The Britannia Lexicon

CAMBERED :
curved slightly upwards, its object being to prevent sagging.

CAMLET :
costly Eastern fabric made from angora goat's fleece.

CAMPANILE :
free-standing bell tower.

CANTREF / CANTREIL :
Welsh administrative district of 100 townships, similar to English shires.

CAPARISONED :
the wearing of ornamental or heraldic drapery by a horse.

CAPHOUSE :
small chamber at top of spiral staircase in a tower or turret, leading to the open wall-walk on the roof.

CAPITAL :
the crown of a column.

CARDINAL VIRTUES :
prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice.

CARRACK :
cargo ship with military capacities.

CARTOUCHE :
decorative tablet for inscription or coat of arms.

CARUCATE :
measurement of land, equal to a hide (used in Danelaw)

CATHEDRAL CHURCH :
the church of the diocese where a Bishop has the throne (cathedra) and where he presides. Simplified to Cathedral.

CAVETTO :
concave moulding.

CELURE :
canopy of honour placed over the great Rood, or an altar to enhance its dignity and stateliness.

CESSPIT :
the opening in a wall in which the waste from one or more garderobes was collected.

CHAMBERLAIN :
an officer of the royal household. He is responsible for the Chamber, meaning that he controls access to the person of the King. He is also responsible for administration of the household and the privates estates of the king. The Chamberlain is one of the four main officers of the court, the others being the Chancellor, the Justiciar, and the Treasurer.

CHAMFERED :
formed by cutting away the arris or sharp edge of either stone or timber to any given width.

CHANCEL :
the eastern limb of a church.

CHANCELLOR :
the officer of the royal household who serves as the monarch's secretary or notary. The chancellor is responsible for the Chancery, the arms of the royal government dealing with domestic and foreign affairs. Usually the person filling this office is a Bishop chosen for his knowledge of the law.

CHANTRY :
chapel endowed for the saying ofMass for the soul of a particular person or family.

CHAPTER :
governing body of cathedral (Dean and Chapter) or monastery.

CHAPTER HOUSE :
the council chamber for the Chapter.

CHARTER OF FRANCHISE :
documents granting liberty to a serf by his lord. The term also applies to the freedom granted to the inhabitants of a town or borough. The issue of a Charter of Franchise frees the town from servitude to feudal lords.

CHEVET :
French term denoting the radiating chapels and ambulatory of an apsidal east end.

CHEVRON :
moulding in the form of inverted 'V', a Norman feature.

CILL :
the base of a window or base beam of a screen.

CINQ (FIVE) PORTS :
Sandwich, Dover, Hythe, Winchelsea and Hastings

CINQUEFOIL :
five-leafed decoration in tracery.

CLAMP BUTTRESS :
buttress having flat sides of pilaster form used generally

CLERESTORY :
the third or top storey of a church containing a row of windows.

CLERGY :
term used to include all members of religious orders. The clergy are generally exempt from jurisdiction of civil courts as well as from military service.

CLUNCH :
hard chalk used as building material. Often plastered with limewash for durability.

COFFERED :
raised panelled roof the shape of the top of a chest.

COLLAR-BEAM :
horizontal tie connecting a pair of rafters below the ridge or above the feet.

COLLEGIATE :
church served by college of Canons or church Prebendaries.

COMMON LAW :
the term referring to the legal procedures and interpretations that become universal through general acceptance.

COMMUNE CONCILIUM :
Norman equivalent of Anglo Saxon Witan. Decision taken at such meetings, either judicial or military, are binding on the vassals.

CONFESSION :
the public or private acknowledgment of sinfulness, regarded as necessary to obtain divine forgiveness.

CONOIDS :
the part of a fan vault resembling a cone.

CONSISTORY :
either the diocesan court, or the pope and cardinals' convocation, from a general term for 'council'.

CONSTABLE :
the title of an officer given command of an army or an important garrison. Also the officer who commands in the king's absence.

CONVOCATION :
church synod debating ecclesiastical matters.

COPING :
the covering course of a wall either flat or sloping to throw off the weather.

CORBEL :
stone bracket projecting from a wall or a corner, used to support wall-posts or beams.

CORBEL TABLE :
row of corbels supporting a parapet or cornice.

CORINTHIAN :
graceful column, with base and elaborately carved capital of acanthus leaves.

CORNICE :
horizontal projection at the top of a wall.

COTTAGER :
peasant of lower class, with a cottage, but with little or no land.

COUNT :
the continental equivalent of the English Earl. Ranks second only to Duke.

COUNTERSCARP :
outer slope or wall of a ditch. See scarp crenellation see battlements.

COUNTY :
the English Shire.

COUPLE-CLOSE ROOF :
pair of spars belonging to a roof, each independent of the next pair.

COURSER :
stallion or battle-charger.

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS :
common law court to hear please involving disputes between individuals. Almost all civil litigation is within its term of reference, as is supervision of manorial and local courts.

CRANNOG :
an Irish dwelling residing on a natural or man-made island.

CRENELLATION :
battlement.

CROCKETED :
projecting leaves, flowers, or bunches of foliage placed at rcgular intervals decorating an arch or gable.

CROSSING :
the intersection of nave, choir and transepts in a cruciform church.

CROSS-WALL :
internal dividing wall in tower.

CROWSTEPS :
step gabled end to roof.

CRYPT :
vaulted chamber below church.

CULDEES :
religious ascetics; "Culdee means servant of god." Irish/Scottish preservers of old Gaelic Customs.

CUPOLA :
roof so called on account of its likeness to a cup turned over, a small roof in contradistinction to a dome.

CURTAIN :
general term for castle walling, inner or outer, enclosing a courtyard. Sited between towers or tower and gatehouse, giving appearance of being hung between, from which 'curtain'.

CURVILINEAR :
later Decorated tracery of flowing pattern.

CUSHION CAP :
an early Norman capital square above and circular beneath; of convex form usually crudely ornamented.

CUSPING :
connecting point formed at the meeting of the arcs in Gothic tracery with or without applied ornament.

CYMRAEG :
Welsh name for the Welsh language.

CYMRU :
Welsh name for the Welsh. (pronounced CUM-REE)




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