Illustrated glossary of architectural terms


1. Types of material

Hewn or sawn stone in blocks, usually with large faces but often quite thin,
carefully squared and laid in level courses with fine joints.
Bargate stoneA highly durable form of sandstone.
ClunchChalk block.
Flint stone
A hard stone that is split down the middle to reveal the dark glossy centre.
Used mainly to decorate the outside of buildings.
Heath stonesee Pudding stone, below.
Horsham stoneUsed as roofing.
Pudding stone
A conglomerate rock made up of a mixture of different, irregular sized grains and pebbles
held together by a finer matrix, usually formed from quartz sand.
Reigate stoneUsed as walling. Soft,medium grained,green/grey,highly calcareous,cretaceous sandstone.

2. Bricklaying bonds

Bond Any system of laying bricks or stone in an interlocking pattern to impart strength and also for decoration.
    English bondBricks laid with alternate courses of broad and narrow faces of bricks
    Flemish bondBricks laid with each course alternately showing of broad and narrow faces of bricks
   Herringbone bondBricks laid diagonally to form a zig-zag pattern
   Rat-trap bondAs Flemish bond but with bricks on edge.
   Stretcher bondBricks laid with alternate courses of broad and narrow faces of bricks

3. Other terms

Closer Brick cut (usually to half width) to finish the bonding pattern at an opening or at the end of a wall.
A horizontal, projecting, decorative band usually placed at the top of a wall
or marking off a parapet or gable or, internally, beneath a ceiling.
CourseA horizontal row of bricks
Dentils (see below)A series of projecting blocks at regular intervals for decorative effect.
Galleting Small pieces of stone, flint, etc. inserted into mortar joints while they are still soft.
Hanging tilesTiles hung vertically on exterior of building.
HeaderA brick laid to expose its smallest (end) face
Mathematical tiles Hanging tiles shaped in section to imitate one face of a brick.
ModillionsDecorative brackets or rectangular projections under the eaves.
StretcherA brick laid to expose its long narrow (side) face
String course Decorative course differentiated from the rest of the wall face, usually by projecting slightly.


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©DBRG 4 May 2009