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Classical Architecture


Architecture Dictionary: G


(Brit Gavel.) The vertical triangular piece of wall at tbe end of a roof, from the level of the eaves to the summit



(Sax. Eacssian, to bind or confine.) In carpentry or joinery, an instrument for drawing one or more lines on any side of a piece of stuff parallel to one of the arrisses of that side. Of this tool there are four sorts ; the common gage and the flooring gage (which are both applied to the drawing of a line parallel to an arris), the internal gage, and the mortise and tenon gage. This term is also used to signify the length of a slate or tile below the lap ; also tbe measure to which any substance is confined. It is, moreover, used by plasterers to signify a greater or less quantity of plaster of Paris used with common plaster to accelerate its setting.


In carpentry, tbe bevelled shoulder of a binding joist, for the purpose of giving ad¬ditional resistance to the tenon below.


A porch usually built near tbe west end of abbey churches, where the monks collected in returning from processions, where bodies were laid previous to interment, and where females were allowed to see the monks to whom they were related, or to bear divine service. The galilees of Durham and Ely are found in the situation here described. The former is highly ornamented, and is eighty by fifty feet and divided into five aisles by clustered columns and semicircular arches. The date of its erection was towards the end of the twelfth century. That of Ely Cathedral is much smaller. It is still used as the principal entrance to the church, and is without columns or other in¬ternal support The porch at the south end of the great transept at Lincoln Cathedral is also sometimes called a galilee. The word has been frequently used, but improperly, to designate the nave of a church. Many conjectures have been made on the origin of this term, but the most commonly received opinion, founded on a passage in the writings of St Gervase of Canterbury, is, that when a female applied to see a monk, she was directed to the porch of the church, and answered in the words of Scripture, M He goeth before you into Galilee, there shall you see him.


(Fr. Galerie.) An apartment of a bouse, for different purposes. A common passage to several rooms in any upper story is called a gallery. A long room for the re¬ception of pictures is called a picture gallery. The platform on piers, or projecting from the wall of a church and open in front to the central space is also called a gallery. Tbe Whispering Gallery at St Paul's is another example of the various uses of the word. The whole or a portion of the uppermost story of a theatre is likewise called a gallery. The term is, moreover, used to denote porticoes formed with long ranges of columns on one side.


A prison, or place of legal confinement.


Erections for containing garden implements, flowerpots, hot-bed frames, and glass sashes, Ac.; also for working in during bad weather. They are best placed on the back wall of the tool-house, and thus hold the ftiraaees, ftiel, and other articles.


(Fr.) Ornaments of flowers, fruit, and leaves anciently used at the gates of temples where feasts or solemn rejoicings were held.


A species of hinge used in the most common works, formed in the shape of the letter T turned thus H, the vertical part being fastened to the style or jamb of the doorcase, and the horisontal part to the door or shutter.


The upper story of a house taken either partially or wholly from the space within the roof


(Sax. Leac.) A large door, generally framed of wood. The width of gates should be from eight and a half to nine feet, and the height from five to eight feet. The materials of gates should be well seasoned previous to use, otherwise they will be soon injured by the sun and wind. Tbe parts should be also very correctly put together. For durability, oak is the best; but some of the lighter woods, as deal, willow, and alder, arc, on account of their lightness, occasionally used. These, however, are more for held-bar gates than close gates.




In geometry, a line or plane which moves according to a given law, either round one of its extremities as a fixed point or axis, or parallel to itself, in order to generate a plane figure, or solid, formed by the space it has gone over.


(Gr.) In geometry, the formation of a line, plane, or solid, by the motion of a point, line, or plane.



That which has a relation to geometry.


That in which the night of stairs is supported by the wall at one end of the steps.


A term used by Scotch masons to denote the cutting away of the right angle formed by the front and returns of the aperture of a stone door-case, in the form of a rebate or reveal, so as to make the outer side of the door or closure flush with the face of the wall.


The practice of laying gold leaf on any surface.


A measure equal to one fourth of a pint


(Lat Gemellus.) A piece of mechanism consisting of two brass hoops or rings which move within one another, each perpendicularly to its plane, about two axes at right angles to each other. A body suspended in this manner, having a free motion in two directions at right angles, assumes a constantly vertical position.


or perhaps more properly GIMBLET. (Fr. Guimbelet) A piece of steel of a semi- cylindrical form, hollow on one side, having a cross handle at one end and a worm or screw at the other. Its use is to bore a hole in a piece of wood. The screw draws the instrument into the wood when turned by the handle, and the excavated part, forming a sharp angle with the exterior, cuts the fibres across, and contains the core of the wood cut out


(Sax. Djrpban, to enclose.) The principal beam in a floor, for supporting the binding or other joists, whereby the bearing or length is lessened. Perhaps so called because the ends of the joists are enclosed by it.


A circular band or fillet surrounding a part of a column


The length of the circumference of an object, whether rectilinear or curvilinear, on its horizontal section. In timber measuring, according to some, is taken at one fourth of the circumference of the tree, and is so taken for the side of a square equal in area to the section of the tree cut through, where the perimeter is taken in order to obtain the girt-


( Germ.) A transparent, impermeable, and brittle substance, whereof the different sorts used in building .


.A decoration frequently used in buildings, is the method of staining glass in such a manner as to produce the effect of representing all the subjects whereof the art is susceptible. A French painter of Marseilles is said to bare been the first who instructed the Italians in this art, during the pontificate of Julius 11. It was, however, practised to a considerable extent by Lucas of Leyden and Albert Durer. Hie different colours are prepared as follows: Black is produced by two thirds of iron scales or flakes, and the other third of small glass beads, or a substance called roccaglia by the Italians. White is prepared for by sand or small white pebbles calcined, pounded, and then finely ground. One fourth part of saltpetre is added, and the mixture is then again calcined ana pulverised, to which a little gypsum or plaster of Paris is added. TcUom is formed from leaf silver, ground and mixed in a crucible with saltpetre or sulphur ; then ground on a porphyry stone, and lastly, again ground with nine times the quantity of red ochre. Red, one of the most difficult of the colours to make, is prepared from litharge of silver and iron scales, gum Arabic, ferretta, glass beads, and bloodstone, in nearly equal quantities. Great experience is necessary to succeed in making this colour. Grmm is produced from os ustum one ounce, the same quantity of black lead, and four ounces of white lead, incorporated by the action of fire. When calcined, a fourth part of salt¬petre is added, and, after a second calcination, a sixth more; after which a third coctioo is made before using it. Azure, purple, and violet are prepared in a similar manner to green, omitting the os ustum, and in its stead using sulphur for azure, perigueux for purple, and both these drugs for violet. Carnations, which are compounded colours, are calcined, and usually mixed with water. They must be finished part by part, and each with great dispatch, before the plaster dries, for there is little opportunity for blending. The lights cannot be heightened, but the shadows may, when they begin to dry, be a little strengthened. Promptitude and facility in execution are the great requisites for this method of painting.


Glass cast in plates and polished.


An artisan whose employment is that of fitting and fixing the glass employed in a building. A tenacious viscid matter made of the skins and hoofs of animals, for cementing two bodies together. Glue is bought in cakes, and is better the older the skin of the animal from which it is made. That which swells without dissolving when steeped in water is the best To prepare glue it should be broken into small fragments and then steeped in water about twelve hours. It should be then heated in a leaden or copper vessel till the whole is dissolved, stirring it frequently with a stick. After this it is put into a wooden vessel and remains for use. Good glue for external work is made by grinding as much white lead with linseed oil as will just the liquid of a whitish colour, and strong but not thick.


A sunken channel, the term being usually employed in reference to a vertical one. From their number, those in the Doric order are called triglyphs.


(Gr. and deposit.) A building or room for the preservation of works of sculpture.


A species of granite which, from excess of mica, is generally of a lamellar or slaty texture. It is a term used by the miners of Germany.


An instrument for measuring shadows, and thereby determining the sun's height. In dialling, it is the style of the dial, and its shadow marks the hour. It is placed so that its straight edge is parallel to the axis of the earth's rotation. In geometry, a gnomon is that part of a parallelogram which remains when one of the parallelograms about its diagonal is removed; or the portion of the parallelogram composed of the two complements and one of the parallelograms about the diagonal The term is found in Euclid, but is now rarely used.


An instrument for measuring solid angles.



A Scotch term, signifying a mode of securing unsound walls by driving wedges or pins under their foundations.


A chisel whose section is of a semicircular form.



A hall or portico adjoining the Roman comitia, in which foreign ambassadors waited before entering the senate, and also whilst waiting the answer that was to be given to them.


In wood or stone, is the line of direction in which either may be split transversely.


(Lat Granum.) A building for storing corn, especially that intended to be kept for a considerable time. Vitruvius calls those buildings intended for the preserva¬tion of grain, granaria, those for hay fatnUioj and those for straw farraria. The term horretan was used by the Romans for denoting buildings not only for the preservation of corn, but for various other effects.


A term used in the fine arts, generally to express that quality by which the highest degree of majesty and dignity is imparted to a work of art Its source is, in form, freed from ordinary and common bounds, and to be properly appreciated requires an investigation of the different qualities by which great and extraordinary objects pro¬duce impressions on the mind.


A farm-yard or farmery, consisting of a farm-house and a court of offices for the different animals and implements used in farming, as also of barns, feeding houses, poultry houses, etc.


The division of a design or draught into squares, for the purpose of reducing it to smaller dimensions.


A term applied to a well-known material of small stones, varying in size from a pea to a walnut, or something larger. It is often intermixed with other substances, as sand, clay, loam, flints, pebbles, iron ore, etc.


The manner of bonding walls among the Grecians.


A building for sheltering in pots plants which are too tender to endure the open air the greater part of the year. It is constructed with a roof and one or more sides of glass, and being one constructed for luxury should not be far away from the dwelling-house, so that the greatest enjoyment may be had from it At the same time it should, if possible, be near the flower-garden, as being of similar character in use. The length and breadth can only be determined by the wealth and objects of the proprietor. The best aspects are south and south east, but any aspect may, in case of necessity, be taken, if the roof be entirely of glass, and plenty of artificial heat be supplied. In those greenhouses, however, which face the north, the tender plants do not in winter succeed well, and a greater quantity of artificial beat must then be supplied, and the plants should, in such case, be chiefly evergreens, and others that come into flower in the summer season, and grow and flower but little during the winter. The plants in greenhouses are kept in pots or boxes on stages or shelves, so as to be near and follow the slope of the roof, and thus made more susceptible of the action of the sun’s rays immediately on passing through the glass. An orangery, from being constructed with a ceiled roo£ differs from a greenhouse; it is, moreover, chiefly devoted to plants producing their shoots and flowers in the summer season, and in the open air; the use of tbe orangery being merely to preserve them during the winter. The structure is more properly called a conservatory, though this term is now applied to buildings with glass roofs, wherein the plants are not kept in pots, but planted in the free soil, and wherein some are so reared as to grow and flower in the winter months.


Bricks of the third quality of the best or malm bricks.


The act of taking off the redundant parts of a body, and forming it to its destined surface.


A cylindrical stone, mounted on a spindle through its axis, with a winch- handle for turning it, to grind edge-tools.


One of various degrees of hardness ; mostly of a grey, sometimes of a yel-lowish, colour. It is composed of a siliceous and micaceous sand, closely compacted by an argillaceous cement. It gives some sparks with steel, is indissoluble, or nearly so, in acids, and vitrifiable in a strong fire. It is used for millstones more than for building.


(Sax. Erfiopcn, to grow.) The line formed by the intersection of two arches, which cross each other at any angle.



One formed by three or more curved surfaces, so that every two may form a groin, all the groins terminating at one extremity in a common point.


(Sax. Erparan, to dig.) A sunken rectangular channel. It is usually employed to connect two pieces of wood together, the piece not grooved having on its edge a projection or tongue, whose section corresponds to and fits the groove.


(Fr.) A term applied to capricious ornaments which, as a whole, have no type in nature, consisting of figures, animals, leaves, flowers, fruits, and the like, all connected together.


Those which rest upon sleepers laid upon the ground, or on bricks, prop stones, or dwarf walls; they are only used in basement and ground floors.


In perspective, the intersection of the picture with the ground plane. See GROUND PLANE.


One whose base or seat is on a level with the ground floor.


The plan of the story of a bouse level with the surface of the ground, or a few steps above it. It is not always the lowest floor, the basement being frequently beneath it.


In perspective the situation of the original plane in the supposed level of our horizon. It differs from the horizontal plane, which is said of any plane parallel to the horizon; whereas the ground plane is a tangent plane to the surface of the earth, and is supposed to contain the objects to be represented. The term ground plane is used in a more confined sense than that of original plane, which may be any plane, whether horizontal or inclined.


The lowest horizontal timber on which the exterior walls of a building are erected. It chiefly occurs in timber buildings, or in buildings whose outside walls are formed of brick panels with timber framings.


The plan of the walls of a building where they first commence above the foundation, though more properly it is the piece of ground selected to receive tbe building. For dwellings, its chief requisites are a healthy situation, a convenient supply of water, good drainage, a pleasant aspect,etc. If for trade or manufacture, it should be conveniently placed for receiving the raw material, and for exporting tbe articles manufactured.


In joinery, certain pieces of wood attached to a wall, to which the finishings are fastened. Their surface is flush with the plastering. Narrow grounds are those whereto the bases and surbases of rooms are fastened. Grounds are used over apertures, as well for securing the architraves as for strengthening the plaster. That the plaster may be ' kept firm, should the wood shrink, a groove is sometimes run on the edge of the ground next to the plaster, or the edge of the ground is rebated on the side next to the wall, so that in the act of plastering the stuff is received into the groove or rebate, which prevents it from shifting when it becomes dry.


A term used to denote three, four, or more columns placed upon the same pedestals. When two only are placed together they are said to be coupled. Gaotrr. (Sai. Erjrot.) A thin semi-liquid mortar, oomposed of quicklime and fine sand, prepared and poured into the joints of masonry and brickwork, which process is called grouting.



The axle of a wheel) on which it turns and is supported. To diminish friction gudgeons are made as small as possible in diameter, consistent with their weight. They are often made of cast iron, on account of its cheapness, but wrought iron of the same dimensions is stronger, and will support a greater load.

GUEULE.A term synonymous with CYMATIUM


(Fr.) An ornament in the form of two or more bands or strings twisting over each other, so as to repeat the same figure, in a continued series, by the spiral returning of the bands.


Synonymous with CYMATIUM,


One used for measuring land, and taking its name from its reputed inventor. It is 66 feet, or 4 poles, long, and divided into 100 links, each whereof is joined to the adjacent one by three rings; the length of each link, including the a4jacent rings, is therefore 7/92 inches. The advantage of the measure is in the facility it affords to numerical calculation. Thus the English acre, containing 4840 yards, and Gunter's chain being 22 yards long, it follows that a square chain is exactly the tenth part of an acre, consequently the contents of a field being cast up in square links, it is only necessary to divide by 100,000, or to cut off th%last five figures, to obtain tbe contents expressed in acres.


Canals to the roofs of houses to receive and carry off rain* water. They are made either of lead or of tiles, which are either plain or concave; these last are called gutter tiles, and so adapted to each other as to be laid with great ease. The Romans had gutters of terra cotta along the roofs of their houses, and the rain-water from them ran out through the heads of animals and other devices placed in the angles and in convenient parts. Leaden gutters were known in tbe middle ages.


Originally a space measured out and covered with sand for the exercise of athletic games. The gymnasia in the end became spacious buildings, or institutions, for the mental as well as corporeal instruction of youth. They were first erected at Lacedaemon, whence they spread, through the rest of Greece, into Italy. They did not consist of single edifices, but comprised several buildings and porticoes for study and discourse, for baths, anointing rooms, palcstras, in which the exercises took place, and for other purposes.


In ancient architecture, that portion of the Grecian house set apart for the occupation of the female part of the family.



Crystals of native sulphate of lime. Being subjected to a moderate heat, to expel the water of crystallisation, it forms plaster of Paris, and, coming in contact with water, immediately assumes a solid form. Of the numerous species, alabaster is, perhaps, the most abundant.


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