Welcome to our Architectural Stonemasonry Glossary. This resource is designed to provide you with detailed explanations of key terms and concepts in the field of stonemasonry. Below is a list of terms included in the glossary, each accompanied by a brief introduction. Click on the term to read the full article.

Glossary Terms:


Ashlar masonry involves finely dressed stones laid in regular courses. It’s known for its precision and historical significance….. read more


Balusters are vertical mouldings or small columns used in balustrades, adding both structural support and decorative appeal….. read more


Bas-relief is a sculpting technique where figures are slightly raised from a flat background, often used in architectural decorations….. read more

Bed Joint

The bed joint is the horizontal layer of mortar between courses of masonry units, critical for stability and alignment….. read more


A buttress is a projecting support built against a wall to reinforce it, commonly seen in gothic architecture….. read more


The process of shaping stone by cutting or chiseling, often resulting in intricate and detailed designs in stonemasonry….. read more


A vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above, essential in architecture….. read more


Cornices are horizontal decorative mouldings that crown a building or structure, adding an element of sophistication….. read more


The front or face of a building, often elaborately decorated, serving as the building’s exterior presentation….. read more


Decorative technique where pieces of material are set into the surface of a piece to form a design, often intricate….. read more


The central stone at the apex of an arch, locking the whole piece together, crucial for structural integrity….. read more


A lintel is a horizontal support across the top of a door or window, essential for structural integrity….. read more



Conservation & Heritage

Conservation & Heritage



Porticos & Facades

Porticos & Facades

Stone Carving

Stone Carving

Cantilever Staircases

Cantilever Staircases


The craft of building structures from individual units of stone, brick, or block, bonded together with mortar….. read more


Mortar is a mixture used to bond building blocks together, crucial for the stability of masonry structures….. read more


The triangular upper part of a building front, typically above a portico of columns, often decorated with sculptures….. read more


The process of finishing mortar joints between bricks or stones, enhancing the appearance and durability of masonry….. read more


A place where stone is extracted from the earth, providing raw materials for various construction and architectural uses….. read more


The art of creating three-dimensional forms by carving or shaping materials, often used for decorative architectural elements….. read more


The horizontal base of a window or door opening, providing structural support and a surface for weather sealing….. read more


The underside of an architectural feature, such as an arch or overhang, often finished for aesthetic purposes….. read more


The chipping or flaking of stone or concrete, usually caused by weathering, freeze-thaw cycles, or pressure….. read more

String Course

A horizontal band or moulding projecting from the surface of a building, used for decorative or structural purposes….. read more


A thin decorative covering of fine material applied to coarser stone or concrete, enhancing the visual appeal….. read more

Water Table

A projecting ledge, moulding, or string course along the bottom of a building, designed to divert rainwater away from the foundation….. read more


The process by which stone deteriorates due to atmospheric conditions, affecting its appearance and structural integrity….. read more

Feel free to explore the full articles for each term by clicking on the links. Each article provides a comprehensive look at the history, usage, and significance of these architectural elements in stonemasonry.

Realise your project, guided by our architectural stonemasonry experts.