Eagle Hill Masthead



Journal of the North Altantic
    JONA Home
    Aim and Scope
    Board of Editors
    Staff
    Editorial Workflow
    Publication Charges
    Subscriptions

Other Eagle Hill Journals
    Northeastern Naturalist
    Southeastern Naturalist
    Caribbean Naturalist
    Neotropical Naturalist
    Urban Naturalist
    Prairie Naturalist
    Eastern Paleontologist
    eBio

Eagle Hill Institute Home

About Journal of the North Atlantic

 

A “North Sea School of Architecture?”: Nidaros Cathedral’s Romanesque Transepts and North Sea Medieval Architecture
Candice Bogdanski

Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 4 (2013): 77–106

Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers.To subscribe click here.)

 

Site by Bennett Web & Design Co.
77 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 Introduction In the fall of 1152, Cardinal Nicholas Breakspear (later Pope Hadrian IV) arrived in Norway with a papal mandate and a pallium. During the winter of 1152 to 1153, the cardinal decreed that “the archiepiscopal seat should be in Nidaros, in Christ Church, where Holy King Olaf rests”, thus formally establishing Nidaros (now Trondheim, Norway) as the ecclesiastical center of an extremely large geographical area that encompassed Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Sodor, and the Faroe, Orkney, and Shetland Islands. (Diplomatarium Norvegicum VIII No. 1; Regesta Norvegica 1898; Snorri Sturluson 1967:757, 608). Due to a vacancy at the see of Nidaros, Bishop Jón Bírgisson of Stavanger, situated in southwest Norway, was appointed as the first archbishop, where he held authority until 1160. Many political reasons have been suggested for the establishment of the see in Norway,2 but more significant for this discussion is that this “elevation of Nidaros Cathedral from a provincial see to a metropolitan seat meant that the old cathedral would have to be rebuilt and/or enlarged to fit its new status” (Ekroll 2004:160). Although this is not the first Scandinavian archdiocese, with Lund established in 1104 and its cruciform cathedral consecrated in 1145, Lund was nonetheless maintaining its orientation to its previous ecclesiastical leaders in Hamburg-Bremen (Donnelly 1992:41). Trondheim, however, freed from its place in Lund’s archiepiscopal province, was necessarily oriented towards the west, with its archdiocese stretching across the North Sea to encompass the northern Scottish isles along with Iceland and Greenland (Fischer 1965:38, Helle 1995:67). Architecturally, it marks the first cruciform basilica constructed along Norway’s western fjords and as such it looked further west for visual quotations along the eastern coasts of central and northern England for the contemporary building projects of its most influential archiepiscopal patrons. Essentially, this archiepiscopal promotion meant that Olaf Kyrre’s Christ Church (ca. 1100) would no longer suffice; it would have to be rebuilt into a grander structure befitting its new status while also accommodating new members of the clergy, the need for both new altars and the ability to perform more ceremonies, and to provide access to an increased amount of pilgrims, resulting in a major building program that lasted nearly 200 years (Ekroll 2004:160, 2007:194–197; Wergeland 1966:148). These symbolic and functional requirements were immediately met through the addition of aisleless east–west transepts with two-storey chapels off their eastern façades to the pre-existing church on the site, thus repurposing its western tower as the crossing tower (Fig. 1). This paper considers sources for the first stage of this grand reconstruction project, and through an in-depth visual analysis, I will demonstrate that Nidaros’ first archbishops looked to the great architectural projects spearheaded by influential ecclesiastical patrons in England. In quoting such major contemporary buildings, Nidaros Cathedral itself was elevated to a new status within Christendom. Interestingly, this initial phase of construction commenced a dialogue across the sea between major and minor Norwegian, English, and eventually Scottish, patrons and buildings that, based on unique similarities, suggest a group of structures A “North Sea School of Architecture?”: Nidaros Cathedral’s Romanesque Transepts and North Sea Medieval Architecture Candice Bogdanski* Abstract - In 1152/3, Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, became the center of a vast archiepiscopal authority reaching across the North Sea. The cathedral then became the site of much architectural activity, beginning with the addition of Romanesque transepts during the 1150s–1160s to the pre-existing church. This paper considers the patronal efforts of Nidaros’ first and second archbishops, Jón Bírgisson (1152/3–1160) and Øystein Erlendsson (1161–1188), in relation to this construction period. It examines the cathedral’s influence on Norwegian architecture based on the relationship between the Nidaros stone workshop and contemporary Norwegian churches, including the geographically close Stiklestad and Old Sakshaug. Subsequently, it identifies related structures across the North Sea in England, such as Southwell Minster, York Minster, and Lincoln Cathedral, thus expanding on the concept of a “North Sea School of Architecture”, as briefly discussed by Eric Fernie on St. Magnus Church in Egilsay and Malcolm Thurlby on Kirkwall Cathedral. This study begins to establish a group of buildings that can comprise this North Sea school, emphasizing an argument for the paramount role the sea played as a conduit of stylistic transmission.1 Across the Sólundarhaf: Connections between Scotland and the Nordic World Selected Papers from the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference 2011 Journal of the North Atlantic *Graduate Program in Art History and Visual Culture, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada; bogdansk@yorku.ca. 2013 Special Volume 4:77–106 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 78 that will begin to comprise the “North Sea School of Architecture”. Consequently, the creation of the archiepiscopal see was one of the catalysts for the development of Christ Church into Norway’s grandest cathedral, and in order to accomplish this, the patrons of Nidaros Cathedral looked across the North Sea to the most magnificent ecclesiastical structures of the time.3 Method: Visual Analysis This paper will discuss the earliest rebuilding phase during the mid-1150s to the mid-1160s at Nidaros Cathedral, with the addition of Romanesque transepts to the earlier non-cruciform plan. This period marks the first stage of this grand building program under the patronage of the first two archbishops of the see of Nidaros, Jón Bírgisson and Øystein Erlendsson. Preeminent scholar of Nidaros Cathedral Gerhard Fischer proposed a timeline for the cathedral’s rebuilding that positions the transepts as the oldest part of the structure, built in Romanesque and Transitional traditions, identifying breaks in building styles and stages in the clerestory level (Fischer 1965:568–569). Stylistic analysis of these chronological aspects will allow a consideration of sources for this early building program. With many successive building stages,4 it is clear that the transepts initiated a lengthy building program that looked to the major contemporary campaigns of Romanesque, and subsequently Gothic, architecture for its inspiration. The cathedral has suffered a tumultuous history and has undergone many reconstructions, but thankfully for our purposes much of the Romanesque material remains in tact.5 In order to set a visual stage for suggestions of comparanda, I will primarily consider the transepts in formal, architectural terms, emphasizing the most unique and occasionally troubling aspects. This critical visual analysis of the extremely varied structural and decorative elements that are combined within Nidaros’ transepts ultimately offers an understanding of the often unusual forms and their specific relationship to other sites, which is then crucial for determining both patronal preoccupations, as well as the influx of stylistic influence into Norway across the North Sea. Overall, this methodology will provide overdue insight into the stylistic and patronal relationships that were established during the first building stages in the cathedral’s transepts. This paper thus offers a foundation for understanding why certain English sites became sources of constant influence throughout the history of construction at Nidaros and looks intently at the role patronage held in determining these stylistic relationships. The Scholarly Context and the Visual Evidence: A “North Sea School” of Architecture? The sites that are visually connected to Nidaros in this paper represent only a small portion of a larger project that considers much broader temporal and geographical parameters in order to comprehensively argue for the existence of a North Sea School of Architecture. Though the idea of a North Sea School is not new, suggested by both Malcolm Thurlby and Eric Fernie with regards to Kirkwall Cathedral and St. Magnus Church in Orkney, respectively, the Figure 1. A. Plan ca. 1140–1180 (nave only planned). Reprinted from Fischer (1965: Pl. XXVI: Plan 3) with permission from Gyldendal Forlag. B. Transept and tower, section, looking east. Reprinted from Fischer (1965: Pl. I) with permission from Gyldendal Forlag. 79 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 concept deserves pointed attention.6 Using Nidaros Cathedral as a focal point for my visual assessment, I argue that the North Sea operated as a conduit for mutual stylistic influence between Norway, Scotland, and northern England. Despite its seemingly remote location, Nidaros operated as a significant trading port for the early 11th–13th century North Sea trade,7 and, as previously mentioned, was the center of a large ecclesiastical domain (Stratford 1997:44– 47). In his 1965 study of Norwegian Romanesque sculpture, art historian Martin Blindheim suggested a variety of strands of influence into Trondheim. He emphasized the importance of the North Sea for putting Norway into contact with the Orkney, Shetland, and Faroe Islands. From here, the waterways could lead along the east coast of the isles to Scotland, England, and France via the Irish Sea. He notes that despite the orientation of the Norwegian Church towards Bremen and Lund prior to 1153, finding visual evidence throughout Denmark and Germany, it seemed to regard England as its mother church more directly (Blindheim 1965:4–5). Previous scholars have also considered the visual connections between Nidaros Cathedral and English Romanesque buildings, beginning with Gerhard Fischer’s foundational study of the cathedral suggesting many connections at Lincoln Cathedral in particular. In fact, it has been documented that even earlier connections are found between Stavanger, the original home of Nidaros’ first archbishop, and Winchester’s north transept (ca.1079–1093), when Bishop Reinald was sent from Winchester in 1125 (Donnelly 1992:44). Further, the historical relationship across the North Sea was well established long before 1153. The art-historical evidence certainly adheres to this argument, and the initial role of the North Sea allows for the influx of English contemporary styles and masons into Norway. As a result, the intermingling of foreign and local craftsmen offers an interesting synthesis of local and international techniques and stylistic preoccupations that disseminated swiftly throughout the Scandinavian regions. Though further investigation into the exact relationship between stone and wooden workshops will not be discussed in detail here, it is visually clear that multiple Norwegian buildings express North Sea visual connections, with many, such as Old Sakshaug Church (ca. 1184) and St. Olav’s, Stiklestad (ca. 1181), originating at Trondheim during its first rebuilding stage. For this period of construction, I have found multiple parallels in the significant diocese of Lincoln and the archdiocese of York with its daughter collegiate church at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. As we will see, the newly minted archbishops of Nidaros were seeking out some of the most ambitious and innovative contemporary ecclesiastical structures and their respective patrons as models for their own building programs.8 Known to his contemporaries as “Alexander the Magnificent”, Lincoln Cathedral’s Bishop Alexander (1123–1148) was the nephew of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury (d. 1139), who was also a major patron of highly decorated building projects at the time (Cook 1950:21). As such, Alexander followed this line of extravagant patronage and would have been seen as one of the great builders of the day, and, therefore, most worthy of emulation. York archbishops Thomas of Bayeux (1070–1100) and Thomas II (1108–1114), with his earlier work at Southwell, and Roger of Pont l’Evêque (1154–1171) at York were similarly key architectural contemporary patrons in England. As with Nidaros, these motherhouses became the sites from which their parish churches gleaned stylistic decisions. In expanding well beyond these key monuments to include smaller churches, I emphasize that both major and minor buildings borrow stylistic ideas from one another, and thus all of which are contained within a “North Sea School” of architecture. Though this suggestion of a dialogue across the North Sea may seem one-sided in this initial discussion, with England coming into Trondheim in its first building phase, the influence of Nidaros expanded beyond its national borders immediately following the transepts’ construction, with a number of Scottish structures bearing stylistic similarities to its Norwegian neighbor. My reinvigorated and rigorous visual study demonstrates that Nidaros not only reflects major stylistic trends, but also a distinct process of selection of individual features from buildings associated with the great 12th-century architectural patrons of northern England while further expanding beyond these key monuments to suggest a broader network of buildings linked to key patrons surrounding the North Sea. Cathedral History In its own right, Nidaros Cathedral set a standard of architectural and decorative prowess in 12th-century Norway and aimed to rival the great churches of western Christendom. The previous church on the site, constructed by King Olaf Kyrre at the end of the 11th century in order to house the shrine of his ancestor and Norway’s patron saint, Olaf Haraldsson (d. 1030) (Snorri Sturluson 1967: 522–524, 665–666), was significant for its initiation of the use of stone for a large-scale building project in the country (versus the more common timber constructions).9 Beyond this, it has been suggested his church was a very basic two-cell plan, unaisled with a large square western tower.10 As previously mentioned, the establishment of the C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 80 archiepiscopal seat at Nidaros in 1152/3 meant a larger cathedral was required, and so immediately following this development, new structural and decorative features were added to the cathedral in the Romanesque style, thus repurposing the western tower as the crossing tower between the transepts (Ekroll 2004:160, 158). The fact that Nidaros Cathedral was constructed in stone by 1100 should not be under-emphasized. With no major churches built in stone in Norway prior to 1100, it is unlikely that a master builder and craftsmen of the caliber required for a project of the magnitude initiated in the 1150s would have been available in Trondheim at that time. Furthermore, there is “no indication that the Anglo-Norman architecture of the new cathedral had been introduced [into this part of Norway] before 1150, and [as such], everything points to this style being … [initiated] through the cathedral rebuilding project” (Ekroll 2004:161). Though beyond the scope of this discussion, research on the construction of the “Chapter House” in 1165–1175 at Nidaros indicates that, based on masons’ marks, at least 25 masons were working on the project at the time. This finding suggests that a well-sized workshop of some significance was centered at Nidaros, employing craftsmen from both within and beyond the regional and Norwegian borders (Syrstad Andås 2010:296–317). Falling in within the second phase of construction of the transept, the “Chapter House” is stylistically related to many sites of Scottish influence as well as Archbishop Roger’s early Gothic work at York (Syrstad Andås 2001:89). This is not to suggest that exactly the same masons were working at these sites of influence and then directly at Nidaros, but certainly we are seeing craftsmen who were well-versed in the Anglo-Norman tradition and who could accommodate the lavish and varied tastes of Archbishops Jón Bírgisson and Øystein Erlendsson. Blindheim (1965:10–12) addresses questions surrounding the innovative use of stone in Norwegian carving and posits that the woodcarvers must have been trained abroad in the new medium. The relationship between Norway’s more common timber building material and the stone masonry of Nidaros deserves more attention than can be afforded in this discussion, but suffice it to say that traces of the Romanesque building program at Nidaros are apparent in a number of subsequent Norwegian churches. Visual Analysis: A Detailed Study of the Transepts We know that during Jón Bírgisson’s period of authority, the lower portions of the transepts were completed, with the altar in the south transept lower chapel dedicated to St. John by Øystein in 1161 according to an inscription on the interior. The triforium passages and clerestory levels were subsequently added during Øystein’s archiepiscopacy (Ekroll 2004:164–165). Blindheim (1965:14, 16–18) argues foundations were laid for transepts in the Romanesque style as early as the 1140s, though there is little visual evidence or scholarly support for this assertion. He adds that “on this occasion one to two gifted carvers were sent to England to learn the latest trends in decoration,” and suggests that the walls of the transepts were likely completed during Archbishop Jón’s episcopacy, dating the heads visible on the outer corbel table to ca. 1155, citing local parallels for the style and dating of these sculptures. Though Blindheim’s assertions deserves further consideration, as we will see, this change in building stages is certainly apparent with more sophisticated masonry and sculptural techniques that find their origins in contemporary English stylistic trends. Beginning with the interior of the north transept, the obvious break in building stages is apparent in the transition from coursed rubble masonry to fine ashlar stone into the triforium and clerestory levels (Fig. 2). The change is also noticeable in sculptural details, with cushion capitals in the triforium on the east wall, and waterleaf on the west (Figs. 3, 4; Fischer 1965:78– Figure 2. North transept interior, west wall, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 81 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 83). The clerestory level displays additional sophistication on all sides as the single responds of the triforium are multiplied into slender compound responds with narrow detached shafts (Fig. 5). Arguably the earliest portion of the Romanesque transepts, the western wall of the north transept Figure 3. Triforium, east wall, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 4. Triforium, west wall, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 82 architectural details from Lincoln Cathedral and Southwell Minster. The chevron stringcourse with beads in the voids echoes a similar horizontal decouses ashlar only for its main structural and decorative features, the dado arcade and arch mouldings. Here we see the first of many parallels to the Figure 5. Clerestory, east wall, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 6. Detail, west wall, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 83 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 stylistic similarities, Gerhard Fischer goes so far as to suggest that a mason from Nidaros was sent to Lincoln to study its forms (Fischer 1965: 568). The rative band on Lincoln’s southwest tower. As we will see, many visual connections can be made between Nidaros and Lincoln, and based on the close Figure 7. Detail, southwest tower, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 8. Detail, north porch, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 84 continuous chevron articulation of the windows can be found on Southwell Minster’s north porch (Figs. 6, 7, 8). The west wall of the south transept bears similar structural and stylistic changes to its northern companion (Figs. 9, 10). Moving to the east wall of the transepts, two Figure 9. Detail, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 10. Detail, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 85 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 extremely sophisticated chevron patterning (Figs. 9, 10). Hood moulds terminated in dragons’ head label stops that bear a close relationship to the west doorviews of the ground chapel arches in the north and south chapels, respectively, show slight variations; however, both are characterized by four orders of Figure 11. Detail, arch profile, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 12. Detail, arch, north porch, Southwell Minster , Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 86 ways at Lincoln surmount each of these large, fourordered arches. The square plans for these transept chapels find additional parallels in the remodelled transept chapels at York Minster, prior to Archbishop Roger’s work on the site. The chevron ribs find sources in Lincolnshire with Bishop Alexander’s work on the eastern arm at Stow, Lincolnshire (Hoey and Thurlby 2004:117–184, figure 35). Focusing on the south transept chapel arch profile, we find parallels with the north portal at Southwell, referenced for its stylistic innovation here as well in the north transept portal (Figs. 11, 12). In particular, the first and 4th orders at Nidaros, which feature two rows of affronted chevron that are further articulated with quirks on each order’s soffits, find a major source on Southwell’s north portal’s 3rd and 6th order. Southwell provides additional parallels for capital design in Romanesque Nidaros, with striking similarities between the shown scalloped capitals with unusually wide faces. Further influence for Nidaros’ chapel capitals can be found in the crypt at York Minster, commenced after 1154 by Archbishop Roger, where Figure 13. Detail, crypt capital, York Minster, Yorkshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 14 (right column lower). Detail, rib vaults, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 15 (lower to the right). Detail, west crossing arch, Freiston, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 87 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 fillets can be seen between the curved scalloped elements of each capital (Figs. 11, 13). Moving back to Lincolnshire, we find similarities for Nidaros’ chapel rib vaults, which are characterized by a roll moulding flanked by affronted chevron ornament (Fig. 14). Both the crossing arch at the former mo- Figure 16. Detail, south porch arch, Sempringham, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 17. Detail, capital, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 88 Figure 18. Detail, right capital, north portal, St. Gile’ s Balderton, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 19. Detail, respond, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 20. North portal, St. Gile’s Balderton, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 89 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 nastic church at Freiston and the inner respond of Sempringham parish church’s south porch bear this arrangement of chevron and roll moulding (Figs. 15, 16). Drawing again from one of the major regions of English influence, the geometrical articulation of the scallop faces in the north transept chapel find origins in Nottinghamshire’s north portal at St Giles’, Balderton (Figs. 17, 18). The unique chevron respond at St Giles’ is also copied in one of the only original responds remaining in the Romanesque transepts on the south wall of the south transept chapel interior (Figs. 19, 20). Whether the additional transept chapel responds were similarly articulated is unknown, and so it remains possible that this chevron respond represents either one of many, or is meant to articulate a site of particular significance within the chapel. Keeping attention focused on the earlier building stages, the arch moulding of the first few bays from the north on the east wall of the transept mirror the simple but well-carved quirk, hollow, and roll mouldings of the enclosing arch on the north transept’s western exterior (Figs. 3, 21). This further emphasizes the initial stages of construction on the transepts’ inner western walls, with the upper stories and exterior wall details finding completion in a second building campaign that looked ahead to more elaborate and varied stylistic and structural elements. As a result, the basic triforium arch moulding was quickly abandoned, with the remaining bays of the eastern triforium to the crossing characterized by this highly unique play on the popular chevron ornament, in a very three-dimensional almost ladder-like arrangement (Fig. 22). A possible source for this unusual design can be found at Selby Abbey in south Yorkshire, where individual spears of affronted chevron hug the soffit of the gallery arcade (Fig. 23). Considering the influence of the Nidaros workshop beyond the cathedral, we see a direct replica of the gallery arch on the exterior northern portal of St. Olaf’s Church Stiklestad, dedicated 1181 (Fig. 24). Though obviously part of the later stages at Nidaros, and emphasizing the increasing sophistication as the building campaign progressed, a detail of a capital in the eastern clerestory demonstrates an elaborate foliated waterleaf design, with parallels in Anglo- Norman Lincolnshire at Fiskerton and Selby Abbey (Figs. 25, 26, 27). Continuing this examination of the cathedral from the exterior of the north transept, we find the earlier chronological suggestions again emphasized. Looking to its northern face (Fig. 28), stylistically the earliest portion of the transept arms as detailed in its interior appearance, we see the grand en- Figure 21. Detail, west wall enclosing arches, exterior, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 90 turrets flank the north façade, with its upper portions largely remodelled during the 19th-century restoration project. The major focus for this portion closing arches from the western wall are repeated over the ground and triforium storeys, with a blind round-headed arcade at the clerestory level. Stair Figure 22. Detail, east wall triforium arch, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 23. Detail, gallery arcade, Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 91 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 (Fig. 29). Though there are potential parallels with Old Sarum’s south transept portal and the northwest transept porch at Kelso Abbey, it is likely that this of the cathedral is the north transept portal, unusual not only for its rare location on the end of the arm, but further for the presence of a first storey room Figure 24. Detail, north portal, St. Olaf ’s, Stiklestad, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 25. Detail, east clerestory, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 92 ordered round-headed arch surmounted by a hood mould with dragonhead label stops characterizes the entrance. Above this entrance is a roundel containportal at Nidaros held a major role as a primary entrance in the absence of a functional western portal (as the nave was not begun until 1248). A double- Figure 26. Detail, capital, Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, UK. Photog raph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 27. Detail, left capitals, south door, Sempringham, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 93 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 ing a sculptured head of Moses, who should be seen in relation to the heads of a bishop and king above, representing the three “laws” of medieval society (Syrstad Andås 2007). A marble plaque featuring St. Michael slaying a dragon is fitted within the gable, and so this upper space is often described with the standard historical designation of first storey portal altars as St. Michael’s Chapel. Margrete Systad Andås discussed these features in terms of the liminal zone of the portal, arguing that St. Michael is commonly associated with “high places”, hence the frequent dedication of upper chapels to him, but that here he is further representing the war between good and evil. Combined with the three legal figureheads, she suggests that this portal may have served as a location for the proclamation of law and judgment. These specific elements were only interpolated in the Gothic period, however, so it is unclear if and how this iconography would have been expressed in the earlier, Romanesque space (Syrstad Andås 2007:91–93). More salient for our consideration of North Sea connections is a direct comparison between Southwell and Nidaros, for Southwell also has a projecting, two-storey, gabled porch, albeit off its north nave aisle (Figs. 30, 31). Its walls feature similar, if Figure 28. North façade, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, slightly more elaborate, intersecting dado arcading, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 29. North porch, north transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 30. North porch, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 94 ron ornamentation. Both portals are barrel-vaulted, which, according to Nikolaus Pevsner, is very rare in England (Pevsner 1979:322). Most importantly, the leading to a grand, 6-ordered arched entryway. Much like Nidaros, though on a larger scale, Southwell’s north porch also features varied and sumptuous chev- Figure 31. Detail, north porch, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 32. Detail, right capitals, north porch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 95 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 three lights in the gable at Southwell indicate that there is an upper room. At this point, its function is unclear, but it is obvious that the patrons of Nidaros were taking cues from the innovative early 12th-century work constructed in Nottinghamshire. Moving to the interior of Southwell Minster’s nave, another element from the cathedral was clearly adopted at Nidaros. The necking of the Minster’s cylindrical pier is articulated with a rope design, which we can see repeated on the outer capitals of Nidaros’ north portal archway (Figs. 32, 33). Constructed during Archbishop Øystein’s patronal episcopacy, the interior of the upper room at Nidaros’ north portal contains a trefoil-headed font carved into the right wall of the north opening, decorated with an early Gothic stiff-leaf capital, which looks to late 1170s work at Wells Cathedral and Lincoln’s St. Hugh’s Choir, begun after 1192 (Figs. 34, 35). Now an 18th-century addition, the shutters on either side of the foliate crocket capital represent earlier timber versions, so we know that this opening was never glazed (Syrstad Andås 2007:93). Because this portal faced the main route into the town, it is possible that this space functioned as an external pulpit, though the majority of cited examples for this possibility are from the mid-late Gothic period Figure 33. Detail, nave capital, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. Figure 34. Detail, right font, first storey, north porch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 35. Detail, shutters, first storey, north porch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 96 2001). At this stage, all possible functions for this space are still being explored. Despite these unclear issues regarding its pur- (Fleisher 2007). Potentially, it could have been used for the showing of relics, or as a watching chamber to see who was approaching the church (McAleer Figure 36. Detail, north porch outer arch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 37. Detail, north doorway, west front, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 97 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 orders of highly detailed and sophisticated chevron patterning (Fig. 36). In particular, the inner order’s three-dimensional lattice chevron/lozenge design is pose, there are many stylistic comparisons within the north transept portal that suggest North Sea connections. The outer arch of the portal bears two Figure 38. Inner portal arch, north porch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 39. Detail, central doorway arch, Lincoln Cathedral, Lin colnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 98 first archbishop came from Stavanger, there is an interesting relationship between the stone cathedral completed initially at Nidaros by 1100, the work directly comparable to a detail of the south porch from Stavanger Cathedral, built from ca. 1100– 1150s (Fischer 1964:35). Considering that Nidaros’ Figure 40. Detail, dado arcade, east wall, north porch, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 41. Detail, northwest tower, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. 99 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 per chapel windows, flank the eastern façade. These three lights are in a subtle aBa arrangement set against the outer edge of the wall’s thickness, and thus are only articulated with simple single quirked chamfered hood moulds. An additional window in the gable adds light to this upper chapel. The narrow windows in the turrets are emphasized for the important reason that they provide light not to the central room of the north transept upper chapel, but rather to four small rooms that flank the windows on the eastern end of the space. At most 2 m square, each room is situated on either side of the windows. The north-flanking room included iron rings imbedded into the upper wall surface, potentially for hanging fabric (Fig. 45).11 Even more unusual are the extremely narrow octagonal spaces fitted within the turrets accessible through small openings in the window frames (Fig. 46). In order to access this space, one must climb up a ladder onto the stepped window ledge into the room. The walls that divide the windows bear the chapel’s dedication: “On the 27th July the consecration of this altar in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary and saint Hippolytus the martyr whose relics are in the altar” (Syrett 2002:152). Much more investigation is required to determine how these spaces functioned and how they related to the chapel’s apparent designation as both a martyr’s reliquary and a Lady Chapel. The south transept is arranged very similarly to at Stavanger, and the rebuilding stages in the new archiepiscopal see. This lattice design can be seen in the 1140s work at Lincoln’s north door on the west front (Fig. 37). Further, there are clear parallels between the outer order of Bishop Alexander’s work on the central doorway of Lincoln Cathedral with basically identical embattled ornament to the inner order of Nidaros’ north portal arch (Figs. 38, 39). Details of Lincoln are once again quoted on the walls of the north transept portal, where two quirks and a roll moulding characterize a short dado arcade, with variously carved scalloped capitals (Fig. 40). Parallels for these simple yet sophisticated arcade mouldings are found on Lincoln’s northwest and southwest tower facades, respectively, as well as on the east face of the crossing tower at Southwell Minster (Figs. 41, 42). Interestingly, these similarities indicate not only the beginnings of a visual relationship between Nidaros and the northern English buildings, but also suggest a connection between Southwell and Lincoln, adding weight to their proposed inclusion as a group within a North Sea School of architecture. Moving on to the north transept’s eastern chapel, exterior views from both the north and eastern faces bear giant round-headed orders articulated with two rows of affronted chevron that enclose single thin round-headed windows (Figs. 43, 44). Turrets, each with two very small windows set opposite the up- Figure 42. Detail, east façade, crossing tower, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK. Photograph © Malcolm Thurlby. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 100 Figure 43. Detail, north façade, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 44. Detail, east façade, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 45. Detail, interior south flanking room, first storey, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 101 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 Figure 46. Detail, entrance to left octagonal room, first storey, north transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 48. Northeast exterior, south transept, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 47. South façade, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 102 out the unusual flanking rooms present in the north. The particular detail of note here is the presence of a doorway that leads from the upper chapel to the the north, with the exception of the portal (Figs. 47, 48). It also featured a two-storey eastern chapel, dedicated to saints Olaf and Stephen, though with- Figure 49. Detail, first storey hoodmoulds, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. Figure 50. Detail, hoodmould, Old Sakshaug Church, Trøndelag, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. 103 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 stone element at the otherwise rubble-constructed Old Sakshaug Church, about 100 km north of Trondheim, speaks to the growing impact of the workshop at Nidaros in surrounding communities (Figs. 49, 50). We know that Archbishop Øystein himself consecrated Sakshaug in 1184 (Sakshaug Old Church 2010), and so connections between these Norwegian churches are quite tangible. Finally, a detail of the corbel table along the south chapel shows a series of stylized animals, one a quadruped gazing down at the viewer, with the other a grotesque mask showing an animal with small pointed ears, large oval eyes with drilled pupils that are delineated with a deeply carved line, and a long snout (Fig. 51). These heads are comparable to some Norwegian wooden counterparts: the roof-truss heads on the interior of the nave at Værnes stone church in Trøndelag, Norway, ca. 1125–1150, which lies roughly 80 km north of Trondheim (Blindheim 1987:15). Roof-trusses are short beams of a structural “propping system that protrude into the church interior, with the ends [at Værnes] shaped, in most cases, like heads of fantastic animals that grin, snap and let their tongues ply threateningly in the air” (Blindheim 1965:15). The nineteen heads in the church interior show a degree of individualization and seem to be connected to the artistic milieu at Nidaros during its transept construction period ca. exterior on the south side. It should be emphasized that there is a similar doorway in the north transept upper chapel. The purpose of this doorway is not entirely clear, though it is possible it originally led to a wooden walkway on the perimeter of the upper chapel’s exterior, potentially for the display of relics, with reference to a similar arrangement on the west tower of St. Peter, Beho (Belgium), and formerly on the west porch of Anglo-Saxon Priory Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire (England) (Hare 2009, Hoey and Thurlby 2004). Fischer (1965:566) does note the close relationship between the King and Saxon expatriates who fled following the Norman Conquest of 1066, and as such finds the presence of Anglo-Saxon stylistic forms in the foundations of Christ Church unsurprising. In her discussion of earlier Norwegian stave church architecture, Erla Bergendahl Hohler (1999:82) cites the role of the North Sea as a means for transmitting late Anglo-Saxon stylistic preferences into the Norse sculptural milieu. It is possible, then, that these connections were maintained and Anglo-Saxon upper tower rooms found purpose in Nidaros’ later transept portal. Considering some final Norwegian connections, as on the north transept chapel’s eastern exterior façade, the south transept chapel bears the same simple but well-executed hood moulds around its upper chapel windows. The repetition of this cut- Figure 51. Detail, south façade corbel table, south transept chapel, Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. Photograph © Candice Bogdanski. C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 104 for local and foreign craftsmen to combine the best techniques with the most popular, sophisticated, and desirable current designs. As a result, despite its designation as the most northern of all medieval cathedrals (Syrstad Andås et al. 2007:9–10), Romanesque Nidaros can be understood as reflecting the height of architecture surrounding the North Sea during the mid- to late 12th Century. Acknowledgments The author would like to express her gratitude to the organizers of the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference (April 2011) for her inclusion in both the conference and its proceedings. The author is indebted to her adviser, Dr. Malcolm Thurlby, for his constant guidance and for providing many original photographs, without which this project could not be completed. Many thanks are also due to the Nidaros Domkirkes Restaureringsarbeider (NDR), staff and, in particular, Øystein Ekroll at Nidaros Cathedral for offering me guidance and for affording me the opportunity to photograph the cathedral. The author would like to further express gratitude to the Fortidsminneforeningen for providing me access to many restricted historical sites and to Margrete Syrstad Andås for arranging my visit to Stiklestad. This research was completed with the generous assistance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Joseph M. Bombardier Doctoral Research Award (SSHRC-CGS), the Royal Norwegian Embassy’s Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC) Travel Grant, and York University’s Graduate Development Fund. Literature Cited Blindheim, M. 1965. Norwegian Romanesque Decorative Sculpture, 1090–1210. Alec Tiranti, London, UK. 108 pp. Blindheim, M. 1970. Scandinavian art and its relations to European art around 1200. Pp. 429–467, In K. Hoffman (Ed.). The Year 1200. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA. 594 pp. Blindheim, M. 1987. The roof-truss heads of the nave of Værnes Church in Trøndelag, Norway. Pp. 15–17, In N. Stratford (Ed.). Romanesque and Gothic: Essays for George Zarnecki. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK. 368 pp. Cant, R. 1988. Norwegian influences in the transitional and gothic design of the cathedral. Pp. 127–139, In B. Crawford (Ed.). St Magnus Cathedral and Orkney’s Twelfth-Century Renaissance. Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. 283 pp. Cook, G.H. 1950. Portrait of Lincoln Cathedral. Phoenix House, London, UK. 65 pp. Diplomatarium Norvegicum VIII no. 1. 1871. P.T. Mallings Forlagshandel. Bergen, Norway. 416 pp. Donnelly, M.C. 1992. Architecture in the Scandinavian Countries. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA. 401 pp. Ekroll, Ø. 2004. Nidaros Cathedral: The development of 1150–1160 (Blindheim 1987:16). There is certainly a visual comparison between the wooden and stone heads, with a similar shape to the eyes, the small pointed ears, long noses and stylized detailing of these features using striations of lines. Blindheim suggests that this carving tradition was initiated during the building period of Olaf Kyrre at Nidaros, and from there it spread to the rural churches in the surrounding area. Though their appearance beyond these examples is uncertain, these figural embellishments are found in Mære church and a few other churches within the Trøndelag region in the Romanesque period; Blindheim hesitates to ascribe them to local tradition. He does not believe Norse wood carpenters would have studied and copied the stone forms for their stave interiors, but rather that the carver was trained in the internationally influenced stone-carving tradition that was introduced at the cathedral site (Blindheim 1987:17). What is certain is that the love of tables of individuated heads continued at Nidaros Cathedral, seen on both transepts as well as on the exterior of the Gothic eastern end known as the “Octagon”. Due to the skilled tradition of wood-carved figural sculpture in Norway’s traditional stave churches that both predate and are contemporary with the stone carvings, however, it seems less definite that the craftsmen were necessarily trained in a foreign style as per Blindheim’s assertion. It is, however, probable that the woodworkers would have had contact with stone carvers working contemporaneously in the region, thus amplifying the likelihood of incorporating both traditions onto the surface of Nidaros Cathedral. Conclusion Though true of some of the examples, I am not suggesting that these comparisons indicate the direct copying of elements from one church to another or the direct employment of masons at multiple locations. These salient connections do, however, lend weight to the concept of a tangible connection between the leading patrons and among their major minsters at Southwell, Lincoln, and York, with their linked parish churches, across the North Sea to Nidaros Cathedral. In suggesting the visual links between Nidaros and these significant northern English buildings, I am arguing that the desire of the new Norwegian archbishops to create an elaborate cathedral fitted with the most up-to-date stylistic elements that could compete with the greatest churches of Christendom led Jón and Øystein to seek influence at the most innovative contemporary structures across the North Sea. This dialogue served to establish Nidaros as a center for architectural and sculptural innovation, with the cathedral acting as a focal point 105 C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 Dokumenter vedkommende Norge, Nordmænd og den norske Kirkeprovins. I. 991–1263. Det Norske Historiske Kildeskriftfond, Oslo, Norway. 107 pp. Sakshaug Old Church. 2010. Fortidsminneforeningen, Oslo, Norway. 6 pp. Snorri Sturluson. 1967. Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway. L.M. Hollander (trans.) University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, USA. 854 pp. Stratford, N. 1997. The Lewis Chessmen and the Enigma of the Hoard. British Museum Press, London, UK. 64 pp. Syrett, M. 2002. The Roman alphabet Inscriptions of Medieval Trondheim. 2 vols. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, Norway. 588 pp. Syrstad Andås, M. 2001. Smekre vannliljekapiteler og rike chevroner: Spor av Yorkbygghyttens folk i Trondheims- og Bergensområdet 1160–1180. Pp. 75–90, In Foreningen til Norske Fortidsminnesmerkers Bevaring Særtrykk av Årbok, Oslo, Norway. Syrstad Andås, M. 2007. Art and ritual in the liminal zone. Pp. 47–126, In M. Syrstad Andås, Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Petersen (Eds.). The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. 375 pp. Syrstad Andås, M. 2010. Relikviekapell og kongelig mausoleum? Om det senere kapittelhuset ved katedralen i Trondheim og bygningens tidligste historie. Pp. 296–317, In K. Bjørlykke, Ø. Ekroll, and B. Syrstad Gran (Eds.). Nidarosdomen—ny forskning på gammel kirke. Domkirkes Restaureringsarbeiders forlag, Trondheim, Norway. 355 pp. Syrstad Andås, M., Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Petersen. 2007. Introduction. Pp. 1–20. In M. Syrstad Andås, Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Petersen (Eds.). The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. 375 pp. Thurlby, M. 1997. Aspects of the architectural history of Kirkwall Cathedral. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 127:855–888. Wergeland, A.M. 1966. Leaders in Norway and Other Essays. Books for Libraries Press, Inc., Freeport, NY, USA. 193 pp. Endnotes 1This paper represents a more detailed consideration of material presented at the Inaugural St. Magnus Conference held by the Centre for Nordic Studies UHI in Kirkwall, Orkney, April 2011. It also represents an early investigation into Romanesque Nidaros that will receive more attention in my upcoming doctoral thesis. I am indebted to Dr. Malcolm Thurlby for his guidance as an adviser and for his contributions to this paper, both through editing and in providing many of his own research images. 2At this time, the papacy was in conflict with the Holy Rothe building. Pp. 157–73, In G. Attinger, and A. Haug (Eds.). The Nidaros Office of the Holy Blood: Liturgical Music in Medieval Norway. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, Norway. 205 pp. Ekroll, Ø. 2007. The shrine of St. Olav in Nidaros Cathedral. Pp. 147–207, In M. Syrstad Andås, Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Petersen (Eds.). The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. 375 pp. Fernie, E. 1988. The Church of St. Magnus, Egilsay. Pp. 140–161, In B. Crawford (Ed.). St. Magnus Cathedral and Orkney’s Twelfth-Century Renaissance. University of Aberdeen Press, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. 283 pp. Fischer, G. 1964. Domkirken i Stavanger: Kirkebygget i Middelalderen. Dreyers Forlag, Oslo, Norway. 87 pp. Fischer, G. 1965. Domkirken i Trondheim: Kirkebygget i Middelalderen. 2 vols. Forlaget Land og Kirke, Oslo, Norway. 1109 pp. Fleisher, J. 2007. External pulpits and the question of St. Michael’s Chapel at Nidaros. Pp. 127–46. In M. Syrstad Andås, Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Pe - tersen (Eds.). The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. 375 pp. Gereon Beukers, K. 2007. Zu den Obergeschosskapellen am Querhaus der Kathedrale von Nidaros und ihrer liturgischen Nutzun. Pp. 209–251, In M. Syrstad Andås, Ø. Ekroll, A. Haug, and N. Holger Petersen (Eds.). The Medieval Cathedral of Trondheim: Architectural and Ritual Constructions in their European Context. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, Belgium. 375 pp. Hare, M. 2009. The 9th-century west porch of St. Mary’s Church, Deerhurst, Gloucestershire: Form and function. Medieval Archaeology 53:35–93. Helle, K. 1995. Part I: Down to 1536. Pp. 3–188, In R. Danielsen, S. Dyrvik, T. Grønlie, K. Helle, and E. Hovland (Eds.). M. Drake (Trans.). Norway: A History from the Vikings to our Own Times. Scandinavian University Press, Oslo, Norway. 486 pp. Hoey, L., and M. Thurlby. 2004. A survey of Romanesque vaulting in Great Britain and Ireland. Antiquaries Journal 84:117–184. Hohler, E.B. 1999. Norwegian Stave Church Sculpture. Vol. II. Scandinavian University Press, Oslo, Norway. 335 pp. Jordan, P. 2004. North Sea Saga. Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, UK. 272 pp. Kavli, G. 1958. Norwegian Architecture: Past and Present. Dreyers Forlag, Oslo, Norway. 147 pp. Metcalfe, F. 1881. Introduction. Pp. 1–60, In E. Erlendsson. Passio et Miracula Beati Olaui. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK. 130 pp. McAleer, P. 2001. The north portal of Durham Cathedral and the problem of “sanctuary” in medieval Britain. Antiquaries Journal 81:195–258. Pevsner, N. 1979. Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire. 2nd Edition. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, UK. 447 pp. Regesta Norvegica. 1898. Kronologisk fortegnesle over C. Bogdanski 2013 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 4 106 11More consideration of these spaces, including plans and isometric models can be found in Gereon Beukers (2007). man Emperor, who had a close ally in the powerful archbishop of Hamburg–Bremen. Øystein Ekroll (2004:160) has argued that the establishment of the Nidaros archbishopric served as a counterweight to Hambur g–Bremen. 3The North Sea is located in the area between the mountains of Scotland and Scandinavia, the hills of South England, the Low Countries, and North Germany. Today, its official geographical coordinates define it as the body of water that is contained south of latitude 60°N and east of longitude 5°W on its northwest side; north of latitude 58°44.8'N from the top of Denmark to the south coast of Sweden, and east of longitude 5°W and north of latitude 48°30'N at the south side. This, definition, however, includes the English Channel in its coordinates and so, in practice, the North Sea is an area of about 600,000 km2, about 1000 km long and 64 0km wide, “involving, apart from the sea to the north, the south coast of Norway, a short part of the northeast coast of Sweden, the north and west coasts of Denmark, the northwestern coast of Germany and the coasts that the Netherlands and Belgium possess, together with a minimal piece of the French coast and all the eastern coastline of Britain with the Northern Isles.” (Jordan 2004:4, 9–10). 4Successive building stages included the addition of the so-called “Chapter House” to the cathedral’s north side that was constructed ca. 1165–1675, followed by the addition of the eastern Octagon ca. 1180–1220 and the choir and crossing subsequently rebuilt, finally concluding with the completion of the nave (Metcalfe 1881:60–62). 5Nidaros Cathedral was ravaged by fires in both 1328 and 1432, resulting in financial strain, followed by the onset of the “Black Death” in 1349–1350, which took the lives of over 50% of Norway’s population. St. Olaf’s shrine was dismantled for parts and sold in Copenhagen (Ekroll 2007:163). 6In his discussion of St Magnus Church on Egilsay, Eric Fernie (1988) makes reference to the North Sea as a grouping category for a type of buildings. Thurlby (1997) makes a similar categorization in his discussion of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney. Reginald Cant (1988) also considers the relationship between Scottish and Norwegian architecture, see R. Cant, Norwegian Influences in the Transit. Martin Blindheim (1970) further examines the relationship of Norwegian medieval art to trends in Europe ca. 1200. 7In 1070, Adam of Bremen called Nidaros “the capital of the Norsemen.” (Stratford 1997:44). 8In light of Archbishop Øystein’s elaborate plans for his cathedral’s extensions, Ekroll suggests ties between the Norwegian ecclesiast and his colleagues in England, Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury (1162–70) and Archbishop Roger of York (1154–81), who were both extensive architectural patrons at their seats (Ekroll 2004:161–162). 9Almost all previous architecture in Norway was in wood; stone as a building material was fairly unknown before the arrival of Christianity. Wooden architecture continued to be built in Norway in the form of stave churches during the entire building process of Nidaros Cathedral, from its earliest stages in around 1100 to its completion in the mid-14th century. See Kavli (1958:34–35). 10Ekroll (2004:Figures 2–4).