English Church Architecture.
GLOSSARY OF ARCHITECTURAL TERMS.
ABACUS: the flat slab of stone on which the end of an arch rests. ACHIEVEMENT: a complete armorial device including besides a shield, perhaps a helm, crest, wreath, supporters and motto, etc. AISLE: a lateral division of a nave, chancel or transept, separated off by an arcade. 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. (Cf. SUPERMULLIONED TRACERY and PANELLED TRACERY.) ANGLE BUTTRESSES: a pair of buttresses meeting at 90° to each other at a corner of a building. ANNULET: a narrow flat band around a column or shaft (cf. ASTRAGAL). APSE: a semicircular or semi-polygonal end to a chancel or chapel. ARCADE: a row of arches in the same plane. 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. 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. 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. BALL FLOWER: a masonry repeating ornament characteristic of the Decorated style, looking like a stylized flower bud. BALUSTER: a colonnette supporting a rail. BALUSTER MULLION: a wide, bulging mullion, often found in windows dating from the Saxon period. BALUSTRADE: a row of balusters supporting a rail. 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. BATTLEMENTS: rectangular indentations in a parapet. 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. BELL-COTE: a bell turret set above a roof. BILLET MOULDING: an ornament characteristic of the Norman style, consisting of short cylindrical blocks placed at regular intervals along shallow hollows. BLANK ARCADE: an arcade fronting a wall, serving purely as decoration. 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 arc hand 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. (Cf. SPLAY-FOOTED SPIRE.) BROKEN PEDIMENT: a pediment in which the central portion of the base is omitted. BUTTRESS: a protruding structure at a side or corner of a building, built to provide a counterforce to the outward thrust of the roof. CABLE MOULDING: a convex moulding characteristic of the Norman style, resembling a rope. 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' CAPITAL: the ornamental projecting top of a pier, shaft or column. 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. 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. CHEVRON: a zigzag moulding characteristic of the Norman style. CINQUEFOIL: divided into five foils. CLASPING BUTTRESS: a buttress entirely enclosing the corner of a building. 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. COLLAR BEAMS: major roof beams, usually supported by arched braces, which cross a roof transversely, high up, to connect corresponding pairs of principal rafters. 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. 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. CORBEL SHAFT: a shaft supporting some feature such as an arch or a vault but which is itself supported by a corbel below. CORBEL TABLE: a projecting masonry or brick course resting on a row of corbels often joined by a series of arches. 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. COURSE: a continuous line of masonry at one level. 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. 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 function. CROSSING: the space between the nave, transepts and chancel in a cruciform church. CROW-STEPPED GABLE: a gable with stepped sides. CRUCIFORM: a term used to describe a church which is cross-shaped in plan, having both transepts and a central tower. (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. CRYPT: an underground chamber in a church, usually beneath the chancel. 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. 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. CUSP: the point formed by the meeting of two arcs in Gothic tracery. DADO: the lower part of a screen, wall, or other vertical architectural surface, usually divided from the upper parts by a DADO RAIL. DAGGER: a lance-shaped motif found in window traceries in Decorated style. 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. 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. DROP TRACERY: window tracery which begins above the archlets but below the springing level, characteristic of middle to late Perpendicular work ; 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. 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. ENGLISH BOND: a method of bonding bricks in which courses of headers and stretchers are laid in alternate courses. ENTABLATURE: the combined assembly of horizontal members supported by a row of columns in classical architecture. 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). FAÇADE: 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. 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. 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. FLEURON: a decorative carved flower. FLOWING TRACERY: another term for CURVILINEAR TRACERY. FLUSHWORK: the use of flint and dressed stone to produce decorative patterns (commonly of blank arcading) worked in a single plane. 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. 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. Cf. TWO-CENTRED ARCH). 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. GALILEE: a porch at the W. end of a church, often of greater than average height and sometimes entirely open to the west. 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. 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 as the EARLY ENGLISH, DECORATED and PERPENDICULAR (cf. ROMANESQUE). 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. 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. 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. HAMMERPOST: a post rising vertically from the end of a HAMMERBEAM. (Cf. FALSE HAMMERBEAM). HERTFORDSHIRE SPIKE: a needle-like spire of a type especially common in Hertfordshire. 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. 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. 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. 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. KING-PIECE: a short king-post rising only from a collar. KNAPPED FLINT: dressed flint, whether squared and coursed or not. 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. 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. LESENE: an unstructural vertical member in a wall, characteristic of the Saxon style. (Also called a PILASTER STRIP.) LIERNE: in a vault, a tertiary rib that links a principal rib to a tierceron. LIERNE VAULT: a vault exhibiting liernes. 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. LINTEL: a flat slab of stone across the top of a doorway. 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. 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 it 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 unlikely. LUCARNE: a vertical window projecting from the sloping side of a spire. 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. MERLONS: the up-steps in battlements. 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. MOUCHETTE: a curved, lance-shaped motif found in window traceries in Decorated style. 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. NARTHEX: an enclosed or semi-enclosed anteroom in front of a building’s main entrance and usually at its western end. NAVE: the main body of a church, in which the congregation sits. NICHE: a recess, often canopied and designed to hold a statue. '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. 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. OFF-SETS: 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. 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. OPEN PEDIMENT: a pediment in which the portion around the apex is omitted. 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 (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 TRACERY and SUPERMULLIONED TRACERY). 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. 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. PILASTER: a rectangular column projecting from a wall which, in classical architecture, also conforms in design to one of the five orders. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.) (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. 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.