A Glossary of Architectural Terms for Medieval Churches
flat slab on the top of a capital
semi-circular or polygonal aisle around an apse
vaulted semi-circular or polygonal end of a chancel or chapel
masonry of blocks of stone cut with even faces and square edges
recess or cupboard for sacred vessels for Mass
parapet with a series of alternate indentions and raised portions (Embrasures and Merlons) also called crenelation
series of Corbels just below the roof. Often seen on Norman buildings
parapet with a series of alternate indentions and raised portions or embrasures and merlons. (Also called Battlement)
vault consisting of two Tunnel Vaults intersecting at right angles. Also called Groin Vault.
the intersection of Nave, Chancel and Transepts
Romanesque Capital formed from a cube with the bottom half rounded off to the circular shaft underneath
a series of raised four- corner stars
the indentations in a Battlement.
(See also Merlons.)
The use of alternate horizontal and upright Through Stones to form the Jambs of a window
Bar Tracery consisting mainly of circles or trefoils, quatrefoils, etc. Characteristic of the period c. 1250 – 1310
sharp edge of the intersection between two cells of a Groin Vault
vault consisting of two Tunnel Vaults intersecting at right angles. Also called Cross Vault.
Long and Short
a form of Quoin in which long stones are alternatively set vertically and horizontal, found in the late Anglo-Saxon period
the raised portions of a Battlement.
(See also Embrasures.)
tracery ornament of the Decorated style similar to a Dagger, but curved
uprights, or verticals that divide a window into ‘lights’.
(See also Transoms)
Pilaster Strip Work
window tracery consisting of openings cut through the wall (compare to Bar Tracery). Plate tracery was introduced into England c. 1200.
vault with diagonal ribs running along the Groins
development of the Cushion Capital where the semi-circular surface is covered with a series of truncated cones
vault where one bay of a Quadripartite Vault is divided into two parts by a transverse rib, so that each bay of vaulting has six parts
triangular surface between the side of an arch, the vertical line from its Springer and a horizontal line from its apex; also the surface between two arches
the start of an arch from its Springing
secondary rib which issues from one of the main springers or the central boss and leads to the Ridge-Rib. Introduced into England in the early 13th century. (Hence Tierceron Vault)
horizontal members in a window. (See also Mullions)
arcaded wall passage or blind arcade facing the nave at the height of the aisle roof and below the Clerestory
Y – Tracery
tracery formed with a central Mullion which branches into two, creating a Y – shape