OF THE MEANING ATTACHED TO THE TECHNICAL TERMS USED IN THE INVENTORY.
Abacus.—The uppermost member of a capital.
Acanthus.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture, a plant,
the leaves of which are used in the ornament of the
Corinthian and Composite Orders.
Alb.—Long linen robe, with close sleeves; worn by clerks
of all grades
Altar-tomb.—A modern term for a tomb of stone or marble
resembling, but not used as, an altar.
Amess.—Fur cape with hood, and long tails in front;
worn by clerks of the higher grades.
Amice.—A linen strip with embroidered apparel (q.v.)
placed upon the head coifwise by a clerk before vesting
himself in an alb, after which it is pushed back, and
the apparel then appears like a collar.
Ankar-hold.—The dwelling-house of an ankorite or
Apparels.—Rectangular pieces of embroidery on alb,
Apse.—The semi-circular or polygonal end of a chancel
or other part of a church.
Arabesque.—A peculiar kind of strap-ornament in low
relief, common in Moorish architecture, and found in
16th- and 17th-century work in England.
Arcade.—A range of arches carried on piers or columns.
Arch.—The following are some of the most usual forms:—
Segmental:—A single are struck from a centre below
the springing line.
Pointed or two-centred:—Two arcs struck from centres
on the springing line, and meeting at the apex with
Segmental-pointed:—A pointed arch, struck from two
centres below the springing line.
Equilateral:—A pointed arch struck with radii equal to
Lancet:—A pointed arch struck with radii greater than
Three-centred, elliptical:—Formed with three arcs, the
middle or uppermost struck from a centre below the
Four-centred, depressed, Tudor:—A pointed arch of
four arcs, the two outer and lower arcs struck from
centres on the springing line and the two inner and
upper arcs from centres below the springing line.
Sometimes the two upper arcs are replaced by
Ogee:—A pointed arch of four or more arcs, the two
uppermost or middle arcs being reversed, i.e., convex
instead of concave to the base line.
Relieving:—An arch, generally of rough construction,
placed in the wall above the true arch or head of an
opening, to relieve it of the superincumbent weight.
Stilted:—An arch with its springing line raised above
the level of the imposts.
Skew:—An arch not at right angles laterally with its
Archbishop's Vestments.—Buskins, sandals, amice, alb,
girdle, stole, fanon, tunic, dalmatic, chasuble, pall;
gloves, ring, mitre; an archbishop carries a crosier
but, in later times, holds a cross-staff for distinction.
Architrave.—A moulded enrichment to the jambs and
head of a doorway or window-opening; the lowest
member of an entablature (q.v.).
Argent.—In heraldry, white or silver, the latter being
the word used in mediæval English blazonry.
Arris.—An edge or angle.
Ashlar.—Masonry wrought to an even face and square
Ashler-pieces.—In roof construction, the vertical posts
standing on the inner wall-plate as a support to the
Azure.—In heraldry, blue.
Badge of Ulster.—A silver scocheon charged with a red
hand upraised, borne in the arms of baronets of
England, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Baldachino.—A canopy over an altar or shrine.
Ball-flower.—In architecture, a decoration peculiar to
the first quarter of the 14th century, consisting of a
globular flower of three petals enclosing a small ball.
Banco.—A pew in a synagogue reserved for the use of the
Barbe.—Pleated-linen covering for chin and throat, worn
by widows and women under vows.
Barge-board.—A board, often carved, fixed to the edge
of a gabled roof, a short distance from the face of the
Barry.—In heraldry, an even number of horizontal
divisions in a shield, normally six, but sometimes
four or eight. When a greater and indefinite number
of divisions appear the word Burely is used.
Bascinet.—Steel head-pieces worn with camail, sometimes
fitted with vizor.
Battled.—In heraldry, the edge of a chief, bend, bar, or
the like, drawn in the fashion of the battlements of
Bead.—A small round moulding.
Bell-capital.—A form of capital of which the chief characteristic is a reversed bell between the neck moulding
and upper moulding; the bell is often enriched with
Bend.—In heraldry, a band aslant and across the shield,
commonly from the dexter chief. A narrow bend
over other charges is called a Baston. The baston
with the ends cut off, drawn in the other direction
across the shield, is a mark of bastardy in postmediaeval heraldry. A field or charge divided bendwise into an equal number of parts, normally six, is
said to be bendy.
Bendwise.—In the direction of a bend.
Bezant.—In heraldry, a gold roundel or disc.
Billet.—In heraldry, a small oblong figure; also in architectural ornament chiefly used in the 11th and 12th
Billety.—In heraldry, a field or charge powdered with
Bishops' Vestments.—Same as an archbishop's (q.v.) but
without pall, and a bishop carries a crosier, and not
Bolection-moulding.—A moulding raised above the general
plane of the framework of the door or panelling in
which it is set.
Border.—In heraldry, an edging round a coat-of-arms,
whether simple or quartered.
Boss.—A projecting square or round ornament, covering
the intersections of the ribs in a vault, panelled
ceiling or roof, etc.
Bouget or Water-bouget.—A pair of leather bottles, borne
as a heraldic charge.
Brace.—In roof construction, a subsidiary timber inserted
to strengthen the framing of a truss. Wind-brace, a
subsidiary timber inserted between the purlins and
principals of a roof to resist the pressure of the wind.
Bressummer.—A beam forming the direct support of an
upper wall or timber-framing.
Brick-work.—Header:—A brick laid so that the end
only appears on the face of the wall.
Stretcher:—A brick laid so that one side only appears
on the face of the wall.
English Bond:—A method of laying bricks so that
alternate courses on the face of the wall are composed
of headers or stretchers only.
Flemish Bond:—A method of laying bricks so that
alternate headers and stretchers appear in each
course on the face of the wall.
Broach-stop.—A half-pyramidal stop against a chamfer
to bring out the edge of a stone or beam to a right
Buskins.—Stockings reaching to the knee; worn by
archbishops, bishops, and mitred abbots.
Butterfly Head-dress.—Large, of lawn and gauze on
wire, late 15th-century.
Buttress.—A mass of masonry or brick-work projecting
from or built against a wall to give additional strength.
Angle-buttresses:—Two meeting, or nearly meeting, at
an angle of 90° at the corner of a building.
Diagonal-buttress:—One placed against the right angle
formed by two walls, and more or less equi-angular
Flying-buttress:—An arch or half-arch transmitting the
thrust of a vault or roof from the upper part of a wall
to an outer support or buttress.
Cable-moulding.—A moulding carved in the form of a
Camail.—Hood of mail; first worn attached to hauberk,
then separate from it with tippet of mail over
shoulders, and, in the 14th century, attached to
Cambered (applied to a beam).—Curved so that the
middle is higher than the ends.
Canonical Quire Habit.—Surplice, amess, cope.
Canopy.—A projection or hood over a door, window, etc.,
and the covering over a tomb or niche; also the
representation of the same on a brass.
Caryatid.—Pillar carved as a woman.
Casement.—1. A wide hollow moulding in window
2. The hinged part of a window.
3. The sinking for a brass in a slab.
Cassock.—Long, close-sleeved gown; worn by all clerks.
Chamfer.—The small plane formed when the sharp edge
or arris of stone or wood is cut away, usually at
an angle of 45°; when the plane is concave it is
termed a hollow chamfer, and when the plane is sunk
below its arrises, or edges, a sunk chamfer.
Chantry-Chapel.—A chapel built for the purposes of a
chantry (a foundation for the celebration of masses
for the souls of the founder and such others as he
Chasuble.—A nearly circular cape with central hole for
head, worn by priests and bishops at mass. It is put
on over all the other vestments.
Checky.—In heraldry, a field or charge divided into
squares or checkers.
Cheveron.—In heraldry, a charge resembling a pair of
rafters of a roof; sometimes used decoratively.
Chief.—In heraldry, the upper part of the shield. Cut
off from the rest of the field by a horizontal line
and having its own tincture, it becomes one of the
charges of the shield, covering a space which occupies
from a third to a half, or even more of it.
Cinquefoil.—1. See "Foil."
2. A heraldic flower of five petals.
Clearstorey.—An upper storey, pierced by windows, in
the main walls of a church. The same term is
applicable in the case of a domestic building.
Coif.—Small close hood, covering head only.
Collar-beam.—In a roof, a horizontal beam framed to and
serving to tie a pair of rafters together some distance
above the wall-plate level.
Console.—A bracket with a compound curved outline.
Cope.—A processional and quire vestment shaped like a
cloak, and fastened across the chest by a band or
brooch; worn by clerks of most grades.
Coped-slab.—A slab of which the upper face is ridged
down the middle, sometimes hipped at each end.
Cops, Knee and Elbow.—Knee and elbow defences of
leather or plate.
Corbel.—A projecting stone or piece of timber for the
support of a superincumbent weight.
Cotises.—In heraldry, pairs of narrow bands, in the form
of bends, pales, fesses, or cheverons, and borne accompanying one of those charges on each side of it.
Counter-coloured.—In heraldry, term applied in cases
where the field and charges exchange tinctures on
either side of a dividing line.
Courtyard Type of House.—See "Houses."
Cove.—A concave under-surface of the nature of a hollow
moulding but on a larger scale.
Cover-paten.—A cover to a communion cup, sometimes
used as a paten.
Crest, cresting.—1. A device worn upon the helm. 2. An
ornamental finish along the top of a screen, etc.
Crockets.—Carvings projecting at regular intervals from
the vertical or sloping sides of parts of a building,
such as spires, canopies, hoods-moulds, etc.
Crosier, or Pastoral Staff.—A tall staff ending in an ornamental crook carried as a mark of authority by
archbishops, bishops, and heads of monastic houses,
including abbesses and prioresses.
Cross.—In its simplest form in heraldry, a pale combined
with a fesse, as the St. George's Cross; there are
many other varieties of which the following are the
most common:—Crosslet,—with a smaller arm crossing each main arm; Crosslet fitchy,—having the lowest
arm spiked or pointed; Crosslet flowered or flory,—
having the arms headed with fleurs-de-lis; Crosslet
formy,—arms widening from the centre, and square
at the ends. The old forms of the crosslet have, as a
rule, the arms ending as in trefoils with rounded
petals; Plain crosses,—with four equal arms not
extending to the edges of the shield; Moline (or
mill-rind),—with the arms split or forked at the ends;
Paty,—as a cross formy, but with the arms notched
in two places at the ends, giving them a form which
may approach that of a blunt head of a fleur-de-lis;
Potent (or Jerusalem),—having a small transverse
arm at the extreme end of each main arm; Tau (or
(Anthony),—in the form of a T.
Cross-staff.—Staff terminating in a cross; carried before
archbishops, who are usually shown holding it on
effigies, brasses, etc.
Crusily.—In heraldry, covered or powdered with crosslets.
Cuirass.—Breast and back plates of metal or leather.
Cushion-capital.—A cubic capital with its lower angles
rounded off to a circular shaft.
Cusps (cusping, cusped heads, sub-cusps).—The projecting
points forming the foils in Gothic windows, arches,
panels, etc.; they were frequently ornamented at the
ends, or cusp-points, with leaves, flowers, berries, etc.
Dalmatic.—The special vestment at mass of a deacon;
a loose tunic of moderate length, slit up sides, with
wide sleeves and fringed edges
Dance.—In heraldry, a fesse or bar drawn zigzagwise, or
Deacon's Vestments (Mass).—Amice, alb, stole (worn over
left shoulder), dalmatic, and fanon.
Dexter.—In heraldry, the right-hand side of a shield as
Diaper.—Decoration of surfaces with squares, diamonds,
and other patterns.
Dimidiated.—In heraldry, applied to the halving of two
shields and joining a half of each to make a new shield.
Dog-legged Staircase.—A staircase in which adjoining
flights run in opposite directions but have a common
Dog-tooth Ornament.—A typical 13th-century carved
ornament consisting of a series of pyramidal flowers
of four petals; used to cover hollow mouldings.
Dormer-window.—A vertical window on the slope of a
roof, and having a roof of its own.
Dovetail.—A carpenter's joint for two boards, one with
a series of projecting pieces resembling doves' tails
fitting into the other with similar hollows; in
heraldry, an edge formed like a dovetail joint.
Drawbar.—A wooden bar or bolt, inside a door, fitted into
a socket in one jamb and a long channel in the other
jamb, into which it slides back when not in use.
Dressings.—The stones used about an angle, window, or
other feature when worked to a finished face, whether
smooth, tooled in various ways, moulded, or
E Type of House.—See "Houses."
Eaves.—The under part of a sloping roof overhanging a
Echal.—In a synagogue, the fitting enclosing the ark or
cupboard in which are kept the rolls of the Law.
Embrasures.—The openings, indents, or sinkings in an
Engaged Shafts.—Shafts cut out of the solid or connected
with the jamb, pier, respond, or other part against
which they stand.
Engrailed.—In heraldry, edged with a series of concave
Entablature.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture, the
moulded horizontal super-structure of a wall, colonnade or opening consisting of an architrave, frieze, and
Ermine or Ermines.—The fur most frequently used in
heraldry; white powdered with black tails. Other
varieties are sometimes found, as sable ermined with
silver, and in more modern heraldry, gold ermined
with sable, and sable ermined with gold.
Fanon.—A strip of embroidery, probably at one time a
handkerchief, held in the left hand, or worn hanging
from the left wrist by bishops, priests and deacons.
It is often called a maniple.
Fascia.—A plain or moulded board covering the plate of
a projecting upper storey of timber, and masking the
ends of the cantilever joists which support it.
Fesse.—In heraldry, a horizontal band athwart the shield.
When more than one fesse is borne they are known
Finial.—A formal bunch of foliage or similar ornament
at the top of a pinnacle, gable, canopy, etc.
Flaunches.—In heraldry, the side portions of a shield,
bounded by convex lines.
Foil (trefoil, quatrefoil, cinquefoil, multifoil, etc.).—A
leaf-shaped curve formed by the cusping or feathering
in an opening or panel.
Foliated (of a capital, corbel, etc.).—Carved with leaf
Four-centred Arch.—See "Arch."
Frater.—The refectory or dining-hall of a monastery.
Fret or Fretty.—In heraldry, a charge formed of a number
of bastons drawn from each side of the shield, and
interlaced like lattice-work. In modern heraldry, the
charge of a fret takes the form of a narrow saltire
interlacing a voided lozenge, while the word Fretty
is kept for the older form.
Frieze.—The middle division in an entablature, between
the architrave and the cornice; generally any band of
ornament or colour immediately below a cornice.
Funeral-helm.—A trophy, in the form of a crested headpiece, carried at the funerals and placed over the
tombs of important personages.
Fusil.—In heraldry, a word applied to the pieces into
which a fesse is divided by engrailing or indenting.
Gable.—The wall at the end of a ridged roof, generally
triangular, sometimes semi-circular, and often with
an outline of various curves, then called curvilinear.
Gargoyle.—A carved projecting figure pierced to carry off
the rain-water from the roof of a building.
Gesso.—A fine plaster composition, used for surface
ornament of too delicate a nature to be cut or carved.
Gimel-bar or Gemel-bar.—In heraldry, a pair of narrow
bars lying close to one another.
Gipon.—Close-fitting vest of cloth, worn over armour
c. 1350 to c. 1410.
Gobony.—In heraldry, checkers or panes of a metal
alternating with a colour, or either with a fur.
Gorget.—Plate defence for neck and throat.
Graffito, (-i).—A scratched inscription or drawing on a
Griffon or Griffin.—A winged monster with the fore parts
of an eagle, and the hinder parts of a lion.
Groining, Groined Vault.—See "Vaulting."
Guilloche-pattern.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture,
a geometrical ornament consisting of two or more
intertwining wavy bands.
Gules.—In heraldry, red.
Gyronny or Gironny.—In heraldry, the field of a shield
divided into six, eight or more gussets meeting at a
point in the middle.
Habick.—An instrument used in dressing cloth.
Half-H Type of House.—See "Houses."
Hall and Cellar Type of House.—See "Houses."
Hammer-beams.—Horizontal brackets of a roof projecting at the wall-plate level, and resembling the two
ends of a tie-beam with its middle part cut away;
they are supported by braces (or struts), and help to
diminish lateral pressure by reducing the span. Sometimes there is a second and even a third upper series
of these brackets.
Hauberk.—Shirt of chain or other mail.
Helm.—Complete barrel or dome-shaped head-defence of
Helmet.—A light headpiece; various forms are: Armet,
Burgonet, close Helmet, all similar in principle.
Hipped roof.—A roof with sloped instead of vertical ends.
Half-hipped, a roof whose ends are partly vertical and
Hood-mould (label, drip-stone).—A projecting moulding on
the face of a wall above an arch, doorway, or window;
in some cases it follows the form of the arch, and in
others is square in outline.
Houses.—These are classified as far as possible under the
1. Hall and Cellar Type.—Hall on first floor; rooms
beneath generally vaulted; examples as early
as the 12th century.
2. H Type.—Hall between projecting wings, one
containing living rooms, the other the offices.
The usual form of a mediæval house, employed,
with variations, down to the 17th century.
3. L Type.—Hall and one wing, generally for small
4. E Type.—Hall with two wings and a middle
porch; generally of the 16th and 17th centuries.
5. Half-H Type.—A variation of the E. type without the middle porch.
6. Courtyard Type.—Houses built round a court;
sometimes only three ranges of buildings with
or without an enclosing wall and gateway on
the fourth side.
7. Central-chimney Type.—(Rectangular plan),
small houses only.
Indent.—The sinking or casement in a slab for a monumental brass.
Indented.—In heraldry, notched like the teeth of a saw.
Invected.—In modern heraldry, edged with a series of
Jambs.—1. The sides of an archway, doorway, window,
or other opening.
2. In heraldry, legs of lions, etc.
3. In armour, plate-defences for lower leg.
Keystone.—The middle stone in an arch.
King-post.—The middle vertical post in a roof-truss.
Knapped flints.—In building, flints broken across and set
to form a fair face to the wall.
Kneeler.—Stone at the foot of a gable.
L Type of House.—See "Houses."
Label.—See "Hood-mould." In heraldry, a narrow
horizontal band (lying across the chief of a shield),
from which small strips, generally three or five, called
pieces, depend at right angles.
Lancet.—A long narrow window with a pointed head,
typical of the 13th century.
Latten.—A term applied to the alloy of copper, zinc, etc.,
used in the manufacture of memorial brasses, etc.
Leopard.—In heraldry, a lion showing its full face: always
passant (unless otherwise emblazoned), as in the three
leopards of England.
Limbeck.—An apparatus formerly used in distilling.
Linen-fold panelling.—Panelling ornamented with a conventional representation of folded linen.
Lintel.—The horizontal beam or stone bridging an
Lion.—In heraldry, face in profile and (unless otherwise
emblazoned) always rampant.
Liripipe.—Long tail of cloth attached to hooded tippet of
the 14th century; the whole finally developed into a
form of turban called Liripipe head-dress.
Locker (Aumbry).—A small cupboard formed in a wall.
Loop.—A small narrow light in a turret, etc.; often
Louvre or luffer.—A lantern-like structure surmounting
the roof of a hall or other building, with openings for
ventilation or the escape of smoke, usually crossed by
slanting boards (called 'louvre-boards'), to exclude
Lozenge.—In heraldry, a charge like the diamond in a
pack of cards.
Luce.—In heraldry, a fish (pike).
Manche, Maunche.—A lady's sleeve with a long pendent
lappet; a heraldic charge.
Mantle or Mantling.—In heraldry, a cloth hung over the
hinder part of a helm; the edges were fantastically
dagged and slit.
Martlet.—A martin, shown sometimes in heraldry without
Mask-stop.—A stop at the end of a hood-mould, bearing
a distant resemblance to a human face; generally of
the 12th and 13th centuries.
Mass Vestments.—These included the amice, alb, and
girdle (which were worn by all clerks) to which a subdeacon added the tunicle and fanon, a deacon the
dalmatic, fanon and stole (over one shoulder only)
and the priest the fanon, stole (over both shoulders)
and chasuble. Bishops and certain privileged abbots
wore the tunicle and dalmatic under the chasuble,
with the mitre, gloves, and ring, and buskins and
sandals. Archbishops used the pall in addition to all
the foregoing. Bishops, abbots, and archbishops alike
carried crosiers, and in the same way, but an archbishop had likewise a cross carried before him for
dignity, and he is generally represented holding one
for distinction. The mass vestments were sometimes
worn over the quire habit, and the hood of the grey
amess can often be seen on effigies hanging beyond
the amice apparel at the back of the neck.
Merlon.—The solid part of an embattled parapet between
Mill-rind (Fer-de-moline).—The iron affixed to the centre
of a millstone; a common heraldic charge. In early
heraldry the name given to the mill-rind cross, or
Misericord.—1. A bracket on the underside of the hinged
seat of a quire-stall, to be used (when turned up) as
a support for the occupant, while standing during a
2. In monastic planning, a small hall, generally
attached to the Infirmary, in which better food than
the ordinary, was supplied for special reasons.
Mitred Abbots' Vestments.—Same as a bishop's.
Modillions.—Brackets under the cornice in Classic architecture.
Molet.—In heraldry, a star of five or six points, drawn
with straight lines. When the lines are wavy it is
called a Star. A molet with a round hole in the middle
is called a Rowel.
Morse.—Large clasp or brooch fastening cope across the
Mullion.—A vertical post, standard, or upright dividing
an opening into lights.
Muntin.—The intermediate uprights in the framing of a
door, screen, or panel, butting into or stopped by
Nebuly.—Heraldic term for a line or edge, following the
fashion of the mediæval artist's conventional cloud.
Neck-moulding.—The narrow moulding round the bottom
of a capital.
Newel.—The central post in a circular or winding staircase; also the principal posts at the angles of a dog-legged or well-staircase.
Ogee.—A compound curve of two parts, one convex, the
other concave; a double-ogee moulding is formed by
two ogees meeting at their convex ends.
Or.—In heraldry, gold; a word which, like argent, was
established in English blazon in the second half of the
Orders of Architecture.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture, the five types of columnar architecture,
known as Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and
Orders of Arches.—Receding or con-centric rings of
Oriel Window.—A projecting bay-window carried upon
corbels or brackets.
Orle.—In heraldry, a term used to describe a voided
scocheon, or a number of small charges, as martlets
or the like forming a border.
Orphreys.—Strips of embroidery on vestments.
"Out of the Solid."—Mouldings worked on the styles,
rails, etc., of framing, instead of being fixed on to
Oversailing Courses.—A number of brick or stone courses,
each course projecting beyond the one below it.
Ovolo moulding.—A Classic moulding forming a quarter
round in section.
Pale.—In heraldry, a vertical band down the middle of
Palimpsest.—1. Of a brass; re-used by engraving the
back of an older engraved plate.
2. Of a wall-painting; superimposed on an
Palindrome.—An inscription which reads the same, from
left to right as from right to left.
Pall.—1. In ecclesiastical vestments, a narrow strip of
lambswool, having an open loop in the middle, and
weighted ends; it is ornamented with a number of
crosses and forms the distinctive mark of an archbishop; it is worn round the neck, above the other
2. A cloth covering a hearse.
Paly.—In heraldry, a shield divided by lines palewise,
normally into six divisions, unless otherwise emblazoned.
Parted or Party.—In heraldry, a term used when a shield
is divided down the middle. When two coats of
arms are marshalled, each in one of these divisions,
the one is said to be party or parted with the other,
or in the words of the later heraldry, to be impaling
it. The word party or parted is also used for other
specified divisions, as party bendwise.
Passant (of beasts, etc.).—In heraldry, walking and
looking forward—head in profile.
Pastoral Staff.—See "Crosier."
Paten.—A plate for holding the Bread at the celebration
of the Holy Communion.
Paty (cross).—See "Cross."
Pediment.—A low-pitched gable used in Classical and
Renaissance architecture above a portico, at the end
of a building, and above doors, windows, niches,
etc.; sometimes the middle part is omitted, forming
a 'broken' pediment.
Pendentive.—The triangular curved supports at the base
of a dome when this form of roof is used to cover a
Pheon.—In heraldry, a broad arrow-head.
Pilaster.—A shallow pier attached to the wall.
Pile.—In heraldry, a triangular or wedge-shaped charge,
issuing from the chief of the shield unless otherwise
Piscina.—A basin for washing the sacred vessels and provided with a drain, generally set in or against the wall
to the S. of the altar, but sometimes sunk in the pavement.
Plinth.—The projecting base of a wall or column, generally
chamfered or moulded at the top.
Podium.—In Classical architecture—a basis, usually solid,
supporting a temple or other superstructure.
Popey-head.—The ornament at the heads of bench-standards or desks in churches; generally carved with
foliage and flowers, somewhat resembling a fleur-de-lis.
Porphyry.—A red or green volcanic rock, much used in
Italian decorative work in Classic and later times.
Portcullis.—The running gate, rising and falling in vertical
grooves in the jambs of a doorway.
Powdered.—In heraldry, a shield or charge with small
charges scattered indiscriminately thereon is said to
be powdered with them.
Presbytery.—The part of a church in which is placed the
high altar, E. of the quire.
Priests' Vestments (Mass).—Amice, alb, girdle, stole
crossed in front, fanon, chasuble.
Principals.—The chief trusses of a roof, or the main
rafters, posts, or braces, in the wooden framework
of a building.
Processional Vestments.—Same as canonical (q.v.).
Pulpitum.—The solid screen, with a gallery above, at the
west end of the quire of a monastic or collegiate
Pulvinated Frieze.—In Classical and Renaissance architecture, a frieze having a convex or bulging section.
Purlin.—A horizontal timber resting on the principal
rafters of a roof-truss, and forming an intermediate
support for the common rafters.
Purple or Purpure.—One of the colours in heraldry.
Pyx.—Any small box, but usually a vessel to contain the
Quarry.—In glazing, small panes of glass, generally
diamond-shaped or square, set diagonally.
Quarter.—In heraldry, the dexter corner of the shield;
a charge made by enclosing that corner with a right-angled line taking in a quarter or somewhat less of
the shield and giving it a tincture of its own.
Quartered or Quarterly.—A term which, in its original
sense, belongs to a shield or charge divided cross-wise
into four quarters. After the practice of marshalling
several coats in the quarters of a shield had been
established, the quarters themselves might be quartered for the admission of more coats, or the four
original divisions increased to six or more, each being
still termed a quarter.
Quatrefoil.—In heraldry, a four-petalled flower. See also
Queen-posts.—A pair of vertical posts in a roof-truss
equi-distant from the middle line.
Quillon.—Bar forming cross-guard of sword.
Quire-habit.—In secular churches; for boys, a surplice
only over the cassock; for clerks or vicars, the
surplice and a black cope-like mantle, partly closed
in front and put over the head, which was exchanged
for a silk cope on festivals; canons put on over the
surplice a grey amess. In monastic churches, all
classes, whether canons regular, monks, friars, nuns,
or novices, wore the ordinary habit with a cope on
Quoin.—The dressed stones at the angle of a building.
Ragged, Raguly.—In heraldry, applied to a charge
whose edges are ragged like a tree-trunk with the
limbs lopped away.
Rampant (of beasts, etc.).—In heraldry, standing erect
on one foot, as if attacking or defending.
Razed.—Of a head, etc., in heraldry, having a ragged
edge as though torn off.
Rear-arch.—The arch on the inside of a wall spanning
a doorway or window-opening.
Rear-vault.—The space between a rear-arch and the
outer stonework of a window.
Rebate (rabbet, rabbit).—A continuous rectangular notch
cut on an edge.
Reliquary.—A small box or other receptacle for relics.
Reredos.—A hanging, wall, or screen of stone or wood at
the back of an altar or dais.
Respond.—The half-pillar or pier at the end of an arcade
or abutting a single arch.
Roll-moulding or Bowtell.—A continuous convex moulding
cut upon the edges of stone and woodwork, etc.
Rood (Rood-beam, Rood-screen, Rood-loft).—A cross or
crucifix. The Great Rood was set up at the E. end of
the nave with accompanying figures of St. Mary and
St. John; it was generally carved in wood, and fixed
on the loft or head of the rood-screen, or on a special
beam (the Rood-beam), reaching from wall to wall.
Sometimes the rood was merely painted on the wall
above the chancel-arch or on a closed wood partition
or tympanum in the upper half of the arch. The
Rood-screen is the open screen spanning the E. end
of the nave, shutting off the chancel; in the 15th century a narrow gallery was often constructed above the
cornice to carry the rood and other images and
candles, and it was also used as a music gallery. The
loft was approached by a staircase (and occasionally
by more than one), either of wood or in a turret built
in the wall, wherever most convenient, and, when the
loft was carried right across the building, the inter
vening walls of the nave were often pierced with
narrow archways. Many of the roods were destroyed
at the Reformation, and their final removal, with the
loft, was ordered in 1561.
Roundel.—In heraldry, a round plate or disc of any
tincture other than gold.
Rubble.—Walling of rough unsquared stones or flints.
Rustic work.—Primarily, masonry in which only the
margins of the stones are worked, also used for any
masonry where the joints are emphasised by
mouldings, grooves, etc.; rusticated columns are
those in which the shafts are interrupted by two or
more square blocks of stone or broad projecting
Sable.—In heraldry, black.
Sacristy.—A room generally in immediate connection with
a church, in which the holy vessels and other valuables
Saltire.—In heraldry, an X-shaped cross; also called
St. Andrew's cross.
Scallop.—A shellfish, a common charge in heraldry.
Scalloped capital.—A development of the cushion-capital
in which the single cushion is elaborated into a series
of truncated cones.
Scapple, to.—To dress roughly; of masonry or timber.
Scribe.—A term applied to timber cut or fitted to an
irregular surface or moulding.
Scroll-moulding.—A rounded moulding of two parts, the
upper projecting beyond the lower, thus resembling a
scroll of parchment.
Scutcheon or Scocheon.—1. A shield, a charge in heraldry,
Voided Scutcheon, a scutcheon whose border alone is
seen; termed in modern heraldry an Orle.
2. A metal plate pierced for the
spindle of a handle or for a keyhole.
Sedilia (sing. sedile, a seat), sometimes called presbyteries.
—The seats on the S. side of the chancel, quire, or
chapel near the altar, used by the ministers during the
Sexpartite vault.—See "Vaulting."
Shaft.—A small column.
Shafted jambs.—A jamb containing one or more shafts
either engaged or detached.
Sinister.—In heraldry, the left-hand side of a shield as
Slip-tiles.—Tiles moulded with a design in intaglio which
was then filled in, before burning, with a clay of a
Soffit.—The under side of a staircase, lintel, cornice,
arch, canopy, etc.
Soffit-cusps.—Cusps springing from the flat soffit of an
arched head, and not from its chamfered sides or
Spandrel.—The triangular-shaped space above the haunch
of an arch; the two outer edges generally form a
rectangle, as in an arched and square-headed doorway; the name is also applied to a space within a
curved brace below a tie-beam, etc., and to any
Spire, Broach-spire, Needle-spire.—The tall pointed termination forming the roof of a tower or turret. A
Broach-spire rises from the sides of the tower without
a parapet, the angles of a square tower being sur
mounted, in this case, by half-pyramids against the
alternate faces of the spire, when the spire is
octagonal. A Needle-spire is small and narrow, and
rises from the middle of the tower-roof well within
Splay.—A sloping face making an angle more than a rightangle with the main surface, as in internal window
Springing-line.—The level at which an arch springs from
Sprocket-pieces.—Short lengths of timber covering the
end of roof-rafters to flatten the angle of pitch of
the roof at the eaves.
Spurs.—Prick: in form of plain goad; early form.
Rowel: with spiked wheel; later form.
Squinch.—An arch thrown across the angle between two
walls to support a superstructure, such as the base
of a stone spire.
Squint.—A piercing through a wall to allow a view of an
altar from places whence it could otherwise not be
Stages of Tower.—The divisions marked by horizontal
Stanchion, stancheon.—The upright iron bars in a screen,
Steel Gad.—In Heraldry, a rectangular plate of steel.
Stole.—A long narrow strip of embroidery with fringed
ends worn above the alb by a deacon over the left
shoulder, and by priests and bishops over both
Stops.—Projecting stones at the ends of labels, stringcourses, etc., against which the mouldings finish;
they are often carved in various forms, such as
shields, bunches of foliage, human or grotesque
heads, etc.; a finish at the end of any moulding or
chamfer bringing the corner out to a square edge, or
sometimes, in the case of a moulding, to a chamfered
edge. A splayed stop has a plain sloping face, but in
many other cases the face is moulded.
Stoup.—A vessel, placed near an entrance-doorway, to
contain holy water; those remaining are usually in
the form of a deeply-dished stone set in a niche, or
on a pillar. Also called Holy-water Stones, or Holy-water Stocks.
String.—In carpentry, the raking board or beam enclosing
the ends of the treads and risers of a staircase.
String-course.—A projecting horizontal band in a wall;
Strut.—A timber forming a sloping support to a beam, etc.
Style.—The vertical members of a frame into which are
tenoned the ends of the rails or horizontal pieces.
Sub-deacons' Vestments (Mass).—Amice, alb, tunicle,
Surcoat.—Coat, usually sleeveless, worn over armour.
Tabard.—Short loose surcoat, open at sides, with short
tab-like sleeves, sometimes worn with armour, and
emblazoned with arms; distinctive garment of
Table, Alabaster.—A panel or series of panels of alabaster
carved with religious subjects and placed at the back
of an altar to form a reredos. The manufacture was
a distinctively English industry of the 14th, 15th
and early 16th centuries, centred at Nottingham.
Tebah.—In a synagogue, the dais or rostrum for the
Terminal figure.—The upper part of a carved human
figure growing out of a column, post, or pilaster,
diminishing to the base.
Tie-beam.—The horizontal transverse beam in a roof,
tying together the feet of the rafters to counteract
Timber-framed building.—A building of which the walls
are built of open timbers and covered with plaster or
boarding, or with interstices filled in with brick-work.
Touch.—A soft black marble quarried near Tournai and
commonly used in monumental art.
Tracery.—The ornamental work in the head of a window,
screen, panel, etc., formed by the curving and interlacing of bars of stone or wood, and grouped together,
generally over two or more lights or bays.
Transom.—A horizontal bar of stone or wood across the
upper half of a window-opening, doorway, or panel.
Trefoil.—In heraldry, a three-lobed leaf with a pendent
Treasure.—In heraldry, a narrow flowered or counter-flowered orle, often voided or doubled, as in the
arms of the Kings of Scots.
Triforium.—The middle division in the internal elevation
of a Gothic church, between the main arcade or
ground storey and the clearstorey.
Trimmer.—A timber, framing an opening in a floor or
Truss.—A number of timbers framed together to bridge
a space or form a bracket, to be self-supporting, and
to carry other timbers. The trusses of a roof are
generally named after a peculiar feature in their
construction, such as King-post, Queen-post, Hammerbeam, etc. (q.v.).
Tunicle.—Similar to dalmatic (q.v.).
Tympanum.—An enclosed space within an arch, doorway,
etc., or in the triangle of a pediment.
Vair.—In heraldry, a fur imitating grey squirrels' skins,
usually shown as an alternating series, often in rows,
of blue and white bell-shaped patches. If of other
tinctures it is called vairy.
Vaulting.—An arched ceiling or roof of stone or brick,
sometimes imitated in wood and plaster. Barrel-vaulting (sometimes called waggon-head-vaulting) is a
continuous vault unbroken in its length by cross-vaults. A groined vault (or cross-vaulting) results
from the intersection of simple vaulting surfaces. A
ribbed vault is a framework of arched ribs carrying the
cells which cover in the spaces between them. One
bay of vaulting, divided into four quarters or compartments, is termed quadripartite; but often the bay
is divided longitudinally into two subsidiary bays,
each equalling a bay of the wall-supports; the vaulting bay is thus divided into six compartments, and
is termed sexpartite. A more complicated form is
lierne-vaulting; this contains secondary ribs, which
do not spring from the wall-supports, but cross from
main rib to main rib. In fan-vaulting numerous ribs
rise from the springing in equal curves, diverging
equally in all directions, giving fan-like effects when
seen from below.
Veil.—A sweat-cloth attached to the head of the crosier.
Vert.—In heraldry, green.
Vestments (ecclesiastical).—See alb, amess, amice,
apparels, archbishops' vestments, bishops' vestments,
buskins, canonical quire-habit, cassock, chasuble,
cope, crosier, cross-staff, dalmatic, deacons' vestments,
fanon, mitred abbots' vestments, morse, orphreys,
priests' vestments, processional vestments, quirehabit, sub-deacons' vestments, stole, tunicle.
Vizor.—Hinged face-guard of bascinet, salade, close
Voided.—In heraldry, with the middle part cut away,
leaving a margin.
Volute.—A spiral form of ornament.
Voussoirs.—The stones forming an arch.
Wall-plate.—A timber laid lengthwise on the wall to
receive the ends of the rafters and other joists.
Wave-mould.—A compound mould formed by a convex
curve between two concave curves.
Weather-boarding.—Horizontal boards nailed to the
uprights of timber-framed buildings and made to
overlap; the boards are wedge-shaped in section, the
upper edge being the thinner.
Weathering (to sills, tops of buttresses, etc.).—A sloping
surface for casting off water, etc.
Weepers.—Small upright figures, generally of relatives of
the deceased, placed in niches or panels round the
sides of mediæval tombs; occasionally also represented on brasses.
Well-staircase.—A staircase of several flights and generally square, surrounding a space or "well."
Wimple.—Scarf covering chin and throat.
Wyver or Wyvern.—A dragon-like monster with a beaked
head, two legs with claws, and a tail sometimes coiled
in a knot. The earlier examples show wings.