Lierne Vault

Banister F. Fletcher

Britol Cathedral

Source: A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method (5th ed), plate 112P (p. 285)

During this period there was an increase and elaboration of intermediate ribs (tiercerons), ridge ribs, and a new set of ribs known as Lierne ribs, from the French lien — to bind or hold. The name "lierne" is applied to any rib, except a ridge rib, not springing from an abacus.In the early plain-ribbed vaulting each rib marked a groin, i.e., a change in the direction of the vaulting surface, but lierne ribs were merely ribs lying in a vaulting surface, their form being determined independently of such surface, which, however, regulated their curvature. These liernes, by their number and disposition, often give an elaborate or intricate appearance to a really simple vault, and in consequence of the star-shaped pattern produced by the plan of such vaults, it is often called " Stellar" vaulting. Examples of this type exist in the choirs of Gloucester (A.D. 1337-77), Wells, Ely, Tewkesbury Abbey nave, Bristol, and the vaulting of Winchester Cathedral, as carried out (A.D. 1390) by William of Wykeham. [pp.287-88]

Scanned image and text by George P. Landow (2007).

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