Metrology and Proportion in the Ecclesiastical Architecture of Medieval Ireland

Avril Behan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Rachel Moss, University of Dublin, Trinity College

Document Type Article

Nexus VII: Architecture and Mathematics, Kim Williams Books, Turin, Italy, vol. VII, pp. 171-83.


The aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which detailed empirical analysis of the metrology and proportional systems used in the design of Irish ecclesiastical architecture can be analysed to provide historical information not otherwise available. Focussing on a relatively limited sample of window tracery designs as a case study, it will first set out to establish what, if any, systems were in use, and then what light these might shed on the background, training and work practices of the masons, and, by association, the patrons responsible for employing them.