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.