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Article

Small apse-like chapel, usually projecting from the eastern side of a transept (see Church, fig.).

Article

Aisle  

Longitudinal passage between seats in a church, auditorium or similar building. In a church, the term refers more commonly to the space flanking and parallel to the nave, usually separated from it by columns or piers (see Church, fig.).

Article

Stephen Heywood

Term applied to medieval ecclesiastical architecture and referring to the deliberate use of differing pier forms in an arcade. Alternation is found in aisled churches throughout western Europe from the 11th to the 14th century. Its purpose is to articulate internal elevations through the subdivision of the main arcades and in some instances to emphasize certain liturgically important areas. In its simplest form the alternating system consists of the use of both the column (cylindrical) and the pier (square or rectangular in section). In antiquity these two types of support had specific functions that were almost always observed: the column supported the horizontal entablature and the pier supported the arch. By the Middle Ages this rule had been abandoned, and both types of support were used for arcades....

Article

Stephen Heywood

The extension of the aisles around the sanctuary of a major aisled church to form a passage or walkway. The ambulatory is found throughout western Europe, especially in France, and was particularly popular between the 11th and 13th centuries. It is often provided with radiating chapels that project from its exterior face. Its function was to provide separate access to the radiating chapels and perhaps originally to facilitate the circulation of pilgrims past relics. The ambulatory with radiating chapels was an important innovation of the ...

Article

Apse  

Semicircular or polygonal vaulted space, usually at the end of a basilica nave (see Church, fig.).

G. Binding: ‘Abside’, Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale, 1 (Rome, 1991), pp. 75–82 S. Ghigonetto: Storia dell’architettura medievale: Una tipologia riscoperta: Le chiese a doppia-abside: Forme e funzioni (Paris, 2000)...

Article

Forecourt of a church or basilica.

J.-P. Caillet: ‘Atrium, péristile et cloître: Des réalités si diverses?’, Der mittelalterliche Kreuzgang: The Medieval Cloister; Le Cloître au Moyen Age: Architektur, Funktion und Programm (Regensburg, 2004), pp. 57–65

Article

R. K. Morris

Globular shaped carving, typically of three stylized leaves clasping a small ball. The most distinctive ornament of English Decorated architecture (c. 1300–c. 1400; see Decorated style), ballflower is commonly employed in rows set in hollow mouldings, varying in diameter from 125 mm on towers to 30 mm on tombs and fittings. True ballflower should be distinguished from other types of globular ornament found occasionally in Late Romanesque and Early Gothic architecture in England and Normandy. Ballflower (sometimes ‘bellflower’) is an antiquarian term, suggesting analogies with a flower bud, or possibly with small bells, as on an animal collar. On the façade of ...

Article

Francis Woodman

A roof boss (Fr. bosse: ‘lump’, ‘knop’) is the block, or keystone, at the intersection of ribs in a rib vault (see Vault; for illustration see Section.). Particularly favoured in European medieval architecture, unnecessarily large blocks were used as a field for sculptural decoration, which both concealed the collision of the different ribs and their mouldings and provided additional dead-weight to assist in countering the thrusts engendered by the vaults themselves. Some Late Gothic English bosses are extremely large; those in the nave of Winchester Cathedral (...

Article

William W. Clark

Mass of masonry or brickwork projecting perpendicularly from a wall to give additional support to that wall along its length or at the corners.

A buttress built either as a part of the wall (engaged) or against it.

Two buttresses meeting at an angle of 90°, usually on a corner or an acute angle of a building (...

Article

Decorated room or chapel behind the altar of a Spanish church, in which an image, often of the Virgin, or its accoutrements are kept. It is sometimes at a higher level than the nave.

Article

Chancel  

Eastern end of a church, where the altar is located. It is reserved for the clergy and is often raised above the level of the nave by steps and divided from it by a screen (see Screen).

Article

Chantry  

Endowed chapel in a church or a separate religious foundation where priests can celebrate Mass and pray for the soul or souls of a wealthy person, family, guild or designated group. A typical chantry chapel consists of an altar and the tomb(s) of the donor and his family....

Article

Chevet  

Apse with a surrounding ambulatory, usually opening into three or more chapels around the sides (see Church, §II, 3, (i)).

Article

Choir  

Eastern end of a church and usually the western part of the chancel, used for the performance of the clergy and singers. It is separated from the nave by a choir screen.

Article

Upper part of the nave walls of a church, pierced by a row of windows (for illustration see Section). It is above or ‘clear’ of the aisle and triforium zones and admits light to the nave. By extension, the term is applied to any high-level window....

Article

Crocket  

John Thomas

Decorative device used in Gothic art and architecture, attached to a capital or a gable, an arch, piece of tracery or coping. The term was used in medieval England in the forms crockytt and crockett. English writers of the Gothic Revival period, however, suggested a connection with the crook, noting that some of the earliest English examples take the form of the pastoral crosier, but this is probably a misinterpretation....

Article

Crypt  

Stephen Heywood

Subsidiary vaulted room normally below the main floor level but not necessarily wholly subterranean. The term is normally used of church architecture. Crypts are found throughout western Europe, until the 11th century associated with funerary rites and in particular with the cult of relics, simulating the form of a tomb if not an actual one. In some instances, churches were built around the existing tomb of a saint or a holy place. The most important example of this is the ...

Article

Burial chamber in a catacomb or a chapel.

Article

Cusp  

Point formed by the intersection of the curves in Gothic Tracery.

Article

Lisa A. Reilly

Pointed motif, most frequently associated with English architecture of the late 12th century and the early 13th, formed in relief by four leaves radiating from a central raised point with openings carved between them. The treatment of the leaves is sometimes quite plain, resulting in a form that resembles a pyramid. At other times they are richly foliated. The pointed profile of the ornament undoubtedly explains its association with canine incisors, although ...