Characteristics of Early Ecclesiastical Architecture in Lagos State in Nigeria

Adeboye, Albert Adeboye, Adeyemi, Ekundayo Adeyinka, Moyo .


Considering the fact that the period between 1854 and 1929AD has been identified as the first phase of emergence and development of ecclesiastical architecture in Nigeria, this, therefore, became the earliest period and this study examined the characteristics of the church buildings during this period. Among the churches that were built during this period, five were significantly prominent and still exist. This study examined two because those buildings shared similar characteristics. As the study was an explorative one and historical in nature it adopted qualitative method of non-participant observation, historical and unstructured interview methods of gathering data using descriptive method of analysis. This study found that Churches were dominated by foreign established missions as indigenous ones were yet to evolve. Gothic style dominated the period characterised by its usual strong focus on verticality, pointed arches, rib vaults, flying buttresses, large stained glass windows, ornaments and pinnacles. Construction works and financing relied heavily on foreign input. It also noted that construction materials were imported and the church buildings were more of foreign monuments rather than industrial or make-shift. Nigerian cultural, geographical, geological, climatic, existing religious and social factors were not major considerations.  The study concluded that the characteristics of the early church buildings were significantly at variance with the current trends.

Keywords: Characteristics, Early Ecclesiastical Architecture, Lagos State in Nigeria

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