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Lancashire churches - Architecture technical terms
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Architecture (churches)
Date & country: 20/11/2007, UK
Words: 104


acroterion
an ornament or a plinth at the apex or the lower angle of a classical pediment

apse
a semi-circular extension, often of a chancel or transept

arcade
1. a series of arches 2. blind arcade - a series of arches fixed to a wall 3. a shopping street that is covered, usually with glass

architrave
1. the section of the classical entablature that rests on the capital 2. the moulding around a window or door

ashlar
square-cut stone blocks, often used as a smooth facing over brick or rubble

aumbry
a cupboard to hold the vessels used in the mass

baldacchino
a sheltering canopy, often supported on columns

battlement
a parapet on a wall, alternating high and low

bay
a section of an elevation as divided by columns, windows, etc.

beakhead
Norman moulding with a row of heads (often bird-like) with mouths or beaks biting a roll

bellcote
a small structure to hold bells, roofed, but often with open sides

boss
an ornament placed at the intersection of roof timbers or ribs in a vault

box pew
a pew enclosed by tall sides, entered by a door

bracket
a piece of supporting stone

broach
a triangular face that enables a square tower to turn into an octagonal spire

buttress
a stone, brick or wood structure projecting from a wall, designed to support it by counteracting lateral thrust

capital
the moulded head of a column, pier or pilaster

chamfer
the surface formed when a square angle is cut away obliquely

chancel
the eastern space in a church where the high altar is usually found

chancel arch
an arch at the west end of the chancel that leads from the nave or the crossing

chapel of ease
a chapel for those living a distance from the main church

chevron
a zig-zag ornament characteristic of Norman architecture

clerestory
also clearstory: the upper part of the nave wall of a church pierced by windows

coping
a course of stone, concrete, etc. at the top of a wall

crockets
small, repeated, leafy, upward projections on the edge of a pinnacle, gable, etc.

crypt
an underground, or semi-underground area, usually at the east end of a church

cusps
the projecting point between foils

dagger
a dagger shaped tracery motif with two pointed lobes, one long and blade-like

demi-columns
columns with only half of the circumference projecting from the wall

dogtooth
a C13 moulding of raised pyramids with indented edges

drip-course
a moulded stone projection, designed to protect the wall below from water damage

embattled
having battlements

entasis
a slightly convex profile used originally by the Greeks (in columns) to counteract the impression of concavity produced by parallel lines

faience
glazed tilework

fielded panel
a wooden panel with a raised square or rectangular piece surrounded by moulding

finial
a decorative feature at the very top of a part of a building

foliate
decorated with foliage or leaves

gallery
in a church, an upper balcony with seating that overlooks the nave

guttae
in the Doric frieze, small projections below the triglyphs

hagioscope
see squint

hammerbeam
wooden roof brackets that project from the wall horizintally, in the shape of a hammer

herringbone work
bricks or tles laid diagonally with alternate courses in the opposing direction, making a zig-zag pattern

hogback
a rectangular tomb cover with a curved or pitched top

hoodmould
projecting stone moulding above a door, window etc. designed to protect it by throwing off water

impost
the moulding on which the end of an arch rests

interlace
the abstract patterns characteristic of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon decoration

jamb
the vertical edge of an opening

keystone
the central, locking stone in an arch made of voussoirs (q.v.)

lancet window
a tall, pointed window with no tracery

lesene
a pilaster strip without a base or capital

lights
the major sub-divisions of the glazed area of a window

lintel
the beam that bridges the top of an opening

long and short work
quoins, usually of the Saxon period, with the stones placed with the long side alternately upright then horizontal

lucarne
a small window in a spire or roof

mandorla
a pointed vertical almond/oval shape framing the figure of Christ

metope
in the Doric frieze, the space between the triglyphs

mouchette
a curved version of the dagger motif in tracery

mullion
one of the vertical posts that divides a window into 'lights'

nailhead
a C13 moulding of repeated pyramidal motifs

narthex
an enclosed vestibule at the main entrance to the church

nave
the western part of the body of a church, often flanked by aisles

niche
a tall recess in a wall or buttress, often containing, or intended for, a statue

obelisk
a tall, four-sided tapering column with a pyramid top

oculus
a circular window

ogee
a continuous double curve; an elongated 'S' shape

palmette
a classical ornament based on the palm shoot

patera
a flat, round, relief ornament

pediment
a gable shape in classical architecture, often triangular, though sometimes with a curved top or 'broken' on one edge

pier
a support whose section is often round, square or octagonal

pilaster
a rectangular column or pillar strip projecting in relief from a wall

pinnacle
a finial, usually tapering, often placed on the upper corners of towers, or on the tops of buttresses

piscina
a bowl or basin with a drain usually set into the wall near the high altar, used for washing the communion or mass vessels

pommée cross
a cross with circles on the end of each arm

porte-cochere
a covered entrance to a building into which coaches can be driven

pulpit
a raised, enclosed plateform used for preaching

quadripartite vaulting
vaulting divided into four parts by diagonal ribs

quatrefoil
a 4-lobed shape formed by cusping in tracery

quoins
blocks, usually of stone, up the corner of a building, often in an alternating pattern, and frequently rusticated

reeding
a series of convex mouldings

reredos
a decorative (usually painted or sculpted) screen behind an altar

reticulated tracery
a net-like pattern of tracery characteristic of the early C14 (Decorated period)

rood screen
a screen, usually separating nave and chancel, on which is the crucifix (rood)

runes
an alphabet used by the Anglo-Saxons and Norse people that modified Roman and Greek characters to facilitate carving in stone and wood

rusticated
masonry cut to appear strong, often by having deeply cut joints or a deliberately roughened stone finish

saddleback roof
the name given to a pitched roof when it tops a tower

sedilia
seats built into the south side of the chancel, usually 3, often graded by height and decoration, for the priests

segmental (of an arch or pediment)
a segment of a semi-circle whose centre is below the springing line

shingles
thin tiles, usually of wood, used as a roof covering or for cladding walls

spandrel
the broadly triangular space between the shoulders of an arch and its rectanglular moulding above and at the sides

splay
an opening wider on one face of the wall than another, often inside to allow more light to enter

springing line
the point at which an arch 'springs' from its support

squint
a hole cut through stonework to allow a view of the high altar from a location that could otherwise not see it: also called a hagioscope

stoup
a vessel for holy water, often of stone, usually near the entrance to a church

string course
a horizontal band of moulding projecting from a wall

tester
a horizontal sounding board or canopy above the pulpit, designed to deflect the priest's voice out to the congregation

tracery
the pattern made by stonework in the top part of a window: such pattern in wood, or on the surface of a wall, etc.

transept
an extension of a church at right angles to the nave

transom
a horizontal bar dividing a window

trefoil
literally '3 leaves': a three lobed shape formed by cusps (q.v.)

triglyph
in the Doric frieze, a block with vertical grooves