|Martin and Oliver Webb Fine Stone Miniatures. Museum quality handmade miniatures of stone carvings for the collector and connoisseur.|
A Stonemason's Dictionary (A)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
| Abacus: The uppermost
component of a capital.
Abbey: A monastic community ruled by an Abbot or Abbess.
Abutment: A mass of masonry, or brickwork, erected to counter the sideways thrust of an arch
Acanthus: A type of thistle whose leaves are stylised and incorporated in Corinthian capitals. Sometimes referred to as Corinthian Cauliflowers!
Acroterion: An ornamental detail to the lower corners and apex of Roman and Greek pediments.
Actoma: The tympanum of a pediment.
Aisle: A wing of a building, or the passages to each side of the nave, separated from the nave by a row of columns
Alabaster: White or pinkish limestone, similar to marble, much used in carving and the production of Plaster of Paris.
Alcove: A (usually) semi-circular recess.
Allure: The walkway atop a castle wall.
Almery (Aumbry): A box or cupboard within the thickness of the wall.
Altar: A stone or wooden table for the celebration of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Usually at the east of the church
Altar Screen: A screen dividing the choir and the presbytery. Or, the screen behind the altar.
Altar Tomb: A tomb resembling an altar.
Ambulatory: The walkway around an apse at a churchs east end.
Annexe: An addition to a building.
Annulet: A ring or moulded band around a column or shaft.
Ante Chapel: Part of a chapel, usually the westernmost, screened off and often not consecrated.
Apophyge: The concave curve at the top and base to the surface of Roman and Greek columns.
Apprentice: Indentured trainee tradesman. The stonemasonry apprenticeship was once 15 years, it is now reduced to 3. Generally doubles a tea boy, errand runner, doer of the dirtiest jobs, victim of warped practical jokes and experimental humour, slave.
Apse: A semicircular or polygonal wing of a building, often at the east end of a church. Also refers to a mass of rock locked in a fault.
Arcade: A row of arches and columns supporting a wall.
Arch: An interdependant construction of wedge shaped elements so placed as to span a void using just their own weight to hold them in place.
Archivolt: An architrave moulding carried around an arch
Architrave: The lowest element of an entablature extending from column to column. Also the moulded frame surrounding the head of a door.
Architrave Cornice: An entablature with no frieze (just architrave and cornice).
Arris: The crisp edge between two flat dressed faces of a stone. The most conspicuous and vulnerable part of a dressed stone is its edge, badly worked pieces and damaged edges are hard to conceal!
Ashlar: Dressed rectangular or square blocks of masonry fixed in regular courses to create a wall face.
Astragal: A moulding with semi-circular section.
Attic Order: Refers to the storey above the main entablature.