Scottish Church Architecture

There are two main forms of church and religious architecture that are associated with the medieval period; Romanesque and Gothic. At the start of the medieval period in Scotland Romanesque architecture was popular, characterised by its rounded arches, but very quickly Gothic architecture became the more popular style. The activity below is designed to demonstrate what made Gothic architecture so appealing to people building religious buildings!


What is Gothic Architecture?

Task: Watch the video on Gothic Architecture and take notes of the main things that identify a building built in the Gothic style. What are the windows like? What kind of other things does the video mention.

Use a heading and dot points to organise notes like the example below!

How to organise notes

The picture on the right shows an example of a list with a heading and dot points. The dot points list the main features associated with the topic at the top (a book).

Listening to the video above, try and pick out key words like the list on the left. Use short phrases rather than sentences to organise the list. It's easier to take shorter notes than long ones!

What did you discover?

Task: Share the list with the rest of the class and see what everyone else picked out from the video. Its likely your class mates may have caught some things that you missed, or vice versa. You also probably have a lot of the same things. Write a list as a class that combines the main elements from everyones notes.


Why not search some of the heritage buildings in your area using an online search engine or using Historic Environment Scotland's website by clicking here . Explore images of each location and see if you can identify any Gothic architectural features! Good places to start? Check out Glasgow Cathedral, the Cathedral of Bishop William de Bondington, who had his residence at Ancrum!

The link on the right will take you to the Historic Environment Scotland page about Glasgow Cathedral.