1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Glossary of Architectural Terms (Especially Classical and Mediaeval). A-G.

(Part 119)



ABACISCUS, diminutive of Abacus, applied to the chequers or squares of a tessellated pavement.

ABACUS, from the Gr. A tray, or flat board, Ital. abaco. Fr. Tailloir, the upper part of the capital of a column, pier, &c. (See separate article, and CAPITAL).

ABATED, a term for such work in mediaeval masonry as I worked down or sunk.

ABBEY (fr. Abbayet, Ital. abbadia, or contracted, badia, Ger. Abtei, Kloster), a term for the church and other buildings used by conventual bodies presided over by an abbot or abbess, incontradistinction to cathedral, which is presided over by a bishop, and priory, the head of which was a prior or prioress. (See separate article).

ACROTERIUM (Gr, ___, the summit or vertex), a statue or ornament of any kind placed on the apex of a pediment. The term is often restricted to the plinth, which forms the podium merely for the acroterium.

AISLE, somtimes written Isle, Yle, and Alley (Lat. And Ital, ala, Fr. Aile, bas-cote, Seitenschiff, Seitenchor), its primary sense the wing of a house, but generally used to describe the alleys to passages at the sides of the nabes and choirs of churches. (See separate article).

ALCOVE, a recess in a room usually screened off by pillars, balustrade, or drapery.

ALLEN-HOUSES, religious houses in England belonging to foreign ecclesiastics, or under their control. They generally were built where property had been left by the donors to foreign orders to pray for their souls. They were frequently regular priories, but sometimes only cells, and even granges, with small chapels attached. Some, particularly in cities, seem to have been a sort of mission-houses. There were more than 100 in England. Many alien-houses were suppressed by Henry V., and the rest by Henry VIII.

ALLEY, also called Ambulatory (Lat. Deambulatorium), the covered passages round a cloister. (See also ALURE.)

ALMERY, also Aumery, Aumbrie, and Ambry (Fr. Armoire, Ital. armario,), a recess in the wall of a church, sometimes square-headed, and sometimes arched over, and closed with a door like a cup-board-used to contain the chalices, basins, cruets, &c., for the use of the priest; many of them have stone shelves. They are sometimes near the piscine, but more often on the opposite side. The word also seems in mediaeval times to be used commonly for any closed cupboard, and even bookcase.

ALMONRY (Lat. Eleenosinarium, Fr. Aumonerie, Ger. Almosenhaus), the place or chamber where alms were distributed to the poor in churches, or other ecclesiastical buildings. At Bishopstone Church, Wilstshire, it is a sort of covered porch attached to the south transept, but not communicating with the interior of the church. At Worcester Cathedralthe alms are said to have been distributed on stone tables, on each side, within the great porch. In large monastic establishments, as at Westminster, it seems to have ben a separate building of some importance, either joining the gatehouse or near it, that the establishment might be disturbed as little as possible.

ALMSHOUSE, small buildoings for the residence of the aged poor, generally endowed with some yearly stipend. The greater portion were built after the reformation. Two interesting early examples are – that at St Cross, near Winchester, and that near the Preaching Cross of the Black Friars at Hereford.

ALTAR. Anciently written Auter, or Awter (Lat. And Ital. altare, Fr. Autel), the elevated table devoted to the celebration of the Eucharist. (See separate article).

ALURE (Lat. Alura-allorium, probably from alatorium), an alley, passage, the water-way or flat gutter behind a parapet, the galleries of a clerestory, sometimes even the aisle itself of a church. The term is sometimes written valure, or valoring.

AMPHIPROSTYLE (Gr. Around, or about, and prostyle, q.v.) A temple with a portico at each end is said to be amphiprostylar.

ANGEL-LIGHTS, the outer upper lights in a perpendicular window, next to the springing; probably a corruption of the word angle-lights, as they are nearly triangular.

ANNULET (Lat. Annulus, a ring), a term applied to the small fillets or hands which encircle the lower part of the Doric capital immediately above the neck or trachelium.

ANTAE (Probably from the Gr. Or some other derivative of the preposition , opposite to), the pier-formed ends of the walls of a building, as in the portico of a Greek temple. A portico is said to be in antis when columns stand between antae, as in the temple of Theseus, supposing the peristyle or surrounding columns removed.,

ANTE-CHAPEL, a small chapel forming the entrance to another. There are examples at the Cathedral and at Merton College, Oxford, and at King’s College, Cambridge, besides several others. The ante-chapel to the Lady chapel in cathedral is generally called the Presbystery.

ANTE-CHOIR, the part under the rood loft, between the doors of the choir and the outer entrance of the screen, forming a sort of lobby. It is also called the Fore-Choir.

ANTEFIXAE (Lat. Ante, before, and fixus, fixed), upright blocks with an ornamented face placed at regular intervals on a cornice. Antefixae were originally adapted to close and hide the lower ends of the joints of the covering tiles on the roof of a temple.

APOPHYGE (Gr. A flying off), the lowest part of the shaft of an Ionic or Corinthian column, or the highest member of its base if the column be considered as a whole. The apophyge is the inverted cavetto or concave sweep, on the upper edge of which the diminishing shaft rests.

APSE. (Gr. Lat. Absis, tribuna, concha, Fr. Abside, rond-point, Ital. apside, tribuna, Ger. Ablauf), the semicircular or polygonal termination to the chancel of a church. (see separate article).

APTERAL (Gr. Apriv. And a wing), a temple columns on the flanks or sides.

ARAEOSTYLE (Gr.rare or weak), and a column), a wide intercolumniation. (See EUSTYLE.) The space assigned to this term by Vitruvius is uncertain; the modern assign to it four diameters.

ARAEOSYSTYLE (compounded of aroestyle and systyle, q.v) expresses the arrangement attendant on coupled columns, as in the western front of St Paul’s Cathedral.

ARCADE (Fr. Arches, arcature, Ital. Arcata, Ger. Bogengang), a range of arches, supported either on columns or on piers, and detached or attached to the wall. (See separate article).

ARCHITRAVE (Gr. Chief, and Lat. Trabs, a beam), the chief beam – that part of the entablature which rests immediately on the heads of the columns and is surmounted by the frrize; it also called the epistulium or epistyle. The moulded enrichment on the sides and head of a door or window is called an architrave.

ARCHIVOLT, a contraction of the Italian architrave voltato, is applied to the architrave moulding on the face of an arch, and following its contour.

ARMANTURE, The French term for the iron stays by which the lead lights are secured windows. (See STANCHIONS and SADDLE BARS.)

ARRIS, the sharp edge or angle in which two sides or surfaces meet.

ASHALR, also written Ashler, Ashelere, &c (probably from the Lat assella), squared stones, generally applied to those used for facing walls. In a contract of date 1398 we read. – "Murus erit exterius de puro lapide vocato achilar, plane incisso, interiious vero de lapide fracto vocato roghwall." "Clene hewen" ashler often occurs in mediaeval documents; this no doubt means tooled or finely scappled, in contradistinction to rough-axed, faces.

ASHELEE PIECES upright pieces of wood going from the common rafters so as to cut of the roof in the attic story.

ASTRAGAL (Gr. A bone of the ancle), a convex moulding This term is generally applied to small mouldings, torus to large ones of the same form. (See TORUS).

ATTIC, a low story above an entablature, or above a cornice which limits the height of the main part of an elevation. Although the term is evidently derived from "Arrukos, we find nothing exactly answering to it in Greek architecture; but it is very common in both Roman and Italian practice. What are otherwise called tholobatesin St Peter’s and St Paul’s Cathedrals are frequently termed attics.

BACK-CHOIR, a place behind the altar in the principal choir, in which there is, or was, a small altar standing back to back with the former.

BAHUT, the French term fro a wall of plain masonry on which there is some superstructure.

BAILEY, said to be a corruption of Ballium by some, and derived by others from the French "baille," a corruption of "bataille," because there the soldiers were drilled in battle array; the open space between the inner and outer lines of a fortification. Sometimes there were more than one, as the Inner and Outer Bailey; we have the Old Bailey at Londonand at York, and the Upper and Nether Baileys at Colchester.


BALL-FLOWER, an ornament in the form of a balll inserted in the cup of a flower, which came into use in the latter part of the 13th, and was in great vogue in the early part of the 14th century. It is generally placed in rows at equal distances in the hollow of a moulding, frequently by the sides of mullions. The earliest known is said to be in the west part of Salisbury, where it is mixed with the tooth ornament. It seems to have been used more and more frequently, till at Gloucester Cathedral, in the south side, it is in profusion.

BALUSTER, small column or pier supporting the coping in a pierced parapet; the parapet itself when pierced is hence called a Balustrade.

BALUSTER SHAFT, the shaft dividing a window in Saxon architecture. At St Alban’s are some of these shafts, evidently out of the old Saxon Church, which have been fixed up with Norman capitals.

BAND, a sort of flat frieze or fascia running horizontal round a tower or other parts of a building, particularly the base tables in perpendicular work, commonly used with the long shafts characteristic of the 13th century. It generally has a bold, projecting moulding above and below, and is carved sometimes with foliages, but in general with cusped circles, or quatrefoils, in which frequently are shields of arms.

BAND OF A COLUMN (Fr. Baque), a series of annulets and hollows of the entire pier. They are often beautifully carved with foliages, &c., as at Amiens. In several cathedrals there are rings of bronze apparently covering the junction of the frusta of the columns. At Worscester and Westminster they appear to have been gilt, they are there more properly called Shaft Rings.

BAPTISTERY, a separate building to contain the font, for the rite of baptism. They are frequent on the Continent – that at Rome near St John Lateran, and those at Florence, Piusa, Pavia, &c., are all well-known examples. The only examples in England are at Cranbrook and Canterbury – the latter, however, is supposed to have been originally part of the treasury.

BARBICAN, an outwork for the defence of a gate or drawbridge; also a sort of penthouse or construction of timber to shelter warders sentries from arrow or other missiles.


BARTIZAN, supposed to be derived from the Ger. Bartizene (Fr. Echauguette), a small turret, corbelled out at the angle of a wall or tower to protect a warder and enable him to see around him. They generally are furnished with oylets or arrow-slits.

BASE (Gr. Lat. Spira, basis, Fr. And Ital. base, Ger. Fuss), that part of a column on which the shaft stands. The only based used by the Egyptians was a mere square plinth. The Assyrians evidently understood the value of a base as an architectural accessory, and some bases shown on the bas-reliefs are strongly moulded. But all actually remaining are like the one recentlyplaced in the British Musuem, which consists merely of a large torus. The Persian bases were finely moulded, elegant in outline, and more richly ornamented than in any other style. The chief mouldings are a torus, and a large reversed cyma. In pyre Greek work a base is never used in the Doric, but always in the Ionic and Corinthian. The plainer sort is that well known as the Attic, consisting mainly of a hollow between two tori; but the tori are, in other instances, deeply channeled, so as to have a very complicated appearance. The Romans had bases to all their orders, the more usual form being like the Attic. The Romanesque and Norman bases were evidently copies, for the most part, from classic forms; but were often adorned with leaves at the angles of the square plinths, thereby leading them into the round in a very pleasing way. This was done still more elegantly in the Early English style, whose most characteristic base was much like the Attic, but with the hollow prolonged upwards in a deep water-holding section. The Perpendicular were mostly very high, formed with two or more plinths and bold mouldings, chiefly reversed ogees.

BASE COURT (Fr. Basse cour, i.e. the lower court), the first open space within the gates of a castle. It was used for exercising cavalry, and keeping live stock during a siege. (See ENCEINTE)

BASE OF A WALL, or GROUND TABLE, mouldings round a building just above ground; they mostly consist of similar members to those above described (BASE), and run round the buttresses. The flat band between the plinth and upper mouldings is frequently paneled and carved with shields, as in Henry VII. Chapel at Westminster.

BASEMENT. A basement story is a story placed wholly or partly below the level of the ground on the outside of and about the building. Basement, applied specially, as architects apply it, means the compartment in the elevation of a building upon which any columnar pilastered or arcaded ordinance may rest; as in the Strand front of Somerset House, of which the basement begins at the level of the floor of the vestibule, being about that of the street pavement, and extends upwards to half the height of the adjoining building east and west.

BASILICA (Gr. I.e., the royal house), a term given by the Greeks and Romans to the public buildings devoted to indicial purposes. (See separate article).

BATEMENT LIGHTS, the lights in the upper part of a perpendicular window, abated, or only half the width of those below.

BATTER (Fr, batter, to beat. Building over in projecting courses like inverted steps is termed battering, gathering or corbelling over. The term is often applied to the converse operation of throwing back, as in a revetement or retaining wall.

BATTLEMENT (Fr. Bretesse, Ital. merlo, Ger. Zinne), a parapet with a series of notches in it, from which arrow may be shot, or other instruments of defence hurled on besiegers. The raised portions are called merlons, and the notches embrasures, or crenelles. The former were intended to cover the soldier while discharging his weapon through the latter. Their use is of great antiquity; they are found in the sculptures of Nineveh, in the tombs of Egypt, and on the famous Francois vase, where there is a delineation of the siege of Troy. In ecclesiastical architecture the early battlement have small shallow embrasures at some distance apart. In the Decorated period they are closer together, and deeper, and the mouldings on the top of the merlon and bottom of the embrasure are richer. During this period, and the earlier part of the Perpendicular, the sides or cheeks of the embrasures are perfectly square and plain. In later times the mouldings were continued round the sides, as well as at top and bottom, mitring at the angles, as over the doorway of Magdalene College, Oxford. The battlements of the Decorated and later periods are often richly ornamented by paneling, as in the last example. In castellated work the merlons are often pierced by narrow arrow-slits (See OYLET). In South Italy some battlements are found strongly resembling those of old Rome and Pompeii; in foreign ecclesiastical architecture the parapets are very rarely embattled.

BAY (Fr. Travee, Ital, compartimento, Ger. Abtheilung), any division or compartment of an arcade, roof, &c. Thus each space from pillar to pillar, in a cathedral, is called a bay, or severey.

BAY WINDOW, any window projecting outwards from the wall of a building, either square or polygonal on plan and commencing from the ground. If they are carried on projecting corbels, they are called Oriel windows. Their use seems to have been confined to the later periods. In the Tudor and Elizabethan styles they are often semicircular on plan, in which case some think it more correct to call them Bow Windows. For those in mediaeval halls, see DAIS, HALL.

BEAD, a small cylindrical of frequent use.

BED-MOULD, the congeries of moulding which is under the projecting part of almost every cornice, of which, indeed, it is a part.

BELFRY, (Fr. Clocher- if applied to a church, beffroi – if to the tower of a hotel de ville; Ital. companile, Ger. Glockenthurm), properly speaking, a detached tower or campanile containing bells, as at Evesham, but more generally applied to the ringing room or loft of the tower of a church. (See TOWER.)

BELL OF A CAPITAL. In Early English and Decorated work, immediately above the necking is a deep, hollow curve; this is called the bell of a capital. It is often enriched with foliages.

BELL-COT, BELL-GABLE, OR BELL-TURRET. The place where one or more bells are hung in chapels, or small churches which have no towers. Bell-cost are sometimes double, as at Northborough and Coxwell; a very common form in France and Switzerland admits of three bells. In these countries also they are frequently of wood, and attached to the ridge. Those which stand on the gable, dividing the nave from the chancel, are generally called Santus Bells. A very curious, and it is believed unique, example at Cleves Abbey juts out from the wall. In later times bell turrets were much ornamented; these are often called Fleches.

BEMA (Gr. Lat. Tribunal), the semicircular recess or hexedra, in the basilica, where the judges, sat, and where in after times the altar was placed. It generally is roofted with a half domo or concha. The seats, of the priests were against the wall, looking into the body of the church, that of the bishop being in the center. The bema is generally ascended by steps, and railed off by Cancelli.

BENCH TABLE, the stone seat which runs round the walls of large churches, and sometimes round the peirs; it very generally is placed in the porches.

BEZANTE, a name given to an ornamented moulding much used in the Norman period, resembling bezants, coins struck in Byzantium.

BILLET (Fr. Bilette), a species of ornamented moulding much used on Norman, and sometimes in Early English work, like short pieces of stick cut off and arranged alternately.

BLOCKING-COURSE, a deep but slightly projecting course in an elevation, to act as cornice to an arcade or to separate a basement from a superior story. (See STRING-COURSE).

BOSS (Fr. Clef de vote, Ital bozza. Ger, Buckel), an ornament, generally carved, forming the key-stone at the intersection of the ribs of a groined vault. Early Norman vaults have no bosses. The carving is generally foliage, and resembles that of the period in capitals, &c. Sometimes they have human heads, as at Notre Dame at Paris, and sometimes grotesque figures. In later vaulting there are bosses at every intersection.

BOWTELLL (supposed to be akin to Bottle), the mediaeval term for a round moulding or torus. When it follows a curve, as round a bench end, it is called a ROVING BOWTELL, q.v.

BRACE MOULD, two ressaunts or ogees united together like a brace in printing, sometimes with a small bead between them.

BRACKET (Fr. Corbeau, cul-de lampe, Ital. mensola, Ger. Kragstein), a projecting ornament carrying a cornice. Those which support vaulting shafts or cross springers of a roof are more generally called Corbels.

BRATTISHING OR BRANDISHING, is no doubt derived from the French breteche, a sort of crest ridge on a parapet, or species of embattlement. The term, however, is generally employed to describe the ranges of flowers which form the crests of so many parapets in the Tudor period.

BROACH (from broche, a spit), now used to designate a particular form of spire,. The sides of which, with the angles of the tower, finish with a sort of haunching. (See SPIRE.)

BUTTRESS, anciently written Botrasse, or Boterasse (ital. puntello, Fr. Conirefort, Ger. Strebeyfeiler), masonry projecting from a wall, and intended to strengthen the same against the thrust of a roof or vault. Buttresses are no doubt derived from the classic pilasters which serve to strengthen walls where there is a pressure of a girder or roof timber. In very early work they have little projection, and in fact are :strip-pilasters." In Norman work they are wider, with very little projection, and generally stop under a cornice or corbel table. Early English buttresses project considerably, sometimes with deep sloping n weatherings in several stages, and sometimes with gabled heads, as at Beverley. Sometimes they are chamfered, and sometimes the angles have jamb shafts, as in the last example. At Wells and Salisbury they are richly ornamented with canopies and statues. In the Decorated period they became richly paneled in stages, and often finish with niches and statues and elegantly carved and crocketted gablets, as at York. In the Perpendicular period the weatherings became waved, and they frequently terminate with niches and pinnacles.

BUTTRESS, FLYING (Fr. Arc-boutant, Ital. puntello arcuato, Ger. Strebebogen), a detached buttress of pier of masonry at some distance from a wall, and connected therewith by an arch or portion of an arch, so as to discharge the thrust of a roof or vault on some strong point.

BUTTRESS SHAFTS, slender columns at the angle of buttresses, chiefly used in the Early English period.

CABLING. The flutes of columns are said to be cabled when they are partly occupied by solid convex masses, or appear to be refilled with cylinders after they had been formed.


CAMPANILE, a name given in Italy to the bell tower of a town hall or church. In that country this is almost always detached from the latter. (See BELFRY.)

CANOPY, the upper part or cover of a niche, or the projecting ornament over an altar or seat or tomb. The word is supposed to be derived from conopoeum, the gauze covering over a bed to keep off the gnats, a mosquito curtain. Early English canopies are generally simple, with trefoiled or cinquefoiled heads; but in the later styles they are very rich, and divided into compartments with pendants, knots, pinnacles, &c. the triangular arrangement over an Early English and Decorated doorway is often called a canopy. The triangular canopies in the north of Italy are peculiar. Those in England are generally part of the arrangement of the arch mouldings of the door, and form, as it were, the hood moulds to them, as at York. The former are above and independent of the door mouldings, and frequently support an arch with a tympanum, above which is a triangular canopy, as in the Duomo at Florence. Sometimes the canopy and arch project from the wall, and are carried on small jamb shafts, as at San Pietro martire at Verona. An extremely curious canopy, being a sort of horseshoes arch, surmounting and breaking into a circular arch, from Tournay is given. similar canopies are foten over windows, as at York Minster over the great west window, and lower tiers in the towers. These are triangular, while the upper windows in the towers have ogee canopies.

CANT. When the corner of a square is cut off octagonally, it is said to be canted. Thus a bay window with octagonal corners is called a canted bay.

CAPITAL (Gr., lat. Capitulum, Ital, capitello, Sp. Chapitel, Ger. Knauff, Kapital, Fr. Chapiteay), the upper part of a column , pilaster, pier, &c. Capitals have been used in every style down to the present time. That mostly used by the Egyptians was bell-shaped, with or without ornaments. The Persians used the douible-headed bell, forming a kind of bracket capital. The Assyrian apparently made use of the Ionic and Corinthian, which were developed by the Greeks, Romans, and Italians, into their present well-known forms. The Doric was apparently an invention or adaptation by the Greeks, and was altered by the Romans and Italians. But in all these examples, both ancient and modern, the capitals of an order are all of the same form throughout the same building, so that if one be seen the form of all the others is known. The Romanesque architects altered all this, and in the carving of their capitals often introduced such figures and emblems as helped to tell the story of their building. Another form was introduced by them in the curtain capital, rude at first, but afterwards highly decorated. It evidently took its origin from the cutting off of the lower angles of a square block, and them rounding them off. The process may be distinctly seen, in its several stages, in Mayence Cathedral. But this form of capital was more fully developed by the Normans, with whom it became a marked feature. In the early English capitals a peculiar flower of three or more lobes was used, spreading from the necking upwards in most graceful forms. In Decorated and Perpendicular this was abandoned in favour of more realistic forms ofcrumpled leaves, enclosing the bell like a wreath. In each style bold abacus mouldings were always used. Whether with or without foliage.

CARRELS ( Lat. Carola), small chapels or oratories enclosed by screens; also sometimes the rails of the screens themselves; and sometimes the separate seats or pews for monks near the windows. It was at one time supposed that the scrolls on which inscriptions of texts, &c., are formed were called carrels, but this seems a mistake.

CARYATIDES, human female figures used as piers, columns, or supports. Caryatic is applied to the human figure generally when used in the manner of Caryatides.

CASEMENT, a deep hollow moulding, sometimes filled with foliage, and then called a vignette; also the frame which holds the lead lights of a quarrel-glazed window.

CASSOON, OR CAIUSSON, a deep panel or coffer in a soffit or ceiling. This term is sometimes written in the French form, caisson, sometimes derived directly from the Italian cassone, the augmentative of cassa, a chest or coffer.

CATHEDRAL, (ital. duomo cattedrale, Fr. Cathedrale, Ger. Domkirche), the principal church where the bishop has his seat (cathdera) as diocesan. (See separate article).

CATHETUS (Gr._-, a perpendicular line). The eye of the volute is so termed because its position is determined, in an Ionic or voluted capital, by a line let down from the point in which the volute generates.

CAULICULUS (Lat. A stalk or stem), the inner scroll of the Corinthian capital. It is not uncommon, however, to apply this term to the larger scrolls or volutes also.

CAVETTO (Ital. cavare, to dig out), a moulding whose form is a simple concave, impending.

CEILING (Ital. soffito, soppalcho, Fr. Plafond, lambris, Ger. Stubendecke_, that covering of a room which hides the joists of the floor above, or the refters of the roof. Most churches have either open roofs, or are groined in stone. At Peterborough and St Albans there are very old flat ceilings of boards curiously painted. In later times the boarded ceilings, and, in fact, some of those of plaster, have moulded ribs, locked with bosses at the intersection, and are sometimes elaborately carved. In the cloisters at Lincoln, the cave and choir at York, the side aisles of the choir at Winchester, the church at Warmington, and several other places, there are ceiling formed of oak ribs, filled in at the spandrels with narrow thin pieces of board, in exact imitation of stone groining. In the Elizabethan and subsequent periods, the ceilings are enriched with most elaborate ornaments in stucco. (See GROINED VAULTING)

CELLS, small monastic houses, generally in the country, belonging to large conventual buildings, and intended for change of air for the monks, as well as places to reside in to look after the lands, vassals, &c. Thus Tynemouth was a cell to St Albans; Ashwell, Herts, to Westminster Abbey. (See GRANGE.) Also the small sleeping apartments of the monks; also a small apartment used by the anchorite or hermit.

CHAMFER, CHAMPER, OR CHAUMFER. When the edge or arris of any work is cut off at an angle of 45o in a small degree, it is said to be chamfered; if to a large scale, it is said to be a canted corner. (See CANT.) The chamfer is much used in mediaeval work, and is sometimes plain, sometimes hollowed out, and sometimes moulded.

CHAMFR STOP. Chamfer sometimes simply run into the arris by a plane face; more commonly they are first stopped by some ornament, as by a bead; they are sometimes terminated by trefoils, or cinquefoils, double or single, and in general from very pleasing features in mediaeval architecture.

CHANCEL, a place separated from the rest of a church by a screen (cancellus). The word is now generally used to signify the choir of a small church.

CHANTRY (Lat. Cantuaria, Fr. Chantrerie, Ger. Kantorei), a small chapel generally built out from a church. They generally contain a founder’s tomb, and are often endowed places where masses might be said for his soul. The officiator, or mass priest, being often unconnected with the parochial clergy, the chantry has generally an entrance from the outside.

CHAPEL, (Lat. And Ital. capella, Fr. Chapelle, Ger. Kapelle), a small, detached building used as a substitute for a church in a large parish; an apartment in any large building, a palace, a nobleman’s house, an hospital or prison, used for public worship; or an attached building running out of and forming part of a large church, generally dedicated to different saints, each having its own altar, piscine, &c., and screened off from the body of the building.

CHAPITER, the old English name for a CAPITAL.

CHAPTER HOUSE (Lat. Capitolium, Ital capitolo, Fr. Chapitre, Ger. Kapitelhaus), the chamber in which the chapter or heads of the monastic bodies assembled to transact business. They are of various forms; some are oblong apartments, as Canterbury, Exeter, Chester, Gloucester, &c,.; some octagonal, as Salisbury, Westminster, Wells, Lincoln, York, &c. That at Lincoln has ten sides, and that at Worcester is circular; most are groined over, and some, as Salisbury, Wells, Lincoln, Worcester, &c., depend on a single slight vaulting shaft for the support of the massive vaulting. This picturesque plan is almost exclusively English.

CHARNEL HOUSE (Med. Lat. Carnarium, Fr. Ossuaire), a place for depositing the bones which might be thrown up in digging graves. Sometimes, as at Gloucester, Hythe, and Ripon, it was a portion of the crypt; sometimes as at Old St Paul’s and Wrocester (both now destroyed), it was a separate building in the churchyard; sometimes chantry chapels were attached to these buildings. M. Viollet-de-Duc has given two very curious examples of ossuaries,-one from Fleurance, the other from Faonet.

CHOIR (Lat. Chorus, Ital. coro, Fr. Choeur, Ger. Chor, Old Ebglish quire, quere), that part of a church or monastery where the breviary services or "horae" are chanted.

CIBORIUM (Fr. Baldaquin, Ital. baldacchino), a tabernacle or vaulted canopy supported on shsfts standing over the high altar. Gervase of Canterbury calls every bay of the quire there a ciborium, probably because the groining rose and formed a sort of canopy over each bay.

CINQUEFOIL, a sinking or perforation like a flower of five points or leaves, as a quatrefoil is of four. The points are sometimes in a circle, as in the lower windows at Lincoln, and sometimes form the cusping of a head.

CLEITHRAL. (Gr., an enclosed or shut-up place), is applied to a covered Greek temple, in contradistinction to Hypoethral, which designates one that is uncovered; the roof of a cleithral temple completely covers or encloses it.

CLERESTORY, CLEARSTORY (Ital. chiaro piano, Fr. Clairevoic, Claire etage, Ger. Licthaden). When the middle of the nave of a church rises above the aisles and is pierced with windows, the upper story is thus called. Sometimes these windows are very small, being mere quatrefoils, or spherical triangles. In large buildings, however, they are important objects, both for beauty and utility. The window of the clerestories of Norman work, even in large churches, are of less importance than in the later styles. In Early English they became larger; and in the Decorated they are more important still, being lengthened as the triforium diminishes. In Perpendicular work the latter often disappear altogether, and in many later churches, as at Taunton, and many churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, the clerestories are close ranges of windows.

CLOISTER (Lat. Claustrum, Ital. chiostro, Fr. Cloitre, Ger. Kloster), an enclosed square, like the atrium of a Roman house, with a walk or ambulatory round, sheltered by a roof generally groined, and by tracery windows, which were more or less glazed. (See separate article).

CLOSE, the precinct of a cathedral or abbey. Sometimes the walls are traceable, but now generally the boundary is only known by tradition.

COFFER, a deep panel in a ceiling.

COLUMN (Lat. Columna), a tapering cylindrical mass, placed vertically on a level stylobate, in some cases with a spreading congeries of mouldings called a base, and having always at its upper and smaller end a dilating mass called a capital. Columns are either insulated or attached. They are said to be attached or engaged when they form part of a wall, projecting one half or more, but not the whole, of their substance. For the columns of different styles and orders of architecture, see the general article, supra.

CONSOL OR CONSOLE, a bracket or truss, generally with scrolls or volutes at the two ends, of unequal size and contrasted, but connected by a flowing line from the back of the upper one to the inner convolving face of the lower.

COPING (Ital. coperto, corona, Fr. Chaperon), the capping (whence the name is probably derived) or covering of a wall. This is of stone, weathered to throw off the wet. In Norman times, as far as can be judged from the little there is left, it was generally plain and flat, and projected over the wall with a throating to form, a drip. Afterwards it assumed a torus or bowtell at the top, and became deeper, and in the Decorated period there were generally several sets-off. The copings in the late Perpendicular period assumed something of the wavy section of the buttress caps, and mitred round the sides of the embrasure, as well as the top and bottom.

CORBEL (from the low Latin corbeyus, a basket, Ital. mensola, Fr. Corbeau, cul-de-lampe. Ger. Kragstein), the name in mediaeval architecture for a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a tassel or a bragger. Thus the carved ornaments, from which the vaulting shafts spring at Lincoln are corbels. Norman corbels are generally plain. In the early English period they are sometimes elaborately carved, as at Lincoln above cited, and sometimes more simply so, as at Stone. They sometimes end with a point apparently growing into the wall, or forming a knot, as at Winchester, and often are supported by angels and other figures. In the later periods the foliage or ornaments resemble those in the capitals. (See CAPITAL.)

CORBEL TABLE, a projecting cornice or parapet, supported by a range of corbels a short distance apart, which carry a moulding above which is a plain piece of projecting wall forming a parapet, and covered by a coping. Sometimes small arches are throws across from corbel to corbel, to carry the projection.

CORBIE STEPS, a Scottish term for the steps formed up the sides of the gable by breaking the coping into short horizontal pieces.

CORNICE (Fr. Corniche, Ger. Kranz), the projection at the top of a wall finished by a blocking course, common in classic architecture. In Norman times, the wall finished with a corbel table, which carried a portion of plain projecting work, which was finished by a coping, and the whole formed a Parapet. In Early English times the parapet was much the same, but the work was executed in a much better way, especially the small arches connecting the corbels. In the Decorated period the corbel table was nearly abandoned, and a large hollow, with one or two subordinate mouldings, substituted; this was sometimes filled with the ball flowers, and sometimes with running foliages. In the Perpendicular style, the parapet frequently did not project beyond the wall-line below; the moulding then became a string (though of the improperly called a cornice), and was ornamented by a quatrefoil or small rosettes set at equal intervals immediately under the battlements. In many French examples the moulded string a very bold, and enriched with foliage ornaments.

CORONA, a term applied to the deep vertical face of the projected part of the cornice between the bed-mould and the covering mouldings.

COVE-COVING. The moulding called the cavetto,-or the scotia inverted-on a large scale, and not as a mere moulding in the composition of a cornice, is called a cove or a coving.

CRENELLE, a word generally considered to mean an embrasure of a battlement, but latterly proved to apply to the whole system of defense by battlements. In mediaeval times no one could "crenellate" a building without special licence from his supreme lord. (See BATTLEMENT, EMBRASURE.)

CRESTING, an ornamental finish in the wall or ridge of a building, which is common on the Continent. An example occurs at Exeter Cathedral, the ridge of which is ornamented with a range of small fleurs-de-lis in lead.

CROCEKT (Ital. uncinetto, Fr. Crochet, crosse, Ger. Haklein, Knollen), an ornament

running up the sides of gablets, hood-moulds, pinnacles, spires; generally a winding stem like a creeping plant, with flowers or leaves projecting at intervals, and terminating in a finial.

CROP (ang. Sax. Crop), the top of anything. A word anciently used for a FINIAL, which see.

CROSS. This religious symbols is almost always placed on the ends. Of gables, the summit of spires, and other conspicuous places of old churches. In early times it was generally very plain, often a simple cross in a circle, as at Beverly. Sometimes they take the form of a light cross crosslet, or a cross in a square. In the Decorated and later styles they became richly floriated, and assumed an endless variety of forms. Of memorial crosses the finest examples are the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I. of these a few yet remain, one of which has recently been re-erected at Charing Cross. Preaching crosses were often set up by the wayside as stations for preaching; the most noted is that in front of St Paul’s. The finest remaining sepulchral crosses are the old elaborately-carved examples found in Ireland.

CROSS-AISLE, an old name for a transept.

CROSS-SPRINGER, the transverse ribs of a vault.


CROW STONE, the upper stone of a gable; see also as last.

CRYPT (Lat. Crypta, Ital. volto sotterraneo, Fr. Crypte, Ger. Gruft), a vaulted apartment of greater or less size usually under the choir. (See separate article).

CUPOLA (Ital. cupo, concave profound), a spherical or spheroidal covering to a building, or to any part of it.

CUSP (Fr. Feuille, Ital. cuspide, Ger. Knopf), the point where the foliations of tracery intersect. The earliest example of a plain cusp is probably that at Pythagoras School, at Cambridge, - of an ornamented cusp at Ely Cathedral, where a small roll, with a rosette at the end, is formed at the termination of a cusp. In the later style the terminations of the cusps were more richly decorated; they also sometimes terminate not only in leaves or foliages, but in rosettes, heads, and other fanciful ornaments.

CYCLOSTYLE (Gr. A circle and, a cloum). A structure composed of a circular4 range of columns without a core is cyclostylar; with a core the range would be a peristyle. This is the species of edifice called by Vitruvius Monopteral. (See MONOPTEROS.)

CYMA (gr. Kupa, a wave), the name of a moulding of very frequent use. it is a simple, waved line, concave at one end and convex at the other, like an Italic f. when the concave part is uppermost it is called a cyma-recta; but if the convexity appear above, and the concavity below, it is then a cyma-reversa.

CYMATIUM. When the crowning moulding of an entablature is of the cyma form, it is termed the Cymatium.

CYRTO-PROSTYLE. An alternation of the CYRTOSTYLE (q.v.), but indicating more clearly than Cyrtostyle does an external projection.

CYRTOSTYLE. (Gr. Convex, and a column), a circular projecting portico. Such are those of the transept entrances to St Paul’s Cathedral.

DADO OR DIE, the vertical face of an insulated pedestal between the base and cornice or surbase. It is extended also to the similar part of all stereobates which are arranged like pedestals in Roman and Italian architecture.

DAIS (Fr. Dais, estrade, Ital. predella), a part of the floor at the end of the mediaeval hall, raised a step above the rest of the building. On this the lord of the mansion dined with his friends at the great table, apart from the retainers and servants. In mediaeval halls there was generally a deep recessed bay window at one or at each end of the dais, supposed to be fore retirement, or greater privacy than the open hall could afford. In France the word is understood as a canopy or hanging over a seat; probably the name was given from the fact that the seats of great men were then surmounted by such an ornament.

DECASTYLE (Gr., ten , and a column), a portico of ten columns in front.
DENTIL (Lat. Dens, a tooth). The cogged or toothed member, common in the bed-mould a Corinthian entablature, is said to be dentilled, and each cog or tooth is called a dentil.

DEPRESSED ARCHES OR DROP ARCHES, those of less pitch than the equilatera.

DESIGN. The plans, elevations, sections, and whatever other drawings may be necessary for an edifice, exhibit the design, the term plan having a restricted application to a technical portion of the design. (See PLAN.)

DETAIL. As used by architects, detail means the smaller parts into which a composition may be divided. It is applied generally to mouldings and other enrichments, and again to their minutiae.

DIAMETERS. The diameters of the lower and upper ends of the shaft of a column are called its inferior and superior diameters respectively; the former is the greatest, the latter the least diameter of the shaft.

DIAPER (Ital. diaspro, Fr. Diaspre, Ger. Geblumte), a method of decorating a wall, panel, stained glass, or any plain surface, by covering it with a continuous design of flowers, roseetes, &c. either squares or lozenges, or some geometrical design resembling the pattern of a diapered table-cloth, from which, in fact (drap d’Ypres), the name is supposed by some to have been derived.

DIASTYLE (Gr. Through, and a column), a specious intercolumniation, to which three diameters are assigned. (See EUSTYLE).

DIPTEROS (Gr, twice and a wing), a double-winged temple. The Greeks are said to have constructed temples with two ranges of columns all round, which were called dipteroi. A portico projecting two columns and their interspaces is of dipteral or pseudo-dipteral arrangement.

DISCHARGING ARCH, an arch over the opening of a door or window, to discharge or relieve the superincumbent weight from pressing on the freestone.


DISTYLE (Gr. Twice, and a column), a portico of two columns. This term is not generally applied to the mere porch with two columns, but to describe a portico with two columns in antis.

DITRIGLYPH, an intercolumniation in the Doric order, of two triglyphs. (See TRIGLYPH.)

DODECASTYLE (Gr. Twelve, and a column), a portico of twelve columns in front. The lower one of the west front of St Paul’s Cathedral is of twelve columns, but they are coupled, making the arrangement pseudo-dodecastyle. The Chamber of Deputies in Paris has true dodecastyle.

DOG-TOOTH, a favourite enrichment used from the latter part of the Norman period to the early part of the Decorated. It is in the form of a four-leaved flower, the centre of which projects and probably was named from its resemblance to the dog-toothed violet.

DOME (Gr. A structure of any kind, Lat. Domus, a house or temple), a cupola or inverted cup on a building. The application of this term to its generally received purpose is from the Italian custom of calling an archiepiscopal church, by way of eminence, Il duomo, the temple; for to one of that rank, of the cathedral of Florence, the cupola was first applied in modern practice. The Italians themselves never call a cupola a dome: it is on this side of the Alps the application has arisen, from the circumstance, it would appear, that the Italians use the term with reference to those structures whose most distinguishing feature is the cupola. Tholus, or (as we now call it) dome. (See CUPOLA.)

DONJON, the principal tower of a CASTLE. (See keep)

DORMER BEAM OR DORMANT BEAM, said to be a tie-beam, but more probably, as its name imparts, a sleeper.

DORMER WINDOW (Fr. Lucarne, Ital. abbaino, Ger. Dachfenster, a window belonging to a room in a roof, which consequently projects from it with a valley gutter on each side. They are said not to be earlier than the 14th century. In Germany there are often several rows of dormers, one above the other. In Italian Gothic they are very rare; in fact, the former have an unusually steep roof, while in the latter country, where the Italian tile is used, the roofs are rather flat.

DORMITORY, (Fr. Dortoir, Ital. dormitorio, Ger. Sclafgemach), the place where the monks slept at night. it was sometimes one long room like a barrack, and sometimes divided into a succession of small chambers or cells. The dormitory was generally on the first floor, and connected with the church, so that it was not necessary to go out of doors to attend the nocturnal services. In the large houses of the late Perpendicular period, and also in some of the Elizabethan, the entire upper story in the roof formed one large apartment, said to have been a place of exercise in wet weather, and also for a dormitory for the retainers of the household, or those of visitors.


DRIPSTONE, the moulding or cornice which acts as a canopy to doors and windows. Horizontal running mouldings, are some times called tablets, and sometimes dripstones.


DUNGEON, the prison in a castler keep, so called because the Norman name for the latter is donjon, and the dungeons or prisons are generally in its lowest story. (See KEEP).


ECHINUS (Gr., an egg0, a moulding of eccentric curve, generally cut (when it is carved) into the forms of eggs and anchors alternating, whence the moulding is called by the name of the more conspicuous. It is the same as Ovotto, q.v.

ELEMENT, the outline of the design of a Decorated window, on which the centres for the tracery are formed. These centres will all be found to fall on points which, in some way or other, will be equimultiples of parts the openings. Before any one can draw tracery well, or understand even the principles of its composition, he must give much attention to the study of the element. (See TRACERY.)

ELEVATION, the front facale, as the French term it, of a structure, a geometrical drawing of the external upright parts of a building.

EMBRASURE, the opening in a battlement between the two raised solid portion or merlons, sometimes called a crenelle. (See BATTLEMENT, CRENELLE.)

ENCEINTE, a French term for the close or precinct of a cathedral, abbey, castle, &c.

ENTABLATURE, OR INTABLATURE (Lat. In upon, and tabula, a tablet) the superimposed horizontal mass in a columnar ordinance, which rests upon the tablet or abacus of a column. It is conventionally composed of three parts, architrave, frieze, and cornice.

ENTAIL, ENTAYLE, sculptured ornaments, generally of rich design, most probably derived from the Italian intaglio.

ENTASIS, the swelling of a column, &c. In mediaeval architecture, some spires, particularly those called "broad spires: have a slight swelling in the sides, but no more than to make them look straight; for, from a particular "deceptio visus," that which is quite straight, when viewed at a height, looks hollow.

EPI, the French term for a light finial, generally of metal, but sometimes of terra-cotta, forming the termination of a pointed roof or spire.

EPISTYLIUM, OR EPISTYLE (Gr. Upon, and a column). This term may with propriety be applied to the whole entablature, with which it is synonymous; but it is restricted in use to the architrave or lowest member of the entablature.

ESCAPE, an equivalent for the term APOPHYGE, q.v.

ESCUTCHEON (Lat. Scutum, Ital, scudo, Fr. Ecusson, Ger. Wappenschild), a term for the shields used on tombs in the spandrils of doors or in string-courses. Also the ornamental plates from the center of which door-rings, knockers, &c., are suspended, or which protect the wood of the key-hole from the wear of the key. In mediaeval times these were often worked in a very beautiful manner.

ESTRADE, a French term for a raised platform. (See DAIS)

ESUTYLE (Gr. Well, and a column), a species of intercolumniation, to which a proportion of two diameters and a quarter is assigned. This term, together with the others of similar import-pycnostyle, systyle, andaraeostyle- referring to the distances of columns from one another in composition, is from Vitruvius, who assigns to each the space it is to express. It will be seen, however, by reference to them individually, that the words themselves, though perhaps sufficiently applicable, convey no idea of an exactly defined space, and by reference to the columnar structures of the ancients, that no attention was paid by them to such limitations. It follows, then, that the proportions assigned to each are purely conventional, and may or may not be attended to without vitiating the power of applying the terms. Eustyle means the best or most beautiful arrangement; but as the effect of a columnar composition depends on many things besides the diameter of the columns, the same proportioned intercolumniation would look well or ill according to those other circumstances, so that the limitation of eustyle to two diameters and a quarter is absurd.


FAITE, the French term for the ridge of a roof.

FAITIERE, the ornament running along the ridge of a building. (See CRESTING).


FASCIA (Lat. A band). The narrow vertical bands or broad fillets into which the architraves of Corinthian and Ionic entablatures are divided are called fasciae; and the term is generally applied to any similar member in architecture.


FEMERELL, properly FUMERELL, a sort of lantern in the ridge of a hall (when the fire was in the middle of the floor and not in a chimney) for the purpose of letting out the smoke.

FENESTRAL, a frame or "chassis," on which oiled paper or thin cloth was strained to keep out wind and rain when the windows were not glazed.

FERETORY, a sort of parclose which enclosed the feretrum, shrine or tomb, as in Henry VII.’s chapel.

FILLET (Fr. Filet, listel, Ital. listello, Ger. Binde), a narrow vertical band or listel, of frequent use in congeries of mouldings, to separate and combine them, and also to give breadth and firmness to the upper edge of a crowning cyma or cavetto, as in an external cornice. The narrow slips or breadths between the flutes of Corinthian and Ionic columns are also called fillets. In mediaeval work, the fillet is a small, flat, projecting square, chiefly used to separate hollows and rounds, and often found in the outer parts of shafts and bowtells. In this situation the centre fillet has been termed a keel, and the two side ones wings; but apparently this is not ancient usage.

FINIAL (Fr. Fleuron), the flower or bunch of flowers with which a spire, pinnacle, gable, canopy, &c., generally terminates. Where there are crockets, the finial generally bears as close a resemblance as possible to them in point of design. They are found in early work where there are no crockets. The simplest form more resembles a bud about to burst than a open flower. They soon resembles more elaborate, as at Lincoln, and still more, as at Westminster and the Hotel Cluny at Paris. Many Perpendicular finials are like four crockets bound together. Almost every known example of a finial has a sort of necking separating it from the parts below. (See EPI).

FLAMBOYANT, a name applied to the Third Pointed style in France (ogive tertiale), which seems to have been developed from the Second, as our Perpendicular was from the Decorated. The great characteristic, is, that the element of the tracery flows upwards in long wavy divisions like flames of fire. In most cases, also, every division has only one cusp on each side, however long the division may be. The mouldings seem to be as much inferior to those of the preceding period, as our Perpendicular mouldings were to the Early English, a fact which seems to show that the decadence of Gothic architecture was not confined to one country.

FLECHE (Ital. aguglia), a general term in French architecture for a spire, but more particularly used for the small slender erection rising from the intersection of the nave and transepts in cathedrals and large churches, and carrying the sanctus bell.

FLUTE, a concave channel. Columns whose shafts are channeled are said to be fluted, and the flutes are collectively called flutings.


FONT, the vessel used in the rite of baptism. The earliest extant is supposed to be that in which Constantine is said to have been baptized; this is a porphyry labrum from a Roman bath. Those in the baptisteries in Italy are all large, and were intended for immersion; as time went on, they seem to have become smaller. What they were in Saxon times is uncertain, though it is not improbable that some of the plain examples, called Norma, may have been of earlier date. Norman fonts are sometimes mere plain, hollow cylinders, generally a little smaller below than above; others are massive squares, supported on a thick stem, round which sometimes there are smaller shafts. In the Early English this form is still pursued, and the shafts are detached; sometimes, however, they are hexagonal and octagonal, and in this and the later styles assume the form of a vessel on a stem. Norman fonts have frequently curious carvings on them, approaching the grotesque; in later times the foliages, &c., partook absolutely of the character of those used in other architectural details of their respective periods. The font is usually places close to a pillar near the entrance, generally that nearest but one to the tower in the south arcade, or, in the large buildings, in the middle of the nave opposite the entrance porch, and sometimes in a separate building. (See BAPTISTERY.)

FOOT-STALL, a word supposed to be a literal translation of pisdestal, or pedestal, the lower part of a pier. (See BASE, PATIN.)

FORMERET, the half ribs against the walls in a groined ceiling.

FRATERY, FRATER HOUSE, supposed to be the hall where the friars met for diner or other purposes; the same as refectory among the monks.

FREE STONE (Fr. Pierre de taille, Ital. pietra molle), stone use for moluldings, tracery,and other work required to be executed with the chisel. The oolitic stones are generally so called, although in some countries, the soft sandstones are so used, and in some churches an indurated chalk called clunch is employed for internal lining and for carving.

FRESCO, the method of painting on a wall while the plastering is wet. The colour penetrates through the material, which therefore will bear rubbing or cleaning to almost any extent. The transparency, the chiaroscuro, and lucidity, as well as force, which can be obtained by this method, cannot be conceived unless the frescoes of Fra Angelico or Raffaelle are studied. The word, however, is often applied improperly to mediaeval delineation in ancient churches, which are only painted on the surface in distemper or body colour, mixed with size or white of egg, which gives them an opaque effect.

FRIEZE (Ital. fregio, from the Lat. Phrygionius, enriched or embroidered), that portion of a entablature between the cornice above and the architrave below. It derives its name from being the recipient of the sculptured enrichments either of foliage or figures which may be relevant to the object of the structure. The frieze is also called the ZOOPHORUS, q.v.

FRONTISPIECE. The front or principal elevation of a structure. This term, however, is generally restricted in application to a Decorated entrance.


GABLE. So,metimes Gavil (Fr. Pignon, Ital. colma, Giebel). When a roof is not hippeD or returned on itself at the ends, its ends are stoipped by carrying up the walls under them in the triangular form of the roof itself. This is called the gable, or, in then case of the ornamental and ornamented gable, the pediment. Of course gables follow the angles of the slope of the roof, and differ in the various styles. In Norman work they are generally about half pitch; in Early English, seldom less than equilateral, and often more. In Decorated work they become lower, and still more so in the Perpendicular style. In all important buildings they are finished with copings or parapets. In early times the copings were nearly flat. In the later styles gables are often surmounted with battlements, or enriched with crockets; they are also often paneled or perforated, sometimes very richly. The gables in ecclesiastic buildings are mostly terminated with a cross; in others, by a finial or pinnacle. In later times the parapets or copings were broken into a sort of steps, called corbie steps. In buildings of less pretension, the tiles or other roof covering passed over the front of the wall, which then, of course, had no coping. In this case the outer pair of rafters were concealed by moulded or carved verge boards. (See BATTLEMENT, COPING, CORBIE STEPS, PARAPET, VERGE BOARD, &c.)

GABLE WINDOW, a term sometimes applied to the large window under a gable, but more properly to the windows in the gable itself.

GABLED TOWERS, those which are finished with gables instead of parapets, as at Sompting. Many of the German Romanesque towers are gabled.

GABLETS, triangular terminations to buttresses, much in use in the Early English and Decorated periods, after which the buttresses generally plain, and very sharp in pitch. In the Decorated period they are often enriched with paneling and crockets. They are sometimes finished with small crosses, but oftener with finials.

GALILEE. This name is said to be derived from the Scriptural expression, "Galilee of the Gentiles." Galilees are supposed to have been used sometimes as courts of law, but chiefly for penitents not yet admitted to the body of the church. At Durham the galilee is a chapel at the main entrance into the nave.

GALLERY, any long passage looking down into another part of a building, or into the

court outside. In like manner, any stage erected to carry a rood or an organ, or to receive spectators, was latterly called a gallery, though originally a loft. In later times the name was given to any very long rooms, particularly those intended for purposes of state. (See LOFT, TRIFORIUM.)

GARGOYLE OR GURGOYLE (Fr. Gargouille, canon lanceur, Ital. doccia di gronda, Ger. Ausguss), the carved termination to a spout which conveyed away the water from the gutters, supposed to be called so from the gurgling noise made by the water passing through it. Gargoyles are mostly grotesque figures.

GARRETTING, properly GALLETTING, from gallet, a small piece of stone chipped off by the chisel. A method of protecting the mortar joints in rough walls by sticking in chips of stone while the mortar is wet.

GATE-HOUSE, a building forming the entrance to a town, the door of an abbey, or the enceinte of a caste or other important edifice. They generally had a large gateway protected by a gate, and also a portcullis, over which were battlement parapets with holes (machicolations) for throwing down darts, melted lead, or hot sand, on the besiegers. Gatehouses always had a lodge, with apartments for the porter, and guard-rooms for the soldiers; and generally rooms over for the officers, and often places for prisoners beneath. They are sometimes open in the rear, as at Cooling Castle, and often have doors with portcullises, &c., on both sides, in case the enemy should scale the walls, and attack them both in front and rear. In this case, the space between, on the ground floor, was generally groined over, with holes for missile weapons.

GLYPH, a vertical channel in a frieze. (See TRIGLYPH).

GRADINO (Ital. dim. Of gradus, a step). Architects frequently apply the plural of this term, gradini, to such series of great steps as are found at the mausoleum at Halicarnassus.

GRANGE, a word derived from the French, signifying a large barn or granary. They were usually long buildings with high wooden roofs, sometimes divided by posts or columns into a sort of nave and aisles, and with walls strongly buttressed. In England the term is applied not only to the barns, but to the whole of the buildings which formed the detached farms belonging to the monasteries; in most cases there was a chapel either included among these or standing apart as a separate edifice.

GRIFFE, French term for an ornament at the angles of the base of early pillars for which we have no proper equivalent. It first consisted of a single leaf, which became more elaborate, and was, no doubt, the origin of the foliated bases.

GRILLE, the iron work forming the encosure screen to a chapel, or the protecting railing to a tomb or shrine; more commonly found in France than in England. Our best example, perhaps, is that round the tomb of Queen Eleanor in Westminster Abbey. They are of wrought iron, ornamented by the swage and punch, and put together either by rivets or clips.

GROIN, by some described as the line of intersection of two vaults where they cross each other, which others call the groin point; by others the curved section or spandril of such vaulting is called a groin, and by others the whole system of vaulting is so named.

GROIN ARCH (Fr. Arc doubleau), the cross rib in the latter styles of groining, passing at right angles from wall to wall, and dividing the vault into bays or travees.

GROIN CEILING, a ceiling to a building composed of oak ribs, the spandrels of which are filled in with narrow, thin slips of wood. There are several in England; one at the early English church at Warmington, and one at Winchester Cathedral, exactly resembling those of stone.

GROIN CENTERING. In groining without ribs, the whole surface is supported by centering during the erection of the vaulting. In ribbed work the stone ribs only are supported by timber ribs during the progress of the work, any light stuff being used while filling in the spandrils.

GROIN POINT, the name given by workmen to the arris or line of intersection of one vault with another where there are no ribs.

GROIN RIB (Fr. Nerf d’arete, Ital. costola, Ger. Rippe), the rib which conceals the groin joint or joints, where the spandrils intersect.

GROINED VAULTING (Lat. Fornix, testudo, Fr. Vute d’arete, Ital. fornice), the system of covering a building with stone vaults which cross and intersect each other, as opposed to the barrel vaulting (voute de berceau), or series of arches placed side by side. The earliest groins are plain, without any ribs, except occasionally a sort of wide band from wall to wall, to strengthen the construction. In later Norman times ribs were added on the line of intersection of the spandrels, crossing each other, and having a boss as a key common to both; these ribs the French authors call nerfs en ogive. Their introduction, however, caused an entire change in the system of vaulting; instead of arches of uniform thickness and great weight, these ribs were first put up as the main construction, and spandrels (remplissage) of the lightest and thinnest possible material placed upon them, the haunches only being loaded sufficiently to counterbalance the pressure from the crown. Shortly after, half ribs against the walls (formerets) were introduced to carry the spandrels without cutting into the walling, and to add to the appearance. The work was now not treated as continued vaulting, but as divided into days, (travels), and it was formed by keeping up the ogive or intersecting ribs and their bosses; a sort of construction having some affinity to the dome was formed, which added much to the strength of the groining. Of course the top of the soffit or ridge of the vault was not horizontal, but rose from the level of the top of the formeret-rib to the boss and fell again; but this could not be perceived from below. As this systems of construction got more into use, and as the vaults were required to be of greater span and of higher pitch, the spandrels became larger, and wanted more support. To give this another set of ribs was introduced, passing from the springers of the ogive ribs, and going to about half-way between these and the ogive, and meeting on the ridge of the vault; these intermediate ribs are called by the French tiercerons, and began to come into use in the transition from Early English to Decorated. About the same period a system of vaulting came into use called hexpartite, from the fact that every bay is divided into six compartments instead of four. It was invented to cover the naves of churches of unusual width. The filling of the spandrels in this style is very peculiar; and where the different compartments meet at the ridge, some pieces of harder stone have been used, which have rather a pleasing effect. The arches against the wall being of smaller span than the man arches, cause the center springers to be perpendicular and parallel for some height, and the spandrels themselves are very hollow. As styles progressed, and the desire for greater richness increased, another series of ribs, called liernes, was introduced; these passed cross-ways from the ogives to the tiercerons, and thence to the doubleaux, dividing the spandrels nearly horizontal. These various systems increased in the Perpendicular period, so that the vaults were quite a network of ribs, and led at last to the Tudor, or, as is called by many, fam tracery vaulting. In this system the ribs are no part of the real construction, but are merely carved upon the voussoirs, which form the actual vaulting. Fan Tracery is so called because the ribs radiate from the pringers, and spread out like the sticks of a fan. These later methods are not strictly groions, for the pendentives are not square on plan, but circular, and there is therefore no arris intersection or GROIN POINT (which see).

GROINS, WELSH, OR UNDERPITCH. When the main longitudinal vault of any

groining is higher than the cross or transverse vaults which run from the windows, the system of vaulting is called underpitch groining, or, as termed by the workmen. Welsh groining. A very fine example is at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.


GUILLOCHE OR GUILLOCHOS (Gr. A member, ,and a snare), an interlaced ornament

like network, used most frequently to enrich the torus.

GUTTAE (Lat. Drops). The small cylindrical drops used to enrich the mutules and regulae of the Doric entablature are so called.

GUTTER, the channel for carrying off rain-water. the mediaeval gutters different little from others, except that they are often hollows sunk in the top of stone cornices, in which case they are generally called channels in English, and cheneauz in French.

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