Planning: Glossary of Architectural terms
The highest, pointed part of a gable.
A raised panel below a window or opening.
A series or row of arches.
The lowest part of the entablature. The term is also commonly used to describe a moulded surround to a door or window opening. An eared architrave has the surround turning outwards, then upwards before returning horizontally along the top of the opening it is framing.
Bands or mouldings surrounding an arched opening.
An architectural style that was fashionable during the 1920s and 30s. The movement some times used modern materials such as cast concrete and the style suggested modernity, technology and motion. Stained and leaded glass was sometimes used and is often of a creative, geometric design.
A style of art and architecture that came into prominence in Paris in 1895. It was a break away from past styles of decoration and drew inspiration from natural forms such as plants and waveforms. Its influence is visible in some Arts and Crafts and Edwardian buildings, particularly in terms of decorative glazing and interiors. The movement lost its momentum by 1914.
Arts and Crafts:
Late 19th and early 20th century architectural style cased on the revival of traditional crafts (such as carpentry, glassmaking etc) and natural materials.
Dressed stonework of any type, where the blocks have squared sides, carefully squared corners, and are laid in regular courses, usually with fine joints. The faces of the stones, called ashlars, are generally smooth and polished, but can be tooled or have a decorative treatment.
A wooden glazing bar which divides a window that can be functional and straight, as on a sash window, or curved and decorative.
A parapet or stair rail composed of uprights (balusters) carrying a coping or railing.
Boards fixed at the gable ends of roofs to conceal and protect the ends of the roof timbers. They may project over the wall face and are frequently highly decorative.
An exuberant style of art and architecture prevalent in the 17th and 18th centuries, but largely confined to mainland Europe with very few examples in Yorkshire or indeed Britain. This style reappeared in England around 1900 and had a short-lived revival.
The inclined surface of a wall, most pronounced at the base.
A parapet with upstanding pieces and indentations (called crenels). Castellated, like the turrets and defensive walls of castles.
A window which projects on the outside of a building. A canted bay window has a flat front and angled sides.
The number of windows in a horizontal line across a façade.
A term applied to windows, arches, balustrades etc that are applied to a wall for decorative purposes but are blocked with recessed stone, brick etc.
A plain course forming a low parapet on top of the cornice, usually concealing a gutter.
Term used for a curved wall or window.
Any projection from the face of a wall whose purpose is to support a structure or object.
At the point where an octagonal spire meets a square tower, the four angles of the tower not covered by the base of the spire are filled by an inclined mass of masonry known as the broach.
Term used for a pediment with an incomplete or missing base.
A mass of masonry built against or projecting from a wall either to stabilise, from the lateral thrust of an arch roof or vault, or to enable the wall to be thinner.
A bell tower, usually free standing.
The crowning feature or head of a column, pilaster or gate pier.
Although it can occupy the same position as a moulding (e.g. around the edge of a panel, or as part of an entablature), a capping is where the stone is carved with an ornate repeated pattern rather than being given a decorative profile. Capping is another word for a capital.
A window that is side hung to open outwards or inwards on hinges.
Narrow face created when the edge of a corner in stonework is cut at an angle, usually 45 degrees, but sometimes concave or convex. Where two corners of stonework have been cut away, a double chamfer is created.
The chancel is the continuation of the nave of a church to the east of the crossing. Inside, it is where the altar stands.
Cill or Sill:
The horizontal feature at the bottom of a window or door that throws water away from the face of a building.
A projecting horizontal band that connects cills across the face of a wall.
Clasped buttresses support the ends of the walls at either side of a corner and adjoin each other at a right angle.
The employment of the symmetry and system of proportioning used in Ancient Greek and Roman architecture that was revived in the Renaissance and was popular in England during the 18th and 19th centuries. English 'Classical' or 'Neoclassical' buildings have a regular, formal appearance and symmetrical facades and might also incorporate Classical details such as an entablature at the wall top or pilasters dividing bays. This revival also sometimes incorporated the five 'orders' of architecture that vary in terms of the system of proportioning and degree of the decoration.
A small, column-like shaft.
An upright vertical member that usually stands clear of the main body of a building. Usually circular in cross-section and is a common motif of Classic architecture.
Invented by the Romans as a mixture of Ionic and Corinthian orders, the Composite is the largest and most heavily decorated orders of Classical architecture.
An ornamental scrolled bracket, normally in stone or timber, usually supporting a projecting lintel, fascia.
Top course of a wall designed to prevent water penetrating into the core of the wall. Copes are often shaped ie. half - round or saddle - backed, and can frequently be quite decorative. Tabled coping usually refers to a flat copingstone. Tabled coping is usually seen on a gable end of a building as opposed to on a freestanding wall.
A projecting block that supports a parapet or sill. Often carved, particularly in Gothic Architecture, where heads and foliage are common.
The largest of the five 'orders' of Roman Classic Architecture, which was also employed in British Classicism. The capitals of columns and pilasters have an acanthus leaf decoration and the entablature is heavily decorated with a deep cornice supported by modillions.
The top course of a wall or architectural member (such as a doorcase) that is sometimes moulded and/or projects from the wall.
An ornamental ridge to the top of a wall or roof.
A projecting knob of stylised foliage, associated mainly with Gothic architecture. Crockets are regularly spaced on spires and pinnacles.
Rectangular projecting blocks (dentils) tightly spaced like teeth, usually below cornices (from Latin, Denticulus, a tooth).
The block ending a parapet or balustrade.
Courses of slates of a roof or stone of a wall that diminish in size towards the ridge of the roof or wall top respectively.
The largest of the three 'orders' of Ancient Greek Classic architecture, later used by the Romans and in British Classicism.
Any window that projects from the pitch of a roof.
A horizontal moulding of the side of a building designed to throw water clear of the wall. Used in vernacular and Gothic architecture.
A finial that projects downward rather than upward. Can be found inside arches or below the apex of a gable.
Term describes any gable that is curved.
Period during the reign of King Edward VII (1901-1910) where architecture was chiefly influenced by the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau styles and was therefore less dependent on the past for its inspiration (unlike the revivalist styles of the Victorian period).
In Classic architecture, the entablature horizontally spans the tops of columns or pilasters. It consists of three parts; the lowest is the architrave, the highest is the cornice and the frieze is in between.
Glazed area above a doorway, designed to brighten the hallway inside. A type of transom.
The broad, horizontal board over a shop-front that carries the name of the shop. Can be ornamental.
The layout of windows on an elevation.
A crowning decoration, usually the uppermost ornament and is therefore mostly found at the apexes of gables.
A spirelet of timber, lead cast iron etc rising from a roof ridge rather than a tower, and often acting as a ventilator.
A series of shallow concave vertical grooves along the shaft of a column.
A freestanding buttress that supports the wall by way of a semi arch.
Middle section of the entablature at the top of a wall. It can be the widest component of the entablature and can be decorated.
The vertical part of the end wall of a building contained within the roof slope, usually triangular but can be any 'roof' shape.
A small gable used as a decorative feature.
Covering the period from 1714 to 1830 when architecture was influenced by the principles (such as proportioning and fenestration) of Rome and Ancient Greece. This style of Classicism is particularly restrained in its ornamentation. Buildings often have a regularly spaced grid of openings and eight pane timber sash windows are common.
A Victorian revival of the Gothic style of architecture dating from the 12th through 16th centuries. Characterised by pointed and/or ogee arch openings and traceried windows.
Refers to British Classical architecture that draws from Ancient Greek rather than Roman architecture.
Stonework, hammered to a projecting rock-faced finish, sometimes also known as bull-faced.
Pitched roof without gables, where all sides of the roof meet at an angle.
Projecting moulding over an arch or lintel designed to throw off water.
A capital that supports an arch.
A moulding that links the imposts of openings.
One of the three 'orders' of Ancient Greek architecture and one of the five Roman 'orders', with slight variations between the two. Ionic columns, pilasters and entablature are sometimes used in British Classical architecture, along with the other 'orders' which all have different systems of proportioning and styles (and degrees) of decoration.
A style of architecture that is an English romanticism of Italian architecture. Typical features are tall, often round-headed openings; shallow pitch, frequently hipped roofs to give the appearance of there being a flat roof.
Victorian revival of the grand, sumptuous style that appeared in the early 1600s. Typified by Dutch gables, mullioned windows, and ornate stonework.
The sides of a window or door opening. Monolithic jambs are usually constructed of a solid slab of stone.
A European interpretation of Japanese architecture. It was fashionable in the late 19th century and is particularly associated with Art Nouveau.
The large stone at the centre of the arch, often larger and decorated.
Stone at the bottom end of the coping at the gable end of a roof that projects over the wall below. Usually moulded or carved.
A slender pointed arch window.
A small glazed turret lighting a roof or dome.
A roof that is built up against a vertical wall and has one slope only.
The framed part of a window opening. A window with two mullions would have three openings and would hence be called a three light window.
The horizontal beam bridging an opening in a wall.
A small dormer in a spire or tower roof.
Where a parapet, gallery or section of wall projects and is carried on corbels. While machicolation on Gothic revival style buildings such as churches is decorative, machicolation originally had openings between the corbels through which missiles can be dropped as they were a defensive feature of castles, forts etc which was introduced in the Middle Ages.
A roof with a double slope in which the top slope is shallower.
Margins frame an opening. The collective name for the cill, jambs and lintel.
The smaller panes of glass found along the perimeter of some windows.
A small bracket, usually scrolled, set at regular intervals in the underside of a cornice.
The shaped profile given to any feature that projects from the face of a wall.
Upright member dividing the lights of a window.
The vertical, central part of a door between the panels. A muntin door is one that is hinged on either side and opens in the middle.
The western limb of a church, where the congregation meets.
A recess in a wall, usually for holding a statue or urn.
A small circular panel or window.
A double curve shape composed of two curves in opposite directions ('S' shaped) without a break; used on both roofs and arches and as a profile on mouldings.
A revival of medieval style timber framing and a movement away from austerity. Contemporary and associated with the Arts and Crafts movement.
A pediment where the sides stop short of meeting at the apex or crown.
Describes a section of wall or parapet where the decoration incorporates openings as part of its pattern. Also applicable to decorative joinery or ironwork, which is described as being open if it has openings in it.
A bay window that projects from an upper floor only, normally carried on corbels.
A sunken section of wall or door. Can have moulded edges.
A wall that rises above another structure such as a roof or terrace.
A roof that is hipped at either end.
Triangular space at the top of a wall or over a doorway that looks like a gable. Sometimes contains decoration.
A Gothic style of the 14th and 15th centuries (or a revival of) with an emphasis on the vertical element and right angles.
The flat version of a column, consisting of a slim rectangle projecting from a wall. Often used on shop frontages.
A small spire, usually pyramidal, often crocketed.
Hammer dressed stone with a rough triangular profile, like the pitch of a roof.
A projecting stone string usually found between the floors of a building.
A porch in the form of a Classical colonnade (row of columns), usually described in terms of the number of columns.
A traceried opening made up of four cusps or lobes.
Queen Anne Revival:
A late Victorian revival of an 18th century style influenced by the tall ornate houses of Dutch merchants. The style is typified by irregular and unsymmetrical facades and prominent gables.
The stone blocks on the outside corner of a building that are usually differentiated from the adjoining walls by material, texture, colour, size or projection.
The last ten years of the Georgian era, where bowed walls and bowed windows were used.
The sculpture of stone or metal where figures and objects project slightly from the background. This type of decoration can be found on friezes, plaques etc.
The inward plane of a door or window opening between the edge of the external wall and the window or doorframe.
Stonework dressed in such a way to make it look natural.
A type of moulding where the profile is circular.
A round window with radiating windows arranged around it like petals. Rose windows are often traceried.
A circular building or room, implies a domed roof.
The treatment of stone in a way which emphasises its appearance. This is usually done by leaving stone rock faced or otherwise rough and is usually found in Classical (imitating Italian Renaissance buildings) and Italianate buildings. Rustication also describes smooth stone with deep horizontal grooves that is used for buildings erected towards the end of the 19th century onwards.
The stone at the apex of a gable.
A form of window in which two sashes, separated by parting beads, slides within a frame, the case, counterbalanced by weights hung on ropes, the sash cords. The glazing slides in two parallel frames within the case, the upper sliding outward of the lower. The projection of the top sash beyond the bottom sash traps a certain amount of shadow that gives the sash and case window a very satisfying 3-D effect.
Ornament in the form of a shell, often found above doorways.
An arch that is not a complete semi-circle.
Square blocks, usually of granite, forming a street surface. Setts are set on edge, close together, and tapered slightly towards the bottom. Sides are never quite smooth, and laying them to achieve a tight joint requires a high degree of skill.
A shaft is a mullion which is treated as a colonette or another member and is decorated in line with the overall style of the building.
See cill band.
Coursed stonework where the squared stones have not been fully dressed (i.e. hammered into a regular, uniform shape) and the coursing is varied by smaller filler stones or snecks.
The underside or lining to an overhanging roof.
Triangular shaped infill contained by the side of an arched opening.
Astragals of a window or fanlight which radiate from a central point, much like the spokes of a wheel.
The panel below the sill of a shop window.
Where an arch is carried by two vertical sections (not the jambs or imposts) which have the same moulding or archivolt as the arch.
Stone String or Stringcourse:
A shallow (usually stone) moulding continued across a whole facade which may be defined by its position e.g. sill or impost course.
A pilaster which is flush or near flush with the wall, but is made out of differently finished stone to the wall.
Ornament (usually a relief) in the form of a garland or fruit or flowers, suspended from both ends so that the centre sags and the ends hang vertically.
Classical style principal elevation to a monumental building (traditionally a temple or church) modelled on the temples of ancient Greece and Rome. Temple fronts are dominated by porticos that carry a giant pediment.
A jamb made up of three stones. The upper and lower stones are vertical, while the middle stone lies horizontal and 'ties' the jamb into the wall.
An ornamental pattern of stonework supporting the glazing in a Gothic window.
In a cruciform church, the transepts form the arms of the cross.
A horizontal bar of stone or wood that separates a window from a window below it or a fanlight from a door opening.
An ornament, symbol, or architectural form having the appearance of a trifoliate leaf.
A window made up of three mullioned lights, often with a wider central light.
A broad pointed arch that is typically found on Tudor and Tudor Revival buildings.
The original Tudor period preceded the Jacobean period, and buildings in this style are similar but the Tudor revival buildings are plainer in their decoration than Jacobean revival buildings, but share details such as mullioned windows, coped gables, and kneelers.
A tower or tower-shaped projection from a building.
The area enclosed by the mouldings of a pediment, often richly carved or decorated.
Similar to a bargeboard, a valance is a shallow decorative metal strip which hangs below the edge of a roof.
A three light window where the central light is the tallest (or largest) of the three and usually has a round head.
An open shelter or gallery in front of a building with a lean-to roof supported by verticals of timber or iron.
A tooling on the face of stone that appears as worm tracks.
An indigenous building constructed of locally available materials, to local detail, usually without the benefit of an architect. They were built for purpose by stonemasons.
A late Victorian revival of the vernacular style that used motifs such as rows of mullion windows, kneelers, chamfered openings, drip moulds, hood moulds and coped roofs.
A distant view through or along an avenue or opening.
The radiating wedge-shaped blocks forming an arch.