A Glossary of some Architectural Terms

Sources - Examples


ABACUSFlat top of a capital, like a stone board
ALTAR TOMB A chest-like monument used as an altar
APSESemicircular end to a building, usually with a half dome
ARCADE Row of arches supported by columns
BALUSTER Pillar with middle swelling out
BARGE BOARD Woodwork at the verge of a gable, extending over the wall. (verge board)
BATTLEMENT Parapet with rectangular indentations
BROACH SPIRE Spire without parapet at the base. (Resembling a spit; OE Broche)
CHANTRY Chapel for chanting masses (originally applied to the endowment)
CHEVRON Moulding in zigzag form
CLERESTORY Upper story with windows
CORBEL Projecting stone supporting weight of a higher structure
DECORATED c.1260-1360 (or early 14th century) - the most complete development of Gothic Architecture
DIAPER WORKS Carved or painted work representing flowers, Etc., applied to a plain surface
EARLY ENGLISH c.1190-1245 (or early 13th century) the first Gothic style of architecture used in the UK
FOLIATED ORNAMENT Ornament, imitating leaves
FRESCOES Paintings on the plaster of walls (strictly applied to painting on fresh or wet plaster)
JACOBEAN A style of architecture and ornament succeeding Elizabethan (early 17th century)
LANCET A narrow pointed window in Early English style

Porch on which a coffin containing the corpse [Leich] is rested - therefore Lytchgate or Leichgate is the entrance to the cemetery

MISERERE (Misericord) A bracket under the stall seats of the choir
MULLION Vertical division between lights of windows, screens Etc.,
NORMAN c.1066-1145 - A variety of the Romansque style of architecture
OGEEA combination of two curves in opposite directions like an 'S' - a round and a hollow.
PARVISE Room over a porch
PERPENDICULAR c.1360-1485 (or 15th century) the last of the Gothic styles of architecture which flourished in  England
PILASTER A vertical flat pillar attached to a wall
PISCINA A shallow stone basin with a drain for the water, used during mass
QUOINS The external angles of a building or the stones of which they are built
REREDOS A wall or screen behind an altar
ROOD LOFT or ROOD BEAM The support for the rood or large crucifix
SEDILE Priest's seat near the altar on the south side. (The plural is: SEDILIA)
SHINGLE Tile of wood for covering spires, roofs etc.,
SLYPE A covered passage
SPANDREL The space between an arch and its rectangular outer moulding
SQUINT An oblique opening in a church wall, through which the altar can be seen
STOUP A stone basin in a niche for holy water
TRANSOM Horizontal crossbar in a window
TREFOIL Three-pointed tracery, the space inside the point representing a three-lobed leaf
TUDOR 1485 to the end of the 16th century, late perpendicular or Elizabethan style of architecture

Arched roof -

cylindrical or wagon-shaped in its simplest form; in Early English it is known as GROINED

WAGON ROOF Semicircular roof




1. Bell's Pocket Guides - SOMERSET by S.E. Winbolt, M.A. 1929 published by G. Bell & sons Ltd London - Pages xiii-xiv

Page Last Updated: - 06/04/2016