Flying Buttresses, St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle, Western Australia


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Flying Buttresses, St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle, Western Australia


arch, architect, architecture, basilica, blind arch, buttress, Catholic, Catholic Church, church, church building, Federation Gothic Style, flying buttress, Fremantle, gothic architecture, gothic revival, lancet window, lancet arch, limestone, masonry, Michael Cavanagh, minor basilica, missionaries, neo-gothic, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Sydney freestone, Thomas Ryan OMI, tower, tracery, Vatican, Western Australia, WA


A view of a flying buttress at the Basilica of St Patrick’s in Fremantle, Western Australia. Flying buttresses were one of the most notable developments of gothic architecture in the medieval period. By means of a flying buttress, weight from a load bearing wall could be transferred to a non-adjacent buttress by means of a segmental or quadrant arch. Because this alleviated the need for a large stone buttress to directly adjoin the part of the building requiring support, flying buttresses meant that building design could become less bulky. They were often used, as in this case, to support the high or vaulted ceilings of churches where the addition of aisles with lower ceilings had moved buttresses outwards and created a gap between them and the central core of the building.

About St Patrick’s Basilica:

St Patrick’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church located in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was designed by Adelaide architect Michael Cavanagh and constructed from local limestone and Sydney freestone in a Federation Gothic style. The church was commissioned by Thomas Ryan OMI as a place of worship for Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who had arrived in Fremantle in 1894 as missionaries. It was completed and consecrated in June 1900. A presbytery was also built on the site in 1916. The Vatican issued St Patrick’s with the status of a minor basilica in 1994.


McEwan, Joanne


4 February 2011


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