Alabaster – A workable form of gypsum, popularly known as onyx – marble.
Apse – A large semi-circular or polygonal recess in a church, arched sometimes with a domed roof and typically at the church’s eastern end.
Ashlar – Stone worked to a square or rectangle – sometimes used as facing, often cut in limestone or sandstone.
Aumbry – Cupboard for storage of sacred vessels, books and vestments (doors missing).
Bifora – A framework of wood or metal that contains glass window panes built into a wall or roof to admit light or air.
Bosses – Found in architecture; usually at roof or ceiling intersections; they are often intricately carved with foliage, heraldic devices, landed gentry, religious icons or other decorations.
Broach spire – An octagonal spire rising directly from the church tower.
Chancel – Area around the altar, includes the sanctuary, sometimes called the presbytery.
Clerestory – Upper section of the nave walls containing windows.
Crocked – Poor condition, i.e. damaged or corroded (old English).
Curvilinear – Arch shape, often windows; curved lines.
Cruciform – In the shape of a crucifix.
Dissolution period– 1536 – 41; the closure of monasteries, priories, convents and friaries by Henry VIII to appropriate funds by means of the Suppression Act (1536).
Early English – Time period; 13th century.
Falstool – A Bishop’s chair, X framed, from a military campaign design (i.e. folding).
Hammer beam – A decorative open timber roof truss, typical of English Gothic architecture.
Lychgate – Located on the property of line the churchyard; an open roofed structure built over the entrance gate. Lych; old English, meaning – corpse.
Niche – Shallow recess set into a wall to accommodate statues.
Ogee – Onion shaped window frame, door frame, or canopy (top).
Oriel – Bay window, supported by corbels or brackets; usually found in upper floors.
Perpendicular – Time period; 1350 – 1550 A.D.
Piscina – Stone basin set into the chancel wall – for washing holy vessels (the water must drain into consecrated ground).
Puritans – 16th/17th century movement resolved to reform the church to a more simplified and austere format; they were responsible for the removal of, and damage to, many icons, effigies and decorative devices in churches; they were also a powerful political lobby, particularly during the Commonwealth period.
Rebus – A heraldic device, i.e. family names depicted as riddles, such as a coat of arms.
Reliquary – Cupboard containing holy relics.
Reformation – 1517 – 1648, restructure of the Christian faith in Briton by the Puritans.
Reredos – An altarpiece, screen or decoration behind the altar depicting iconic images; it can be made of stone, wood, metal, ivory, or a combination of materials.
Rood – A crucifix, often attached to the beam above a rood screen but can found.
Rood screen – An ornate partition made of wood; located between the chancel and nave.
Sacristy – Place where the sacred vessels are stored.
Sanctuary – Area immediately around the altar; holiest area in the church.
Saxon period – 7th century to 1060.
Sedilia – Stone seats in the sanctuary area of the chancel for the use of officiating clergy.
Sepulchre – A stone (sometimes wood) structure, used to intern a corpse.
Sounding board – Wooden board above the pulpit to project the voice of the speaker.
Tracery – Stone work that contains glass, commonly found at the top Gothic windows.
Transept – The area set crosswise to the nave which makes a church a cruciform shape.
Trefoil – The outline of three overlapping rings used as a decorative device, often at the tops of arch headed window frames (also, quatrefoil – four rings), sometimes used as a floor plan.
Triforium – A shallow arched gallery within the thickness of the inner upper wall set above the nave; it provided a walkway and was used for meditation.