Dating buildings using window style
In accordance with his will a lavishly sculptured chantry chapel was built over the tomb, with two turret staircases leading to an altar above.
On each side of the door into the Pyx masons marks can be seen on the walls.The Englishness is also apparent in the elaborate mouldings of the main arches, the lavish use of polished Purbeck marble for the columns and the overall sculptural decoration.The east-west axis was determined by the existing position of the Lady Chapel.The design is based on the continental system of geometrical proportion, but its English features include single rather than double aisles and a long nave with wide projecting transepts.The Abbey has the highest Gothic vault in England (nearly 102 feet) and it was made to seem higher by making the aisles narrow.By 1269 the apse, radiating chapels, transepts and choir were complete and the new shrine received the bones of St Edward on 13 October.
When Henry III died in 1272 only one bay of the nave beyond the quire screen had been completed.
The present building dates mainly from the reign of King Henry III.
In 1245 he pulled down the eastern part of the 11th century Abbey, which had been founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065.
The three master masons supervising the work were Henry of Reyns, John of Gloucester and Robert of Beverley.
It is not known if Henry was English or French but the architect was greatly influenced by the new cathedrals at Reims, Amiens and Chartres, borrowing the ideas of an apse with radiating chapels and using the characteristic Gothic features of pointed arches, ribbed vaulting, rose windows and flying buttresses.
The walls were adorned with fine paintings, and two, depicting St Thomas and St Christopher, were rediscovered in the 1930s.