Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire is a project launched in 2018, with only a few churches included at the moment.

Glossary of Terms

This page is currently a 'Work in Progress' and will be updated as we add new items.

If there is a particular item which would be helpful added to the Glossary, please use the Comment facility at the bottom of this page.

Abacus or Abaci - A flat slab at the top of a column.

In architecture, an abacus (from the Greek abax, slab; or French abaque, tailloir; plural abacuses or abaci) is a flat slab forming the uppermost member or division of the capital of a column, above the bell. Its chief function is to provide a large supporting surface, tending to be wider than the capital, as an abutment to receive the weight of the arch or the architrave above.

AMDG - Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Latin: To the greater Glory of God.
Also the motto of the Jesuits, The Society of Jesus.

Arts and Crafts

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between 1880 and 1910. Particularly associated with William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelite circle. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial.

BSMGP - British Society of Master Glass Painters

The BSMGP was founded in 1921, and is the UK's only organisation devoted exclusively to the art and craft of stained glass, historic and contemporary.
Since 1924 they have produced an annual journal which has become an important reference work on the subject. They have also produced directories of windows made by specific craftsmen. BSMGP journals and directories are sometimes quoted as "Sources for Dates and Craftsmen" on this web site.


High level windows

Cusp - Cusp or Cusped

A projecting point formed by the foils (foil: a lobe formed by the cusping of a circular or other shape in tracery) within the divisions of Gothic tracery, also used as a decorative edging to the soffits of the gothic arches of tomb recesses, sedilia etc. (Pevsner)

Dec - Decorated

English Gothic architecture, c1290 to c.1350


DEL. = delineavit
Latin: (he or she) drew this
© The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations 1998, originally published by Oxford University Press 1998.


(Literally "figured Cloth")
A repetitive surface decoration of lozenges or squares.


Painting or Stained glass in shades of grey. Often leaves or a floral design.


Latin: (he or she) designed this
© The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations 1998, originally published by Oxford University Press 1998.


A lancet window is a tall, narrow window with a pointed arch at its top

NADFAS - National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies

NADFAS is a leading arts charity which works to advance decorative and fine arts education and appreciation, alongside promoting the conservation of our artistic heritage. The Society renamed itself 'The Arts Society' in 2017.
The Arts Society 8 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DA Tel: 020 7430 0730. https://theartssociety.org/

Perp - Perpendicular

English Gothic architecture, c.1335-50 to c.1530


He (or she) painted it: an inscription found on paintings and stained glass following the artist's name.


(Literally "Squares")
Square or diamond shaped panes of glass.

RCHM - Royal Commission on Historic Monuments

Established by Royal Warrant dated 27 October 1908, the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England). The National Buidings Register (NBR) was established in 1940, and renamed the National Monuments Register (NMR) in 1963 when it was taken over by the RCHM. In 1999, with the rest of the Commission's activities, it was absorbed into English Heritage, and in 2012 was renamed the English Heritage Archive.
In 2015 the work of the NMR moved with the archive to Historic England and became the Historic England Archive. Based at Archive Services, Historic England, The Engine House, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon, SN2 2EH

Vesica shape

A pointed medallion

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Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

All photographs by Michael G Hardy unless stated otherwise

©2017-2024 Michael G Hardy