|Arch. See the Brick pages for
details of different types of arch.
Abutment: The structure, usually of brick, concrete or masonry, which supports a bridge span or arch. Depending on location, it often retains the adjacent land as well.
Batter: The slope of a structure back from its base. If a s tructure is described as 'battered' it means that it slopes back.
Buttress: A projection from a wall, to give additional strength by resisting outward thrust.
Corbel: A bracket supporting a beam or arch.
Crown: The top of an arch opening.
Cutwater: A projection from the base of a bridge pier, to assist the flow of water round it.
Dentil: Rectangular, usually square, blocks underneath a string course of other projection from a wall.
Footing: The foundation of a structure.
Impost: A horizontal, projecting band of brick or stone immediately below the springing point of an arch.
Keystone: The central stone at the crown of an arch, which is usually more prominent than the others. Arches with brick rings do not usually have a keystone.
Panel: A shallow recess in a wall.
Parapet: Wall either side of a bridge deck, provided to prevent users from falling off. Usually of brick, concrete or masonry, but may be of wrought iron or steel, particularly on plate girder bridges.
Pier: Intermediate support for a bridge deck or adjacent arches.
Pilaster: A projection from a wall. Pilasters are usually shallow and only decorative.
Quoin: Large (usually) decorative stones or contrasting brickwork at the corner of a structure.
Soffit: The curved lower surface of an arch.
Spandrel: The approximately triangular part of the face of an arch, above the arch rings and below the deck.
Spring or Springing Point: The point where the curve of an arch launches from the abutment or pier.
String Course: A band of brick or masonry projecting from a wall. String courses are usually horizontal, but may be curved to follow the profile of an arch.
Voussoir: A stone forming part of the ring of an arch.
Wing wall: Walls projecting from a bridge or tunnel mouth, to retain earthworks.
All photographs are copyright Gregory Beecroft
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This page was created 24 January 2010