An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 2, the Defences. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972.

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, 'Glossary', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 2, the Defences, (London, 1972) pp. 185-187. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Glossary", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 2, the Defences, (London, 1972) 185-187. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Glossary", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 2, the Defences, (London, 1972). 185-187. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,


Almain Rivet—Light half armour with open headpiece.

Anta(e)—In Classical architecture, a pilaster terminating a range of columns in the manner of a respond, with base and capital differing from those of the columns. In antis, placed in a line between paired anta-responds.

ArchFour-centred, a pointed arch of four arcs, the two outer and lower ones struck from centres on the springing line and the two inner and upper ones from centres below the springing line. Sometimes the two upper arcs are replaced by straight lines.

Segmental, a single arc struck from a centre below the springing line.

Three-centred, formed with three arcs, the middle or uppermost struck from a centre below the springing line.

Architrave—The lowest member of an entablature (q.v.); often adapted as a surround to a doorway or window opening.

Arris—The sharp edge formed by the meeting of two surfaces.

Ashlar—Masonry wrought to an even face and square edges.

Attic Base—A moulded column-base with a profile comprising two torus mouldings divided by a scotia between two fillets. In Romano-British examples the fillets are often omitted.

Bailey—The courtyard enclosure of a castle.

Baluster—A vertical support to a rail, especially a stair rail. Balustrade, a range of small balusters supporting a rail, coping or cornice.

Band or Plat-Band—A flat projecting horizontal band of masonry or brickwork across the face of a building, as distinct from a moulded string.

Barbican—An advanced work before the gate of a castle or fortified town; usually applied to the outwork intended to defend the drawbridge.

Baroque—A style of architecture and decoration emerging in the 17th century which uses the repertory of Classical forms with great freedom to emphasise the unity and pictorial character of its effects. The term is also applied to sculpture and painting of a comparable character.

Bartizan—A small turret that projects from the angle, the parapet or other upper part of a tower or building.

Bastion—An outward projection from a defensive wall, enabling the garrison to see and to defend from the flanks the ground before the rampart.

Batter—Descriptive of the backward slope of a wall face.

Bay—The vertical compartment between two columns, roof trusses, buttresses, etc.

Berm—In earthworks, the level strip of ground between a bank or wall and the accompanying ditch or scarp.

Brace—In timber framing and roof construction, a subsidiary oblique timber inserted between major members to give rigidity; a brace rises from a vertical member to support a horizontal member.

Carucate—A ploughland. Originally an area of arable land which a plough team could keep in cultivation, but by 1086 a unit of tax assessment.

Chamberlain—an officer who receives the rents and revenues of a corporation.

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 a sunk chamfer.

Coffers—Sunk panels in ceilings, vaults, domes, and archsoffits.

Collar Beam—In a roof, a horizontal beam framed to and serving to tie together a pair of rafters some distance above the wall-plate level.

Corbel—A projecting stone or piece of timber for the support of a superincumbent weight.

Cornice—A crowning projection. In Classical architecture, the crowning or upper portion of the entablature.

CounterscarpSee Scarp.

Cover Paten—A cover to a communion cup, used as a paten.

Crenellated—Furnished with battlements.

Curtain, Curtain Wall—The connecting wall between the towers or bastions of a castle.

Cusps (cusping, sub-cusps)—The projecting points forming the foils in Gothic windows, arches, panels, etc.; they were frequently ornamented at the ends (cusp points) with leaves, flowers, berries, etc.

Demi-Culverin—A cannon of about 4½ ins. bore.

Dentils—The small rectangular tooth-like blocks used decoratively in Classical cornices.

Dressings—The stone or brickwork used about an angle, window, or other feature when worked to a finished face, whether smooth, tooled or rubbed, moulded or sculptured.

Embrasures—The openings or sinkings in embattled parapets, or the recesses for window, doorways, etc.

Entablature—In Classical or Renaissance architecture, the moulded horizontal superstructure of a wall, colonnade, or opening. A full entablature consists of an architrave, frieze, and cornice.

Entasis—The convexity or swell on a vertical line or surface, to correct the optical illusion of concavity in the sides of a column or spire when the lines are straight.

Falchion—A sword more or less curved, with the cutting edge on the convex side.

Fascia—A plain or moulded facing board.

Firelock—A type of musket fired by a spark mechanically struck from flint and steel.

Flail or Sweep—A swivelling closing bar on the inside of a gate or gates.

Foil (trefoil, quatrefoil, cinquefoil, etc.)—A leaf-shaped space defined by the curves formed by the cusping in an opening or panel.

Gablet Roof—Inward sloping on all four sides, but with small gables in the upper part of the ends.

Garderobe—Wardrobe. Antiquarian usage applies it to a latrine or privy chamber.

Gargoyle—A carved projecting figure pierced or channelled to carry off the rainwater from the roof of a building.

Gorge—The neck of a bastion or outwork; the rear entrance to a work.

Graffito(i)—Scratched inscription or design.

Guilloche—A geometrical ornament consisting of two or more intertwining wavy bands forming a series of circles.

Guttae—Small stud-like projections under the triglyphs and mutules of the Doric entablature.

Hackbuss—A hand gun with a hook or stop projecting below the barrel.

Helm—Complete barrel or dome-shaped head defence of plate. No longer used in warfare after the middle of the 14th century, it continued in use in the tiltyard into the 16th century.

Hipped Roof—A roof with sloped instead of vertical ends.

Hood Mould (label, drip stone)—A projecting moulding on the face of a wall above an arch, doorway, or window; it may follow the form of the arch or be square in outline.

Husband—The manager of a household or establishment; a housekeeper or steward.

Impost—The projection, often moulded, at the springing of an arch, upon which the arch appears to rest.

In AntisSee Anta.

Jambs—1. The sides of an archway, doorway, window, or other opening.

Jambs—2. In armour, (greaves) plate defences for the legs below the knees.

Joists—The horizontal timbers in a floor, on which the flooring is laid.

LabelSee Hood Mould.

Lintel—The horizontal beam or stone bridging an opening.

Lunette—A round or oval window in a ceiling, vault, or dome.

Merlon—The solid upstanding part of an embattled parapet between the embrasures.

Modillions—Brackets under the cornice in Classical architecture.

Motte—In earthworks, a steep mound, flat-topped, forming the main feature of an 11th or 12th-century castle and originally often surmounted by a timber tower; usually associated with a Bailey (q.v.), hence 'motte-and-bailey' castle.

Motte-and-Bailey Castle. See Motte.

Mullion—A vertical post, standard, or upright dividing an opening into lights.

Muntin—In panelling, an intermediate upright, butting into or stopping against the rails.

Murage—A tax levied for the building or maintenance of town defences.

Murder Hole—A hole in the vault or roof of a gateway for use against attackers.

Murdor or Murderer—a breech-loading cannon of comparatively large bore, possibly mounted on a swivel.

Muremaster or Murenger—An officer whose duty it was to keep the walls of a city in repair.

Newcomen Engine—An atmospheric steam engine invented by Thomas Newcomen (1603–1729).

Offset—A ledge formed by the setback of a wall.

Oillet—Small wall openings. The usage here is generally to the small rounded enlargements of the extremities of arrow slits.

Pediment—A low-pitched gable used in Classical and Renaissance architecture above a portico, at the end of a building, or above doors, windows, niches, etc.; sometimes the gable angle is omitted, forming a broken pediment, or the horizontal members are omitted, forming an open pediment. A curved gable-form is sometimes used in this way.

Pelta—A device, common in mosaic, based on the crescentic Amazonian shield of this name.

Pilaster—A shallow pier of rectangular section attached to the wall.

Plinth—The projecting base of a wall or column, generally chamfered or moulded at the top.

Porta Decumana—The rear gate of a Roman fortress.

Porta Principalis Dextra—This and the porta principalis sinistra were the two lateral gates of a Roman fortress, linked by the main cross street, via principalis. The gate lay to the right as one looked towards the porta praetoria from the headquarters building.

Porta Principalis SinistraSee Porta Principalis Dextra.

Portcullis—A movable gate, rising and falling in vertical grooves in the jambs of an archway.

Portico—A covered entrance to a building, colonnaded, either constituting the whole front of the building or forming an important feature.

Purlin—In roof construction, a horizontal timber resting on the principal rafters of a truss, and forming an intermediate support for the common rafters.

Quadrilobate—Having four lobes.

Quoins—The dressed stones at the angle of a building, or distinctive brickwork in this position.

Rampart—An artificial defensive bank.

Responds—The half-columns or piers at the ends of an arcade or abutting a single arch.

Reveal—The internal side surface of a recess, especially of a doorway or window opening.

Rustication—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 square blocks of stone or broad projecting bands.

Saker—A type of cannon of about 3½ins. bore, smaller than a demi-culverin.

Sallet or Salade—A light open headpiece, though sometimes with a vizor, usually worn in conjunction with a separate bevor. It is characterised by a tail.

Scarp—In fortification, an artificial defensive slope facing away from the defenders; particularly the inner slope of a defensive ditch, of which the opposite outer slope is the counter-scarp.

Serpentine—A type of light cannon.

Sherd—A fragment of pottery.

Shoulder-headed—Having a lintel supported on corbels each with a concave profile.

Splay—A sloping face making an angle of more than a right angle with another face, as in internal window-jambs, etc.

Splints—In armour terminology, skeletal plate defences for the limbs, probably pre-assembled for ease of arming, providing part as against full protection for reasons of lightness and, presumably, economy.

Straight Joint—A vertical joint in a wall continuing through two or more courses.

String—A projecting moulded band across a wall, also string-course, string-mould. In a staircase, the bottom member supporting the treads.

Styca—A base silver or bronze Northumbrian coin of the 7th–9th centuries.

Tie Beam—The horizontal transverse beam in a roof, tying together the feet of pairs of rafters to counteract thrust.

Timber-framed Building—A building of which the walls are built of open timbers and the interstices filled in with brickwork or lath and plaster ('wattle and daub'), the whole often covered with plaster or boarding.

Transom—An intermediate horizontal bar of stone or wood across a window opening. The horizontal member of a door frame beneath a fanlight.

TrefoilSee Foil.

Triglyphs—Blocks with vertical channels, placed at intervals along the frieze of the Doric entablature.

Truss—A number of timbers framed together to bridge a space, to be self-supporting, and to carry other timbers.

Vaulting—An arched ceiling or roof of stone or brick, sometimes imitated in wood and plaster. A ribbed vault is a framework of arched ribs carrying the covering of 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 being thus divided into six compartments, and is termed sexpartite.

Voussoirs—The wedge-shaped stones forming an arch.

Wall Plate—A timber laid lengthwise on the wall to receive the ends of the rafters and joists. In timber framing the studs too are tenoned into it.

Weathering (to sills, tops of buttresses, etc.)—A sloping surface for casting off water.

Weather Moulding—A moulding projecting from the face of a wall to cast off water.