied its form to his new cathedral in Canterbury, which was completed before Lanfranc's death in 1089. We are familiar with the ground plan of this church; the original north-west tower was replaced when alterations were made to the cathedral in the early nineteenth century. A façade with two towers was connected to a nave with pillars and eight bays, a three-part transept with galleries in the projecting sections, and a five part choir with chapels in echelon and a crypt underneath the main apse.

The elevation can be largely inferred: groin-vaulted aisles flanking a three-storey nave (arcade, gallery, clerestory with a walkway and three windows in each bay). There was no evidence for vaulting above the nave and side aisle galleries.

The photo shows the choir built by Anselm.

View the ground plan of Canterbury Cathedral, built by Lanfranc, and the elevation of the nave and side aisles, I: present condition, II: Lanfranc's time.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.