(« back to home page)


English Church Architecture -

Appendix  3:  Glossary of Architectural Terms.




ABACUS: the flat slab of stone on which the end of an arch rests.  (Illustration)
ACHIEVEMENT: a complete armorial device including besides a shield, perhaps a helm, crest, wreath, supporters
     and motto, etc.  (Illustration)
AISLE: a lateral division of a nave, chancel or transept, separated off by an arcade.  (Illustration)
ALTERNATE TRACERY:  one of the main divisions of Perpendicular tracery in which supermullions rise from
    the tops of the lights immediately below but where no mullion is carried up in a direct line all the way from the
    window sill to the window head.  (Illustration)  (Cf. SUPERMULLIONED TRACERY and PANELLED TRACERY.)
ANGLE BUTTRESSES: a pair of  buttresses meeting at 90° to each other at a corner of a building.  (Illustration)
ANNULET: a narrow flat band around a column or shaft (cf. ASTRAGAL).
APSE: a semicircular or semi-polygonal end to a chancel or chapel.  (Illustration)
ARCADE: a row of arches in the same plane.  (Illustration)
ARCH: a curved structure formed by the placing together of wedge-shaped pieces of stone, which are  held in
    place by pressure from above and the sides.
ARCHLET: a small arch, especially one forming the head of a single window light.
ARCHED BRACE: a curved beam adding strength to a roof by joining two major roof beams or posts at right angles
    to each other.  (Illustration)
ARCHIVOLT: the under-surface of an arch.
ASHLAR: rectangular blocks of hewn stone.
ASHLAR PIECES: short vertical timbers which continue the plane of the internal wall until it meets the
    underside of the rafters and which generally join the rafters to the wall plate or sole pieces.  (Illustration)
ASTRAGAL:  a little convex moulding around a column or pier, often just beneath a capital (cf. ANNULET).
AUMBRY:  a recess in a wall, cut to hold the communion vessels.
AXIAL:  a term used to describe a church with a central tower (i.e. between the nave and the chancel) but with
    no transepts.  (Illustration)
BALL FLOWER: a masonry repeating ornament characteristic of the Decorated style, looking like a stylized
    flower bud.  (Illustration)
BALUSTER: a colonnette supporting a rail.  (Illustration)
BALUSTER MULLION: a wide, bulging mullion, often found in windows dating from the Saxon period.  (Illustration)
BALUSTRADE: a row of balusters supporting a rail.  (Illustration)
BAREFACED: a term used to describe a timber joint with a single shoulder, which would  normally have two.
BARGEBOARDS: boards, often decorative, fixed to cover the eaves of a gable and protect the ends of the rafters.
BARREL VAULT: a continuous vault of semicircular cross-section.
BAR TRACERY: the usual form of window tracery in which the lights and reticulation units above are separated
    by slender shafts.  (Illustration)
BATTLEMENTS: rectangular indentations in a parapet.  (Illustration)
BAY: a transverse division of part of a building, having a width of one arch, unit of a vault, or window.
BEAKHEAD: a masonry repeating ornament characteristic of the Norman style, looking like a stylized bird’s
    head and beak or, occasionally, a beast’s head and tongue.  (Illustration)
BELL-COTE: a bell turret set above a roof.  (Illustration)
BILLET MOULDING: an ornament characteristic of the Norman style, consisting of short cylindrical blocks
    placed at regular intervals along shallow hollows.  (Illustration)
BLANK ARCADE:  an arcade fronting a wall, serving purely as decoration.  (Illustration)
BLANK TRACERY:  the imitation of window tracery, fronting a wall or wooden panel in order to provide decoration.
BOLECTION MOULDING: a convex moulding which projects beyond the surface it frames, characteristic of
    joinery in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
BOSS: a projection at the intersection of the ribs of a vault or of the main timbers of  a wooden roof.
BOWTELL: a very slender shaft replete with a base and capital, characteristic of the Perpendicular style and serving
    purely as decoration.
BOX PEW: a pew enclosed by a high back and ends containing doors.
BRACE: any timber reinforcing an angle.
BRATTISHING: ornamental cresting.
BROACH: a half-pyramid filling an angle at the meeting point of two planes  (for example, between a flat chamfered
    moulding to an arch and the capital of the pier from which it springs).
BROACH SPIRE:  a spire in which the transition between the upper octagonal section and the lower square section is
    managed by filling the intervening angles with broaches.  (Illustration)   (Cf. SPLAY-FOOTED SPIRE.)
BROKEN PEDIMENT: a pediment in which the central portion of the base is omitted.  (Illustration)
BUTTRESS: a protruding structure at a side or corner of a building, built to provide a counterforce to the outward
    thrust of the roof.  (Illustration)
CABLE MOULDING a convex moulding characteristic of the Norman style, resembling a rope.  (Illustration)
CAMBER BEAMS: tie beams with sufficient curvature to allow a roof to be constructed directly on top without
    any further superstructure, while yet providing an angle of pitch just great enough to enable the roof to drain.
CANOPY: an ornamental projection above a monument, niche, piscina, etc.
CANOPY OF HONOUR:  elaborately carved or painted panels sometimes found attached to a nave roof, above
    a rood screen or loft.
CANT: one of the lines, whether vertical, horizontal or oblique, framing the underside of a roof, which may then be
    described as "framed in [so many] cants"  (See the illustration, showing a roof framed in seven cants.)
CAPITAL: the ornamental projecting top of a pier, shaft or column.  (Illustration)
CAROLEAN: of the reign of Charles I (1625-49) or Charles II (1660-85).
CARTOUCHE:  a shaped tablet for an inscription, surrounded by carved ornament.
CASEMENT MOULDING: a very wide, shallow, hollow moulding, characteristic of  the Perpendicular style. 
CASTELLATED: embattled.
CHAMFER: the simplest of all mouldings, formed of band produced by cutting away a right angle, resulting in
    a flat plane at 45° to the main surfaces.  (Illustration)
CHANCEL: the eastern division of a church, in which the altar is placed.
CHAPEL: a transept or part of an aisle, divided off from the rest of a church or cathedral and provided with its own
    altar and dedication.
CHEQUERWORK: an ornamental wall-facing constructed in two materials (for example, flint and ashlar),
    resembling a chess board.  (Illustration)
CHEVRON: a zigzag moulding characteristic of the Norman style.  (Illustration)
CINQUEFOIL: divided into five foils.
CLASPING BUTTRESS: a buttress entirely enclosing the corner of a building.  (Illustration)
COADE STONE: an artificial material resembling stone but actually a form of terracotta, produced c. 1770 - 1840
    to a "recipe" developed by Mrs. Eleanor Coade at a factory site now underneath the Royal Festival Hall on
    London's South Bank. The "stone" proved to be exceptionally hard-wearing, whether used for internal or external
    work, and architectural features made from it are frequently as crisp today as they were two hundred years ago.
COFFERED PANEL: a sunk panel as seen particularly in carpentry (cf. FIELDED PANEL).
COFFERING:  an arrangement of sunken panels decorating a vault or arch soffit.  (Illustration)
COLLAR BEAMS: major roof  beams, usually supported by arched braces, which cross a roof transversely, high up,
    to connect corresponding pairs of principal rafters.  (Illustration)
COLLAR PURLIN: a major roof  beam that connects the collar beams at the midpoint and runs  immediately below
    the ridge beam.
COLONNADE: a row of columns.
COLONNETTE: a small pier.  (Illustration)
COMMON RAFTER: a slat joining the ridge beam to a wall plate in roof construction.
COMPOSITE ORDER: a form of the classical column characterized by a fluted shaft and a bell-shaped capital
    which combines Ionic volutes with Corinthian foliage. 
CONSOLE:  an ornamental bracket of curved outline and often scrolled.
CORBEL: a projection from a wall designed to support something, especially the end of an arch.  (Illustration)
CORBEL SHAFT:  a shaft supporting some feature such as an arch or a vault but which is itself supported by a
    corbel below.  (Illustration)
CORBEL TABLE:  a projecting masonry or brick course resting on a row of corbels often  joined by a
    series of arches.  (Illustration)
CORINTHIAN ORDER:  a form of the classical column characterized by a fluted shaft and a  bell-shaped
    capital decorated with acanthus, laurel or olive foliage from which eight small projections emerge (known
    as "caulicoli"). 
CORNICE:  a moulded ledge along the top of any architectural feature or, in roof  construction, a decorative
    moulding in the angle between the wall and the pitched roof.
COUPLE ROOF:  a simple roof without tie beams or collar beams, in which the rafter pairs are joined at the ridge
    only.  (Illustration)
COURSE: a continuous line of masonry at one level.  (Illustration)
COVE or COVING:  a large concave surface filling the angle between a wall and a roof or ceiling.
CROCKET:  an ornamental projection from a pinnacle or gablet, in the form of a stylized leaf.  (Illustration)
CREDENCE:  a recess in the wall of the sanctuary, designed to hold the bread and wine before their consecration
    in the Eucharist.
CREDENCE SHELF:  a shelf set within a piscina, designed to act as a credence and provide the piscina with dual
CROSSING: the space between the nave, transepts and chancel in a cruciform church.  (Illustration)
CROW-STEPPED GABLE: a gable with stepped sides.  (Illustration)
CRUCIFORM: a term used to describe a church which is cross-shaped in plan, having both transepts and a
    central tower.  (Illustration)  (Cf. PSEUDO-CRUCIFORM).
CRUCK: a curved timber that forms the whole of one side of an arch (that is, both the jamb and one side of
    the arch above), usually indicating a building's early vernacular construction.  (Illustration)
CRYPT:  an underground chamber in a church, usually beneath the chancel.  (Illustration)
CUPOLA: a small dome crowning a larger dome or roof.
CURVILINEAR TRACERY: a form of window tracery characteristic of the Decorated style, in which weaving
    lines of masonry form daggers and mouchettes above ogee arches.  (Illustration of the "standard" pattern)
CUSHION CAPITAL: a simple style of capital characteristic of the Norman style  consisting  of a cubical block
    of stone rounded on the lower edges and corners.  (Illustration)
CUSP: the point formed by the meeting of two arcs in Gothic tracery.  (Illustration)
DADO the lower part of a screen, wall, or other vertical architectural surface, usually  divided from the upper
    parts by a DADO RAIL.  (Illustration) 
DAGGER:  a lance-shaped motif found in window traceries in Decorated style.  (Illustration)
DECORATED:  depending on context, a term used to describe either the architectural period  from c.1300 to
    c.1349 (the year of the Black Death), or alternatively, the style that was then  prevalent but which in some
    places extended beyond, characterized especially by cusped  arches, the construction of elaborate window
    tracery and, from c. 1315, the ogee.
DIAGONAL BUTTRESS:  a buttress at a corner of a building, constructed at an angle of 135°  to the two walls. 
DOG-TOOTH:  a masonry repeating ornament characteristic of the Early English style, resembling a four-
   cornered star positioned diagonally and raised at the centre.  (Illustration)
DORIC ORDER:  a form of the classical column, either fluted or unfluted and with or without  a base,
    characterized by its frieze above consisting of “triglyphs” (raised rectangular  blocks with two vertical grooves
     down the centre and a half-groove at the edge - hence  three grooves) alternating with decorated spaces
     between (“metopes”).
DORMER: a vertical window projecting from a roof.
DOUBLE-CONE MOULDING: a moulding occasionally encountered around arches dating from the Norman
    period, formed of cones facing  left and right alternately.
DRIPSTONE: a projecting moulding over a window or doorway, intended to throw off rain water.  (Illustration)
DROP TRACERY: window tracery which begins above the archlets but below the springing  level, characteristic
    of middle to late Perpendicular work  (illustration); alternatively, the term can be  used to describe ornamentation of any
    period, hanging from an archivolt and resembling window tracery.
DURN: a timber cut from a specially selected tree branch, such that the side of a curved  doorway or arch can
    be made from it in a single piece.
EARLY ENGLISH: the earliest Gothic architectural style, characterized especially by the use of the lancet
     arch and coinciding almost exactly with the thirteenth century.  (Illustrated)
EASTER SEPULCHRE: a recess, usually in a chancel north wall, containing a tomb chest depicting the
    burial and resurrection of Christ.
EAVES: the part of a roof which overhangs the walls.
EMBATTLED: having  battlements.
EMBRASURES:  the down-steps in battlements.  (Illustration)
ENGLISH BOND: a method of bonding bricks in which courses of headers and stretchers are laid in alternate
    courses.  (Illustration)
ENTABLATURE: the combined assembly of horizontal members supported by a row of  columns in classical
EXTRADOS:  the outer curve of an arch (cf. INTRADOS or SOFFIT).
EYELET: a small opening in a traceried window, usually formed between the apex of the arch above and
    "Y"-forking tracery bars below (cf. OCULUS).
FACADE:  the face of a building, especially one designed to look grand.
FALCHION TRACERY:  a form of Decorated tracery named after a mediaeval sword but probably better described
     as resembling a child's drawing of a flower, with the "flower" nestling between one or two pairs of "leaves" and all
     rising from a mullion extended up between a pair of lights to form a "stalk".
FALSE HAMMERBEAM:  a hammerbeam where the arched brace above, springs from the back, thereby largely
     negating the hammerbeam's structural function.
FAN VAULT:  a vault formed by the bringing together of inverted, concave cones, each overlaid with ribs of equal
     length and curvature, radiating at equal angles from a single shaft.  (Illustration)
FENESTRATION: the arrangement and style of windows in a building.
FIELDED PANEL:  a raised panel as seen particularly in carpentry (cf. COFFERED PANEL).
FILLET: a narrow, flat projecting band, usually running down the side of a shaft or around the moulding of an
    arch. (Illustrated)
FINIAL: an ornament crowning a pinnacle, spire, gable or pediment.
FIRST POINTED STYLE:  another name for the Early English style but used more often to describe nineteenth
    century work adopting similar forms.
FLEMISH BOND: a method of bonding bricks in which headers and stretchers are laid  alternately in each
    course, and such that the stretchers of one course rest on the headers of  the course below.  (Illustration)
FLEURON: a decorative carved flower.
FLOWING TRACERY: another term for CURVILINEAR TRACERY.  (Illustration of the "standard" pattern)
FLUSHWORK: the use of flint and dressed stone to produce decorative patterns (commonly of blank arcading)
    worked in a single plane.  (Illustration)
FLUTING: a decoration formed of parallel concave mouldings (cf. REEDING).
FLYING BUTTRESS: an essentially free-standing buttress that supports part of a building by the thrust
     exerted from a half-arch springing across from the top.  (Illustration)
FOIL: a lobe formed by the meeting of two cusps, characteristic of  Gothic traceries from c.1300 onwards (i.e. in
    both Decorated and Perpendicular styles).
FOUR-CENTRED ARCH: a depressed arch characteristic of later Perpendicular work, formed of two
     concave pairs of arcs, the upper pair having a larger radius than the lower.  (Illustration)  Cf. TWO-CENTRED
GABLE: the triangular piece of wall at the end of a ridged roof.
GABLET: a small gable (for example, above a lucarne).
GADROONING: a simple moulding formed of a line of convex ridges, frequently angled and slightly overlapping.
GALLETING: small stones set in a mortar course.  (Illustration)
GALILEE: a porch at the W. end of a church, often of greater than average height and sometimes entirely
    open to the west.  (Illustration)
GALLERY: a projecting platform at the side or back of a church, typically of eighteenth  century date,
    reached by a stairway and designed to provide extra seating, sometimes for a prestigious local family. 
GARGOYLE: a carved figure – often a grotesque – disguising a water pipe.
GEOMETRICAL TRACERY: a form of window tracery characteristic of Early English work of the late thirteenth
   century, characterised by the use of circles and other geometrical shapes.  (Illustration)
GIBBS SURROUND: a typically eighteenth century treatment of a door or window surround, named after
    James Gibbs (1682-1754) and featuring jambs punctuated at intervals by large, protruding blocks of stone.
GOTHIC: in architecture, the overriding, composite style prevailing from c.1200 to the early sixteenth century,
    characterized by the use of the pointed arch and encompassing the three successive styles known
GOTHICK: imitation Gothic work, especially of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, preceding
    the stricter forms based on the more serious study of the Gothic Revivalists.  (Illustration)
GOTHIC REVIVAL: the dominant architectural style during the reign of Queen Victoria, when Gothic forms
    based on those of the Middle Ages, and of the Decorated style in particular, were advocated by many
    influential people (most notably A.W.N. Pugin, 1812 -1852, and John Ruskin, 1819-1900) as the only ones
    admissible in a Christian country.
GROTESQUE: a carved, deliberately grotesque figure in animal or human form, added to a building to
    provide decoration.
GUILLOCHE: a repeating pattern of interlaced spirals, used to decorate mouldings.  (Illustration)
HALF-HIPPED ROOF:  a roof in which the upper part of the gable is inclined inwards.
HALL CHURCH: a church with nave and aisles of the same height and, frequently, where the aisles are
     provided with their own ridged roofs.
HAMMERBEAM: a beam projecting horizontally from the top of a wall or from part-way up a ridged roof,
     which does not meet the corresponding beam from the other side but supports a HAMMERPOST and arched
     brace and is itself supported by a brace beneath, rising from a lower hammerbeam or wall post.  (Illustration)
HAMMERPOST: a post rising vertically from the end of a HAMMERBEAM.  (Illustration)  (Cf. FALSE
HERTFORDSHIRE SPIKE: a needle-like spire of a type especially common in Hertfordshire.  (Illustration)
HIPPED ROOF:  a roof in which the entire gable is inclined inwards.
HOLLOW CHAMFER:  a chamfer which has been hollowed out to produce a concave surface.  (Illustration)
HOOD-MOULD: a dripstone, but sometimes a purely ornamental one (for example, above an  arch in an
     internal arcade).
IMPOST: a horizontal member at the top of a jamb, on which the end of an arch rests.
INTERSECTING SUBARCUATION:  subarcuation where the subordinate arches intersect.  (Illustration)
INTERSECTING TRACERY: a form of window tracery above windows of three or more lights, characteristic
    of Early English work of the mid to late thirteenth century and typified by the branching of each mullion at
    the springing level into a Y and their resulting intersections.  (Illustration)
INTRADOS:  another word for a SOFFIT.
IONIC ORDER: a form of the classical column characterized by a plain or fluted shaft and a straight-sided capital
    with large volutes.
JACOBEAN: of the reign of James I (1603-25).
JAMB: the vertical side of a doorway or window.
KEEL MOULDING:  a moulding with a cross-section like the keel of a ship.
KEYSTONE:  the central voussoir in an arch, especially when enlarged and emphasized in post-mediaeval work.
KING-POST:  a major roof  strut  rising from the centre of a tie beam to the ridge beam.  (Illustration) 
KING-PIECE:  a short king-post rising only from a collar.
KNAPPED FLINT:  dressed flint, whether squared and coursed or not.  (Illustration)
LABEL:  a rectangular hood-mould.
LABEL STOP:  an ornamental projection terminating a dripstone or hood-mould, whether rectangular or not. 
LADY CHAPEL:  a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
LANCET:  a one-light window or other arch, characteristic of the Early English style, formed of a pair of concave
    arcs drawn from centres on the springing line with a radius greater than the arch width.  (Illustration)
LANTERN:  a circular or polygonal structure with windows all round, raised on a tower or roof to admit light.
LAP DOVETAIL:  an overlapping form of dovetail joint which is not finished flush.
LATTICED SUPERTRANSOM:  a latticed transom above the springing level.
LATTICED TRANSOM:  a horizontal connection between the mullions of a window, formed by the curved heads and
    bases of reticulation units in adjacent lights.
LEAN-TO ROOF:  a single-sloped roof  built against a wall.  (Illustration)
LESENE:  an unstructural vertical member in a wall, characteristic of the Saxon style. (Illustration)  (Also called a
LIERNE:  in a vault, a tertiary rib that links a principal rib to a tierceron.  (Illustration)
LIERNE VAULT: a vault exhibiting liernes. (Illustration)
LIGHT: one of the main vertical divisions of a window.
LINENFOLD PANELLING: wooden panelling in which each panel is given a conventional  representation of a
   piece of linen laid over it.  (Illustration)
LINTEL:  a flat slab of stone across the top of a doorway.  (Illustration)
LONG-AND-SHORT WORK:  a method of laying quoins characteristic of  the Saxon style, in which long, narrow
    slabs of stone are laid alternately horizontally and vertically.  (Illustration)
LOWSIDE WINDOW:  a window frequently found towards the west in the S. wall of the chancel, and much more
    rarely in the N. wall, which begins lower than the other windows and is commonly transomed.  Theories about its
    purpose have included that it was intended to enable  lepers or others not permitted to enter the church, to partake
    in the Eucharist (hence it was sometimes called a leper’s window), or that it was to allow the ringing of the Sanctus
    bell to be heard outside.  In fact, the position of some lowside windows seems to make either of these functions
LUCARNE:  a vertical window projecting from the sloping side of a spire.  (Illustration)
MANSARD:  a double-pitched roof, more common in domestic buildings than churches, with the upper section
    more gently sloped than the lower.
MEDALLION: a circle or ellipse bearing a carving in bas-relief, often portraying the deceased in a seventeenth
    funerary monument.  (Illustration)
MERLONS: the up-steps in battlements.  (Illustration)
MISERICORD:  a  shelf-like projection from the underside of a hinged choir stall seat which, when the seat is
    turned up, will support the chorister in long periods of standing.  (Illustration)
MOUCHETTE:  a curved, lance-shaped motif found in window traceries in Decorated style.  (Illustration)
MOULDING:  an ornamental band around an arch, doorway or window.
MULLION:  a vertical stone bar dividing a window into lights.
MUNTIN:  an intermediate vertical timber in a door or section of (chiefly interior) panelling (cf. STILE).
NAILHEAD:  a small masonry repeating ornament characteristic of late Norman work and the Early English
    style, looking like a depressed pyramid.  (Illustration)
NARTHEX: an enclosed or semi-enclosed anteroom in front of a building’s main entrance and usually at its western
    end.  (Illustration)
NAVE: the main body of a church, in which the congregation sits.
NICHE: a recess, often canopied and designed to hold a statue.  (Illustration)
“NOLI ME TANGERE”: a representation of Christ telling Mary of Magdala not to touch Him  when He
    appeared to her after the Resurrection (John 20, v.17).
NOOK-SHAFT: a shaft set in the angle of a wall or architectural feature.  (Illustration)
NORMAN: in architecture, the period and largely coinciding style of building, dating from  the Norman
    Conquest in 1066 to the advent of the pointed arch c.1200.
OCTOPARTITE: a vault in which each bay is divided into eight by two diagonal and two transverse ribs. 
OCULUS:  the central opening at the head of a traceried window, generally formed between mullions or
    supermullions to either side (cf. EYELET).
ŒIL-DE-BŒUF:  a small circular or oval window.
OGEE ARCH: an arch especially characteristic of the Decorated style from c.1315 onwards, formed of two
    pairs of arcs, the lower, concave, and the upper, convex.  (Illustration)
OPEN PEDIMENT:  a pediment in which the portion around the apex is omitted.  (Illustration)
ORDERS:  (i) as used of the sides of a doorway or window or of the underside of an arch, steps succeeding
    one another in recession towards the opening  (Illustration); (ii) as used in classical architecture, any of the
    five traditionally-established designs for a column, three of which  are of Greek derivation, namely the DORIC,
    IONIC and CORINTHIAN, and two of which are of Roman derivation, namely the TUSCAN and COMPOSITE.
PANELLED TRACERY : an uncommon form of Perpendicular tracery in which the mullions continue to the
    window head but there are no supermullions rising from the tops of the lights between (cf. ALTERNATE
PANTILE:  a tile of S-shaped cross-section.
PALLADIAN WINDOW:  a window with a central round-headed light  and a narrower square-headed light either side.
PARAPET: a low protective wall around any place where there is a drop.
PARGETTING:  ornamental plasterwork cladding.
PEDIMENT:  a low-pitched, ornamental gable, encountered in eighteenth century work in particular and
    used above a doorway or window.  (Illustration) 
PENDANT:  a elongated boss.
PERPENDICULAR: depending on context, a term used to describe either the architectural  period from c. 1349
    (the year of the Black Death) to c. 1536 (the year of the Break with Rome), or alternatively, the style that was then
    prevalent but which in some places extended beyond, characterized, above all, by vertical lines in window tracery.
PIER:  a piece of strong, free-standing masonry, used to support an arch or other load.  (Illustration)
PILASTER:  a rectangular column projecting from a wall which, in classical architecture, also conforms in design to
    one of the five orders.  (Illustration)
PILASTER STRIP: another name for a LESENE.
PINNACLE:  an ornamental construction used to crown the corners of a tower, turret, or ends of a gable, or to terminate
    a buttress. (Illustration)
PISCINA:  a recess, usually in the south wall of a chancel, provided with a scooped-out basin and drain, in which
    the Communion vessels may be washed.  (Illustration)
PLATE TRACERY:  early thirteenth century Gothic tracery, preceding bar tracery, in which the lights and other
    reticulation units give the appearance of having been punched through a flat sheet of stone.  (Illustration)
POMMÉE CROSS: a cross with equal length arms ending in circles.
POPPYHEADS:  an ornamental finial on a bench-end, often carved as an animal, figure or foliage.  (Illustration)
PORTICUS (pl. also PORTICUS): a north or south projection at the junction of the nave and chancel in a Saxon
    church, which differs from a transept in being entirely closed off from the rest of the  building.
PRIEST’S DOORWAY:  a doorway in the north or south wall of a chancel.
PRINCIPAL RAFTER:  a main rafter of larger than average scantling.
PSEUDO-CRUCIFORM:  a church with transepts, rendering it cross-shaped in plan, but which lacks a central
    tower.  (It may or may not have a tower to the west or elsewhere.)  (Illustration)  (Cf. CRUCIFORM).
PURLIN:  a wooden roofing beam running parallel to the wall plate and the ridge beam, and  commonly a third,
    a half, or two thirds of the way up the slope of the roof.  (Illustration)
PUTTO (pl. PUTTI): a small naked boy, often featuring in seventeenth and eighteenth century monuments,
    commonly winged and holding one side of a drape or an achievement above the main sculpted figure. 
QUADRIPARTITE VAULT:  a vault in which each bay is crossed by diagonal ribs only.  (Illustration)
QUATREFOIL: divided into four foils.  (Illustration)
QUEEN-POSTS: a pair, or several pairs, of major roof struts rising symmetrically from a tie beam to a pair of
    principal rafters.
QUOINS:  blocks of masonry at the corners of a building.
RAFTER: a wall timber sloping from the wall plate to the ridge.
RAIL:  a horizontal timber in a doorway or piece of furniture or an intermediate horizontal beam in timber framing.
REEDING: a decoration formed of parallel convex mouldings (cf. FLUTING).
RELIEVING ARCH:  an arch above a lintel, from which it takes the strain of the weight of the wall.
RENAISSANCE: a term sometimes used in a loose sense to describe any building erected during the long period
    from the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth, the style of which was influenced in one way or another by a
    renewed interest in classical ideas emanating principally from Italy.
REREDOS:  a painted, carved or sculptured screen, above and behind an altar.  (Illustration)
RESPOND:  a half-pier attached to a wall.
RETABLE: a picture or piece of carving behind an altar.
RETICULATED TRACERY:  a form of window tracery characteristic of the Decorated style, developed through the
    addition of cusps and ogee curves to the lights in intersecting tracery and resulting in window heads filled with tiers
    of quatrefoils.  (Illustration)
RETICULATION UNIT:  a term applied especially to the quatrefoils found in the heads of  windows with
    reticulated tracery, but also to the whole range of shapes encountered in  other window traceries, including the
    straightened forms of the Perpendicular style.  (Illustration)
RETURN STALLS: east-facing choir stalls backing on to the dado of the rood screen.
REVEAL:  the inside surface of a doorway or window.
RIBS:  the stone bands which support or decorate a vault.
RIDGE BEAM: a beam running along the top of a ridged roof.
RINGERIKE STYLE: a Viking style of carving characterised by animals with long curling tendrils.
ROLL MOULDING:  a moulding of simple cylindrical cross-section around an arch or similar feature.  (Illustration)
ROMANESQUE:  the overriding, composite architectural style, prevailing from the early seventh century to c.1200,
   characterized by the use of the round arch and massive  construction and encompassing the successive SAXON
    and NORMAN  styles (cf.  GOTHIC).
ROOD: a cross.
ROOD LOFT:  a gallery supported on a rood screen.  (Illustration)
ROOD SCREEN:  a screen between the nave and the chancel, that carries (or carried) a rood.  (Illustration)
ROOD STAIR:  a small. spiral staircase, housed either in a turret or in the nave or chancel wall, giving access to a
    rood loft.  (Illustration)
ROSE WINDOW: a circular window formed of a main, central light, with smaller lights radiating around.
RUBBLE:  uncut stone.
SACRISTY:  a room attached to a church, in which the Communion vessels are kept.
SADDLEBACK ROOF: a tower roof formed of an ordinary roof gable.  (Illustration)
SANCTUARY:  the part of the church immediately around the altar (mostly - but not  invariably - the
    easternmost part of the chancel).
SANCTUS BELL WINDOW:  an opening looking through the E. wall of a W. tower into the main body of the
    church, to enable someone sitting in the ringing chamber and responsible for ringing the Sanctus bell, to
    follow the service.
SAXON:  in architecture, the period and largely coinciding style of building, dating from the early seventh
    century to the Norman Conquest in 1066.
SCARFING: the joining of relatively short timbers together to form one continuous length.
SCALLOPED CAPITAL:  a style of capital characteristic of the Norman style, developed from the cushion
    capital by carving the four sides into scallops to resemble a jelly-mould.  (Illustration)
SCISSOR BRACES:  crossed braces, often (but not invariably) to be seen above collar beams.  (Illustration)
SECOND POINTED STYLE:  another name for the Decorated style but used more often to describe nineteenth
    century work imitating similar forms yet distinguishable from them.  (Illustration)
SEDILE: one of the individual bays forming a SEDILIA or, unusually, a sedilia formed of just  bay.
SEDILIA: (functioning as singular) a succession of recesses, usually in the south wall of a chancel, designed
    to provide seats for the clergy.  (Illustration)
SEGMENTAL ARCH:  an arch formed of a segment of a circle the centre of which is below the springing line. 
SEGMENTAL-POINTED ARCH:  an arch formed of two segments of a circle, both with centres below the
    springing line.  (Illustration)
SET-BACK BUTTRESSES:  a pair of buttresses similar to angle buttresses, but which are set back slightly
    from the corner of the building against which they are constructed.
SET-OFFS:  inclined projecting surfaces, generally at fixed intervals up the face of a buttress, designed to
    throw rainwater away from the walls but also marking the stages in the progressive thickening of the
    buttress with decreasing height so as to provide the necessary, increasing counter-thrust to combat the
    tendency of the walls to be pushed outwards by the weight of the roof above.
SEXFOIL:  divided into six foils.  (Illustration)
SEXPARTITE:  a vault in which each bay is divided into six by two diagonal ribs and one transverse rib.  (Illustration)
SHAFT:  a colonnette or one of the members making up a compound pier.
SHAFT-RING:  an ornamental stone (or occasionally wooden) ring through which a shaft  passes.  (Illustration)
SOFFIT:  the under-surface of any architectural feature.  (Illustration)
SOLE PIECES:  short horizontal timbers in roof construction, joining the base of the rafters to the wall
SOMERSET TRACERY: a stone lattice peculiar to Somerset, formed of open quatrefoils sometimes large enough
    to enclose pieced lozenges or similar shapes, employed in high class work as a substitute for wooden louvre
    boards in bell-openings and other windows in church towers.  (Illustration) 
SPANDRELS:  the triangular areas above an arch, often decorated with carving, contained between the arch itself, a
    horizontal line running through its apex, and vertical lines drawn from the springing points.  (Illustration)
SPIRE:  a tall, tapering structure crowning a roof or tower.  (Illustration)
SPLAY-FOOTED SPIRE:  a spire in which the transition between the upper octagonal section and the lower square
    section is managed by drawing the ordinal sides of the upper section (northeast, northwest, southwest and
    southeast) to points at the base.  (Illustration)   (Cf. BROACH SPIRE.)
SPLAYS:  sloping reveals, found especially at the sides of a narrow windows, designed to admit the maximum
    amount of light.  (Illustration)
SPLIT “Y”: the shape formed by a mullion or supermullion that splits just below a window head, creating
    space for an eyelet.
SPRINGING,  SPRINGING LEVEL or  SPRINGING LINE:  the level of the springing points of an arch or
SPRINGING POINT:  a point at which an arch or vault rises from its support.
SPUR TIE:  in timber-framed construction, a short timber connecting a cruck blade or an arched brace to a
    wall plate.
SQUASH TRACERY:  tracery beneath a four-centred arch which is entirely above the springing level (cf.
SQUINT:  an opening cut through an interior wall to allow a view of an altar from a place where it would not
    otherwise be visible.
STEEPLE:  the complete tower of a church, complete with its spire, lantern, etc., used especially to refer to
    towers of wooden construction.  (Illustration)
STEPPED BATTLEMENTS:  tall battlements with large, stepped indentations. 
STIFF LEAF:  a characteristic masonry ornament in the form of deeply carved, stylized leaves, found on capitals
    in the Early English style.  (Illustration)
STILE:  the vertical timber at either side of a door, window frame, or section of (chiefly interior) panelling (cf. MUNTIN).
STILTED:  a term used to describe an arch with impost mouldings below the springing level.
STOPPED CHAMFER:  a chamfer extending only part of the way along an edge.
STRAPWORK:  a sixteenth and seventeenth century form of decorative patterning, used especially in carpentry,
    resembling interwoven strips of cut leather.
STRING COURSE:  a projecting masonry band running horizontally along a wall.  (Illustration)
STRONG MULLION:  a term used in supermullioned tracery to refer to mullions of greater cross-section than the
    supermullions, which continue undiminished in thickness from the window sill to the window head.  (Illustration) 
STRUT:  a vertical roof beam running from a tie beam or hammerbeam to a principal rafter.
STUD:  a common (intermediate) vertical post in timber framing.  (Illustration)
SUBARCUATION:  subordinate arches beneath the main arch in a window, characteristic of late Perpendicular work,
    linking the lights in groups.  (Illustration)
SUBLIGHT:  an individual opening in a traceried window, above the main lights.
SUBRETICULATION:  tracery in which the main reticulation units contain secondary tracery of narrower section.
SUNK QUADRANT: a moulding with the cross-section of a recessed quarter-circle.
SUPERMULLION:  a mullion rising from the top of an archlet.
SUPERMULLIONED TRACERY:  one of the main divisions of Perpendicular tracery, in which the mullions
    continue to the window head and supermullions rise from the tops of the lights between.  (Illustration)  (Cf.
SUPERTRANSOM:  a transom connecting mullions or supermullions above the springing.  (Illustration)
    (Cf. TRANSOM.)
TABERNACLE WORK: elaborate carving on canopies, niches, etc.
TESTER:  a sounding board sometimes found above a pulpit or reader’s desk.  (Illustration)
THIRD POINTED STYLE:  another name for the Perpendicular style but used more often to refer to nineteenth
    century work adopting similar forms.
THROUGH-RETICULATION:  mullions or supermullions intersecting subarcuation.  (Illustration)
TIE BEAM:  a major roof  beam which crosses a roof transversely to join the wall plates.  (Illustration)
TIERCERON:  in a vault, a secondary rib which links the central boss or a springing point to a principal rib. 
TIERCERON VAULT:  a vault exhibiting tiercerons.  (Illustration)
TRACERY:  the masonry forming the lights and sub-lights of a Gothic window.  (Illustration)
TRANSEPT:  the north or south arm of a cruciform church.  (Illustration)
TRANSOM:  a horizontal stone bar connecting the mullions of a window below the springing.  (Illustration)
TRANSITIONAL:  the period of change from one architectural style to another, but when used with a capital “T”, the
    transition from the Romanesque to the Gothic, c. 1200.  (Illustration)
TREFOIL:  divided into three foils.
TRIFORIUM:  a wall passage in a greater church or cathedral, coming between an arcade below and the
    clerestory above and open through arches to the building's nave, chancel or transepts..  Not visible externally,
    its usual function is to fill the vertical space corresponding with the fall of a lean-to aisle roof, which would
    otherwise create too great a discontinuity  in the internal elevation.  (Illustration)
TRILOBE;: a trefoil with narrow elongated foils, most especially found in the heads of lights of late thirteenth or
    very early fourteenth century date.
TRUMEAU:  a central vertical mullion supporting a tympanum above an arch or doorway, effectively dividing the
    arch or doorway into two.
TUDOR FLOWER:  a square flower ornament typical of the Tudor period.
TURRET:  a small tower, often containing a spiral stair.  (Illustration)
TUSCAN ORDER: a severely plain form of the classical column consisting as usual of a base, shaft, capital
    and entablature, but entirely without ornament except for the customary fillets.  (Illustration) 
TWO-CENTRED ARCH:  an arch formed of a single pair of concave arcs.  (Illustration)  (Cf. FOUR-CENTRED ARCH)
TYMPANUM:  the semicircular space between a lintel and its relieving arch.  (Illustration)
UNDERCROFT:  a vaulted room, either underground or with an upper storey.  (Illustration)
VAULT:  an arched or domed, ceiling or roof.
VESTRY:  a room attached to a church, in which vestments are kept.
VOLUTE:  a projecting moulding like a scroll, most often found on a capital.  (Illustration)
VOUSSOIR:  one of the wedge-shaped stones of which an arch is constructed.  (Illustration)
WAGON ROOF: a roof constructed of closely set rafters supported by arched braces, forming a design like the
    frame of a covered wagon.  (Illustration) 
WALL PLATE:  the lowest, horizontal roof  beam, which lies on top of the wall, parallel with the ridge beam. 
WALL POST:  a vertical post attached to a wall and supported on a corbel, which, in turn, supports a roof beam.
WATER LEAF:  a characteristic masonry ornament in the form of a very broad, flat. upright leaf, found on capitals
    of "Transitional" date (see above).  (Illustration)
WAVE MOULDING:  a moulding composed of concave and convex elements.
WEATHERBOARDING:  overlapping, usually horizontal boards, fixed on the external  walls of timber- framed
   framed buildings to provide cladding.
WIND BRACES: diagonal or curved braces designed to strengthen a roof longitudinally by connecting the purlins
    to the principal rafters.
WOODWOSE:  a carved figure found especially on fonts, representing  a mythical wild hairy man of the woods. 
Y-TRACERY:  a form of window tracery characteristic of Early English work, typified by a central mullion
    branching at the springing level into a “Y”.  (Illustration)