Sunday, December 10, 2006

Carbon emission story without foundation

My post earlier today described the disastrous collapse of the vaulted ceiling of the choir of Beauvais Cathedral in 1284. And by a strange coincidence in today's Observer an architect recommends building houses without foundations to eliminate the carbon emission intensive process of digging the foundations. In support of the 'carbon-zero' house the Observer says "Salisbury Cathedral and Ely Cathedral are still standing, and they don't have foundations".

Sound green advice, except for one very small problem - Ely Cathedral (above) collapsed in 1322 because ..... it didn't have adequate foundations.


Here is the account from the Ely Cathedral website - Disaster struck on 22 February 1322, when the Norman central tower collapsed. The noise was so great that the monks thought there had been an earth quake. Alan of Walsingham, the monk responsible for the building, was deeply shocked. One of his fellow monks wrote: 'He was devastated, grieving vehemently and overcome with sorrow... that he knew not which way to turn himself or what to do for the reparation of such a ruin.'

A case of a global warming story quite without foundation?

Now read the remarkable story of another cathedral that rose from ruins in I am a camera - Dresden
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1 comment:

Pliable said...

One of life's truly great pleasures is Choral Evensong in Ely Cathedral.

I was able to attend the Thursday evening service last week. As I gazed up into the famous Octagon that replaced the fallen Norman Tower I could well imagine the great noise that the collapse in 1322 must have made.