Built In Art magazine


Classical Architecture


Architecture Dictionary: E


Earth-Table, Ground-Table, in a building, the course of stones level with the earth.

Eastria, or Eastry, (Henry de),

prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, repaired the whole choir of that cathedral about the year 1304. He also constructed three new doorways, a pulpit, the present organ screen, two new gables to the chap­ter-house, and a steeple on the north side of the church, since taken down. He also erected many edifices in various parts of the possessions of the priory.


the lower edge of the roof of a building, overhanging the wall so as to throw off rain without injury to the fabric.

Ebor, (John de),

abbot of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, from the year 1203 to 1209, laid the foundations and began to build the abbey church.   


a place for preaching; an edifice appropriated to the worship of the Deity; a church. [See Church.] Ecclesiola, and other variations of the word, are used by old writers to signify churches of different sizes.


bronze or earthern vessels placed under the seats of ancient theatres, to assist, by their resonance, the voices of the performers. Vitruvius says they were fixed " with a due regard to the laws of harmony and physics, their tones being fourths, fifths, and octaves; so that when the voice of the actor was in unison with the pitch of these instruments, its power was increased by impinging thereon."Similar means are said to have been employed in some of the early churches, to assist the voices of the priests and choristers: Professor Oberlin discovered similar vases in various parts of the vaulted ceiling of the choir of Strasburg cathedral.


a moulding of eccentric curve used in the capitals and entablatures of the classic orders, derives the names of echinus and ovalo from being usually ornamented with truncated spheroids, or carved eggs having one end cut off, alternately with representations of an anchor, or tongue; and from this circumstance the moulding is called the egg and tongue, and egg and anchor.   (See Ovalo.) A circular block that supports the abacus.

echinus doric order


elevatio, Lat., from e and levo, to raise; orthogra-phia, low La.t.; facciata, Ital.; the front, or any other ex­tended face of a building; a geometrical delineation of an object according to its vertical and horizontal dimensions, without regard to its thickness or projections.

Ellerton, or Elreton, (Henry de)

master mason, and probably architect of Caernarvon Castle, erected under Edward I., in 1283.

Eloy (St.)

a French ecclesiastic of the seventh century, celebrated for his architectural designs, but more for his skill as an artificer of ornamental works in gold and silver. Amongst his works was a monastery at Solognac, near Limoges; a convent for nuns, at Noyon, (of which city he was made bishop); the churches of St. Paul, and St. Martial, at Paris; and a number of magnificent shrines of gold, silver, and jewellery. He died in the year 663.

Embattled, crenellated : indented with notches; or provided with battlements. (See Barbican, Battlement, Crenelle.)

embattled moldings at Lincoln Cathedral
Embattled fret at Lincoln Cathedral


an allegorical representation of a person or object, indicative of its character or quality. Emblems were extensively used by the early Christians, and during the middle ages; all vices and virtues, saints and countries, having some pictorial sign by which they were indicated. The emblem of the Christian religion was a cross; the Saviour was typified under the form of a lamb; the four evangelists were accompanied by figures of certain animals; and the apostles were also designated by some emblem con­nected with their lives or sufferings. These distinguishing marks were probably adopted from the mythology of the ancients, and many of them are still recognised by artists. They were at first purely allegorical; but, in the sixth century, when the new faith was generally recognised, actual representation succeeded to obscure allusion, and the crucifixion of Christ was then first plainly exhibited in sculpture.

Embossed, adorned with bosses or raised figures.

Embossment, a prominence or boas; figures and other carved work in relief.   (See Boss.)


Fr., from ebraser, to widen; fenestra, low Lat; cannoniera, Ital: an aperture in the wall, or parapet of a fortress, splaying or widening inwards, and used for the discharge of missile, or war weapons. The crenelle, or rectangular opening in a parapet is often thus styled, though a parapet may be provided with both crenelles and embrasures.


a kind of walling used by the Greeks and Romans, of which the exterior parts were constructed with wrought stones, and the inside filled up with others, unwrought, with rubble and cement. Some of the massive columns and walls of the Christian churches were so constructed.

Emplecton wall
Enamel:; a vitrified substance, the basis of which is a transparent and fusible glass, to which colour and opacity are given by the addition of metallic oxides; it is used in painting, or overlaying works in gold, silver, copper, etc. The process of enamelling is of very ancient date, and, from traces of it on the envelopes of mummies, it was evidently known to the ancient Egyptians; it was also practised by the Greeks and Romans, by which latter people it was, in all probability, introduced into Britain. Many enamelled ornaments have been found in the barrows of this country; the most remarkable of which was discovered by John Gage, Esq., in the year 1835, in exploring one of the great barrows, called Bartlow Hills, Essex, who has given an interesting account of the antiquities then found, in the 26th volume of Archceologia; in which is a representation of a singular vase, with a loose handle, thesurface of which is covered with enamel. At Oxford is preserved an enamelled jewel, found at Athelney, which bears an inscription, stating it to have been made by command of Alfred the Great. Walpole says, " it is certain that in the reigns of the two first Edwards, there were Greek enamellers in England, who both practised and taught the art."


ENCARPUS, festoons of fruit or flowers, on friezes.

encarpus frieze

Enchased, ornamented with figures in low relief.


articles of household furniture used in fire-places to sustain the ends of logs of wood. Skinner suggests three etymologies of the term: 1. irons that may be moved by the hand; 2. end-irons, from their supporting the ends of wood; 3. brand-irons, as if a corruption of the Saxon word to burn. In Shropshire, and the neighbouring counties, they are called cob-irons; and the term end-irons is, in Yorkshire, applied to two movable iron plates used to contract the fireplace. When a large fire is wanted they are placed at some distance apart, and are brought nearer together for a small fire.

Engaged Columns

are such as are partly united in, and partly relieved from, walls and piers. Such columns are common both in classical and in Christian architecture; the proportion of the shaft inserted in a wall varying from one to three fourths of its circumference. Numerous examples of engaged columns are represented in the accompanying Plates of Arcades, Arches, Bases, Capitals,etc.

English Bond

an arrangement of bricks, or stones in a wall, in which the length of those in one course is inserted in the thickness of the wall, whilst those of the next course have their length parallel to its face.    (See Bond.)


Intablature, in, upon, and tabula, Lat., a tablet; the horizontal mass of ornamental masonry in a columnar ordinance, which rests upon the tablet or abacus of the column; and divided into architrave, frieze, and cornice. The first is the lowest member, upon which rests the frieze; whilst the cornice forms the summit of the entablature. All these members are composed of various mouldings and orna­ments in the different classic orders.    The entablature is found in the architectural ruins of Grecian and Roman build­ings, and in professed imitations of them; and is also traced in some of the Egyptian temples.



entailler, Fr., to cut in; intaglio, Ital.: a term applied to certain old carving and sculpture. Probably the finishing portion of the artist's labours was in those days paid for according to the time it occupied, and the style of its execution. The effigy of Bishop Flemyng, on his tomb, in Lincoln Cathedral, has the robes entailed on the exposed side, but left plain on the other; perhaps on account of the expense of the work, exceeding what had been con templated.

In the will of Henry VI. is the following passage, applying to King's College Chapel, Cambridge; and similar words are used in reference to the College of Eton:—"I will that the edifica­tion procede in large forme of my said colledge, cleane and substantial; setting apart superfluity of too great curious works of entaile and busie moulding."


low Lat., from entailler, Fr.,to cut: wrought or fashioned; applied to stones prepared for a building.


a stretching, or swelling. Columns are said to have entasis when their diameter does not diminish regularly towards the top, but in a curved line. " The shaft, instead of being the frustum of a regular cone, is the frustum of a cone whose outline is not straight, but slightly convex ; so that, if it were perfect, its vertical section would have the form of a very acute pointed arch."  

Enteclose, a passage of communication between two apart­ments.   

Entersole, entresol, Fr.; intertignatio, Lat.; mezzanine, Ital.; a story of low rooms, between two principal floors.



according to its etymology is synony­mous with entablature; but is commonly restricted to the architrave, or that part of a building which rests more imme­diately upon the column; in which sense it has also been sometimes used to signify the abacus.


an inscription to the memory of a deceased person, on a tomb, mausoleum, sarcophagus, or cenotaph : also an eulogy, whether in prose or verse, composed without any view to its being affixed on a tomb. The custom of perpetuating the memory of the dead by some durable record, as it appears founded in our most natural affections, may every where be traced to the earliest periods of society. Before the general use of the art of writing, this object was attained by barrows and cromlechs, many examples of which are found in Britain, as well as in other countries. Genuine epitaphs have been found of an age earlier than that of Pericles. At Sparta, they were allowed only to persons who fell in battle, the early Greek epitaphs appearing to have been chiefly brief elegiac lines: many specimens of them are still in existence. The Romans followed the examples of the Greeks, occasionally using, however, a concise prose. During the middle ages, a barbarous rhyming Latin, and, for the less pompous monuments, an English verse, were most generally used; since which time the classical models have been again followed; whilst, in other instances, a diffuse and rhetorical style has been employed: probably introduced from France. T. Warton, Popham, Camden, Weever, Toldervy, and other writers, have published collections of English and classical epitaphs



the upper member of the cornice surmounting the pediment of a temple.

Escape, a term sometimes used to designate the apophyge of a column.    (See Apophyge.)

Escutcheon, Scutcheon

escusson,Fr.cudo, Ital.: is a term properly belonging to heraldry, and signifying the shield, usually of small size, on which a coat   of arms is represented.    Escutcheons were very generally used in roofs, windows, and other parts of churches, and on tombs.

Esquaquerium, low Lat.; eschiguier, Fr.; an office in a castle.


low Lat.; a gallery, or a portico, within a house, or on the outside of it..


Bishop of Winchester, from 963 to 984, when he died; is called, in one of King Edgar's charters, the constructor, that is, the builder or architect of his cathedral church. Edgar is said to have founded, or built above forty monas­teries ; among which was that of Peterborough, the restora­tion of which appears to have been effected about the year 966, chiefly through the influence, and probably under the actual superintendence, of Ethelwold. Having rebuilt his own cathedral with crypts, the present great, or western crypt is commonly attributed to him; but this is a disputed point.


a priest of Tours, having been appointed bishop of that city, erected the church of St. Symphorien; repaired, or rebuilt two churches which had been destroyed by fire in the year 564; and afterwards rebuilt the cathedral of Tours, on which the munificence of Clothaire, the son of Clovis, enabled him to place a covering of tin, or lead .


the trench which divided the seats from the arena in a Grecian circus.



the fifth order of temples, according to Vitruvius, who considered it as the most elegant; having two diameters and a quarter between the columns.


Eyersolt, or Eversold, (Gilbert de)

built part of St. Alban's Abbey Church, in the twelfth century.


a mercantile edifice in which merchants, brokers, and others, meet to transact business. Amongst the Romans, the basilicas are said to have been frequently used for the same purpose; and the ailes of Christian churches were also thus occasionally occupied. The citizens of London were not provided with a building erected expressly for this use until the year 1567. The Royal Exchange of that city, so called by command of Queen Elizabeth, owes its origin to the muni­ficence of Sir Thomas Gresham; but his building being de­stroyed by the great fire of London, the present exchange was erected about the year 1669, from the designs of Edward Jerman : the tower, in its south front, was added in 1821.
The exchanges of Amsterdam, London, Liverpool, and Paris, are the principal buildings of the kind in Europe: that of Amsterdam, in particular, is formed by a peristyle 20 feet wide, enclosing a parallelogram 230 by 130 feet.
The king's exchange, in England, is the place appointed by the king for the exchange of plate, or bullion, for coin. Henry HI. prohibited the exchanging of plate or silver at any other place than his exchange at London, or at Canter­bury. The Mint at London is now the only place in England for effecting such exchanges.


from echiquier, Fr: chequered-work, a chess­board : an ancient court of record, intended principally for the settlement of accounts connected with the king's treasury, and for the receipt of his debts and revenues; so called from the table at which the king's officers presided, being marked in the manner of a chess-board, or covered with a cloth so marked. The object of this was to assist such officers in the computation of accounts. Some of the principal castles and monasteries were also provided with exchequers, or count­ing-houses. Excubitorium, Lat.;. a guard-room, or, more particularly, an apartment or gallery in a church, in which persons kept watch during the night. A wooden gallery still remaining in St. Alban's Abbey Church, is supposed to have been thus used.


apartments or galleries in a church, where persons watched during the night.


a small apartment, or recess in a portico, or ambulatory, to which the Grecian philosophers and rhetoricians retired for seclusion or conversation. Cicero designates them as "cella ad colloquendum." In the early Christian churches and basilicas the exedrae were the outbuildings, usually comprising the baptistery, the porch, the vestry, the diaconica, or prisons, the schools, libraries, etc. The term exedra was also applied to the eastern termination, or apsis of a church, in which the bishop's throne was usually placed.

Exhiffa, low Lat.; the wall, or masonry which supports a stair­case



from extra, Lat., without, and dorsum, the back; the external, or outer face of an arch, in opposition to the soffit, or intrados.   (See Arch.)


Sax., is a name applied to various circular parts and aper­tures in architecture, particularly the central circle of the Ionic volute; the circular, or oval window in a pediment; a small skylight in a roof; and the aperture at the summit of a cupola. The term bull's-eye, or bullock's-eye, is also used in a similar manner.



comments powered by Disqus