A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English by Richard Barras

By Richard Barras

This two-volume publication explores how the nice structures of britain undergo witness to 1000 years of the nation’s background. In all ages, funding in iconic constructions reaches a climax while the existing mode of creation is working so much successfully, surplus wealth is so much abundant, and the dominant category ideas ideal. in the course of such classes of balance and prosperity, the call for for brand spanking new constructions is robust, structural and stylistic techniques abound, and there's fierce festival to construct for lasting popularity. each one such climax produces a special classic of hegemonic structures which are monuments to the wealth and tool of these who governed their global.

this primary quantity presents an advent to the learn of wealth accumulation during the last millennium. There stick with 3 case reviews of iconic development funding from the 11th to the 17th century. throughout the 11th and 12th centuries the conquering Norman kings and barons erected castles through the state to cement their feudal energy. through the 13th and fourteenth centuries the nice wealth of the ecclesiastical estates funded the lavish building of Gothic cathedrals and abbeys. in the course of the 16th and early 17th centuries Tudor and Jacobean magnates vied to construct the main great palaces and prodigy homes. The English Revolution introduced this period to a close.

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Extra info for A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History: Volume I: 1066–1688

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Such improvements were achieved by the combination of three revolutionary structural innovations: pointed arches, rib vaults, and flying buttresses. These allowed the medieval mason to build higher and wider with less stonework, relying on ribs and buttresses rather than massive walls to take the strain. The result was a transformation in the form of churches, from the small windows, heavy piers, and flat roofs of the Romanesque to the traceried windows, slender columns, and soaring vaults of the Gothic (von Simson 1989).

In response to the social formation of taste, the design of consumer goods in general, and buildings in particular, takes on a political as well as a commercial and aesthetic dimension (Lubbock 1995). In our simple economic schema, buildings function as both subsistence goods and luxury goods. Basic housing forms part of the bundle of subsistence goods consumed by the working masses. The dominant elite invest part of the surplus in the iconic buildings which form the subject of this study. As already discussed, these trophy buildings can function as means of both production and consumption, while also acting as stores 14 A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History of wealth and symbols of status and authority.

1 will be compared in terms of their relative construction costs. In making such cost comparisons across the centuries, it is not sufficient to inflate each cost using the same price base. This ignores the expansion of the economy over the past 1000 years, as a result of population increase and productivity growth, which has fed through to increase the incomes and wealth of both individuals and institutions. As the economy has expanded, individual buildings have become more affordable. The comparisons are therefore made by expressing the total cost of each building as a percentage of the value of one year’s national output at the time of construction, then applying that percentage to national output in 2011 to obtain an equivalent current costing in terms of the share of national resources consumed by the project.

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