Though they sought to bringing glory to god, medieval architects and builders were only human, of course, subject as we all are to completely misjudging how much room they had left for that three-foiled cusped arch. Case in point: historian James Alexander Cameron's collection of photos documenting instances of hilarious mistakes in cathedral architecture. Below, a few noteworthy instances of medieval English architecture seriously dropping the ball—most likely because its practitioners were often working without drawings, over the course of generations, and were probably getting over the plague or the bloody flux or something and just having a really rough time of it in general—paired with Alexander's Funniest Home Videos-style commentary.
"Ok even I know arches don't look like that."
"Just a bit of settlement abbot, nothing to worry about."
"Umm, what is going on up there?"
"Going on where?"
"That arch that springs from that last window and goes nowhere."
"Oh sorry yeah that's to do with the original Norman plan nothing we could do about it."
"I'll come clean prior, when we measured up that copy of the eastern transept at Fountains Abbey for you, we didn't take into account that your church is kind of a completely different width."
"Is this going to be a problem?"
"Well when we put the vault on there might be a teensy teensy mistake."
"Is anyone going to notice?"
"We'll carve a ring of really nice angels to cover it up."
· Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture [Stained Glass Attitudes]