Although fundamentally strong, vaults are highly vulnerable to forced deformation. The 15th century Gothic quire at Bothwell Parish Church is an example of the type of imposed deformations a barrel vault might experience. The vault and its supporting walls exhibit extensive deformation due to ground movement. Failure patterns give insight into the stress distribution and redundancies of a structural system. This information can be used to help diagnose specific problems in structures or predict locations where intervention techniques will be necessary. By isolating a barrel vault’s response to a particular type of deformation, the resulting failure pattern can be defined. This study was undertaken to further the current understanding of the effects of differential settlement on the structural response of a pointed barrel vault. This research explores the pathology and collapse modes of pointed barrel vaults under asymmetric linear vertical displacement through experimental investigation, and assesses the suitability of fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) as a strengthening
method for improving the stability of a pointed barrel vault like that at Bothwell.
- barrel vaults
- Gothic architecture
- pointed arch