24 SEPTEMBER 1994, Page 46

Some architectural notes

Patrick Leigh Fermor

I. THE GREEK STONES SPEAK `Metope with anyone?'

`A mutule friend.'

'Arris? 'E's a regula guy! Won't admit him pediment.'

`He'll abacus up?'

`Well, he's echinus on'.


(entasis) 'Your façade speaks volutes!'

`Yes, but she astragal with her dentils, boss!'

`Hollow moulding?'

(pendentive) 'What a cavetto!'

`Well, I'm not soffit. Adytum last night. ..'

`He scotia there!'

`My cornice something Ionic!'

`Tried pilasters? Or a pillar entablature used to? Triglyph for relief, annule see!'

`No! Dont palmette off on me!'

(`He'scotus all wrong!'

`What a cella!') `I'm pronaos, but antefie (We's in antis!'

`He's all of a dodo!'

`In a stylobate!') `Peristyle?' `No Hypostyle!'

`Architrave!' (Hc torus apart) `Doric . '

`What, Gable?'

`We'll frieze in this gutta!'

`Do you . . . caryatid . . . ?'

`Mm! But dont telamon!'

(Intercolumniation) `Alt! I feel like a taenia old!'

`Don't come an acropolis! Stoa 'nother?'

`Yeth! Cyma 'gain, plinth! Your lapith lovely!'


(Necking) `This is parados!'

(base fluting and tympanum) : '0 tholos mice II. THE GOTHIC NORTH `In transept?'

'iSi, aumbry!'

`Dancing steps?'

`Yes. Who's that ball-flower? Newel?'

`Rose Window, a module. Trumeau's dorter, by a dormer tie.'

`Romanesque! ... Engaged column?'

No, free-standing. No offspring or diaper-work. But she's finial! NI, you've no credence!'

'Shall I . . . ashlar?'

`Not a chancel a mullion, with those clustered piers!'


`Wish I hagioscope!'

`Why not triforium, tell a clerestory? Or play a mandorla, just in caisson?'

`0 cladding voussoir lunette —' (coffers, `Ladies and gentlemen, I've decided to depart from my prepared speech . . . . ' getting cloister). 'May I, a spire —' (no responds) If you squinch, aisle screen!'

`There! You've sedilia can!' `Where's that organ?' `Aisle in choir . . . '

(`Cantoris win the bolection?' `How decani tell?') `Corbel!'


Guilloche's off! They're laying on stanchion.'

(Tut those Saxon here, Norman!'

Got the basket, arch? Bell hamper?'

`Open the chamfer! Nook shaft!') `Fillets? Impost? Herringbone? Fresco buttress? Jamb? Scallops? Vessica piscis?'


`Or broach the string course?


`I'm not perpendicular, Arch . . . '

`Haunch, or rib?'

`The lattice!'

`Span? Crockets? Mould?'

`Some more trefoil, please'.

(pointed) 'You're putting on fleche.'

(beams) 'Why wear a truss?'

`Another bowtell, Arch?'

`Mm! Fillet up — don't joggle!'

(stained glass) `Scroll!'


`Dog-tooth? One wing?'

(Flushwork! In their cusps again! They gargoyle in it, ravelin barmkins!) `I've a niche, a pinnacle on my postern . . . '

`Your reredos? Let me lancet!' (skew- back) 'Don't arcuate!' (stoups).

Wisericorde `Turn it up, Arch! Are you a crypt, o choir!' (Rood-loft her . ) (Arch groins): 'Billet me on the dome!'

`A stretcher!'

`Call an ambulatory!'

`Have a squint, or he'll piscina minute!'

`Look what that dripstone!'

`Who canopied here? Who's coping?'

(A bit steeple! Not crocket! A debased spandrel! Re vaulting! Give him a dozen fly- ing buttresses up the apse! Rough strapwork!

Pulvinate him!' etc) (Springing, archivolts undercroft) `Arch is a slype now.' `They're both sleepers'. `Won't liern!' . . . `No. Arcades ambo. ' `Overhung?'

`Per apse, when dais done . . . '