top of page

King’s Parade, Cambridge, England (2009)

Measurements: Black wood frame, 19 ¾” x 25 3.4”. Image: 12” x 18”

Matte & Paper: 4 ply, white. Hahnemuhle archival paper.

Photo #5909


Fan vaults are a type of rib vault that are characterized by their decorative, fan-like shape. They were often used in medieval churches, particularly in England, as a way to add visual interest and to create a sense of grandeur and majesty. Fan vaults were often used in the nave of a church, which is the main space where the congregation gathers, as well as in other parts of the church such as the chancel (the area around the altar) and the transept (the part of the church that crosses the nave at right angles). In addition to their decorative function, fan vaults also served a structural purpose. They were able to span large spaces without the need for thick, weight-bearing walls, which allowed for larger windows and more light to enter the church. This made fan vaults and important architectural innovation during the medieval period. Overall, fan vaults were an important feature of medieval churches and contributed to their grandeur and beauty. They remain an important part of the architectural heritage of many churches today.

Fan Vaults, King’s College Chapel, 15th century

    bottom of page