Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Friday 12th August 2022

Stone Vaulting

RomanGlossary Term [1] basilicaGlossary Term [2], and the principle of the vaulted sacred space was extended to the whole building. The invention of the rib-vault [3], combined with the pointed archGlossary Term [4], made it possible for the vaultGlossary Term [5] to be carried on walls pierced by large openings, as the ribs directed the thrust to the corners of each bayGlossary Term [6] and flying buttresses helped to stabilise the weight of the heavy masses of masonry. From the 13th century onwards GothicGlossary Term [7] stone vaults were elaborated to produce complex patterns by the addition of extra ribs and elaborately carved and painted bosses at their intersections.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009