The Britannia Lexicon

SANCTUARY :
space surrounding the altar.

SCANTLING :
the dimensions of a piece of timber with regard to breadth and thickness but not of length.

SCARP :
inner wall or slope of ditch or moat (see counterscarp).

SCRIBED :
to cut a moulding in such a way as to meet it exactly at right angles or any other angle required.

SCRIPTORIUM :
monastic library, the place where documents were copied.

SCUTAGE :
the sum that the holder of a knight's fee may pay his lord in lieu of military service. Sometimes used as a form of tax.

SEDILIA :
stone or wooden seats for the officiating priests on south side of sanctuary.

SEGMENTAL :
less than a semi-circle (for example, segmental arch).

SEISIN :
the possession of feudal property.

SERF :
semi-free peasant who works his lord's demesne and pays him certain dues in return for the use of land, the possession (not ownership) of which is heritable. These dues, usually called corvee, are almost in the form of labor on the lord's land. Generally this averages to three days a week. Generally subdivided into classes called: Cottagers, small holders, or villeins although the later originally meant a free peasant who was burdened with additional rents and services.

SERGEANT :
servant who accompanies his lord to battle, or a horseman of lower status used as light cavalry. Also means a type of tenure in service of a nonknightly character is owed a lord. Such persons might carry the lords banner, serve in the wine cellar, make bows/arrows or any other dozen occupations. Sergeants pay the feudal dues of wardship, marriage, and relief but are exempt from scutage (nonknightly).

SHAFT :
small column attached to pier or wall.

SHERIFF :
the official who is the chief administrative and judicial officer of a shire. Many of its jobs where taken over by the itinerant justice, coroner, and justice of the peace. Collected taxes and forwarded them on to the exchequer, after taking his share. Also many times responsible for making sure that the Kings table is well stocked while king is in his county (I.e. the Royal game preserve).

SHILLING :
measure of money used only for accounting purposes and equal to 12 pennies.

SHIRE :
English county. The shire court conduct the administrative, judicial and financial business of of people living in the county.

SIEGE :
the military tactic that involves the surrounding and isolation of a castle, town or army by another army until the trapped forces are starved into surrender.

SIMONY :
the buying or selling of spiritual things, particularly church offices and benefice.

SMALL HOLDER :
middle-class peasant, farming more land than a cottager but less than a villein. A typical small holder would have 10-20 acres.

SOFFIT :
the underside of subordinate parts, a flat ceiling, often under a Rood loft.

SOKEMAN :
free villager.

SOLAR :
lord's parlour or private quarters, sometimes adjacent to a great hall, sometimes over it.

SOLE-PIECE :
timbers laid across the top of a wall to form a footing for the rafters into which they are mortised.

SPANDREL :
the triangular space between two arches, or between an arch and an adjoining pilaster.

SPRINGER :
the springing stone of a vault which holds the lower ends of the ribs and is bedded in the wall.

SQUINCH-ARCH :
arched support for angle turret that does not reach ground.

STEELYARD :
the London headquarters of the Hanseatic League - an association of German trading towns enjoying certain privileges which were much resented by the Londoners.

STEPPED :
recessed in a series of ledges.

STEWARD :
the man responsible for running the day to day affairs of the castle in absence of the lord.

STIFF-LEAF :
carved foliage, typical ofthe E.E. style.

STRING COURSE :
horizontal band, whether moulded, projecting, or carved, or in any way distinguished from the rest of the walling.

STRUT :
any piece of timber used to keep apart one piece from another.

SUFFRAGAN :
bishop assisting another bishop in his See.

SULONG :
measurement of land in Kent. Equal to two "hides".

SUPERIMPOSED :
to place a second layer of carving upon the first in the form of a canopy head.




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