church glossary

Church Glossary

Please see below a list of church glossary terms and descriptions.

Altar

Aisle

Ambulatory

Apse

Arcade

Baroque

Basilica

Belfry

Boss

Buttress

Capital

Cartouche

Chancel

Chantry Chapel

Choir

Clerestory

Corbel

Crockets

Crypt

Decorated

Early English

Encaustic tiles

Gargoyle

Keystone

Lancet

Lychgate

Misericord

Nave

Ogee

Pediment

Pew

Pilaster

Pillar

Piscina

Poppyhead

Pulpit

Quoins

Reredos

Rood

Romanesque

Sanctuary

Screen

Sedilia

Spar

Stall

Transept

Transitional

Triforium

Vault

Stone or wooden table at the east end of the church for celebration of Holy Communion or Mass

Subsiduary space alongside the body of a building, separated from it by columns, piers or posts

A walkway often in the form of passage around the sanctuary

Semi circular or polygonal end of an apartment especially of a chancel sometimes called an exedra

Series of arches supported by piers or columns

Style originating in Rome circa 1600

A Roman public hall, hence an aisled building

Chamber in a tower where bells are hung

A projection e.g. at the intersection of the ribs in a vault

Vertical member projecting from a wall to stabilise the building

Head of a column or pilaster

Ornate frame around a tablet

Part of the east end of a church originally set apart for the use of clergy

Chapel attached to church endowed for the celebration of masses for the soul of the founder

Part of a church where choristers sing the service

Upper most storey of the nave of a church with windows

Projecting block supporting something above

Leafy hooks often in stone decorating a spire

Underground area normally at east end of church

English gothic architecture c. 290 – c.350

English gothic architecture c.1190 – 1250

Earthenware tiles fired with a pattern and glaze

Projecting water spout often carved in human or animal shape

A central stone to an arch or vault

Slender single – light , pointed – arched window

Roofed gateway entrance to church yard

Shelf on a carved bracket placed on the underside of a hinged choir stall seat

The body of the church west of the crossing or chancel often flanked by aisles

Double curve, bending first one way and then the other

A formalised gable derived from classical temples

Seating for the laity in a church

The flat representation of a flat classical column in shallow relief

Free standing upright

Basin for washing communion vessels set against a wall south of the altar

Carved ornament of leaves and flowers as a finial for a bench end or stall

Raised and enclosed platform for the preaching of sermons

Dressed stones at the angles of a building

Painted or sculpted screen behind the altar

A crucifix flanked by the virgin and St John often on a beam at the chancel crossing

Style current in English architecture in 11th / 12th century also called Norman

Area around the main altar

In a medieval church usually a cross in the entry to the chancel

Seat for priests in the chancel

Tall pyramidal or conical feature topping a tower or turret

Fixed seat in the choir for clergy

Transfers portion of a church

The architectural phase between Romanesque and early English (c.1175 -1200)

Middle storey of a church often as an arcaded passage

Arched stone roof

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