A simple opening in a masonry wall forming a cupboard. The term would appear to come from 'Almery', literally, 'a place for the alms' i.e. a cupboard by the side of an altar. Almonry - The room where alms were distributed. Aumbries are quite common in Scotland. This illustration is from one in Stoneypath Tower, East Lothian.
A bartizan is a corbelled-out turret, round or square, at the top angle of a castle. This open bartizan at Bermesyde Castle in the Borders, has cable moulding round the top. Bartizans are a common feature on Scottish Castles and Tower Houses, and can be seen at Balcaldine, Balgonie, Ballencrieff and Balvaird to name but a few.
A Barmkin is a protective wall around a castle, originally for holding livestock.
A carved stone projecting from the face of a wall and supporting a superincumbent weight, usually a beam, or parapet wall, supported on a corbel-table, at the top of a castle. Corbelling usually features in just about every castle and tower house.
Crow Steps or corbie steps are the dressed stone steps that run up the side of a gable.
A window pierced through a sloping roof, usually the window of the sleeping apartments, hence the name Dormer. The triangular stone gable above the window is the pediment, which is usually topped with a carved stone finial, a thistle or an animal for example.
An escutcheon, or scutcheon, is the plate which surrounds the keyhole of a castle. Originally an escutcheon referred to a shield charged with armorial bearing, and used in Gothic architecture as ornaments to perpetuate the memory of benefactors.
From the Latin 'finis' meaning the end. A finial is the ornamental topping to a turret or a dormer pediment. It can be a carved piece of wood, covered in lead as shown here, or a carved stone top to a dormer or roof ridge. Finials are also found on wrought iron gates.
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