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Classical Architecture

 

Architecture Dictionary: F

 

FABRIC

from faber, Lat., a workman, an artificer: in England it signifies a building of magnitude; as a church, a palace, a college, etc.. In the French language fabrique rather denotes the manner in which a building is formed, or constructed. The Italians apply the word fabbrica to almost all sorts of manufacture.

FACADE

Fr., the face, front, or any principal elevation of a building: the term is generally applied to an extended range of frontage presenting some important architectural features; as the western front of a cathedral.

FACE-SHAFTS

sustain Face-arches, which have their back only united to the wall, and therefore appear as if placed on the face of it

FACIA

from the Lat., fades; a face, or plain surface.

FALD-STOOL

Sax.; faldistorium, low Lat.; a folding stool or desk, provided with a cushion for a person to kneel on during the performance of certain acts of devotion. Before the in¬troduction of permanent pews, or other seats, in churches the congregation knelt upon the bare pavement, excepting those who were provided with fald-stools.

FALSE ROOF

the open space between the ceiling of an upper apartment, and the rafters of the outer roof.

FANE, PHANE, VANE

a piece of metal, or wood, so placed as to turn on a pivot, or spindle, on the summit of a building, or any part of it, and intended to indicate the current, or course of the wind.

Fanes very commonly prevailed from the time of Edward III. till the extinction of the Tudors, both on the turrets and staircases of houses and churches. Musical fanes, and others in the shape of birds, are frequently mentioned by the old poets; and the circumstance of constructing them in the figure of a cock gave rise to the name of weathercocks. Their common form was that of a small banner, gilded: they were occasionally emblazoned with armorial bearings, and supported by figures of men and animals. The turrets and pinnacles of the market cross at Coventry; of Henry the Seventh's chapel, Westminster; St. George's chapel, Windsor ; and the Beauchamp chapel, Warwick, were terminated by fanes.

FANE

flnum, Lat.; a place consecrated to religion : including a sacred building and the ground belonging to it. Temples erected to the memory of distinguished persons were called FAN A by the ancients.

FAN-SHAPED WINDOW

this may be described as the upper part of a circle, (more than half) of which the circumference is cut into round notches. This window is peculiar to the Early German style

FAN-TRACERY VAULTING

the very complicated mode of roofing much used in the Perpendicular style, in which the vault is covered by ribs, and veins of tracery, of which all the principal lines diverge from a point, as at King's College, Cambridge, Henry the Seventh's Chapel, Westminster, etc.. Mr. Whewell has given a very excellent description of this kind of vault, with terms for each part.

 

FAROSSIUM

low Lat., a pharos, or light-house.

FASCIA, FACIA

Lat., a band ; a plain, flat band in masonry, wider than the fillet, and employed in many parts of buildings, particularly in the.architraves of the Ionic and Corinthian entablatures, which are usually divided horizontally into three fasciae.

FASTIGIA, FASTIGIUM

Lat., the upper or crowning member of a building. The term is sometimes used to signify the pediment.

FEATHERINGS

small arch-mouldings meeting in points, or cusps, and employed in the tracery of open arches and in panelling. When three are connected at their extremities the combination is termed a trefoil; when four are so joined, a quatrefoil; and, if five are used, a cinquefoil.

FEBETORY

low Lat., from feretrorium, Lat., a bier, or coffin; a movable chest, or shrine, in which the bones, body, or relics of a deceased person were deposited. The same name is very generally, though with less propriety, given to a fixed shrine. That of St. Cuthbert, in Durham Cathedral, is an instance of the ordinary application of the term.

FESTOON

feston, Fr., from the Italian festa, a feast, or festival: festones of drapery, foliage,etc., being often used on festive occasions. A sculptured, or carved representation of flowers, drapery, and foliage, looped, or suspended at intervals on walls, is called a festoon. This ornament was much used in classical architecture on friezes, altars, tablets; also over and under niches, and in many other situations. It is frequently seen to extend over the frieze of a temple.

FESTOON MOULDING

a continued wavy line, much used in Norman architecture.

FESTUM

low Lat., a feast, or festival; also an assembly held by monarchs on the principal festivals of the year. In ancient records the king is frequently said to have " kept his festum" at Westminster, or elsewhere.

FILLET

filet, Fr.; lista, Ital.; fromjilum, Lat., a thread; a narrow, flat band, listel, or annulet, used to separate one moulding from another, and to give breadth and firmness to the upper edge of a crowning moulding, as in an exterior cornice. The small bands between the flutes of the Ionic and Corinthian columns are called fillets. (See ANNULET and BAND.)

FINIAL, FINOL

from finis, Lat., the end; a carved or sculptured ornament forming the apex of a pinnacle, canopy, pediment, gable, or other pyramidal member of a building, in the pointed style; and nearly corresponding with the Acroterium in Greek architecture. Its most usual form is imitative of clustered flowers, of fruit, or of foliage; and towards it the crockets beneath appear naturally to merge. Sometimes figures of men and animals are used as finials, as at Peterborough Cathedral, etc. Their forms, indeed, are infinitely diversified in buildings of different ages, and frequently in different parts of the same building. The nine examples in the accompanying PLATE, and others which may be found in the PLATES of BUTTRESSES, ARCHES, &C, serve to shew the elegance and variety which this beautiful ornament was made to exhibit.

finial

FLAMINEA

low Lat., from fiamen, a priest; a term applied to houses near a church in which the clergy resided.

FLAMBOYANT

Flamboyant (from French flamboyant, "flaming") is a name appliedo designate a peculiar class of Christian architecture common in France after the year 1400, and chiefly marked by the peculiar tracery of the windows. The term is sometimes used of the early period of English Gothic architecture usually called the Decorated Style. READ MORE --->

 

FLECKED

arched, vaulted.

FLEMISH BOND

a mode of laying bricks, or stones in buildings, having alternate headers and stretchers in the same course: «. e. the ends and sides of the bricks alternating in the front of a wall. (See BOND, and ENGLISH BOND.)

 

FLOOR

the bottom, or lower part of a building, or room, formed of planks of timber, of cement, or paved with brick or stone: the word extends also to the frame-work supporting the platform or floor. The Romans devoted much labour and skill to the formation and decoration of the floors of their temples, baths, and villas; the best being composed of small pieces of brick or stone, inlaid in cement, so as to form mosaics of various patterns. The ecclesiastics of the middle ages also constructed the floors of their churches, and other religious buildings, with glazed and unglazed bricks or tiles, with stones, cslcareous cement, boards, and other materials. Inlaid floors, formed of small pieces of wood, fastened together by means of pins or dowels, and arranged in various devices, are also of frequent and more recent occurrence. The floors of old buildings in England were often strewed with straw, rushes, herbs, or flowers, and, occasion¬ally, tapestry cloths were partially used.

Fitz-Stephen, the secretary of Thomas Becket, informs us that the apartments of that prelate were covered every day in winter with clean straw, or hay, and, in summer, with green rushes, or boughs; and this practice was argued as a proof of his extravagance. Earthern, or cementitious floors are often used in cottages, in malt-houses, &c., and are usually composed of loam, lim sand, and iron dust.

FLORID STYLE

a term employed by some writers on “ Gothic architecture,” to imply that highly enriched and decorated species which prevailed in the fifteenth and at the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. William of Malmsbury applies the term Florida-compositione to the buildings of Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1147; consequently they were termed florid only in comparison with preceding specimens, and not to the degree exhibited in buildings to which that term is now applied.

FLUE

from fluo, to flow; a passage, or open space, in a wall for the conveyance of smoke, or for the purpose of conducting heat from one part of a building to another.

FLUTE

a perpendicular concave channel or cavity in the shafts of some of the classical columns and pilasters; the flutes collectively being called flutings.

FLYING BUTTRESS

Specific form of buttressing often used in Gothic church architecture. READ MORE --->

flying buttress Notre Dame Paris

 

FOLIATED ARCH

an arch with a trefoil, cinquefoil, or multifoil under it.

 

FOLIATION

(Same as FEATHERINGS)

FONT

From fonte, Fr. and Ital.; fons, Lat., a fount, or spring; the vessel, or basin in a church, or baptistery, appropriated for the ceremony of baptism. READ MORE --->

 

FONTANA (Domenico)

a native of Mili, on the lake of Como, Italy, was patronized by Pope Sixtus V., who employed him in 1586, to raise the great obelisk in the centre of the court before St. Peter’s, Rome. It weighed nearly 759,000 pounds, and was erected by means of some complicated and ingeni¬ous machinery, of which he published a description in a folio volume, entitled “ Transportazione dell’ Obelisco Vaticano Roma,” 1590. For the skill with which he accomplished this task he was raised to the dignity of a Roman noble, by the Pope. He was extensively employed at St. Peter’s, the Vatican, the Quirinal Palace, and other buildings in Rome; the Royal Palace at Naples, etc. and died in 1593, aged 64. FOOT-PACE, the raised floor, or dais at the upper end of a dining- hall. That at Richmond Palace had a fayr foot-pace in the higher end thereof. It was called in French ' le haut pas.' In the Builder’s Dictionary, 1703, the word is described as signifying a broad resting-place on a flight of stairs.

FOOT-STALL

the plinth, or base of a pillar.

FORES

the doors which opened towards the street in a Roman house.

FORMA

Lat., is used by Vitruvius, and some writers of themid- die ages, to signify an aqueduct, or artificial canal.

FORMARET

Fr., the rib moulding placed at the junction of a vault, with the vertical wall of a building.

FORT, FORTRESS

from fortis, Lat., strong; any place or build-ing fortified, or strengthened by artificial means; conse¬quently, all castles are forts, although the term is usually ap¬plied more particularly to one of small size. The forts of the Britons, Saxons, and Danes, consisted chiefly of ditches, mounds, and terraces of earth. (See CASTLE.)

FORTALICE

a small castle. “ In a list of Northumbrian for-tresses taken during the minority of King Henry the Sixth, several fortified parsonages are enumerated amongst the fortalicia, or lowest order of castelets.”

FOSSE

an artificial trench, or ditch, extending round a fortress, generally very steep on each side, in order to render the place more difficult of access to assailants.

FOUNDATION

the basis, or lowest portion of a building, or that part on which the superstructure is raised. Vitruvius recom¬mends the use of piles of scorched or charred wood and ashes for an artificial foundation, a method frequently adopted by ancient architects. Concrete was also used for the more im-portant edifices. (See CONCRETE.) The custom of deposi¬ing coins in the foundations of buildings is very ancient, having been practised by the Romans, Saxons, Danes, Nor¬mans, and most other people. The foundation-stone of a Christian church was usually inscribed with a cross; and, amongst other ceremonies, it was blessed, and sprinkled with holy water and salt, as an exorcism to keep away evil demons.

 

FRATERY, FRATRY, FRATER-HOUSE

the brethren’s hall, an apartment in a convent used as an eating-room, or refectory : according to Fosbroke it was provided with a dresser, cup¬boards, and a desk with a Bible. (See REFECTORY.)

FREDA

low Lat., an ornament, or canopy placed over a shrine of a saint.

FREE MASONS

The history of this society is so much mixed up with that of the architecture of the middle ages, that some notice of them seems to be necessary in any work on the subject. Their early history is involved in obscurity; but in the tenth century we find them established as a free guild or corporation in Lombardy: towards the close of the same cen¬tury they obtained bulls from the Pope confirming and en¬larging their privileges, giving them in addition the exclusive right to build churches throughout Christendom, making them wholly independent of the sovereigns of the different countries in which their works were carried on, and responsible to the Pope alone. Natives of all countries were admitted into their ranks; and wherever any great work was to be executed, there they assembled in sufficient numbers for the purpose, and as soon as that was completed removed to some other, perhaps distant, work, where their services were again called for. In this manner the spread of any improvements or discoveries was so rapid as to appear almost simultaneous. In the words of Mr. Hope, in his valuable History of Architecture, " The architects of all the sacred edifices of the Latin Church, wherever such arose north, south, east, or west thus derived their science from the same central school; obeyed in their designs the same hierarchy; were directed in their con¬structions by the same principles of propriety and taste; kept up with each other, in the most distant parts to which they might be sent, the most constant correspondence; and rendered every minute improvement the property of the whole body, and a new conquest of the art.

The result of this unanimity was, that at each successive period of the masonic dynasty, on whatever point a new church or monastery might be erected, it resembled all those raised at the same period in every other place, however distant from it, as much as if both had been built in the same place by the same artist. For instance we find, at particular epochs, churches as far distant from each other as the north of Scotland and the south of Italy, to be minutely similar in all the essential characteristics. But the more arbitrary ornamental parts might each by its different artist be executed according to his own fancy, or desire of distinction; and these preserved so little unity or similitude, that in most buildings, bases, columns, architraves, basso relievos, cornices, and other members, often offer a diversity equal to that of the number of individuals employed upon them.

It must, however, be borne in mind, that the body of Free-masons was strictly ecclesiastical, the Pope being at their head; and that the leading members were the bishops and higher orders of the clergy, who being the only educated body were almost of necessity the sole architects of that period. It has often been justly observed, that if the clergy of the present day would pay more attention to the subject, the face of the country would not be disfigured by the barbarous piles of brick and mortar which now offend the eye of taste in almost every direction, nor the magnificent structures of our ancestors mutilated in the shameful manner in which we now find them. In very many instances we find that much of this mutilation has been done within the memory of man, or within the last fifty years, as in the beautiful church of Adderbury, in Oxfordshire, where the tracery of the windows was cut out within that period, to save the expense of repairing them; and hundreds of similar instances might be named. It is much to be wished that some knowledge of church architecture were made an essential part of the education of a clergyman, especially an archdeacon. In other respects, Mr. Hope's theory of the exact uniformity of style produced by the Free-masons is somewhat overstrained; since there is a marked difference both in the early and in the later Gothic styles of each separate country. It is only during the fourteenth century, for the space perhaps of about seventy years, when the Decorated style of Rickman, or the Perfect Gothic of Whewell, prevailed, that any thing like positive uniformity can be found in the different countries of Europe; and even then, peculiarities may be traced in each country, often even each different pro¬vince has something peculiar to itself, though subordinate to a general uniformity of appearance.

 

FREE-STONE

a name given in England to stone which can be easily squared and wrought for building. All the oolites, of different qualities, are included under this name. The price of free-stone, 43d Heniy III., is thus named in an issue-roll of that date : “ for two hundred weight and three quarters offree-stone for the use of the chimney and laundry.

FRENCH PIERRE

free stone; stone-work elaborately carved.

FRESCO

Ital. fresh, a mode of painting, in colours, on stucco, or plaster, whilst that substance is wet and fresh enough to imbibe the colours as laid on. This process was practised by the Egyptians and by the Greeks. From the latter nation it was adopted by the Romans ; and thence descended to the time of Michael Angelo, one of its greatest masters, and to thè painters of the middle ages in all parts of Europe. The ancient palaces of the kings and nobles of England, and some of the churches and chapels, were ornamented with paintings in fresco. Henry III. kept several painters in his service : the apartments of the tower of London, and of the palace of Westminster, were thus painted ; and, in the time of Edward III., even the bedchambers of private individuals were simi¬larly ornamented. The apartment at Westminster, so well known as the painted chamber, derived its name from paint¬ings on its walls of “ the warlike histories of the Bible,” with explanatory French inscriptions.

FRET

fretum, Lat.; a labyrinthine ornament formed of one or more small fillets, alternately disposed in a vertical and horizontal position, and extending to nearly equal distances in each direction. It is very common in classical architecture, and the Norman builders also introduced some varieties of sit in their archivolt mouldings : the principal of these are the embattled fret, consisting of a single fillet, arranged as above mentioned, and bearing some resemblance to the continuous line of the battlements of a fortress; and the zigzag, or cheveron fret, formed by a line crossing diagonally from one side of the moulding to the other.

FRET-WORK,

minute carving, or entail.

FRETTED

made rough, or variegated with frets, or other small ornaments. William of Worcester (Itinerary, p. 268.) describes the roof of Redcliffe Church, Bristol, as fretted; and its western door¬way as “ fretted yn the hede.” Friary,yi-ere, Fr., from frater, Lat., a brother; a brotherhood, or community of men, devoting their lives to what they called religion; also the convent, or cloister, in which they resided. The difference between a friar and a monk consisted chiefly in the original import of the names by which they were called. The word monk is derived from fiova^os, Gr., soli¬tary ; being descriptive of the mode of life adopted by the early monks, which was essentially different from the fra¬ternal associations, or friaries. The various orders of friars had different regulations and also separate designations: the principal being the Augustin; the Dominican; the Black, or Preaching; the Franciscan; the Gray, or Begging; and the Carmelite, or White friars.—Booth's Anal. Diet. p. 32. (See Abbey, Convent, and Monastery.)

FRIEZE, FRIZE, FREEZE

fregio, Ital.; from phrygionius, Lat., enriched or embroidered ; the principal member of a classical entablature, separating the cornice from the architrave, and consisting of a broad band, ornamented.
. In the Tuscan order it is always plain; in the Doric it is ornamented with triglyphs; in the Ionic it is sometimes swelled or cushioned; in the Corinthian and Composite it is variously decorated, at the pleasure of the architect. Its name is derived from being adapted to receive sculptured enrichments, either of foliage, or figures.

FRONT

of a building; its principal exterior face, or elevation. The term is also indiscriminately applied to any side, or elevation before, or opposite the spectator, and distinguished by the terms back-front, side-front, &c. The west fronts of cathedrals and large churches are their most important and interesting exterior features.

FRONTAL; FRONTON

is a term sometimes applied to a small pediment, or the segment of a circle, placed over a porch, a door, a niche, or other member of a building.

FRONTELLA

, low Lat., a piece of drapery attached to a Catholic altar. By a statute of the dean and chapter of York, made in 1291, directing what furniture and ornaments were to be provided for the altars of chantry chapels, " three frontals” are mentioned

 

FRONTISPIECE

the principal ornamented front of a building. More usually applied to a decorated doorway.

FROSTED

ornamented with a species of rustic work in imitation of irregular icicles.

 

FUNTICUS, FONTICUS

low Lat., an exchange, a market-house, or a warehouse. Bernard de Braydenback, in his Itinerary, tom. i., speaking of Alexandria, says: “ There is a fonticus, a large house, where merchants assemble, warehouse their goods, and hold a market of them.”

FUST

the shaft of a column.

FYLLETORY-GUTTERS

“to convey the waters from the wallys,” occur in an account of repairs to the tower of London.

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