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
Alb.—Long linen robe, with close sleeves; worn by clerks of
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 ankerite or recluse.
Apparels.—Rectangular pieces of embroidery on alb, amice, etc.
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
Pointed or two-centred:—Two arcs struck from centres on the
springing line, and meeting at the apex with a point.
Segmental-pointed:—A pointed arch, struck from two centres
below the springing line.
Equilateral:—A pointed arch struck with radii equal to the span.
Lancet:—A pointed arch struck with radii greater than the span.
Three-centred, elliptical:—Formed with three arcs, the middle
or uppermost struck from a centre below the springing line.
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 straight lines.
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 jambs.
Archbishops' Vestments.—Buskins, sandals, amice, alb, girdle,
stole, maniple, 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
Archivolt.—In Renaissance architecture, the moulding round
Argent.—In heraldry, white or silver, the latter being the word
used in mediæval English blazonry.
Ashlar.—Masonry wrought to an even face and square edges.
Azure.—In heraldry, blue.
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.
Barge-board.—A board, often carved, fixed to the edge of a
gabled roof, a short distance from the face of the wall.
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-piece worn with camail, sometimes fitted
Bastion.—(Earthworks).—A projection from the general out-line of a fortress or work from which the garrison is able to
see, and defend by a flanking fire the ground before the
ramparts right and left.
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 carving.
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 post-mediæval 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 centuries.
Billety.—In heraldry, a field or charge powdered with billets.
Bishops' Vestments.—Same as an archbishop's (q.v.) but without
pall, and a bishop carries a crosier, and not a cross.
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,
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.
Brattishing.—Ornamental cresting on the top of a screen,
Breccia.—A coarse-grained marble. The local variety is found
in the Malvern Hills.
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
Flemish Bond:—A method of laying bricks so that alternate
headers and stretchers appear in each course on the face of
Broach-stop.—A half-pyramidal stop against a chamfer to bring
out the edge of a stone or beam to a right angle.
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 with both.
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 cable.
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 bascinet.
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-jambs, etc.
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
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 may direct).
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
Cheveron.—In heraldry, a charge resembling a pair of rafters of
a roof; often 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
Chimere.—A vestment consisting of a long, sleeveless gown of
black satin, worn over the rochet, used by post-Reformation
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
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
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, hood-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
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,
Crusily.—In heraldry, covered or powdered with crosslets.
Crutch-truss.—An early form of roof-truss, consisting of two
curved beams (locally called blades), extending from the floor
to the ridge.
Curtain.—The connecting wall between the towers or bastions
of a castle.
Cushion-capital.—A capital cut from a cube by having 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 maniple.
Dexter.—In heraldry, the right-hand side of a shield as held.
Dextra Dei.—The right-hand side of God, generally represented
issuing from clouds.
Diaper.—Decoration of surfaces with squares, diamonds, and
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 newel.
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 sculptured.
E Type of House.—See "Houses."
Eaves.—The under part of a sloping roof overhanging a wall.
Embrasures.—The openings, indents, or sinkings in an embattled
parapet or the recesses for windows, doorways, etc.
Engrailed.—In heraldry, edged with a series of concave curves.
Entablature.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture, the
moulded horizontal super-structure of a wall, colonnade or
opening consisting 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.
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
Farmery. See "Infirmary."
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 as Bars.
Finial.—A formal bunch of foliage or similar ornament at the
top of a pinnacle, gable, canopy, etc.
Foil (trefoil, quatrefoil, cinquefoil, multifoil, etc.).—A leaf-shaped
curve formed by the cusping or feathering in an opening or
Foliated (of a capital, corbel, etc.).—Carved with leaf ornament.
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 head-piece,
carried at the funerals and placed over the tombs of important
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.
Gadrooned.—Enriched with a series of convex ridges, the
converse of fluting, and forming an ornamental edge or
Gargoyle.—A carved projecting figure pierced to carry off the
rain-water from the roof of a building.
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.
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
Gules.—In heraldry, red.
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 plate.
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 partly
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
Houses.—These are classified as far as possible under the following
1. Hall and Cellar Type.—Hall on first floor; rooms
beneath generally vaulted; examples as early as the
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
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
Indent.—The sinking or casement in a slab for a monumental
Indented.—In heraldry, notched like the teeth of a saw.
Invected.—In modern heraldry, edged with a series of convex
Jambs.—1. The sides of an archway, doorway, window, or other
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.
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
Lancet.—A long, narrow window with a pointed head, typical of
the 13th century.
Lenten Veil.—A hanging suspended before the altar during
Lent and taken down on the Wednesday or Thursday before
Leopard.—In heraldry, a lion showing its full face: always
passant (unless otherwise emblazoned), as in the three
leopards of England.
Linen-fold Panelling.—Panelling ornamented with a conventional representation of folded linen.
Lintel.—The horizontal beam or stone bridging an opening.
Lion.—In heraldry, face in profile and (unless otherwise emblazoned) always rampant.
Locker (Aumbry).—A small cupboard formed in a wall.
Loop.—A small narrow light in a turret, etc.; often unglazed.
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 rain.
Lozenge.—In heraldry, a charge like the diamond in a pack of cards.
Luce.—In heraldry, a fish (pike).
Lynchet.—A cultivation terrace on a hillside.
Maniple.—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.
Mantle or Mantling.—In heraldry, a cloth hung over the hinder
part of helm; the edges were fantastically dagged and slit.
Martlet.—A martin (bird), 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
Mass Vestments.—These included the amice, alb, and girdle
(which were worn by all clerks) to which a sub-deacon added
the tunicle and maniple, a deacon the dalmatic, maniple and
stole (over one shoulder only) and the priest the maniple, 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 the
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 cross moline.
Misericorde.—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 long service.
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 breast.
Motte (Earthworks).—A steep mound forming the main feature
of an 11th or 12-century castle.
Mullion.—A vertical post, standard, or upright dividing an
opening into lights.
Muntin.—The intermediate upright in the framing of a door,
screen, or panel, butting into or stopped by the rails.
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
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 16th century.
Orders of Arches.—Receding or concentric rings of voussoirs.
Orders of Architecture.—In Classic or Renaissance architecture, the five types of columnar architecture, known as
Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.
Oriel Window.—A projecting bay-window carried upon corbels
Orle.—In heraldry, a term used to describe a voided scocheon,
or a number of small charges, as martlets or the like.
Orphreys.—Strips of embroidery on vestments.
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 or semi-ellipse in section.
Pale.—In heraldry, a vertical band down the middle of a shield.
Palimpsest.—1. Of a brass; re-used by engraving the back of an
older engraved plate.
2. Of a wall-painting; superimposed on an earlier
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 vestments.
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
Patera-ae.—A flat ornament applied to a frieze, moulding, or
cornice; in Gothic work it commonly takes the form of a
four-lobed leaf or flower.
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.
Pilaster.—A shallow pier attached to the wall.
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.
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
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, maniple, 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.).
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
Purple or Purpure.—One of the colours in heraldry.
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 equidistant from the middle line.
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
Rear-vault.—The space between a rear-arch and the outer stonework of a window.
Rebate (rabbet; rabbit).—A continuous rectangular notch cut on
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.
Rochet.—A white linen vestment with sleeves fastened at the
wrists, used by post-Reformation bishops.
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 intervening
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
Sable.—In heraldry, black.
Sacristy.—A room generally in immediate connection with a
church, in which the holy vessels and other valuables were
Saltire.—In heraldry, an X-shaped cross; also called St.
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.
Scarp (Earthworks).—An artificial cutting away of the ground to
form a steeper slope.
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
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 Mass.
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 held.
Slip-Tiles.—Tiles moulded with a design in intaglio which was
then filled in, before burning, with a clay of a different
Soffit.—The under-side of a staircase, lintel, cornice, arch,
Soffit-cusps.—Cusps springing from the flat soffit of an arched
head, and not from its chamfered sides or edges.
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 similar spaces.
Spere.—A form of screen in a hall, with side-posts forming part
of the roof-truss above, the middle part being commonly
closed by a movable screen.
Spire, Broach-spire, Needle-spire.—The tall pointed termination covered with lead or shingles, 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
surmounted, 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 the parapet.
Splay.—A sloping face making an angle more than a right-angle
with the main surface, as in internal window-jambs, etc.
Springing-Line.—The level at which an arch springs from its
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 seen.
Stages of Tower.—The divisions marked by horizontal stringcourses externally.
Stanchion, Stancheon.—The upright iron bars in a screen,
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 shoulders.
Stops.—Projecting stones at the ends of labels, string-courses,
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-course.—A projecting horizontal band in a wall; usually
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, maniple.
Surcoat.—Coat, usually sleeveless, worn over armour.
Surplice.—A white linen vestment with wide hanging sleeves.
Tabard.—Short loose surcoat, open at sides, with short tab-like
sleeves, sometimes worn with armour, and emblazoned with
arms; distinctive garment of heralds.
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.
Tallat.—A local name for a loft one or more sides of which are
left open to accelerate the drying of hay.
Terminal Figure.—The upper part of a carved human figure
growing out of a column, post, or pilaster, diminishing to the
Tie-Beam.—The horizontal transverse beam in a roof, tying
together the feet of the rafters to counteract the thrust.
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 stalk.
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, Hammer-beam, etc. (q.v.).
Tufa (Calcareous).—A spongy deposit formed by the action of
water on limestone and resembling volcanic tufa or lava.
Tump (Earthworks).—A local name for a mound, generally applied
when there is no accompanying outwork.
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
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 inter-section 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.
Vernicle.—The handkerchief of St. Veronica which bears an
impression of the face of Christ.
Vert.—In heraldry, green.
Vesica Piscis.—A pointed oval frame generally used in mediæval
art to enclose a figure of Christ enthroned.
Vestments (Ecclesiastical).—See alb, amess, amice, apparels, archbishops' vestments, bishops' vestments, canonical quirehabit, cassock, chasuble, chimere, cope, crosier, cross-staff,
dalmatic, deacons' vestments, maniple, mitred abbots' vestments, morse, orphreys, priests' vestments, processional
vestments, quire-habit, rochet, sub-deacons' vestments, stole,
Vizor.—Hinged face-guard of bascinet, salade, close helmet, etc.
Voided.—In heraldry, with the middle part cut away, leaving a
Volute.—A spiral form of ornament.
Voussoirs.—The stones form 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.
Woodman or Woodhouse.—A wild man of the woods, generally
represented naked and hairy.