Looking at Buildings

Styles & Traditions

Fan Vaults

The FAN VAULTGlossary Term is a sophisticated form of barrel vaultGlossary Term built of cut stone, consisting of inverted conoids decoratedGlossary Term with a fan of purely decorative surface ribs, often with pendantGlossary Term bosses.

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Gloucester Cathedral, Cloister

Fan vaults appear at first over small spaces, the earliest known structural examples are those of the 14th century in the cloister of Gloucester Cathedral.

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Peterborough Cathedral, Retrochoir

On a large scale the fan vaultGlossary Term remained exceptional, associated with especially prestigious buildings in the PerpendicularGlossary Term style of the end of the 15th and early 16th centuries.


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