Copy of `Castles on the Web - Castle Terms`

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Castles on the Web - Castle Terms
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Castles
Date & country: 10/09/2007, USA
Words: 251


Glacis
A bank sloping down from a castle which acts as a defence against invaders; broad, sloping naked rock or earth on which the attackers are completely exposed

Great chamber
Lord's solar, or bed-sitting room.

Great Hall
The building in the inner ward that housed the main meeting and dining area for the castle's residence; throne room

Groined
Roof with sharp edges at intersection of cross-vaults.

Half-shaft
Roll-moulding on either side of opening.

Half-timber
The common form of medieval construction in which walls were made of a wood frame structure filled with wattle and daub.

Hall
Principal room or building in complex.

Herringbone
Brick or stone laid in alternate diagonal courses.

Hillfort
Bronze or iron age earthwork defenses of concentric ditches and banks.

Hoarding
Upper wooden stories on a stone castle wall; the living area; sometimes, a temporary wooden balcony suspended from the tops of walls from which missiles could be dropped.

Hood
Arched covering; when used as umbrella, called hood-mould.

Hornwork
Freestanding quadrilateral fortification in front of the main wall.

Impost
Wall bracket to support arch.

Inner Curtain
The high wall the surrounds the inner ward.

Inner Ward
The open area in the center of a castle.

Jamb
Side posts of arch, door, or window.

Joggled
Keyed together by overlapping joints.

Joist
Wall-to-wall timber beams to support floor boards.

Keep
A strong stone tower; main tower; donjon; stronghold.

Keystone
Central wedge in top of arch.

Lancet
Long, narrow window with pointed head.

Lantern
Small structure with open or windowed sides on top of a roof or dome to let light or air into the enclosed space below.

Lattice
Laths or lines crossing to form a network.

Lias
Greyish rock which splits easily into slabs.

Light
Glazing; component part of window, divided by mullions and transoms.

Lintel
Horizontal stone or beam bridging an opening.

Loophole
Narrow, tall opening, wallslit for light, air, or shooting through.

Louvre
Opening in roof (sometimes topped with lantern) to allow smoke to escape from central hearth.

Lozenge
Diamond shape.

Machicolations
Projecting gallery on brackets, on outside of castle or towers, with holes in floor for dropping rocks, shooting, etc.

Mantlet
Detached fortification preventing direct access to a gateway; low outer wall.

Merlon
The high segment of the alternating high and low segments of a battlement.

Meurtriere
An opening in the roof of a passage where soldiers could shoot into the room below. Also see 'Murder Holes'.

Moat
A deep trench usually filled with water that surrounded a castle.

Moline
Ends curling outward.

Mortar
A mixture of sand, water, and lime used to bind stones together; as opposed to drylaid masonry.

Motte
A mound of earth on which a tower was built; artificial conical earth mound (sometimes an old barrow) for the keep

Motte-&-bailey
Earth mound with wood or stone keep, surrounded by ditched and palisaded enclosure (or courtyard).

Moulding
Masonry decoration; long, narrow, casts strong shadows.

Mullion
Vertical division of windows.

Mural
Wall (adjectival).

Murder Holes
A section between the main gate and a inner portcullis where arrows, rocks, and hot oil can be dropped from the roof though holes. Provides good cover for defenders and leaves the attacker open. Only used when outer gate has been breach.

Nailhead
Pyramid moulding.

Narthex
Enclosed passage between the main entrance and nave of a church; vestibule.

Nave
Principal hall of a church, extending from the narthex to the chancel.

Necking
Ornament at the top of a column, bottom of the capital.

Newel
Center post of spiral staircase.

Nookshaft
Shaft set in angle of jamb or pier.

O�lite
Granular limestone.

Offset
Ledge marking the narrowing of a wall's thickness.

Oilette
A round opening at the base of a loophole, usually for a cannon muzzle

Open joint
Wide space between faces of stones.

Oratory
Private in-house chapel; small cell attached to a larger chapel.

Order
One of a series of concentric mouldings.

Oriel
Projecting window in wall; originally a form of porch, usually of wood; side-turret.

Orillons
Arrowhead bastions.

Oubliette
A dungeon reached by a trap door; starvation hole

Outer Curtain
The wall the encloses the outer ward.

Outer Ward
The area around the outside of and adjacent to the inner curtain.

Palisade
A sturdy wooden fence usually built to enclose a site until a permanent stone wall can be constructed.

Palmette
Looped like a palm-leaf.

Parados
Low wall in inner side of main wall.

Parapet
Low wall on outer side of main wall.

Pediment
Low-pitched gable over porticos, doors, windows.

Peel
A small tower; typically, a fortified house on the border

Pellet
Circular boss.

Perpendicular
English architectural style (1330-1540).

Petit appareil
Small cubical stonework.

Pier
Support for arch, usually square.

Pilaster
Shallow pier used to buttress a wall.

Pinnacle
Ornamental crowning spire, tower, etc.

Piscina
Hand basin with drain, usually set against or into a wall.

Pitch
Roof slope.

Pitching
Rough cobbling on floor, as in courtyards.

Plinth
Projecting base of wall.

Portcullis
A heavy timber or metal grill that protected the castle entrance and could be raised or lowered from within the castle. It dropped vertically between grooves to block passage or barbican, or to trap attackers.

Postern Gate
A side or less important gate into a castle; usually for peacetime use by pedestrians

Prow
Acute-angled projection.

Puddled
Made waterproof.

Putlog
Beams placed in holes to support a hoarding; horizontal scaffold beam

Putlog Hole
A hole intentionally left in the surface of a wall for insertion of a horizontal pole.

Quadrangle
Inner courtyard.

Quirk
V-shaped nick.

Quoin
Dressed stone at angle of building.

Rampart
Defensive stone or earth wall surrounding castle.

Rath
Low, circular ringwork.

Ravelin
Outwork with two faces forming a salient angle; like in a star-shaped fort.

Re-entrant
Recessed; opposite of salient.

Rear-arch
Arch on the inner side of a wall.

Redoubt
Small self-contained fieldwork, a refuge for soldiers outside the main defenses.

Reeded
Parallel convex mouldings.

Refectory
Communal dining hall.

Relieving arch
Arch built up in a wall to relieve thrust on another opening.

Respond
Half-pier bonded into a wall to carry an arch.

Retirata
Improvised fieldwork to counter an imminent breach.

Revetment
Retaining wall to prevent erosion; to face a surface with stone slabs.

Rib
Raised moulding dividing a vault.

Ringwork
Circular earthwork of bank and ditch.

Roll
Moulding of semi-circular section.

Romanesque
The prevailing architectural style, 8-12th cent.; massive masonry, round arches, small windows, groin-and barrel-vault.