Quiz about Greatest AngloSaxon Architecture
Quiz about Greatest AngloSaxon Architecture

Greatest Anglo-Saxon Architecture Quiz


Few buildings have survived the thousand years or more of repeated invasions and rebuilding over time, as almost all were built of wood. These ten buildings represent some the great Anglo-Saxon and Celtic architecture.

A multiple-choice quiz by riotgrrl. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
riotgrrl
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
142,811
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
493
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Candida Casa, now in Galloway, was perhaps the first stone church in Britain, and the first stone building of the Picts. Built in 397, it was a small chapel built by St Ninian. Some fragments of the original church may remain within the 12th century priory built on the site, now also ruined. It is said to have become known as the Candida Casa because: Hint

Its walls were built of white stone
It was plastered
It was whitewashed
It was a place of truth

2. The first St Piran church in old Newquay was built between 500 and 700 AD and discovered in the nineteenth century. What had led to its abandonment? Hint

No apparent reason
Decline of Christianity
Inundation by sand
Partial collapse

3. Ripon Cathedral was probably only the second post-Roman stone building in the north of England, after the first York Minster. Which part of the original cathedral survives? Hint

Tower
Crypt
Nave
Porch

4. A church was built at Escomb, in County Durham - then in the kingdom of Northumbria - in about 680, and remains intact. What are typical features of Northumbrian churches? Hint

Tall naves, no side chambers, rectangular chancels
Aisled nave with small, plain chancel
Chambered, aisle-less naves, apsidal chapel at east end
Tower form with no nave

5. All Saints' Church, at Brixworth in Northamptonshire, may have been built as early as 675. What unusual feature can be seen here? Hint

All of these
Remains of porticus (side chapels)
Ring crypt
Round stair turret

6. St Wystan's Church is in Repton, Derbyshire. Its crypt was built in about 750, to house the tombs of the rulers of which kingdom? Hint

Wessex
Northumbria
Sussex
Mercia

7. At Deerhurst, now in Gloucestershire, two Saxon churches survive: a tiny chapel and what was originally the main church of the sub-kingdom of the Hwicce, the nearest thing to a surviving Saxon cathedral. In the church are the most opulent Saxon windows surviving. What characteristically Saxon shape are they? Hint

Triangular
Rectangular
Arch
Cruciform

8. The nave of Greensted Church, in Essex, built in about 1013, is a remarkable survival. What material is it constructed from? Hint

Turf
Brick
Wood
Stone

9. At Stow, Linconshire, is perhaps the grandest surviving Saxon church. Rebuilt in about 1040, it represents the first appearance in Britain of a central crossing with a tower above. This is a new form of Romanesque architecture, pioneered on the European mainland by Charlemagne and known as: Hint

Carolingian
Merovingian
Ottonian
Byzantine

10. Many churches have Saxon towers, but only Sompting Church, in Sussex, boasts a Saxon spire. Built between 1040 and 1060, each wall of the church's tower rises as a gable, and a spire rises from them. How is this form known? Hint

Sussex tower
Sompting spire
Rhenish helm
Wessex helmet


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Candida Casa, now in Galloway, was perhaps the first stone church in Britain, and the first stone building of the Picts. Built in 397, it was a small chapel built by St Ninian. Some fragments of the original church may remain within the 12th century priory built on the site, now also ruined. It is said to have become known as the Candida Casa because:

Answer: Its walls were built of white stone

Candida Casa translates as the 'White House'. The church was small, and all detailed information about it has been lost, but its whiteness would have rendered it visible from both Ireland and the Isle of Man. It remained a base of Christianity for over a millennium, and became the source of missions to Christianise other Celtic parts of Britain.
2. The first St Piran church in old Newquay was built between 500 and 700 AD and discovered in the nineteenth century. What had led to its abandonment?

Answer: Inundation by sand

While Christianity disappeared in the rest of England until St Augustine arrived in 597 and built new churches in Kent, it remained in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - another St Piran was built further up the cliffs upon the abandonment of the first. The small church at Newquay is well preserved, as a result of its inundation.
3. Ripon Cathedral was probably only the second post-Roman stone building in the north of England, after the first York Minster. Which part of the original cathedral survives?

Answer: Crypt

Ripon Cathedral was built in about 670, shortly after the re-Christianisation of northern England. The intensely atmospheric crypt contains a tiny passage pilgrims would have crawled through to reach the sacred central chamber.
4. A church was built at Escomb, in County Durham - then in the kingdom of Northumbria - in about 680, and remains intact. What are typical features of Northumbrian churches?

Answer: Tall naves, no side chambers, rectangular chancels

The Celtic church built in this distinctive style, while the Roman church of what is now southern England, and the continent, built chambered churches with aisle-less naves. The other styles described are much rarer forms. Good examples of early churches in the south can be seen at Bradford-on-Avon, now in Wiltshire, Bradwell-juxta-Mare, Essex and Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, and in the north also at Monkwearmouth.
5. All Saints' Church, at Brixworth in Northamptonshire, may have been built as early as 675. What unusual feature can be seen here?

Answer: All of these

The ambulatory crypt was designed so that pilgrims could view a relic, believed to be the larynx of St Boniface. Walled-up Romanesque (rounded) arches can be seen in the nave.
6. St Wystan's Church is in Repton, Derbyshire. Its crypt was built in about 750, to house the tombs of the rulers of which kingdom?

Answer: Mercia

Both the crypt, with its rich columns, and the walls of the ninth century chancel survive in this church, despite it being sacked by the Vikings.
7. At Deerhurst, now in Gloucestershire, two Saxon churches survive: a tiny chapel and what was originally the main church of the sub-kingdom of the Hwicce, the nearest thing to a surviving Saxon cathedral. In the church are the most opulent Saxon windows surviving. What characteristically Saxon shape are they?

Answer: Triangular

Many Saxon windows remain around Britain. They are almost all small, narrow and deep set. Some are rectangular, many arched, but the distinctively Saxon form is triangular. St Mary's Church, last rebuilt in about 930, also contains some Saxon carvings: animal busts, an angel and a Virgin and Child.

The small chapel is the only surviving part of Odda's Palace, built in 1056. Picturesquely, it is now incorporated into a mediaeval timber framed farmhouse.
8. The nave of Greensted Church, in Essex, built in about 1013, is a remarkable survival. What material is it constructed from?

Answer: Wood

This makes it the oldest wooden church in the world - predating by centuries even the famed Scandinavian churches. Its walls are built with vertical split tree trunks, tongued and grooved - assembled without any nails. Originally, the building has no windows and would have been lit solely by torchlight.

Although no Saxon domestic halls have survived above ground, it is probably safe to assume they were of a similar design.
9. At Stow, Linconshire, is perhaps the grandest surviving Saxon church. Rebuilt in about 1040, it represents the first appearance in Britain of a central crossing with a tower above. This is a new form of Romanesque architecture, pioneered on the European mainland by Charlemagne and known as:

Answer: Carolingian

The church was rebuilt thanks to an endowment from Lady Godiva of riding naked fame, and her husband the Earl Leofric. Graffiti of an oared Viking sailing ship survives from the earlier church of about 975.
10. Many churches have Saxon towers, but only Sompting Church, in Sussex, boasts a Saxon spire. Built between 1040 and 1060, each wall of the church's tower rises as a gable, and a spire rises from them. How is this form known?

Answer: Rhenish helm

The actual dating of the spire is controversial - it may have been rebuilt in the 12th century - but this is the sole surviving British example of a stunning form of Saxon architecture, imported from the Rhineland (hence its name). By the time of the Norman invasion, British architecture was no longer crude, but was experimenting with new forms and designs, many from mainland Europe.

It was ready to ascend new heights with the great castle- and cathedral-building schemes of the Normans.
Source: Author riotgrrl

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