An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1981.

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'Glossary', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central( London, 1981), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

'Glossary', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central( London, 1981), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

"Glossary". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in City of York, Volume 5, Central. (London, 1981), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.


Terms for which a sufficient interpretation is given in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 5th ed. (1964), have not been included.

Achievement–In heraldry, the shield accompanied by the appropriate external ornaments, helm, crest, mantling, supporters, etc.

Anthemion–Honeysuckle or palmette ornament in Classical architecture.

ArchDepressed–Struck from a centre or centres well below the line of springing.

Flat or straight–Having the soffit horizontal.

Four-centred, 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.

Ogee–A pointed arch of four or more arcs, the two uppermost being reversed.

Relieving–An arch, generally of rough construction, placed in the wall above the true arch or head of an opening, to relieve it of most of the superincumbent weight.

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

Skew–Spanning between responds not diametrically opposite.

Stilted–An arch with its springing line raised above the level of the imposts.

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

Two-centred–Two arcs struck from centres on the springing line, and meeting at the apex with a point.

Ashlar Piece–A short vertical member at the lower angle of a roof, rising from the inner end of a sole-piece to join the underside of a common rafter.

Ashlar Post–A short vertical member at the lower angle of a roof truss, rising from a tie-beam or sole-plate to join the underside of a principal rafter.

BalusterSplat–Of flat cross-section and cut to a shaped outline.

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

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.

Bay–The main divisions of a building or feature, on plan or in elevation, defined by recurring structural members, as in an arcade, a fenestrated facade or a timber frame.

BeamCross–In a ceiling, placed transversely across a building.

Dragon–In a ceiling, placed diagonally to support joists forming jetties on two adjacent sides of a building.

Longitudinal–In a ceiling, parallel to the long axis of the building; when placed approximately centrally called axial or spine.

BondSee Brick-work.

Bottom Rail–The lowest horizontal timber of a door, partition, window sash, etc.

Brace–In timber construction a member placed diagonally within a framework to make it rigid.

Arch–Used in pairs in a roof truss, meeting centrally below a tie-beam or collar to form an arched shape (Fig. 138).

Downward–Between a post and a lower horizontal member (Fig. 3b).

Passing–Of considerable length, passing across other members of a truss and usually parallel to the rafters (Fig. 6a).

Scissor–Used in pairs in a roof truss, crossing each other diagonally (Fig. 6b).

Upward–Between a post and an upper horizontal member (Fig. 3a).

Wind–Between principal rafters and purlins of a roof.

Bressummer–An horizontal timber forming the direct support of the wall of an upper storey, usually the lintel of a fireplace or the sill of a jettied wall.

Bricks and Brick-work

English Bond–A method of laying bricks so that alternate courses appear as all headers and all stretchers on the wall face.

English Garden Wall Bond–In which three courses of stretchers to one course of headers appear on the wall face.

Flemish Bond–In which alternate headers and stretchers in each course appear on the wall face.

Stretching Bond–In which only stretchers appear on the wall face.

Tumbled–In a gable parapet, a series of triangular areas of brickwork laid at right angles to the slope of the roof.

Buttresses–Projecting masonry or brickwork support to a wall.

Angle–Two meeting, or nearly meeting, at right-angles at a corner.

Diagonal–Projecting diagonally at a corner.

Lateral–At a corner of a building and axial with one wall.

Casement–1. A wide hollow moulding in a window jamb, etc.; 2. the hinged part of a window which opens sideways.

Cavetto–A hollow moulding, in profile a quarter-circle.

Chalice–The name used in the Inventory to distinguish the pre-Reformation type of Communion cup with a shallow bowl from the post-Reformation cup with a deeper bowl.

Chamfer–The small plane formed when a sharp edge or arris is cut away, usually at an angle of 45°; hollow chamfer, when the plane is concave; sunk chamfer, when it is recessed.

Cheek-Piece–In open string stairs (see Staircase), a rectangular or shaped block covering the ends of the steps between treads and risers.

Coffers–Sunk panels in ceilings, vaults, domes and arch-soffits.

Collar, Collar-Beam–In a roof, an horizontal member tying together a pair of rafters at a height some way above wall-plate level.

Console–A bracket with a compound-curved outline.

Coped Slab–A slab of which the upper face is ridged down the middle, and sometimes hipped at each end.

Cover Paten–A cover to a Communion cup, used as a paten.

Crown-Post–In a roof truss, a vertical post standing centrally on a tie-beam to give direct support to a collar-purlin. It may have a jowled head and be tenoned into the collar above (Fig. 6f).

Cushion Capital–A capital cut from a cube with its lower angles rounded off to adapt it to a circular shaft.

Dado–The lower part of a wall, often panelled, capped by a rail called a dado-rail.

Diaper–All-over decoration of surfaces with squares, diamonds, or other patterns.

Dog-Leg StaircaseSee Staircase.

Dog-Tooth Ornament–A typical 13th-century carved enrichment consisting of a series of pyramidal flowers of four petals; often used to enrich hollow mouldings.

Drawbar–A stout timber for securing a door; it fits in a long tunnel in one jamb whence it can be pulled, across the door, to engage in a socket in the opposite jamb.

Dressings–The building materials specially chosen or treated defining or emphasising the architectural features of an elevation.

Gauging–In brickwork, cutting and rubbing bricks to a particular shape. Specially made soft bricks are used for the purpose.

Groining, Groined VaultSee Vaulting.

Ground Sill–The lowest horizontal timber on which a wall or partition is erected.

Guilloche–A geometrical ornament consisting of two or more undulating bands intertwining to form a series of circles.

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

Hall–In a mediaeval house, the principal room, often open to the roof.

Hammer-Beam–Horizontal bracket of a timber roof projecting at wall-plate level (as if a tie-beam with the middle part cut away); it is braced and helps to diminish lateral pressure by reducing the roof span.

Handrail–The handhold supported on a staircase balustrade. At a landing, a ramped handrail rises in a concave curve and then continues horizontally; in an open ramp the whole depth of the handrail follows this shape, but in a blind ramp the underside continues in an unbroken straight line. An S-ramped handrail has alternate concave and convex curves as it rises to a landing.

Hipped Roof–A roof with sloping instead of vertical ends. Half-hipped, a roof with ends partly vertical, and partly sloping.

Hog-Back–A type of late Saxon stone grave-cover shaped with a curved ridge forming a 'hog-back'.

Jetty–The projection of an upper storey of a timber-framed building beyond the plane of a lower storey. Jetty bressummer, the sill of a jettied upper storey. Jetty plate, the wall-plate of a storey below a jetty (Fig. 4).

Jowl–An enlargement at the head of a post to facilitate jointing with two horizontal members at right angles to each other.

King-Post–A vertical post extending from a tie-beam or a collar-beam to the apex of a roof, and supporting a ridge-piece.

Kneeler–In a parapeted gable, the stone or block built well into the wall to resist the sliding tendency of the coping.

Knop–In staircase balusters derived from Classical columns, the member equivalent to the sub-base below the column, and placed between it and a shaped pedestal.

Lime-Ash Floor–Of hard mortar-like substance laid on reeds, in York frequently used in attic storeys.

Mandorla–A pointed oval surround, usually for the figure of Christ enthroned or the Virgin, also called an aureole or glory.

Middle Rail–An intermediate horizontal timber dividing a storey into two or more heights of framing and having little structural function.

Mullion–An upright of timber, stone or brick dividing an opening into lights.

Muntin–In panelling, an intermediate vertical timber between panels and butting into or stopping against the rails.

Nail-Head–Small architectural enrichment of pyramidal form, used extensively in 12th-century work.

Necking or Neck Moulding–The narrow moulding round the lower extremity of a capital.

Offset–A ledge formed by the set-back of a wall.

Ogee–A compound curve of two parts, one convex, the other concave.

A double-ogee moulding is formed by two ogee mouldings meeting at their convex ends.

Orders (of arches)–Receding concentric rings of voussoirs.

Orders of Architecture–In Classical or Renaissance architecture, the five systems of columnar architecture, known as Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.

Overmantel–Decorative feature or panel above a fireplace surround.

Oversailing Course–A brick or stone course projecting beyond the course below it.

Patera, -ae–A square or circular flat ornament applied to a frieze, moulding or cornice; in Gothic work it commonly takes the form of a four-lobed leaf or flower.

Pediment–A low-pitched gable used in Classical and Renaissance architecture above a portico, at the end of a building, or above doorways, 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.

Pelican in Piety–A pelican shown, according to the mediaeval legend, feeding her young upon the drops of blood she pecks from her breast.

Pellet Ornament–An enrichment consisting of balls or flat discs.

Plat-BandSee Band.

Principal Rafters–Rafters of larger scantling than common rafters, framed to form trusses at intervals along a roof. Kerb principals, rise only from tie-beam to collar (Fig. 7m). Reduced principals, have the upper part above clasped purlins cut to the size of common rafters (Fig. 7t).

Purlin–In roof construction an horizontal longitudinal member.

Collar Purlin–Placed centrally immediately below the collars and normally supported by a crown-post.

Side Purlin–A member giving direct support to the common rafters, sub-divided as: butt purlin, tenoned into the principal rafters; clasped purlin, carried in the angle between the upper face of the collar and the rafters; through purlin, carried on the backs of the principal rafters.

Queen-Posts–In a roof truss, pair of vertical posts equidistant from the centre line of the roof.

Rail–A horizontal member in the framing of a door, screen, or panel.

Reeding–Decoration formed by parallel and adjacent convex mouldings.

Responds–The half-columns or piers at the ends of an arcade or at each side of a single arch.

Rococo–The latest (18th-century) phase of Baroque, especially in Northern Europe, in which effects of elegance and vivacity are obtained by the use of a decorative repertory further removed from antique architectural forms than the earlier phases and often asymmetrically disposed.

Roll Moulding–A continuous prominent convex moulding.

Roofs (types of)–Designated by the most distinctive component of the roof truss: crown-post, king-post, queen-post, etc.

Common-rafter–A roof with no main trusses, consisting entirely of common rafters of equal size, each pair usually connected by a collar.

Mansard–Characterised in exterior appearance by two pitches, the lower steeper than the upper.

Rubble–Walling of rough unsquared stones or flints. Coursed Rubble, rubble walling with the stones or flints very roughly dressed and levelled up in courses; in Regular Coursed Rubble the stones or flints are laid in distinct courses, being kept to a uniform height in each course.

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.

Scalloped Capital–A development of the cushion capital (q.v.) in which the single cushion is elaborated into a series of truncated ones.

Shaft–A slender column. Shafted jambs, reveals of a wall opening elaborated with one or more shafts, either engaged or detached.

Side-PurlinSee Purlin.

Sill–In timber-framed walls, the lower horizontal member into which the studs are tenoned.

Sole-Piece–A short, horizontal member lying across a wall top, forming the base of a small triangle enclosed by an ashlar-piece and the foot of a common rafter, both of which are framed into it.

Sole-Plate–1. In stone buildings, a short, horizontal member lying across a wall top, forming the base of a small triangle enclosed by an ashlar-post and the foot of a principal rafter, both of which are framed into it. 2. In a timber-framed building, a short horizontal timber forming the junction between a post and a principal rafter. Extended sole-plate, projects inwards and may be tenoned into the back of an arch-brace.

Spandrel Tie–In an arch-braced roof truss a short horizontal or inclined member connecting a post and an arch-brace (Fig. 50).

Springing Line–The level at which an arch springs from its supports.

Stages–The divisions (e.g. of a tower) marked by horizontal stringcourses.

Staircase–A close-string staircase is one having straight-sided raking members into which the treads and risers are housed. An openstring staircase has the outer raking member cut to the shape of the treads and risers, and may have cheek-pieces (q.v.). A false cantilever staircase has treads which overlap sufficiently to conceal raking bearers. A cantilevered staircase has treads set into the wall to one side, and with no other raking support. A dog-leg staircase has adjoining flights running in opposite directions with a common newel. A well staircase has stairs rising round a central opening more or less as wide as it is long.

Stanchions–The upright iron bars in a screen, window, etc.

Stops–Blocks terminating mouldings or chamfers in stone or wood; stones at the ends of labels, string-courses, etc., against which the mouldings finish, frequently carved to represent shields, foliage, human or grotesque masks; also, plain or decorative, used at the ends of a moulding or a chamfer to form the transition thence to the square. Broach, half-pyramidal. Ogee, cut to a double curve. Run-out, dying out gradually. Stepped, with a step or fillet between the chamfer and the stop.

Stoup–A receptacle normally by the doorway of a church, to contain holy water; those remaining are usually in the form of a deeply-dished stone set in a niche or on a pillar.

Straight Joint–A vertical joint in a wall usually signifying different phases of building.

Strapwork–Decoration comprising carved or painted interlacing and intersecting bands, much used in Elizabethan and Jacobean work.

String, String-Course–A projecting moulded band across a wall. See also Staircase.

Strut–In roof construction a vertical or inclined member serving to support another member.

Studs–The common uprights in timber-framed walls.

Swag–Decorated representation of a festoon of cloth or flowers and fruit suspended from both ends.

Symphony–A mediaeval stringed instrument, later known as a hurdygurdy.

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

Tooling–Dressing or finishing a masonry surface with an axe or other tool, usually in parallel lines. Diagonal–in England, often characteristic of Norman masonry. A change from diagonal tooling to vertical has been noted at Wells Cathedral c. 1210 (Arch. J., lxxxv).

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, grouped together, generally over two or more lights or bays. Grid-iron, a form of late Perpendicular tracery in which mullions are crossed by transoms, giving the effect of a grille. Reticulated, formed by repetitive curvilinear quatrefoils or trefoils.

Truss–In roof construction, a rigid framework placed across a building to prevent the roof from spreading and to carry the longitudinal timbers (ridge, purlins) that support the common rafters. Trusses are generally named after a particular feature of their construction, e.g. crown-post, king-post, etc.

Closed truss–One in which the spaces between the timbers are filled, placed at the end of a building or between rooms.

Open truss–One in which the spaces between the timbers are left open, placed in the middle of a room.

Tumbled Brick-work, GableSee Brick-work.

Tusk Tenon–A tenon passing through a mortice and secured by a peg on the farther side of a beam or rafter.

Vaulting–An arched ceiling or roof of stone or brick, sometimes imitated in wood or plaster. Barrel vault, a tunnel vault unbroken in its length by cross vaults. Groined vault (or cross vault), resulting from the intersection of simple vaulting surfaces. Ribbed vault, with a framework of arches carrying the covering of the spaces between them. One bay of vaulting divided into four quarters or compartments is termed quadripartite.

Wall-Plate–A timber laid lengthwise at the wall top to receive the ends of the roof rafters and other joists. In timber framing, the studs are also tenoned into it.

Wave Moulding–A compound moulding formed by a convex curve between two concave curves.

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

Well StaircaseSee Staircase.

Winder–A tread wider at one end than the other, used where a stair turns a corner.

WindowCasement, with hinged glazed panels.

Palladian or Venetian, of three lights, with a tall round-headed middle light and shorter lights on either side, the side lights with flanking pilasters and small entablatures forming the imposts to the arch over the centre light.

Sash or Hung Sash, glazed panels sliding vertically.

Sliding Sash or Yorkshire Sash, with glazed panels sliding horizontally.

Thermae, a semicircular window divided by mullions into three parts; used in the Thermae of Diocletian, Rome.