Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Romanesque Definition

History and Architecture

Romanesque

A style of early medieval architecture based on classical Roman style. The most easily recognisable characterstics of Romanesque architecture are thick, heavy columns and rounded arches. Vaulting was very simple, usually in the barrel style.

Characteristic Romanesque features include:

  • Rounded arches
  • Barrel vaults
  • Chevron pattern decorations
  • Doors recessed in three orders

The Romanesque period in Britain can be roughly dated to the years 1066-1180, and the term is sometimes used interchangeably with 'Norman'. See our English architecture article for more details on Romanesque style.

Related: Vaulting  

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