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spire


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Tall structure, circular, polygonal, or square on plan, rising from a roof, tower, etc., terminating in a slender point, especially the tapering part of a church-steeple. Often of stone, and occasionally of brick, it was also built as a timber-framed structure clad with copper, lead, shingles, slates, tiles, or thin stone slabs. If square, a spire rises directly from the tower, but octagonal spires required the top of the tower not covered to be occupied by pinnacles or by an arrangement (broach) forming a transition between the square and octagon resembling part of a pyramid and sloping towards the spire (broach-spire (a) ). Other types of spire include:crown spire:spire carried on buttress-like elements, i.e. with the structure fully exposed, resembling the arched forms at the top of a crown (b);Hertfordshire spike:small needle-spire rising from a tower behind a parapet;needle-spire:very tall slender spire rising from a tower behind a parapet, like a Hertfordshire spike but much bigger, taller, and finer (c);spike:short spire, flèche, or spirelet;splay-foot:spire with a base opening out at a flatter pitch and forming eaves over the tower.

crown spire:spire carried on buttress-like elements, i.e. with the structure fully exposed, resembling the arched forms at the top of a crown (b);

Hertfordshire spike:small needle-spire rising from a tower behind a parapet;

needle-spire:very tall slender spire rising from a tower behind a parapet, like a Hertfordshire spike but much bigger, taller, and finer (c);

spike:short spire, flèche, or spirelet;

splay-foot:spire with a base opening out at a flatter pitch and forming eaves over the tower.

Gwilt (1903);W. Papworth (1887);J. Parker (1850);Sturgis et al. (1901–2)

(a) Broach–spire with lucarnes and weather–cock or-vane on tower with diagonal buttresses. (b) Crown spire (HighChurch of St Giles, Edinburgh, late C15). (c) Needle–spire, behindparapet pierced with quatrefoils, attached with flying buttressesto pinnacled clasping buttresses. (d) Splay–foot spirewith weather–cock or –vane on tower with angle buttresses.

(a) Broach–spire with lucarnes and weather–cock or-vane on tower with diagonal buttresses. (b) Crown spire (HighChurch of St Giles, Edinburgh, late C15). (c) Needle–spire, behindparapet pierced with quatrefoils, attached with flying buttressesto pinnacled clasping buttresses. (d) Splay–foot spirewith weather–cock or –vane on tower with angle buttresses.

Subjects: Architecture.


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