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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

A3
Standard ISO paper size: 297mm × 420mm (± 2mm). Roughly 11½" by 16½"
A4
Standard ISO paper size: 210mm × 297mm (± 2mm). Roughly 8¼" by 11½"
Abbey
Major monastic buildings. Ruled over by an Abbot or Abbess.
Abbot or Abbess
The monk or nun in overall charge of an Abbey. Many Abbots had the right to sit in the House of Lords and had the status of noblemen.
AD
Used to denote years after the birth of Christ (from the Latin Anno Domini). In these politically correct times this is sometimes rendered as CE standing for Current Era.
Adit
Horizontal passage into a mine. Typically for drainage.
Agister
Official employed by the Verderers to supervise the animals depastured on the New Forest
Aisle
Area either side of the main Nave outside the columns supporting the roof. Often an extension to a church by conversion of the former exterior wall to an arcade, covered with a lean-to roof.
Alien House
A monastic house which, during the Hundred Years War, was subject to additional taxes and other burdens due to its strong ties to an enemy power.
Ancient and Ornamental Woodland
The old unenclosed woodlands of the New Forest
Apse
Vaulted semicircular or polygonal end of a chancel, chapel or other building. Often at the east end of a church containing the altar.
Arcade
Range of arches supported on columns.
Augustinian
Relating to several religious orders and congregations based on the Rule of St Augustine. The two main branches are the Augustinian Hermits and the Augustinian Canons.
Augustinians
Named after Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430), are several Christian monastic orders and congregations of both men and women living according to a guide to religious life known as the Rule of Saint Augustine.
Aumbry
Cupboard to hold sacred vessels.

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B

Bailey
The space enclosed by the outer wall of a castle.
Barrel Roof
Continuous round-arched vault, like half a barrel.
Bastion
Projection from the general outline of a fortification from which the garrison can see and defend by flanking fire the ground in front of the ramparts.
Battery
Any place where guns or mortars are mounted
BC
Used to denote years Before the birth of Christ. In these politically correct times this is sometimes rendered as BCE standing for Before Current Era.
Benedictines
Most important order of monks in England. Devoted much of their time to education and learning as well as manual labour. Wore black habits.
Blockhouse
Small detached fort
Blue John
A white/purple banded variety of Fluorite common in the Derbyshire Peak District
Bothie
Small, generally one roomed, hut, common up to the Seventeenth Century. Not unknown much later.
Box Pews
High-sided enclosed pews, often of different sizes and allocated to specific families according to status.
Bronze Age
The period starting in Britain around 3000 BC characterised by the use of bronze tools and weapons. It ended with the introduction of iron around 400 BC.
Bullaun Stone
A large rock where a basin or bullaun has been carved out. Generally thought to date from the Bronze Age
Byzantine
The continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It had its capital in the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul).

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C

Canon Regular
Someone who lives in community under the Rule of Augustinian sharing their property in common, and engaging in the public ministry of liturgy and sacraments.
Caponier
Covered passage in the moat of a fort either for communication with outworks or for providing flanking fire
Casbah
A castle or palace in northern Africa or the older section of a city in northern Africa or the Middle East.
Casemate
A well-protected vault under a rampart, normally used as a gun emplacement and/or for accommodation for the garrison.
Celtic
Ancient inhabitants of the British Isles, largely displaced from England and southern Scotland by the Anglo-Saxon and Danish settlers in the fifth century. Anything pertaining to the Welsh, Cornish or Scots Gaelic peoples.
Chancel
Eastern part of a church containing the choir and main altar
Chantry Chapel
Mediaeval chapel endowed for the celebration of masses, especially for the soul of the founder of the chapel
Charcoal
Wood burned in the absence of air, so that subsequently it burns without flame. Extensively used in iron smelting prior to 1800
Chimera
A fabulous monster in Lycia, Greece with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. Also used by some western scholars of Chinese art for any winged quadruped.
Cistercians
Important order of monks in England. Devoted their time to simple services and hard manual labour. Built their monasteries in remote areas. Wore white habits and thus became known as the 'White Monks'.
Claretians
A community of Roman Catholic priests and brothers, founded by Saint Anthony Claret in 1849.
Clerestory
Uppermost storey standing above the aisle roof, pierced by windows
Cluniac
An order of monks founded in 910AD who all owed allegiance to the Abbot of Cluny. Their monasteries were thus classed a priories. They lived by a very strict interpretation of the Rule of St Benedict.
Commissioned Officer
An officer who derives authority directly from a sovereign power, and holds a commission charging them with specific duties and responsibilities.
Commoner
One having 'Rights of Common' on the Forest. Farmers basically.
Coppice
Woodland managed for small timber. Clear felled on, typically, a nine year cycle.
Corbel
Stone bracket, usually moulded or carved, often with angels or human heads
Crocket
Small decorative leafy sculpture mainly used on the outer curve of arches in the 13th and 14th centuries
Cruciform
Church plan in the shape of a cross
Culverin
Medium to heavy cannon used during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Cupola
A small dome like an upturned cup, usually set on a much larger dome or roof.
Curtain Walls
Outer walls of a fortification which link the flank of one bastion or tower to the next.

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D

Decorated
Middle phase of Gothic architecture, characterised by elaborate window tracery and naturalistic carving c1250-1370
Dissolution of the Monasteries
A set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, appropriated their income, and disposed of their assets.
Dogger
A hard iron ore boulder embedded in softer rock.
Domesday Book
A survey of all England around 1086 commissioned by William the Conqueror for tax purposes.
Doom
Painting of the Last Judgement often depicted on mediaeval walls, usually over the chancel arch
Doorstep Green
locally-owned and run public spaces across England,first created by the Countryside Agency in a project started in 2001.
Dorter
The monks sleeping quarters. Usually above the east side of the cloister with a night stair into the church.

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E

Early English
First phase of Gothic architecture characterised by the earliest pointed arches and simple lancet windows c1190-1280
Early medieval
A period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000AD.
Edwardian
The period of British history broadly coinciding with the reign Edward VII (1901–10) together with the years leading up the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.
Elizabethan
The period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), which saw the flowering of English literature and poetry. Large stately homes start to be built in this period, characterised by a lack any defensive capability.
Embrasure
Opening in a fortification through which a gun fires.
Enclosure
An area of land, fenced either to keep stock in or wildlife out.
Expense Magazine
A magazine in which a small amount of ammunition is kept for immediate use.

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F

Famine House
Derelict one room properties often abandoned in the great famine of the 1840s and 50s.
Flush
New Forest term for a small pond or boggy place often with a spring.
Forcastle
The upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters. In medieval shipbuilding, a ship of war was usually equipped with a tall, multi-deck castle-like structure in the bow of the ship.
Forest
An area set aside for hunting with special laws particularly in respect of poaching.
Fortalice
A small fort or defensive structure.
Fulacht Fiadh
A horseshoe-shaped mound of charcoal-enriched soil and heat shattered stone with a slight depression at its centre. They may have been used as outdoor cooking areas

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G

Garderobe
Originally a chamber for storing clothes, a wardrobe. In medieval times this would also include a latrine as the smell was thought to keep moths away. Later it came to mean just a latrine, usually one built in the thickness of an exterior wall
Georgian
In Britain, the period from approximately 1714 - 1811 (i.e. during the reigns of George I-IV), and the style of neo-classical architecture current at that time.
Gnomon
The metal rod in the centre of a sun dial.
Gothic
Architecture which flourished from about the late 12th century until the English Reformation in 1540, characterised by the pointed arch. Later revived by the Victorians
Gothic Revival
Rediscovery by the Victorians of mediaeval Gothic style
Gothick
18th century fashion based upon a fanciful interpretation of mediaeval Gothic
Grange
An outlying farm belonging to an abbey or other religious house.
grockle
Slightly dismissive term for a 'tourist' first popularized by characters in the film The System (1962).
Gun Loop/Gun Port
Opening in a wall through which a gun fires
Guns: Inch
Generally used to define the calibre of guns which fired shells as opposed to solid shot, and indicating the diameter of the barrel.
Guns: pdr (Pounder)
guns firing solid shot were defined by the weight of their shot

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H

Hard
An area of river bank or foreshore used as a landing place.
Hatchments
Diamond shaped boards bearing a coat of arms of a deceased person
Henge
A Bronze Age monument consisting of a circular area enclosed by a bank and external ditch, often containing one or more circles of upright stones or wood pillars.
Henrician Castles
A chain of coastal artillery forts, also known as Device Forts, built by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1547, after he declared himself Supreme Head of the Church in England and divorced Katherine of Aragon.
Hunting Lodge
An often architecturally sophisticated secondary habitation used for temporary visits by the nobility and gentry.

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I

Incline
Short length of steep rope operated railway used to gain height rapidly.
Inclosure
A term still used in the New Forest for a fenced area of woodland set aside for the commercial production of timber. Elsewhere it is an archaic form of the word Enclosure
Incumbent
Person in present possession of a benefice or office. Most usually used of priests.
Iron Age
The period starting in Britain around 400 BC characterised by the use of iron tools and weapons. In popular usage it ended with the Roman invasion in the first century AD.
Iron Age Hill Fort
A roughly circular enclosure of defensive banks and ditches around the top of a hill dating from around 400BC up until the Roman invasion in the first century AD.

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J

Jacobean
Relating to the period from 1603 to 1625 when James I was king of England
Jamb
Vertical side of a doorway or window
Jutes
A Germanic people believed to have originated from Jutland peninsula in modern Denmark. Along with the Angles and Saxons, they settled in Great Britain from the late 4th century onwards, principally in Kent.

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K

Keep
Great tower of a castle, usually in the centre and the place of last resort for a garrison in time of siege.
Knights Hospitaller
A religious and military order established in 1099 during the First Crusade to care and protect Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Originally based in Rhodes, they later moved to Malta, and are now know as the Knights of St John.
Knights Templar
An order of celibate soldiers established in 1128 during the crusades. They were disbanded in 1312.

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L

Lancet
Narrow pointed window of the Early English period
Lantern
In architecture: A structure on top of a dome or roof with glazed sides to admit light.
Lawn
A term used in the New Forest for open areas of rough grazing.
Louvre
System of slats designed to allow free passage to air and sound but exclude rain

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M

Machicolation
A floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall.
Magazine
An ammunition store.
Mantlet
In architecture: A low screen wall outside the main line of defence of a castle.
Mark
Old English unit of currency. 3 Marks = 2 Pounds Sterling. Pre-decimalisation (1971) it was still common to find items priced at 13s 4d or 6s 8d (i.e. a Mark or half a Mark)
Marl
A limy clay often used as an improver for sandy soils
Martello Tower
A small defensive fort. They were built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the Napoleonic Wars onwards.
Mass Dial
A sun dial on the south face of the church, which cast the sun's shadow on marks (scratches) to indicate the time of masses.
Mathematical Tiles
Brick-like tiles used to disguise a timber-framed house.
Medieval
The period in European history between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. Often dated as being from 470 to 1450AD.
Merinids
A Berber dynasty of the Beni Merin tribe that ruled in Morocco from 1269 to 1465.
Misercord
Carved underside of a choir stall seat.
Mole
Architecturally, a mole is a massive structure, usually of stone, used as a pier, breakwater, or a causeway between places separated by water.
Moorish
A style of architecture characterized by horseshoe-shaped arches that was common in Spain from the 13th to 16th centuries when the country was occupied by the the Moors, people of Berber, Black African and Arab descent from North Africa.
Moot
In this context: An assembly (usually for decision making in a locality)
Motte
A large earthwork mound in the centre of a castle on which the Keep is built.

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N

Natural Gas
Methane produced by the same geological processes as oil and often associated with it.
Nave
Main body of the church west of the chancel used by the congregation
Neo-classical
Style of architecture inspired by the ancient Greek temples and other remains. Characterised by columns porticos and the use of statuary
Nick-nacks
A small trivial article usually intended for ornament
Norman
Scandinavian/French settlers who conquered large areas of Europe including England in 1066. Also the massive Romanesque round-arched architectural style they favoured 1066 - c1190.

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O

Ogee
Recumbent S-shaped curve forming arches and gables, a hallmark of the late Decorated period
Ogham
Celtic alphabet of twenty characters formed by lines marked either side of a base line, or round the edge of a memorial stone. Each character is said to represent a different kind of tree.
Oriel
A projecting bay window corbelled or cantilevered out from a wall

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P

Palladian
A European style of neo-classical architecture derived from the work of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580).
Palmerston Forts
A ring of forts around Portsmouth and Gosport built in the 19th century on the orders of Lord Palmerston, the then Prime Minister.
Palstave
A peculiar bronze adz with an L-shaped haft, used in prehistoric Europe about the middle of the bronze age.
Pannage
The right to feed swine in a wood or forest, sometime for a restricted period only.
Perpendicular
Final phase of Gothic architecture, characterised by large windows, flattened arches, impressive towers and fan vaulting c1350-1540
Pillbox
A small, usually round or hexagonal, concrete gun position built during the early years of the Second World War
Pirn
A weaving term for the long thin bobbin that holds the thread in the centre of a shuttle.
Piscina
Recess with basin and drain for washing the sacred vessels
Poitin
A potato based whiskey
Pollard
Trees managed for small timber by removing the upper branches on, typically, a nine year cycle. An alternative to coppicing where grazing animals a present.
Poop Deck
In naval architecture, a poop deck forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear, or aft, part of the superstructure of a ship.
Portcullis
Vertical iron or wooden grill that can be let down in grooves to block the entrance of a fort.
Post Mill
A type of windmill where, to face the sails into the wind, the whole body of the mill is rotated around a central post. Usually built entirely of wood.
Premonstratensian
An Order of Canons Regular founded by Saint Norbert in Prémontré, France. Also known as the Norbetines or White Canons.
Prior/Prioress
The deputy to an Abbott or Abbess, either in charge of the day to day running of the abbey or of a smaller subsidiary Priory.
Priory
A lesser monastic house, dependent on a parent abbey. Run by a Prior or Prioress with around a dozen monks or nuns.

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Q

Quaker
A member of the Religious Society of Friends. A religion based on the idea that each one of us can have a direct relationship with the Divine.

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R

Rösti
A traditional Swiss dish made from grated potato, often with the addition of bacon, onions, cheese or other ingredients
Redoubt
Either, a small blockhouse or other defensive work (usually without accommodation), or a detached outwork that is part of a larger defensive plan.
Reformation
The period associated with the rise of Protestantism in the sixteenth century
Regency
Strictly the period 1811 and 1820 when George III was deemed unfit to be king and his son ruled as Prince Regent. In architectural terms this is extended to cover the period between 1795 and 1837.
Rere-dorter
Another term for Latrine. The monks' or nuns' toilet and washing block. Normally built over a source of running water.
Reredos
Wall or screen behind the altar, usually ornamented with painting or carving
Rib
Projecting feature of a vault which is sometimes ornamental, sometimes structural
Ring Fort
A circular fortified settlements that were mostly built during the Iron Age (800 BC–400 AD), although some may have been built as late as the Early Middle Ages.
Roman
Of or relating to ancient Rome, its people culture, or Empire. In Britain the period between 43AD and about 410AD
Romanesque
The massive round-arched architectural style favoured by the Normans. Usually refered to as Norman Arcitecture in Britain
Rood
Cross or crucifix placed between the chancel and nave. A rood screen separates the two parts of a church and is often painted or carved. Traditionally figures of Christ Crucified (the Rood) flanked by St Mary Virgin and St John the Evangelist stood above
Rood Screen
An ornate screen constructed of wood, stone or wrought iron that divides the chancel from the nave.
Royal Arms
Arms of the monarch usually painted on wood or canvas. It became compulsory to display them in churches after the Reformation

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S

Sacristy
A room in the church or attached thereto, where the vestments, church furnishings, sacred vessels, and other treasures are kept, and where the clergy meet for the various ecclesiastical functions.
More commonly referred to as a Vestry these days
Sanctuary
Most sacred part of a church or chapel. The area around the altar.
Sarsen
Large sandstone blocks or fragments found in south-central England, probably remnants of eroded Tertiary beds. Often used in the construction of Stone Circles and other prehistoric structures.
Saxon
Germanic and Danish Settlers who came to England and southern Scotland from the fifth century onwards. Also the heavy round-arched style of architecture with little decoration in use from 7th century to 1066.
Scratch Dial
A sun dial on the south face of the church, which cast the sun's shadow on marks (scratches) to indicate the time of masses.
Screens Passage
In traditional medieval houses, a passage running from one side of the building to the other between the two external doors. Service rooms were usually located on one side of the passage and the Great Hall on the other.
Sedilia
Recessed seats in the south wall of the chancel for the priest, deacon and sub-deacon
Setts
A broadly rectangular quarried stone used originally for paving roads. Today, a decorative stone paving used in landscape architecture.
Shingles
Tile-like roof covering usually of redwood, cedar or cypress, smooth sawn and of uniform size and shape. Can be applied to any 'tiled' roof covering of asphalt, asbestos, wood, tile, slate, or any other material.
Sibbeen
An illegal Irish pub, usually serving poitin
Solar
In medieval houses, the private quarters of the owner, usually located above the services rooms, overlooking the Great Hall
Special Hire
Ugandan term for what we in the west would call a taxi. What the Ugandans call a 'taxi' is a hopelessly overloaded mini-bus plying a fixed route.
Squab
A young unfledged pigeon.
Standard Tree
A tree allowed to grow to its full height. Originally used mainly for ships timbers, house construction, etc.
Strawberry Hill
The 18th century Gothic Revival style of architecture popularised by Horace Walpole's famous Gothic creation at Strawberry Hill in London
String Course
A horizontal band of projecting stonework on the surface of a wall

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T

Tester
Also called a sounding board. Structure over a pulpit to direct sound forward
Thames Barge
A type of flat-bottomed commercial sailing boat common on the River Thames in London in the 19th century.
Tide Mill
A mill powered by by trapping the rising tide in a reservoir and letting the water out through the mill on the falling tide.
Tithe Barn
Large barn used by mediaeval church officials to collect the tithe (one tenth of everything produced).
Topiary
The art of trimming hedge plants into the shape of animals or other objects.
Tower Mill
A type of windmill where, to face the sails into the wind, only the top most part, the cap, of the mill rotates. The tower is usually brick-built.
Town Gas
Domestic and industrial heating and lighting gas made by distilling coal.
Tracery
Ornamental stone ribs in the upper parts of windows and in circular windows
Transept
North and south of the crossing where the nave and chancel meet.
Traversing carriage
Gun carriage which enables the gun to be turned laterally as well as to be elevated and depressed
Trig Point
Triangulation Point used by the Ordnance Survey surveyors up until the advent of satellite mapping. Usually marked by a 1.2m tall tapering square column with a brass instrument emplacement in the top.
Tudor
The period from 1485-1603 when the English throne was occupied by Kings and Queens of the Tudor dynasty
Tuyere
Opening in the base of a blast furnace, through which air was blown to create the blast.
Twitchers
In this sense: A birdwatcher whose main aim is to collect sightings of rare birds.
Tympanum
Space between the lintel and arch of a doorway or opening

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V

Vault
Stone ceiling formed like arches
Verderer
Verderers are the guardians of the Commoners and their Rights. The Court of Verderers was set up in 1877 and consists of 10 Verderers of whom 5 are elected and 5 appointed.
Vestry
More commonly used term for a Sacristy. A room in the church or attached thereto, where the vestments, church furnishings, sacred vessels, and other treasures are kept, and where church members meet for various functions.
Victorian
The period when Queen Victoria was on the throne (1837-1901).
Viking
A seafaring Scandinavian people who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries

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W

Wall Walk
Walkway along the top of a defensive wall, protected by battlements
Wall-eyed
Having exotropia (divergent strabismus) in which the eyes turn outward away from the nose.
Water Meadows
A system of banks, ditches and water channels used to keep meadow grass covered with flowing water and thus frost free. Allowed a substantial increase in the numbers of animals over wintered.
Weltanschauung
A person's or a group's conception, philosophy or view of the world; a world view.
Whim
A simple crane consisting of a tripod arrangement of one upright and two sloping beams with a simple jib hinged from the base of the upright.

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