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Abacus The flat slab of stone at the top of a column forming the top of a capital and supporting the arch or wall above it Abutment The section of wall to the side of the curving part of the arch erected to counter the thrust of the arch Aisle The passages to each side of the nave, separated from the nave by screens or columns Altar Flat topped wooden or stone table containing the cross. Usually at the east end of the church (More...) Alure The path along the top of a parapet at the top of a wall Ambulatory The processional aisle around the apse at the east end of a church Ampoule Vessel containing the sacred oil to anoint the kings of France at the cathedral at Rheims Anglo-Saxon English architectural style C10-11, followed by NORMAN Apse A semicircular projection usually found at the east end of a church Apsidal Ending in a semi-circle Arcade A row of arches and columns dividing two places Arcading A row of blind arches in a wall, such that the arches are filled in and lead nowhere Arch A pointed or curved construction of wedge shaped stones. See Voussoir Architect A person competent to design buildings and to supervise their construction Architrave The ornamental moulding running around the curve of an arch, a door or window Archivolt A moulding carried around an arch Armature Metal framework in large untraceried window used to support the stained glass Ashlar Hewn and squared stone ready for construction purposes Atrium Covered row of columns in front of the door of a church
Bailey The open area in a castle between the keep and the curtain wall. This area can have working and domestic buildings in it Ballflower Ornament in the shape of a flower with a ball surrounded by petals Balustrade A row of balusters which are vertical members that support the handrail of a staircase Baptistry Area of the church reserved for the administration of the sacrament of baptism. Bar hole Horizontal hole to hold a timber bar used for securing a door Barbican Outer defences of a castle where attackers would be vulnerable. Normally a double tower over a bridge or gate Barrel-vault A tunnel-like semi-circular vault Barrow Burial mound built over stone graves Bartizan A watch-tower or turret jutting out from the top of a castle Base course The lowest course of masonry of a wall or pier Bastion A solid tower at the end or middle of a curtain wall Bastle Two-story rectangular building where the lower floor is used to house animals and the upper floor for living quarters Batter The inside face of a wall Battlemented Describes the top of of a wall where there are rows of rectangular teeth. This is also known as crenellated or embattled Bay A compartment into which a building is divided. Bays are marked by buttresses, pilasters in the walls, by the position of the main ribs of the vaulting of the interior, etc. Beading Small circular objects in a row Belfry A bell-tower or campanile Berm Strip of ground between the outer curtain wall and the moat Billet Moulding Norman ornamental moulding with cylindrical blocks Blank arcading See arcading Blind arcading See arcading Boss An ornamental projection in ribbed vaults used to hide the joins Brattice A wooden tower or a projecting wooden gallery at the top of a wall Bressumer A beam used as a support for a projection Breteche Hoardings: Wooden boards fitted to top of wall used as extra protection for defenders Broach an old English term for a spire, or to denote a spire that springs from a tower without an intermediate parapet Buttress The projection of stonework at the side or corners of a building to provide strength against the lateral forces
Cable Moulding A moulding in the form of a rope made from twisted strands Calefactory Warming house in a monastery Cantilever A projecting beam fixed at one end only Capital The stone at the top of a column that supports the abacus and arch above it. The capital is usually carved Casemate Bomb-proof vault in a curtain wall for cannons Castle Medieval fortification Cathedral The principal church of a diocese where the bishop has the throne Celestory Windows or opening set high in a wall to illuminate the area below Cell A monastic dependency of a religious house Chamber A room on an upper floor for living and sleeping Chamfer The surface created by cutting away the angle of a beam along its length. Chancel The east end of the church, sometimes divided into the sanctuary and presbytery. Anglo-Saxon and early Norman chancels were normally apsed and later chancels were square Chapter House The building where the canons and Dean met each day to hear a chapter of St Benedict's Rule read out and to conduct the business of the abbey Chevet East end of a church with an apse surrounded by other smaller ones Chevron A zigzag form of ornamentation used in the Norman period Choir The area of the church where the choristers and clergy sit Cinquefoil A five-lobbed ornament Clearstory The upper story or row of windows lighting the nave of the church Cloister The rectangular covered area around an open space (garth) of a monastery or cathedral surrounded by covered walkways used for study and meditation. A photograph of the cloister at Lincoln Cathedral Cob Walling material of straw and unbaked clay Column Circular shaft with base and capital, designed to support the weight above Concentric A concentric castle has a series of defences enclosing another Corbel A stone jutting from a wall designed to support a roof or floor beam Corbel table The horizontal section high on a wall of a church containing carved stone heads Cove Concave moulding at junction of ceiling and wall Crenellation Notched battlements at the top of a wall Crocket A small carved and decorated projection in the form of a flower Crossing The point at which the roofs of the four cross-arms of the church met. Below the crossing is the choir Cruciform Cross-shaped. A church with transepts has a cruciform plan Crypt Vault or chamber under the church Cuirass Medieval armour covering the back (backplate) and chest (breastplate). Plain or ornately decorated Curtain Wall The wall around the bailey with a sentry-walk along its top Cushion capital Typical in Romanesque work, having a square top and rounded off lower section
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.