Lancashire

Churches

 

Introductory page
Latest updates and forthcoming churches
Descriptions of Lancashire churches
Location map and key
Architectural styles through the ages
Sources, acknowledgements and books
Buy books about church architecture
Church architecture websites
Find out about technical terms

 

Learn about the technical terms used in architecture

A - M

  N - Z

 

 

apse

a semi-circular extension, often of a chancel or transept

 

arcade

1. a series of arches

2. a shopping street that is covered, usually with glass

 

architrave

1. the section of the classical entablature that rests on the capital

2. the moulding around a window or door

 

ashlar

square-cut stone blocks, often used as a smooth facing over brick or rubble

 

baldachino

a sheltering canopy, often supported on columns

 

battlement

a parapet on a wall, alternating high and low

 

bay

a section of an elevation as divided by columns, windows, etc.

 

beakhead

Norman moulding with a row of heads (often bird-like) with mouths or beaks biting a roll

 

boss

an ornament placed at the intersection of roof timbers or ribs in a vault

 

box pew

a pew enclosed by tall sides, entered by a door

 

bracket

a piece of supporting stone

 

buttress

a stone, brick or wood structure projecting from a wall, designed to support it by counteracting lateral thrust

 

capital

the moulded head of a column, pier or pilaster

 

chancel

the eastern space in a church where the high altar is usually found

 

chancel arch

an arch at the west end of the chancel that leads from the nave or the crossing

 

chapel of ease

a chapel for those living a distance from the main church

 

chevron

a zig-zag ornament characteristic of Norman architecture

 

clerestory

also clearstory: the upper part of the nave wall of a church pierced by windows

 

cusps

the projecting point between foils

 

dagger

a dagger shaped tracery motif with two pointed lobes, one long and blade-like

 

drip-course

a moulded stone projection, designed to protect the wall below from water damage

 

embattled

having battlements

 

faience

glazed tilework

 

fielded panel

a wooden panel with a raised square or rectangular piece surrounded by moulding

 

finial

a decorative feature at the very top of a part of a building

 

metope

in the Doric frieze, the space between the triglyphs

 

guttae

in the Doric frieze, small projections below the triglyphs

 

gallery

in a church, an upper balcony with seating that overlooks the nave

 

hagioscope

see squint

 

hoodmould

projecting stone moulding above a door, window etc. designed to protect it by throwing off water

 

lancet window

a tall, pointed window with no tracery

 

lucarne

a small window in a spire or roof

 

mandorla

an pointed vertical almond/oval shape framing the figure of Christ

 

mouchette

a curved version of the dagger motif in tracery

 

mullion

one of the vertical posts that divides a window into "lights" 

 

 

nailhead

a C13 moulding of repeated pyramidal motifs

 

narthex

an enclosed vestibule at the main entrance to the church

 

nave

the western part of the body of a church, often flanked by aisles

 

oculus

a circular window

 

ogee

a continuous double curve; an elongated "S" shape

 

patera

a flat, round, relief ornament

 

pediment

a gable shape in classical architecture, often triangular, though sometimes with a curved top or "broken" on one edge

 

pier

a support whose section is often round, square or octagonal

 

pilaster

a rectangular column or pillar strip projecting in relief from a wall

 

pinnacle

a finial, usually tapering, often placed on the upper corners of towers, or on the tops of buttresses

 

piscina

a bowl or basin with a drain usually set into the wall near the high altar, used for washing the communion or mass vessels

 

porte-cochere

a covered entrance to a building into which coaches can be driven

 

quatrefoil

a 4-lobed shape formed by cusping in tracery

 

quoins

blocks, usually of stone, up the corner of a building, often in an alternating pattern, and frequently rusticated

 

reredos

a decorative (usually painted or sculpted) screen behind an altar

 

rusticated

masonry cut to appear strong, often by having deeply cut joints or a deliberately roughened stone finish

 

sedilia

seats built into the south side of the chancel, usually 3, often graded by height and decoration, for the priests

 

squint

a hole cut through stonework to allow a view of the high altar from a location that could otherwise not see it: also called a hagioscope

 

tester

a horizontal sounding board or canopy above the pulpit, designed to deflect the priest's voice out to the congregation

 

tracery

the pattern made by stonework in the top part of a window: such pattern in wood, or on the surface of a wall, etc.

 

transept

an extension of a church at right angles to the nave

 

transom

a horizontal bar dividing a window

 

trefoil

literally "3 leaves": a three lobed shape formed by cusps (q.v.)

 

triglyph

in the Doric frieze, a block with vertical grooves

 

Tuscan order

a version of the Doric order with unfluted column and plain frieze

 

vesica piscis

a vertical pointed oval shape

 

voussoirs

the wedge-shaped stones that form the curve of an arch

 

waterleaf

a flowing, gently curving leaf-form characteristic of C12 capitals

Photographs and text Tony Boughen