Glossary for the Roughwood Churches Album

Back to Instructions

AbacusTop of the capital
AltarA holy table used for communion.
Altar TombMonument used for an altar
ApseSemi-circular east end of a chancel or chapel, usually Norman in an ancient church
ArcadeA range of arches supported by columns.
AumbryA cupboard or recess in which are stored the sacred vessels used for the administration of Holy Communion, or which once contained holy relics.
BaldacchinoAn ornamental structure in the shape of a canopy, supported by four columns, built over a church altar, and usually decorated with statues and other ornaments.
BalusterPillar with the centre large than the ends.
Barge BoardsThe woodwork covering the ends of rafters of porches etc
Barrel Roof Continuous round-arched vault.
BasilicaIn Roman architecture, a public building for assemblies, especially tribunals, rectangular in plan, entered on a long side. In Christian architecture, an early church somewhat resembling the Roman basilica; usually entered from one end with an apse at the other creating an axial plan.
BattlementIndented parapet.
Broach SpireSpire without a parapet at its base.
ButtressProjecting additional support to a wall.
CapitalThe top part of a pillar or column.
Chancel Eastern part of a church containing the choir and main altar (sanctuary).
Chantry Chapel Mediaeval chapel endowed for the celebration (chanting) of masses, especially for the soul of the founder of the chapel.
Chapel of EaseA church built to accommodate those living at a distance from the parish church.
ChevronZigzag moulding.
Clerestory Uppermost storey standing above the aisle roof, pierced by windows, sometimes with a triforium beneath.
Consecration CrossOne of the twelve marks anciently sculptured or painted on the walls or pillars of a new church, and anointed with chrism (holy oil) at the consecration of the church.
Corbel Stone bracket, usually moulded or carved, often with angels or human heads.
Credence TableSide table for bread and wine.
Crocket Small decorative leafy sculpture mainly used on the outer curve of arches in the 13th and 14th centuries.  They have no architectural function and were used on cathedrals in imitation of the bishop's crozier (also derived from the French "croc" which means "hook").
CrossingThe space at the intersection of the nave, chancel, and transepts of a church; often surmounted by a crossing tower or dome.
Cruciform In the shape of a cross, often used to describe the plan of a church.
CryptAn underground chamber.
CurvilinearFlowing tracery of windows as seen in the latter period of the Decorated style.
CuspProjecting points in Gothic arches and tracery.
Decorated Middle phase of Gothic architecture, characterised by elaborate window tracery and naturalistic carving c 1250-1350.
Diaper workOrnamental work, representing flowers etc.
Doom Painting of the Last Judgement often depicted on mediaeval walls, usually over the chancel arch.
Dormitory A pseudonym for a room containing tombs, typically a space reserved for the members of a local landed family.
Easter SepulchreFor placing crucifix from Good Friday until Easter Day.
Early English First phase of Gothic architecture dominant after Norman, characterised by the earliest pointed arches and simple lancet windows c1190-1250.
EstoileA star, usually of six wavy points.  Where there are more they are alternately straight and wavy.
Flying ButtressMasonry support consisting usually of a pier or buttress standing apart from the main structure and connected to it by an arch.
FoliatedImitation of flowers, or cusping of an arch.
FrescoesMural paintings.
Gothic Architecture which flourished from about the late 12th century until the English Reformation in 1540, characterised by the pointed arch.
Gothic Revival Rediscovery by the Victorians of mediaeval Gothic style.
Gothick 18th century fashion based upon a fanciful interpretation of mediaeval Gothic.
HagioscopeOblique opening in wall for watching the elevation of the Host (also called a squint).
Hatchments Diamond shaped boards bearing a coat of arms of a deceased person.  They were displayed on his house between death and burial and afterwards laid up in the parish church, a practice which began in the 17th century.
Lancet Narrow pointed window of the Early English period.
LecternA reading desk.
MinsterThe vernacular Old English of 'monasterium', usually applied to mother churches manned by secular priests covering a 'parochia' or parish.
MisericordMisericords are small 'comfort' ledges fitted under tip up stalls, designed to give a resting point for monks and others who had to stand for long periods during long medieval services. These were often ornately carved.
MullionDivision between lights of window, screens, etc.
Nave Main body of the church west of the chancel used by the congregation (from the Latin, navis, a ship).
OgeeRecumbent S-shaped curve forming arches and gables, a hallmark of the late Decorated period.
ParapetLow (usually) wall at the base or edge of a roof.
ParviseRoom above a porch.
Perpendicular Final phase of Gothic architecture, characterised by large windows, flattened arches, impressive towers and fan vaulting c1350-1540.
Piscina Recess with basin and drain for washing the sacred vessels.
Reredos Wall or screen behind the altar, usually ornamented with painting or carving.
ReticulatedNet-work tracery.
Rib Projecting feature of a vault which is sometimes ornamental, sometimes structural.
Rood Cross or crucifix placed between the chancel and nave. A rood screen separates the two parts of a church and is often painted or carved.
Royal Arms Arms of the monarch usually painted on wood or canvas which became compulsory in churches after the Reformation.
Sanctuary Most sacred part of the chapel or church, around the altar.
Sedilia Recessed seats in the south wall of the chancel for the priest, deacon and sub-deacon.
SoffitThe underside of an arch, etc.
SpandrelThe space between the head of an arch and the frame in which it is set; also, the space left between two adjoining arches, typically triangular.
SquintSee hagioscope.
StoupNiche for consecrated water.
String CourseA horizontal band of projecting stonework on the surface of a wall.
Tester Also called a sounding board. Structure over a pulpit to direct sound forward.
TraceryOrnamental stone ribs in the upper parts of window and in circular windows.
TranseptA structure forming the transverse part of a cruciform church, crosses the nave at right angles.
TransomHorizontal mullion or crossbar.
TrefoilTracery of three-cusped foliation.
TriforiumGallery of arcade under a clerestory.
TriptychA set of three paintings often on panels that are related in subject matter, often seen as a backdrop to the high altar in a church.  Renaissance altarpieces often followed this format, with the two outer panels hinged so that they could fold like doors in front of the main, center panel.  From the Greek tri- "three" + ptychē "fold".
Tympanum Space between the lintel and arch of a doorway or opening.
Vault Stone ceiling formed like arches.
VestryA small room, attached to a church, in which vestments are kept and in which the clergy and choir robe themselves.
Waggon roofRoof with a semi-circular section.

Visitors to this album since June 2003

This is a page from the Roughwood British Churches Album

If you would like to purchase any of the images featured here or commission others of this church, please click here.

If you found this page using a search engine or other link, please use the icons below to link to one of the main sections of the Roughwood web site:

Click here to view the Roughwood Photograph Album
Photo Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Antique Postcard Album
Postcard Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Mill Album
Mill Album

Click here to return to the Roughwood Homepage

Click here to view the Roughwood Garden Album
Garden Album

Click here to view the Roughwood Churches Album
Church Album

Click here to view the Roughwood genealogy pages


Please do not reproduce or store any of the pictures on this site without asking first.