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HO: 92 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX +44 (0) 1904 651 880Telephone:
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Glossary

Acanthus A plant represented in stylised form in Classical and Renaissance ornament, in particular in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite Orders.

Allegorical As an artistic device it is a visual symbolic representation.

Anthemion Honeysuckle or palmette ornament in Classical architecture.

Apse/Apsidal A semi-circular or polygonal recess, semi-domed or vaulted, in or projecting from a building.

Arabesque A highly stylised fret-ornament in low relief, common in Moorish architecture, found in 16th and 17th-century work in England.

Arcade A range of arches carried on piers or columns.

Architraves The lowest member of an entablature; often adapted as a moulded enrichment returned round the jambs and head of a doorway or window opening.

Ashlar Masonry wrought to an even face and square edges.

Baluster Splat of flat cross-section and cut to a shaped outline.

Balustrade Railing supported by balusters.

Band/Plat-band A flat projecting horizontal strip of masonry or brickwork across the face of a building, as distinct from a moulded string.

Barge-boards A timber plank, often carved, fixed to the edge of a gabled roof at a short distance from the face of the wall, to protect projecting timbers.

Barrel-vaults A tunnel vault unbroken in its length by cross vaults.

Bolection moulding A bold moulding of double curvature raised above the general plane of the framework of a door, fireplace or panelling.

Boss A projecting square or round ornament, covering the inter-sections of the ribs in a vault, panelled ceiling or roof, etc.

Brace In timber framing and roof construction, a subsidiary timber rising obliquely from a major vertical member to support a major horizontal member.

Bressumer A spanning beam forming the direct support of a wall or timber framing above it.

Cantilever A long bracket or beam projecting from a wall to support a balcony or stairs, fixed at only one end.

Capital The head or cornice of a pillar or column.

Cartouche In Renaissance ornament, a tablet imitating a scroll with ends rolled up, used ornamentally or bearing an inscription or arms.

Centaur In Greek Mythology a creature which is part human and part horse.

Chamfer The small plane formed when a sharp edge or arris is cut away, usually at an angle of 45°; hollow chamfer, when the plane is concave; sunk chamfer, when it is recessed.

Chantry Chapel (of a Priest)

Cheek-pieces In open string stairs, a rectangular or shaped block covering the ends of the steps between treads and risers.

Cinque-foiled An ornamental carving consisting of five arcs arranged in a circle.

Clerestorey An upper row of windows in a cathedral.

Close-studding The division of a wall into narrow panels by vertical studs in timber framed buildings.

Coffered Sunk panels in ceiling vaults, domes and arched soffits.

Collar beam In a roof, a horizontal beam framed to and serving to tie together a pair of rafters at some distance above wall-plate level.

Colonnette jambs Columnar shaped.

Console A bracket with a compound-curved outline.

Coping/Coped Slab A slab of which the upper face is ridged down the middle, and sometimes hipped at each end.

Corbel A projecting stone or piece of timber for the support of a super-incumbent weight.

Corinthian A Classical order of architecture, with very decorative capitals.

Cornice A crowning projection. In Classical architecture, the crowning or upper portion of the entablature.

Corona The square projection with vertical face and wide soffit in the upper part of a Classical cornice.

Coterie An exclusive group of people sharing interests.

Crown Post A vertical post standing centrally on a tie-beam to give direct support to a collar and collar purlin, and additionally to the collar purlin through two-way braces.

Cusp A pointed projection from the soffit of an arch, formed by two arcs of smaller radius.

Dado The separate protective or decorative treatment applied to the lower parts of wall-surfaces to a height, normally, of 3 ft. to 4ft.

Dentils The small rectangular tooth-like blocks used decoratively in Classical cornices.

Distyle in antis A portico with two (round) columns between (square) pilasters.

Dog-tooth moulding A typical 13th century carved enrichment consisting of a series of pyramidal flowers of four petals; often used to enrich hollow mouldings.

Doric An Order in architecture comprising a column, fluted shaft and plain capital but with no base.

Dragon-beam A ceiling beam on the diagonal into which are housed the ends of the joists that form jetties on two adjacent fronts of a building.

Dutch Gable A scalloped gable of Dutch origin.

Embattled A usage for the decorative adaptation of the alternating merlons and embrasures on the parapet or breastwork of a rampart walk.

English Garden Wall Bond A method of laying bricks so that alternate courses appear as all headers and all stretchers on the wall face.

Entablature In Classical and Renaissance architecture, the part of an order above the column, the full entablature comprising architrave, frieze, and cornice; often used alone, in whole or in part, as a horizontal architectural feature.

Fanlight Glazed opening immediately over, and integrated within the framing of, a doorway.

Fascia A plain or moulded facing board.

Fenestration The arrangement of windows in a building.

Feoffees Trustees who hold land for the benefit of others, particularly the Church.

Festoons A string or garland of leaves or flowers suspended in a curve between two points.

Finial A stylised ornament at the top of a pinnacle, gable, canopy etc

Flemish Bond A type of brickwork in which alternate headers and stretchers in each course appear on the wall face.

Foliated (of a capital, corbel etc) Carved with leaf ornament.

Frieze The middle zone in an entablature, between the architrave and the cornice; generally any band of ornament or colour immediately below a cornice.

Gableted A peaked gable often found at the top of a hip roof, sometimes louvred for ventilation.

Guilloche A geometrical ornament consisting of two or more undulating bands inter-twining to form a series of circles.

Gypsum Hydrated sulphate of lime, a comparatively soft mineral found in Yorkshire along the west side of the vale of York. On rehydration after heating it will set hard.

Header A brick laid so that the end appears on the wall face.

Impost The projection, often moulded, at the springing of an arch, upon which the arch appears to rest.

Incised Engraved.

Ionic A Classical order of architecture with ramshorn design capitals.

Jambs The sides of an archway, doorway, window, or other opening.

Jetty The projection of an upper storey of a building beyond the plane of a lower storey.

Jowled An enlargement at the head of a post to facilitate jointing with two horizontal members at right angles to each other.

Keystone The middle voussoir in an arch.

King-post A vertical post extending from a tie-beam or a collar-beam to the apex of a roof, and supporting a ridge-piece.

Knop In staircase balusters derived from Classical columns, the member equivalent to the sub-base below the column, and placed between it and a shaped pedestal.

Lantern A raised structure on a dome, glazed to admit light or ventilation.

Lath and plaster Thin flat strips of wood used collectively as a foundation for supporting plaster.

Lintel The horizontal beam or stone bridging an opening.

Louvre A lantern-like structure surmounting the roof of a hall or other building with openings for ventilation of the escape of smoke; the openings are usually crossed by sloping slats (louvre boards) to exclude rain.

Lunette A crescent shaped or semi-circular space or alcove which contains a painting, statue, etc.

Marguerite An ox-eye daisy.

Messuage Dwelling house with out-buildings and land.

Modillion Bracket under the cornice in a Classical entablature.

Mortices A socket cut in a piece of wood, usually to receive the end, the tenon of another piece.

Mullion An upright of timber, stone or brick dividing an opening into lights.

Mutules Shallow blocks under the corona of the cornice in a Classical entablature.

Newel The central post in a circular or winding staircase; also the principal post at each angle of a dog-legged or well staircase.

Niches A wall recess for a statue or urn.

Oeil de boeuf A circular or oval window, 17th or 18th century French architecture.

Oculus Another name for “oeil de boeuf”.

Ogee A compound curve of two parts, one convex, the other concave. A double-ogee moulding is formed by two ogee mouldings meeting at their convex ends.

Overmantel Decorative feature or panel above a fireplace surround.

Oviform Egg shaped.

Palladian A three-light window, with a tall round-headed middle light and shorter lights on either side, the side lights with flanking pilasters and small entablatures forming the imposts to the arch over the centre light.

Pantile A roof tile formed to shape an ‘S’ type section, fitted to overlap.

Parapet Low wall at the edge of a roof.

Paterae A square or circular flat ornament applied to a frieze, moulding or cornice; in Gothic work it commonly takes the form of a four-lobed leaf or flower.

Pediment A low-pitched gable used in Classical and Renaissance architecture above a portico, at the end of a building, or above doorways, windows, niches, etc.; sometimes the gable angle is omitted, forming a broken pediment, or the horizontal members are omitted, forming an open pediment. A curved gable form is sometimes used in this way.

Pedestal An architectural support or base as for a column or statue.

Pentice A sloping roof built on to another building (appendage).

Peristyle A space surrounded by columns.

Peruke-maker Wig maker.

Pilaster A shallow pier of rectangular section attached to a wall.

Plinth A base or platform for a pedestal.

Podium In Classical architecture, a basis, usually solid, supporting a temple or other superstructure.

Portico A covered entrance to a building, colonnaded, either constituting the whole front of the building or forming an important feature.

Principals In a roof of double-framed construction, the main as opposed to the common rafters.

Pulvinated Frieze In Classical and Renaissance architecture, a frieze having a convex or bulging section.

Purlin Collar purlin, a beam running longitudinally immediately beneath the collars joining pairs of common rafters. Side purlin, a horizontal longitudinal member resting on or tenoned into the principal rafters of a truss and giving intermediate support to the common rafters.

Quoins The dressed stones at the angle of a building, or distinctive brickwork in this position.

Rafters Inclined timbers supporting a roof-covering.

Riser The vertical piece connecting two treads in a flight of stairs.

Rococo The latest (18th-century) phase of Baroque, especially in Northern Europe, in which effects of elegance and vivacity are obtained by the use of a decorative repertory further removed from antique architectural forms than the earlier phases and often asymmetrically disposed.

Roundels A small disk, decorative medallion.

Rustication Primarily, masonry in which only the margins of the stones are worked; also used for any masonry where the joints are emphasised by mouldings, grooves, etc.; rusticated columns are those in which the shafts are interrupted by square blocks of stone or broad projecting bands.

Shaft A slender column.

Spandrel The more or less triangular space between an angle and a contained curve.

Splat Flat piece of thin wood.

Square labels In architecture, a moulding over a door or window, a dripstone.

Stretcher Bond A brick laid so that the side appears on the wall face.

String/String course A projecting moulded band across a wall.

Strutting In timber framing and roof construction, a subsidiary oblique timber rising from a horizontal member to give support to a vertical post or to a rafter.

Stuccoed Plaster or cement used for coating wall surfaces or moulding into architectural decoration.

Studs The common posts or uprights in timber-framed walls.

Sunk-panel Recessed framed panel.

Swag Decorative representation of a festoon of cloth or flowers and fruit suspended from both ends.

Tablet Flat slab of wood or stone.

Tie-beam The horizontal transverse beam in a roof, tying together the feet of pairs of rafters to counteract thrust.

Tracery The ornamental work in the head of a window, screen, panel etc formed by the curving and interlacing of bars of stone or wood, grouped together, generally over two or more lights or bays.

Transom An intermediate horizontal bar of stone or wood across a window-opening. The horizontal member of a door-frame beneath a fanlight.

Trusses A number of timbers framed together to bridge a space, to be self-supporting, and to carry other timbers. The trusses of a roof are generally named after a particular feature in their construction, e.g. King-post, Queen-post.

Tympanum The triangle in the face of a pediment or the semi-circle in the head of an arch.

Venetian See ‘Palladian’ window.

Vermiculated To adorn or decorate with wavy or winding lines.

Volute An ornament in the form of a spiral, e.g. in the Ionic capital.

Voussoirs Wedge-shaped stones forming an arch.

Wainscot Wood panelling. Oak imported for this purpose from the Baltic was also so called.

Wall-plate A timber laid lengthwise at the wall top to receive the ends of the roof rafters and other joists. In timber-framing, the studs are also tenoned into it.

Yorkshire sash Glazed panels sliding horizontally.