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Dundee University - The Urban Conservation Glossary
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Urban conservation
Date & country: 16/01/2008, UK
Words: 876


Header bond
a bond composed entirely of headers. (Usually a sign of a solid wall). See brick.

Hedge
a living 'wall', usually of evergreen plants, employed for privacy, shelter and for the marking out of garden plots, great or small.

Helm
a four sided roof, rising to a point, and sitting on four gabled walls.

Herb Garden
an area of the garden planted with medicinal and/or culinary herbs, usually laid out in a formal or geometric pattern.

Heritage asset
a term which is all-embracing and is used for any artefact from paintings to vintage cars to areas of ancient woodland. It is not meant to imply a degree of significance, ie that the subject is of national importance. It is now frequently used to refer to any component of the historic built ...

Heritage dividend
the further investment and subsequent regeneration which can often result from urban conservation projects.

Heritage Lottery Fund
came into being in January 1995, funded by the National Lottery, and administered by the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The Fund aims to 'Safeguard and enhance those heritage assets, including buildings, objects and the environment, whether man-made or natural which have be...

Heritage Tenure
a term used to describe the philosophy that owners or tennants are merely the current occupiers of historic buildings and that they have a duty to ensure that the property is maintained in good condition so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

Heritors
persons liable for public burden. The heritors were a parish body, usually landowners and officials within burghs who were expected to make provision for the poor, in addition, they were responsible for the parish school up until 1872, and the church and manse up to 1925.

Hermit Cell
a shelter or ramshackle house built in an isolated part of an 18th or early 19th century landscape garden to house a hired hermit. Usually primitively made out of gnarled wood or roots. Hermits' contracts usually lasted 7 years in which time they were to occupy the cell in silent contemplat...

Hexastyle
describes a portico with six front columns.

Hingin Lum
(Scottish) vernacular form of canopy chimney cantilevered from the wall, usually of timber or whattle and clay. Known in most other areas as a smoke hood. They are commonly found in vernacular buildings where the central hearth moves to the gable, which might be thin or poorly mortared, and...

Hip
the junction of two external, sloping roof surfaces. A hipped roof has no gables, it consits of four sloping sides.

Hipped
where the ends of the roof are sloped rather than vertical. see piended

Historic Buildings Council
the body who advises the respective secretaries of state on the making of grants or loans for historic buildings, or for conservation area preservation/enhancement. Acts on recommendation of Historic Scotland in Scotland, English Heritage in England, CADW in Wales.

Historic Houses Association
formed in 1973, as an independent organisation to work for the owners of private houses, to preserve the houses, their contents and grounds. Now represents almost 1500 house owners.

Historic Scotland
formed 1984, as Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, renamed Historic Scotland in 1990. An Executive Agency within The Scottish Office, (unlike English Heritage, not a Quango) its basic objectives are to safeguard and promote Scotland's built heritage on behalf of the Secretary of Sta...

Hob grate
a fire grate comprising a basket with flanking hobs, designed to keep pots warm.

Honeycomb brickwork
a wall in which bricks are deliberately spaced to allow for ventilation or to achieve a visual effect.

Hoodmould \ dripstone
projecting moulding over an arch or lintel designed to throw off water, also known as dripstones. They could be quite ornate and many estates adopted particular styles for their buildings.

Hopper - Hopper windows
rainwater head receiving water from rhones or gutters. Hopper windows are a common feature in industrial architecture, having been introduced c1870. Panes are pivoted horizontally along their bottom edge to open inwards: in the 20th century their use has been extended to domestic and commerc...

Hopper Window
in industrial architecture, a type of window introduced c. 1870 in which the top panes are pivoted horizontally to open inwards: in the 20th century their use has been extended to domestic and commercial buildings.

Horns
The short upward or downward projections at the corners of sashes. They are often ornamented with an ogee profile and were introduced to retain stability when astragals were no longer required. Many restorations where the astragals are reintroduced, also feature horns which is quite wrong. ...

Horonizing
the use of stone off cuts as a surfacing material in the same way as cobbles. While quite large areas can be covered in this way, the material is more often used at small, awkward junctions for example at the foot of walls.

Horse Gear or Horse Engine
sometimes known as a gin, a circular walkway in which a central shaft is turned by horses to drive stationary agricultural machinery, usually a threshing machine; some are open but most are contained within a circular or polygonal building called a horse mill.

Hortus Fenestralis
window box in the form of miniature greenhouse.

House
(Scottish) traditionally a family's rooms, what we might now call a flat in a land which would now be called a building. A tenement was an area of land.

Housebreaker
not a burglar, but an early, and perhaps rather generous term for a demolition contractor.

HTI
High temperature Insulation, a powder of ceramic brick dust used as a mortar additive to enhance setting properties.

Hydrated Lime
is produced when just enough water is added to quicklime to slake it, most lime is supplied bagged and powdered, in this form.

Hydrofluoric acid
a compound of hydrogen and fluorine dissolved in water to produce an extremely corrosive acid traditionally used to etch glass. Fluorine is the most reactive of the halogens and extremely dangerous to handle. Paradoxically, many fluorine compounds are extremely stable, and used to inhibit co...

Hyphae
thin tubes or threads, which spread out from the seeds, across the surface of timber, feeding on the starch, sugar and moisture it contains. See Dry Rot/Wet Rot.

Hyphenium
the spore bearing surface of a fungal fruiting body. See Dry Rot/Wet Rot.

ICCROM
International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of cultural Property. Established in Rome in 1956 by UNESCO, ICCROM is an inter-governmental body which assists member states in the protection of their built cultural heritage. Its statutory functions ...

Ice House
semi-subterranean vaulted or domed chamber built to store ice or snow throughout the summer to keep fish, meat etc. fresh. Erected where possible on/in a raised or sloping site to facilitate drainage. Probably the origin of most secret tunnel rumours. On large estates the ice house would b...

Impost
projection marking the point from which the arch springs from its support. (Illustration)

In band
also referred to as batchelor slates, are narrow slates which sometimes have to be inserted into courses to maintain the proper width of side lap. Slate Terminology Diagam

Indent
in masonry, the insertion of a new stone to replace a decayed or damaged one. An indent should always use stone sourced from the original quarry, or should achieve as close a match as possible. A pre cast unit is not an indent, and should never be considered for one off situations where, to...

Indenting Illustration
Indenting new stonework.

Independent dates
dates that are arrived at by means such as carbon dating or dendrochronology, and are not dependant on archaeological or historic research.

Indorous felt
a fleecy felt which prevents lead sticking to its substrate. (Illustration)

Inglenook
a fireplace with provision for seating within the opening.

Ingo
the wall face at the point where it turns to form a door or window opening.

Insurance
an important and sometimes controversial issue in the conservation world. Proper insurance to enable full reinstatement in the event of loss is now a condition of most grant awards, but many listed buildings have no insurance, or are not properly insured. (see condition of average) Unlike t...

Interdict
(Scottish) (Injunction in England) A legal procedure involving a person or body placing a writ before a sherrif to prevent or cease from doing some form of action not normally perceived as a crime. Most commonly used in respect of civil rights, but on occasion can be a useful supplement to li...

International style
term coined by the organisers of the first international exhibition of modern architecture, New York 1932. Now a representative term for mainstream architecture from 1920 to 1960, although there are differences between countries.

Intervention
any action which has a physical effect on the fabric of a building.

Intrados
inner face of voussoirs. See arch. (Illustration)

Intumescent paint
fire retardent paint. Until fairly recently, these were very 'porridgey' substances but now, intumescent paints and varnishes are practically indistinguishable from normal paints, and depending on surface area and mass of material, can guarantee up to 90 minutes fire resistance, on cast iron...

Ionic
Later than the doric, the ionic order has a distinctive capital, with two volutes, and an echinus based on a water lily shape. The Greek capital was straight sided, the volutes on the Roman capital angled outwards. The columns, on attic bases, usually have about twenty four...

Ironwork
Iron ore is a common element, which requires processing before it becomes a recognisable metal. It has an ability to combine with other elements and so can occur in a number of forms, but the three major types are wrought iron, cast iron and steel. Steel is now the most important, but its prod...

Isonmetric
a three dimensional drawing in which all lines of the plan are drawn at thirty degrees to the horizontal. Difficult to construct, despite the distortion of the plan they provide a very accurate picture of what a building actually looks like. see Axonometric.

Jack rafter
a short piece of timber used to smooth out awkward junctions ie between two pitches of a roof.

Jacobean
building style (mainly domestic) of the reign of James 1 of England 1603-25. More sumptuous than Elizabethan it was characterised by the use of a number of details from different renaissance styles, principally, extravagant dutch curved gables, strapwork, fancy chimneys and mullioned, o...

Jamb
now usually taken to simply describe the vertical sides to a window or door opening. Properly used, it only relates to those vertical parts which support the lintel.

Jetty
in timber framed building, an overhang where an upper floor projects or juts (hence jetty?) over the floor below. Jetties were status symbols, and have some functional purpose in preventing deflection in floors. They also provide increased floorspace shelter, and prevent water running down ...

Jib door
a door which is concealed by decoration matching the surrounding walls. They are often found in libraries where the disguise is the spines of books.

Jobbing
building works which are small in quantity and value.

Joggle
a masons term to describe a any sort of joint which fits two stones together, in which the projection or joggle is part of the stone. Could range from a simple tongue and groove to a dovetail.

Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT)
formed by a number of interest groups such as RIBA, RICS, British Property Federation, Association of Consulting Engineers etc as a forum for establishing the form and content of contracts for use in the construction industry

Joists - Joist Hangar
parallel timbers which carry floorboards. There are sometimes two levels of joists, in which case the upper row are termed bridging joists, the lower are binding joists. A floor where the joists are left exposed is often referred to as an open floor. A Joist Hanger is a metal box open at on...

Jougs
(Scottish) iron manacles used to punish minor criminals. Usually prominently sited, often found at market crosses - ths scots equivalent of the stocks.

Jumper
a long metal bar, with a chisel head, used in quarrying to drill a hole to receive blasting powder. A skilled gang of three men, one holding two alternately hammering, could drill amazingly deep even holes.

Keep - Donjon
the principal tower of a castle, usually in the centre. Donjon, not to be confused with dungeon, is the French term for keep. See fortification

Keystone
the voussoir at the centre of the arch, often larger and decorated. (Illustration)

Kingpost
a vertical timber rising from the centre of a tie beam to support the ridge. See roof.

Kiss marks
a darker spot on the brick caused by touching in the kiln.

Kitchen garden
area of the garden or estate, often walled, which is set aside for the production of fruit and vegetables. Usually laid out in functional rectangular beds, although the knot and parterre gardens have their origins in this form of garden.

Knapped flint
a flint which is split and sometimes squared, revealing a smooth dark surface which is then built into a wall face. To knap, is to break or split.

Knee
a knee is the junction formed where a vertical meets a sloping member in a handrail.

Knocking up
re-working lime mortar to a stage when it is suitable for use. It is seldom necessary to add water, and when it is added, it does not affect the quality of the mix, unlike remixing most modern mortars and plasters which have started to dry, where adding water is necessary and is generally...

Knot
a knot is formed when a branch becomes embedded in the trunk. While they can increase the resistance of timber to splitting, they can seriously effect the bending strength of joists, floorboards etc. See wood.

Labyrinth
a network of passages laid out as a puzzle. Most commonly these are hedged mazes. They appear to have developed from the intricate paths laid out in C17th bosket. Where the labyrinth is two dimensional, they are referred to as 'pavement labyrinths', the best known of which is on the floor ...

Lancent
slender pointed arch window.

Landmark Trust
formed 1965, is an independant charity which rescues and restores interesting (some may say unusual) buildings for use as holiday lettings. Their catalogues illustrate a wonderful collection of buildings and are worth obtaining for that reason alone.

Lantern
a small glazed turret lighting a roof or dome, usually quite small, but can be large magnificent and technically brilliant as at Ely Cathedral.

Lap or cover
the distance between the tail of a slate and the nail hole of the slates it covers in the preceeding course. Slate Terminology Diagam

Lath
strips of wood which are nailed to studs, joists, rafters etc to carry plaster, although the term is sometimes also applied to the strips of wood, usually referred to as battens, on which tiles are hung. Usually around 2 inches wide and of varied thickness. Single laths are around one-ei...

Lawn
an area of the garden or wider landscape given over to grass. Initially these would have been roughly scythed and have looked more like tidy meadows, however later a more even look was appreciated and for this reason animals were allowed to graze the grass to keep it short. Extensive areas o...

Lead
List of lead illustrations - a naturally occurring metal, the first to be smelted by man some 4000 years ago, and long used by the building industry for both practical and aesthetic purposes. Old lead can be an important historic document, there is a long tradition of inscribing into lead. ...

Lead burned
lead which is welded.

Lead Figures
statuary formed out of cast lead. Most popular in the C18th when when improved methods of reinforcing allowed freestanding and fountain figures were made. These were highly durable and methods of patination were used to achieve a variety of finishes from a standard weathered appearance to ...

Lead Illustrations
Lead sheet on the roof of York Minister. Note the hollow roll joints used vertically. (Detail). (Illustration) of the ends of the rolls.

Lead Joints
can be divided into five main types - Drip, formed where lead is lapped over a step in the substrate. Hollow roll, is formed when two sheets meet to form a standing seam which is turned into a roll. (Illustration 1), (Illustration 2) Lap, where one sheet is si...

Lead work
cast lead garden features, including rainwater goods (pipeheads, hoppers), cisterns, sundials and especially vases and flower pots, mainly from the C18th.

Leaded lights
glass held in lead glazing bars, usually set directly into stonework.

Lean to
a roof with one slope only, built against a vertical wall.

Legget
a wooden tool in its simplest form a flat board with a handle which can be angled or straight which is used for dressing the ends of reed or combed wheat straw into place. see Thatch.

Lewis hook
device for lifting blocks of stone in which a dovetailed shaped tennon (a lewis) usually made in three sections is fitted into a dovetailed recess cut into the block. An eye or hook fitted to one of the three sections which are screwed together once they have been inserted into the stone, ...

Life cycle costings
in building terms, these are the costs involved in owning and using a building over a predicted life span. A true life cycle analysis, will include - initial cost; maintenance costs; energy costs; cleaning costs; overhead and management costs; utilisation costs; resale valu...

Liggers or sways
long thin saplings which are used for securing the thatch. Held in place by spars, they can be concealed or they can lie on the surface of the thatch, where they are often used to decorative effect.

Light - Ancient Lights
the framed part of a widow opening. In a medieval timber framed building, a window would be formed by several lights separated by mullions. 'Ancient lights' is a term used to describe long existing windows, which have acquired a right to light by long usuage, and which may stop the erectio...

Lime
Any reference to lime usually means lime mortar. Lime is calcium carbonate, the main source of which is limestone. Lime mortar is produced in a process which basically involves, burning the limestone, then adding water to produce a base material to which various aggregates or additives are ...

Lime cycle
calcium carbonate (CaCO3) burnt in kiln at 880c+ = calcium oxide (CaO) add water = calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) when exposed to air, carbonation occurs = Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) (Illustration) See lime.

Lime putty
Ca(OH)2 calcium hydroxide, made from quicklime slaked in water, to form the soft buttery mixture which is lime putty.

Lime wash
in effect a very thin lime putty, used as a paint or protective coating, can contain a binder such as linseed oil or tallow. It is usually white, hence white wash, pigments were added to form a colour wash. See lime.

Lime-ash floors
lime-ash is a composite material, made up of the waste from lime kilns sifted and combined with gypsum (calcium sulphate), which was used for flooring. Strong, durable relatively light and with good warmth and sound insulation properties, lime ash was used in the upper floors of buildings fr...

Lintel
a horizontal beam bridging an opening in a wall. In traditional stone construction, a stone lintel was used on the outer leaf of a wall with a 'timber safe lintel' on the inner leaf. The timber lintel could span further than stone and was capable of absorbing movement, while the stone lint...

Liquidated damages
a sum detailed in the conditions of contract which is designed to cover the financial loss a client would face in the event of late completion. The sum usually stated as a weekly or occasionally daily rate is recovered from the contractor.

List of Main Illustrations
This is a list of mainly annotated illustrations, many of which have a further level of more detailed images not listed below. Special Focuses Kellie Castle, Fife Miln's Buildings, Nethergate, Dundee St Mary' College, St Andrews Abutment Adamstyle Adze Aedicule picture - see Aedicu...