About this artwork
Text printed on reverse of stereocard:
The Principal Entrance, or Western Front,
Consists now, it will be observed, of only one tower to the north, and the great gateway with the two curious windows above it. The other tower havign been removed, its site is occupied by a portion of the palace built by Charles II. The surviving tower, which is dismantled, is a fine specimen of the style of architecture belonging to the period of transition from the Romanesque to the first pointed or early English style in Scotland (from about A.D. 1170 to 1175).
It was lit by four large windows, one on each side, divided by a single shaft. Below these, on the west and south sides, it is adorned by two storeys of arcades, with a row of sculptured heads bewteen them, to correspond with the enrichments of the main wall of the nave, of which that portion still remains which connects the tower with the north side of the gateway. The lower range of arcades is richly ornamented, and is composed of trefoiled arches resting on clustered shafts.
The doorway is a noble, high-arched, and deeply recessed one, having eight shafts on either side, with capitals composed of birds and grotesques, and mouldings rich with flowered and toothed ornaments. It belongs to the best years of the early English style in Scotland–namely, about 1181. The tympanum, or space between the lintel and the curved mouldings above, is adorned by an arcade of five pointed arches; and below this by a row of cherubs, sculpted on the architrave. The central western windows are in a style somewhat allied to the perpendicular, but are very peculiar in their character, having flat, segmental arches adorned with six pendent cusps or fleurs-de-lis instead of tracery, and slender mullion-shafts receding from the external surfaces of the wall.
Above the doorway, and between the central windows, is a tablet, inserted by Charles I at the time of his coronation in this church, bearing the following inscription, which, in the circumstances, is particularly striking:—
HE SHALL BUILD ANE HOUSE
FOR MY NAME, AND I WILL
STABLISH THE THRONE
OF HIS KINGDOM
BASILICAM HANC SEMI
RUTAM CAROLUS REX
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Artist Unknown
- Abbey of Holyrood
- Edinburgh (Place depicted)
- Albumen print, stereo
- Each image: 7.5 × 7.7 cm (3 × 3 1/16 in.); Card: 8.5 × 17.5 cm (3 3/8 × 6 15/16 in.)
- Gift of Robert A. Taub